Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 15, 2007  |  0 comments
Dr. Harman meets Dr. Bronner—all one!

Every day, I wash with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. A soap-

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 15, 2007  |  0 comments
A new line from a champion.

The loudspeaker sat in his doctor's examining room. His weight was up, and the results of the cholesterol test were not good.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 15, 2007  |  0 comments
A budget sub/sat set for the divinely inclined.

Nowhere is the universal human desire to get something for nothing more evident than in consumer electronics. While I'm always amenable to reviewing mass-market gear that offers high value to the consumer, I also spend a large portion of my time convincing more discerning listeners that an investment in higher-priced gear is really worth it. Why, then, would I work up a froth of enthusiasm for a modest subwoofer/satellite set like the DCM Cinema2? It would be convenient simply to say that I heard it and liked it, but the truth doesn't always lend itself to a glib lead.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 15, 2007  |  0 comments
Flat meets flat.

The big trend is smallness. Flat is the new phat. Manufacturers who want space in your home compete most effectively by taking up less of it. And, in case you hadn't heard, less is more.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 14, 2007  |  2 comments
I keep up with new surround-receiver features the way a CIA analyst monitors intel from dangerous nations. A lot of these things are just distractions from the fundamentals: dynamics, noise, etc. But I'm in love with the latest wrinkle in connectivity, the front-panel USB jack. At first I thought, yawn, a way to plug in your Windows PlaysForSure music player, as if you had such a thing. But you can also plug in a plain old USB drive. Think of this: You bump your 10 newest favorite songs to a flash drive, plug that sucker into the front panel, and use the remote to get the show rolling. If you have a whole drawer full of those things, each one can become a playlist. Better yet, why not get some use out of the external hard drive you use to protect your download collection from a deadly crash? Or better still, why not buy another external hard drive just for use with the receiver? I just paid $120 for a 500GB Iomega external drive to back up my backups (I'm careful that way). That's much less than the cost of a fancy hard-drive-based audio server. It's also just about what you'd pay for an add-on iPod dock. Kudos to Pioneer, which introduced me to the feature with the VSX-94TXH ($1600), and Integra, maker of the DTR-8.8 ($2400) I'm reviewing at the moment. Let's hope USB trickles down to less costly models.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 13, 2007  |  0 comments
Sir Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, has finally conceded what other observers have been saying for some time: The format war between Blu-ray and HD DVD is stalled in a stalemate.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 12, 2007  |  0 comments
Both Toshiba and Hitachi have announced they're dumping their rear-projecction TVs. If new figures are anything to go by, they may soon have company.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 09, 2007  |  0 comments
Here's one more reason to buy a flat-panel TV. Whether you opt for plasma or LCD, either type is more reliable than a rear-projection set.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 08, 2007  |  0 comments
It had to happen sooner or later. The secondary layer of digital rights management that protects Blu-ray discs, known as BD+, has been hacked.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 07, 2007  |  2 comments
What would happen if David Letterman came onstage to do his opening monologue but nothing came out of his mouth? What if the stars of the silver screen had to improvise all their dialogue--would someone like Tom Cruise even have a career? Now you may have an inkling of what TV and screenwriters contribute to popular entertainment. And that's why the strike of the Writers Guild of America matters. They're looking for a bigger cut of burgeoning DVD revenues and growing Internet revenues. Peopling the picket lines in New York this week were Seth Myers, the Weekend Update coanchor and head writer of Saturday Night Live, and his predecessor Tina Fey, now of 30 Rock. The most recent SNL telecast included a hilarious skit with Fred Armisen posing as an overpaid studio executive. Jay Leno has contributed a sound bite supporting his writers and Letterman describes the producers as "cowards, cutthroats, and weasels." But Jon Stewart of The Daily Show is really putting his money where his mouth is. He is personally paying the salaries of his writers for the duration of the strike. These folks know on which side their bread is buttered.

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