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Mark Fleischmann  |  Jul 18, 2012  |  0 comments
Readers may already have noticed that my speaker and receiver reviews have begun name-checking a new reference signal source. It is a Micro Seiki BL-51 turntable. And it's a jewel. There isn't a single component in my rack that I don't respect and depend on. But the Micro Seiki I love-love-love. Let me tell you how and why I acquired it.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 24, 2011  |  0 comments
The most dressed-up flat-panel TV in the universe has to be the Trithon REYN, displayed in the Leon Speakers booth at this week's CEA Line Shows in New York City.

Take a close look at the edge of the set. That's python skin.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  1 comments
As someone whose job involves filtering massive amounts of hype to isolate the tiny tidbits of information readers may care about, I must admit that at times my filter gets clogged. So I got a kick out of reading Mark Schubin's essay "Headphones, History, & Hysteria" as he doggedly pursued a seemingly simple question: Who invented headphones?

Well, one website says it was John C. Koss in 1958. And if it's on the internet, you know it must be true. But wait! The Beyer website says it was that company in 1937. And if it's on the internet.... But wait!

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 13, 2011  |  0 comments
This is the second installment of In Progress, an occasional series on noteworthy things about products under review.

Are you plagued by doubts about the iThing compatibility of a prospective surround receiver purchase? If you're actually inspecting a carton in one of those old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores, Sony has the solution. Its STR-DN1020 ($500) lists every iDevice with which it's compatible right on the top of the carton! Complete with little graphic representations, no less. Since our 600-pixels-wide image may not be entirely legible, we'll list them below.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 06, 2011  |  0 comments
While we await the news from today's Apple event, I'd like to toss out an observation connected to a yet-to-be-published review. This may be the first such piece in a continuing series. Or not. You never know.

What struck me about the Pioneer VSX-1021-K ($549) is the way it accommodates both push and pull of iTunes content via AirPlay. You can push content from computers or portable iDevices into the receiver. The receiver will even turn itself on and select the appropriate input. But it can also pull content from other router-connected devices using DLNA.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 21, 2010  |  1 comments
An annual source of delight for readers everywhere is the updating of my book Practical Home Theater: A Guide to Video and Audio Systems (2011 Edition) from Quiet River Press. The latest edition is the 10th. Look out for the one with the spiffy green cover (yellow is so last year). In this year's edition you'll find a brand-new chapter on 3DTV with my own admittedly skeptical take on the subject. I've also consolidated the DVR and audio-server chapters into a new chapter on DVRs, streamers, and servers. It makes a lot more organizational sense. For the ISBN-minded, the ISBN-13 number is 9781932732122, and ISBN-10 is 1932732128. To ensure you order the right edition, click the links above and below. They'll take you to my website and that will take you to Amazon. You're also welcome to shop other online booksellers by searching the title on AddAll. Or, if you're the old-fashioned kind, walk through the door of your local bookstore and special-order the book. Just be sure to give the correct ISBN. This year's edition will be the first to be distributed in Europe, Canada, and Australia as well as U.S. and U.K. retail channels. The price remains $19.95 in the U.S., same as the first edition in 2002, a nice value in these hard times. Please buy my book so I won't have to beg in the street.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 24, 2010  |  3 comments
The Consumer Electronics Association hosted a Line Show in midtown Manhattan for the second consecutive year. Our colleagues at TWICE covered the economic forecast while we did a walk-through. Anthem, long known for its pre-pros and multichannel amps, unveiled four receivers. They range from the MRX 300 ($1000) to the MRX 900 ($4000). All have Anthem's own room correction.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 24, 2010  |  2 comments
Mitsubishi's L75-A91 is the latest generation of its LaserVue rear-projection technology. The 75-inch set is up 10 inches over its predecessor, costs $1000 less at $6000, and exceeds Energy Star standards by 50 percent. Mitsubishi has been supporting 3D since 2007 in its DLP models and offers an adapter for use with 3D ready sets that will convert formats supported in HDMI 1.4a.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 22, 2010  |  0 comments
This company demonstrated a filter that fits over a small screen, like the PSP shown, and shows 3D content without the need for glasses. You have to play with the viewing distance until the image snaps into focus. To be used with YouTube, games, etc.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 22, 2010  |  0 comments
The MusicLite uses 2.4GHz wireless technology from Eleven Engineering in its combination Sylvania LED lightbulb and Artison powered speaker. Use your choice of iPod or USB dongle to send signals to the MusicLite. The system can address up to four zones. Shipping in September for a price yet undetermined.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 22, 2010  |  1 comments
Sonos has long been the noninvasive multi-zone audio technology of choice for many. Its latest move, not surprisingly, is an iPad controller that works much the same as its iPhone/iPod controller. The free app lets you slide between rooms playing different content or link all rooms with the same content.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 22, 2010  |  1 comments
This maker of toothbrush sanitizers now offers a model for personal electronics such as phones, iPods, headsets, earbuds, etc. They can get dirtier than the bottom of your shoe, we were told. The ultraviolet device takes three minutes to remove 99.9 percent of nasties such as salmonella, strep, flu, etc. Available in September for $100.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 22, 2010  |  2 comments
At the Vizio booth we got a look at the XVT3D654SV, a 65-inch LED-backlit LCD TV with passive 3D technology. Pros: High light output, the glasses can be manufactured for pennies. Cons: Less resolution than active-shutter 3D. The technology is baked into the panel so the set can be used only for passive 3D. Shipping and price not available. Also introduced: other new LED sets and wi-fi Blu-ray players.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 22, 2010  |  1 comments
Eton's Soulra is a fairly ordinary iPod docking speaker product with a twist: It's got a solar panel that can charge in about 10 hours, providing 4 to 5 hours of play time. It's water-proof, sand-proof, and $199.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 29, 2010  |  5 comments
Just when I was about to ship my four-year-old Sharp LC-32D4U to my parents, who are still using an analog TV, the 32-inch TV's speakers went silent. According to this guy, the problem is "a design flaw by Sharp in which the silicon grease they used to cool the audio IC tends to break down and melt after a couple years, shorting out the audio." I've spent this week reviewing a JVC sound bar, so at least I didn't have to do without my local 10 o'clock newscast--the TV's analog line output still worked well enough to feed a signal to the bar. But I wanted to fix the TV before it went off to its new home. My parents have been good to me. I didn't want to send them a less than fully functional TV.