Question: I’m in the market for a Blu-ray player and A/V receiver, but I’d like the system to play 96-kHz/24-bit high-rez music downloads as well. The info I’ve found on manufacturer Web sites simply indicates whether or not the equipment supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, but not if the DACs support 96/24 decoding. Since many players and AVRs have a USB port, can this be used as an input for sending 96/24 files from my PC? Joe Massey, Exeter, NH
Just how slim can speakers get? It's a question I find myself pondering these days as wave after wave of skinny speakers arrives on my doorstep for testing. Looking over the elegant, metal-clad CS-System 3 speakers from British newcomer Audica - a company of audio veterans who previously did time at established UK speaker outfits like Mission - the answer is: remarkably slim.
Any apprehension I may have had about buying speakers off the Internet faded a few years back when I scored some great-sounding bookshelf speakers from a Web-only audio company. Those remain in use today, and I'd be game to match them up performance-wise against any current model in their price range.
The BeoVision 14, a new Series of Ultra HDTVs unveiled by Danish manufacturer Bang & Olufsen today at its CEDIA press event, up the ante on the aesthetics front by providing an element not often seen in modern TV design: wood.
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Q I have a legacy AV receiver (Integra DTR-7) and am considering replacing it with a separate preamp/processor and amplifier. I’ve noticed that some preamps only have RCA outputs, while other, more expensive preamps also have balanced XLR outputs. Is there a noticeable difference in the sound quality when using balanced XLR cables versus unbalanced cables? The length of the cables needed to connect the two units would only be 1 meter. —Ed Mendelson / via e-mail
When the Blu-ray Disc format was first announced, a feature that industry execs liked to pimp in their PowerPoint presentations was BD-Live. With your player plugged into a home network, we were told, a BD-Live-enabled disc could access all manner of wonders by way of the Internet -things like games and extra scenes and commentaries not included on the original disc.