Mark Fleischmann

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 01, 2017  |  3 comments
Normally I use this blog to explain things. In this case, perhaps I need you to explain something to me. Specifically (in Jerry Seinfeld voice) what's the deal with those expensive phones?

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  0 comments

PRICE $300

DTS Virtual:X mimics height/surround
HDMI in and out with ARC
Pleasant voicing in most modes
Only one video input
3D Surround mode can be slightly harsh

The Yamaha YAS-207, which uses DTS Virtual:X processing to simulate height and surround effects, sounds pretty good and is easy on your checkbook.

When Dolby Atmos and, shortly thereafter, DTS:X made their debuts, I expected I’d soon be reviewing a flood of speaker systems and receivers supporting object-oriented surround in a 360-degree soundfield. My hope was that height-capable surround would spark renewed interest in surround speaker packages and receivers — and in home theater overall.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 28, 2017  |  0 comments
It’s no surprise that Parks Associates finds 59 percent of U.S. broadband households subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu—or that the trend is upward. But those streaming subscribers are also in an exploratory mood, with “an increase in households subscribing to two, three, or even four or more services,” reports Brett Sappington, Parks’s senior research director.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 16, 2017  |  0 comments
British researchers have found a security vulnerability in Amazon Echo speakers that would allow hackers to install malicious software and listen in on your conversations.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 13, 2017  |  1 comments
Don’t you hate peeling sticky labels off your new phone and other CE purchases? You are not alone...
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 08, 2017  |  2 comments
How would you like to save money on a TV package from a major cable operator and dump the set-top box at the same time?
Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 03, 2017  |  0 comments
It's been more than a decade since I blogged on holiday survival tips. The advice I gave then (in the form of a diablog, amusingly enough) is evergreen: You should save all packaging and boxes, remember how to repack intricately packed products, save store and credit card receipts, keep on top of rebates, start an electronic junk drawer if you don't already have one, label power adapters, file manuals and other product docs, prepare to mentor the receipient, write the serial number on the manual, and be nice to customer support people, should you need one. All that is still good advice. But I missed a few things...

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 02, 2017  |  2 comments
Republicans and Democrats may not agree on much, but at least one member of each party would like to see musicians get paid royalties on musical works produced before 1972.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 30, 2017  |  0 comments
Dolby Laboratories wants to know exactly how viewers respond to its HDR, surround sound, or color palette technologies while watching a movie. So Dolby’s chief scientist and neurophysiologist Poppy Crum has been running 15 to 20 experiments per day in which volunteers sit on a couch attached to brain monitors, heart rate monitors, galvanic skin response sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and lie detectors.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 26, 2017  |  11 comments

Audio Performance
PRICE $3,800

Muscular Class A/B amp
PC-USB and phono inputs
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 7.1.4 decoding
No auto setup
Limited access to seven-channel amp for Atmos/DTS:X

Rotel returns to analog amplification for their latest top-of-the-line home theater machine—and the results are golden.

Is the Rotel RAP-1580 the surround receiver that dares not speak its name? In keeping with the two-channel distinction between stereo receivers and integrated amplifiers, Rotel calls it a surround amplified processor because it doesn’t include an AM/FM tuner. But to my mind, the defining trait of a surround receiver is that it combines a surround preamp/processor and a multichannel amp in one box. So I prefer to call this an audiophile receiver. You say tomato... [Editor’s Note: I’d call it a surround amplifier, and I don’t think it’s the last of this type we’ll be seeing...but, whatever.—RS]