Darryl Wilkinson

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 04, 2017  |  0 comments
In general, air purifiers have always seemed a bit like, um, smoke and mirrors to me. After all, most of them just sit in the room; and, frankly, I can never tell if they’re actually doing anything at all other than taking up space. It only took about 30 seconds for the Airmega folks to give me visual confirmation of their claim that the company’s Airmega Smart Air Purifier models remove more than 99 percent of the particulate matter in the air in the room...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Apr 25, 2005  |  0 comments
Evidently, Polk has a thing for XM Satellite Radio. About six months after they introduced a stand-alone, home-component XM tuner (the XRt12), the speaker company is pulling the wraps off of a new XM-ready tabletop entertainment system called the I-Sonic. Sure, you might think it's just a new compact stereo system designed to sonically kick the you know what out of you know which (heavily advertised) tabletop system from you know who. (And who am I to say that you're wrong?) But a quick look at all of the I-Sonic's features and capabilities makes it appear to be something more - you know, the kind of thing your grandmother could use but will still impress the heck out of your more techno-sophisticated friends.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 08, 2012  |  0 comments
URC was showing off the company’s long-awaited DMS-AV Network Home Theater Amplifier that takes a 125-watt x 7 AVR with boatloads of inputs and features and marries it to a URC Total Control-based whole-home music distribution system. The DMS-AV connects to the homeowner’s LAN and can handle up to 32 streaming audio sources. You can even digitally stream the analog output from a turntable to any of the connected zone amplifiers in the home. URC says the DMS-AV is finally shipping with an MSRP of $1,499.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jul 11, 2006  |  0 comments
Gefen's new analog-to-digital video scaler takes the VGA output from a single analog video source, such as a computer's analog video output or a DVD player's component video output, and scales it to 1280 x 1024 (for computers) or 1080i (for HDTVs). The input resolution is automatically detected while the output resolution and refresh rate can be selected through the unit's on-screen display menu or front panel push buttons. As a result, the company says, installation can be accomplished "in seconds." (That seems a bit optimistic, unless they're talking about double or maybe even triple digits. But we get the point.)
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 27, 2005  |  0 comments
High-end home theater owners may already be familiar with Silicon Optix, Inc. The company's Image AnyPlace video scaler provides a great deal of flexibility for installers when choosing where to locate a front-projection monitor in relation to the screen. The scaler's Image Geometry Correction circuitry adjusts the image for off-axis projection in two dimensions (two-dimensional Keystone Correction), so for nightmare-installation rooms the projector may be mounted at the top, bottom, or either side of the projection screen. The scaler also makes it possible to project images onto cylindrical, spherical, or completely irregularly shaped objects. (Imagine the thrill of watching movies on the top of your brother-in-law's shiny bald head.)
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 26, 2008  |  0 comments
Hide your credit cards now before it's too late.

My son, Nick, recently attended an engineering weekend for high-school seniors at a nearby university. After splitting into teams, the attendees competed in several engineering challenges, one of which was to build a contraption made from a meager assortment of supplied materials (including an Alka-Seltzer tablet) that would move a small toy car across a pan of water.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 20, 2012  |  0 comments
Price: $3,499 At A Glance: Automatic speaker discovery and channel assignment • Uncompressed 24-bit wireless digital audio • No AVR needed

Not long ago, FedEx deposited a 7.1channel HTIB from Aperion Audio outside my door. It’s not really fair to call it a home theater in a box because the system actually comes in seven boxes and sells for $3,499. But since it includes source switching and amplification, it technically qualifies as an HTIB, albeit a rather unusual one. Aperion Audio prefers the term preconfigured home theater system. Normally, setting up this sort of home theater package would entail speaker wires crisscrossing the floor accompanied by the requisite grumbling, stripping of wires, and fumbling with speaker terminals. In this case, though, the Aperion speakers—a pair of towers, a center channel, a subwoofer, and two pair of satellite speakers—come out of their boxes, get placed in their appropriate spots in the room, have each one’s power cord plugged into the nearest AC outlet…and that’s it.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Apr 07, 2014  |  0 comments
I spent a tense 30 minutes the other night huddled on the floor in the hallway outside my father’s hospital room. The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for the area, and the hospital had gone into “Weather Plan 2” mode. Everyone in the building—even the patients who couldn’t get out of bed—had to gather in the hallways. My father was one of those temporarily bed-ridden patients, and I’m sure that the mind-twisting aftereffects of anesthesia coupled with post-op morphine made the hurried, bumpy rush from his room to a hall full of two dozen other patients seem even more surreal than it was for me. It became even more surreal after all the patients were returned to their rooms following an “all clear” announcement when, within minutes, the whole process was repeated (albeit with significantly more grumbling from the patients and staff.)

As I was busily texting and tweeting about the collective predicament we were in (it’s actually not true that I caused a small riot when I ran through the hallway yelling “Morphine for all!”), the flickering of the hallway lights during the height of the storm started me thinking about how incredibly dependent we are on technology - technology that most of us take totally for granted until it doesn’t work anymore...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 23, 2010  |  0 comments
T he rest of the industry may not be ready to abandon dome tweeters, but Sandy Gross and his new company, GoldenEar Technology, are using accordion-like High-Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) high-frequency drivers in place of the ubiquitous domes found in 90-some-odd percent of the speakers currently on the market. The HVFR drivers work in a manner similar to an accordion and generate sound by squeezing a folded diaphragm from the sides rather than in an up-and-down motion. The result is a dramatically open, sublime sound free of any listening fatigue you might get from a lesser, standard driver – at least, that’s what I heard in the GoldenEar Technology booth earlier this morning. The HVFR tweeters are in the $1,249/ea floor-standing Triton Two Towers, the$499/ea SuperSat satellites , and the $249/ea SuperSat 50 satellites. GoldenEar Technology is also introducing a pair of powered subwoofers (ForceField 3 - $499, ForceField 4 - $699).
Darryl Wilkinson  |  May 04, 2008  |  0 comments
The fine art of disguise.

No one likes to look at speakers. (You and I don’t count.) Thus the quest by many manufacturers to find the Holy Grail of speakers: the totally invisible wall-o’-sound. Unfortunately, the invisible stuff I’ve seen so far has been pretty uninspiring and by no means anything you could call close to high performance. At present, short of an acoustic miracle, we’re stuck with speakers that are going to be seen, be they in-wall, on-wall, floorstanding, or whatever.