Darryl Wilkinson

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 05, 2017  |  Published: Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
AXIS says the company’s Gear is “the first shading solution designed specifically to motorize existing window shades.” In addition to being one of the few devices engineered for use with traditional shades and curtains (basically any window treatment with a “loop” chain or cable), the Gear is one of the simplest, easiest, least-intimidating smart home automation device to install I think I’ve ever seen.

Gear consists of a...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 02, 2013  |  1 comments

Panorama 2 Soundbar
Audio Performance
Video Performance

PV1D Subwoofer
Build Quality
Price: $3,900 (Panorama 2, $2,200; PV1D, $1,700) At a Glance: Three HDMI inputs • Nautilus tube-loaded aluminum dome tweeter • Disappointing egg-shaped remote

There are some things that absolutely ooze sophistication and class—products that, even if you don’t happen to be interested in or have much knowledge of that particular sort of thing—can spontaneously elicit a feeling of admiration. For example, I’m not a big fan of high-end analog watches, yet I can’t help but respect the craftsmanship and attention to detail of a Tourneau or TAG Heuer sitting in a jewelry store’s display case. Ditto the “whatever” sentiment for automobiles. As long as it reliably gets me from where I am to where I want to be (although a nice sound system is a plus), I’m usually good with it. But I also think Tesla’s Model S all-electric sedan is to die for. Not surprisingly, the A/V world has its own share of companies that can be counted on to consistently raise an appreciative eyebrow or two. The iconic Bang & Olufsen—despite the company’s occasional forays into the realm of the bizarre—would no doubt find its way onto most people’s short list.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jun 19, 2017  |  1 comments
Not long ago, I stumbled across an unusual podcast series, called Sound Matters. I had some hesitation before listening to what was, at the time, the most recent episode (Episode 10: Sounds From Outer Space) because the podcast series is sponsored by B&O Play...
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments

Home Theater Magazine's Darryl Wilkinson checks out the new Zeppelin sound system from B&W Group.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 25, 2010  |  1 comments
You might think CEDIA would be a poor environment in which to meet women – but it turns out that a broad assortment of the best and brightest women in the CE business were in attendance at the Women in CE Breakfast Saturday morning. The organization aims to help women become a more important part of the industry than simply the “W” in Wife Acceptance Factor, and today’s annual meeting kept them abreast of the many benefits of mentoring. Interestingly, the sponsor (who shall remain nameless but she knows who she is) of the table at which I sat had mentored me in the fine act of drinking me under the table the day before, so I feel perfectly justified making this politically incorrect post.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 09, 2011  |  0 comments
Call me paranoid, but even these 18-inch tall robots seem to look at me with evil intent.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jul 31, 2001  |  Published: Aug 01, 2001  |  0 comments
Put away that charcoal. Here's a different kind of grille for your patio.

My, how times have changed. Back when vinyl records were king and a 25-inch-diagonal TV screen was considered big, here's how you had a good time in the backyard: a keg of beer, burgers on a charcoal grill, and your roommate's big, ugly speakers (carted out from the living room) blasting Rush (Geddy Lee, et al) until the conservative neighbors call the cops. A decade or so goes by, and the fun gets more sophisticated: a cooler of imported beer (maybe a margarita machine), steaks on a gas grill, and a big, ugly boombox belting out Rush (Limbaugh) until the liberal neighbors call the cops. Today, it's likely to be takeout from a local BBQ joint, a mini-fridge full of hard lemonade, and steam from the hot tub mingling with big-band music from outdoor speakers hidden somewhere in the (twice-monthly manicured) foliage.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 02, 2006  |  0 comments
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the folks at SpeakerCraft think it's quite possible you've never seen a more beautiful rear - speaker, that is.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 06, 2015  |  3 comments

BeoLab 18 Speaker System
Build Quality

BeoLab 19 Subwoofer
Build Quality
PRICE $25,625 as reviewed

WiSA wireless multichannel audio technology
All processing and switching built into the TV
Motorized TV speakers and TV stand
No backlighting on remote control
Nothing else but the price

Although most of us can’t afford this system, those who can will be treated to an amazingly moving experience that no other system can provide—every time they turn it on.

Bang & Olufsen is unusual in the AV world. In fact, I could have stopped at “unusual.” I once heard a story about B&O that perfectly sums up what I’m talking about. It’s probably apocryphal, because the person I heard it from had heard it from someone else, but I’ll tell it anyway. Years ago, when B&O still made phones—corded, landline telephones—a guy from the U.S. asked one of the Danish engineers why the handsets had their unique shape, which made them almost impossible to cradle between your ear and shoulder so you could have a conversation and still use both hands. (Twenty-some years ago, that was the era’s version of “hands free.”)

The engineer’s answer was short and to the point: “Because we don’t talk on the phone that way here.” That sort of stubborn—some might say arrogant—confidence in the belief that their way is the right way is one of the core characteristics of Bang & Olufsen. When other AV companies are busy jumping on the latest technological bandwagon, B&O is off in the woods searching for truffles.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 13, 2014  |  0 comments
Belgin-based Basalte’s Sentido is a unique, square-shaped, intelligent, touch-sensitive light switch with a metal-finish front face that’s divided into two or four equal sections, each with different functions. Basalte says that the entire switch is touch-sensitive and creates “an easy way of control and a unique user experience.” Touching more than one section simultaneously, for example, turns on or off all of the connected lights in the room. The Sentido can be programmed so that a long press of multiple sections will allow the user to sequence through up to four individually programmed light scenes. Multiple Sentidos will be capable of integrating into other companies’ smart home systems in the near future. On display was Basalte’s bridge adapter for integrating Sentido switches into Lutron’s HomeWorks QS systems. Since the Sentido switches do not include internal wireless connectivity, low-voltage wire needs to be run from each Sentido switch to central bridge adapter.

Behind the square metal front is...