equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
Denon AVR-X3100W Home Theater Receiver Review
Tisbury Audio Mini Passive Review
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Thursday, 07 January 2010 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Another CES Press Day has come and gone.  Filled with press conferences from all the major CE manufacturers, the video side of the business was in full swing.  The huge push for all the companies seems to be in 3D technology.  LG, Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung are all betting that the typical CE consumer is going to latch onto 3D tech as easily as HDTV caught on.  Each company is pursuing this effort with different partners.  For instance, Samsung brought out Jeffrey Katzenberg (the Head of Dreamworks) and Frederic Rose (the head of Technicolor) in matching 3D glasses to announce their partnerships.  Panasonic is partnering with DirecTV and Sony is dealing with ESPN.  The major players are betting that consumers will be willing to sit at home and put on 3D glasses to watch content.  They also believe that ...
Wednesday, 23 December 2009 ,  Written by Thomas Spurlin
Is Netflix Streaming Good Enough for the Serious Movie Buff?
Since 1997, Netflix has changed the way that we think about "renting" movies.  Instead of schlepping it to our nearest big box rental shop or mom 'n pop store to pick up a tape of DVD, they've made us all lazier -- excuse me, enhanced the convenience of renting a movie -- by sending discs directly to our mailbox based on a queue arranged on their website.  Wait times can be a hassle for high-demand items, but the service has nevertheless made believers out of many consumers.  However, with the likes of free movies available at various venues across the Internet (Hulu, The Auteurs), a new type of viewing experience has become predominant within the past few years: instant streaming, along with free on-demand rentals through cable providers. In reaction to this, Netflix has also come out of the gate ...
Tuesday, 30 June 2009 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
Bang & Olufsen 103-inch Plasma Preview
Last month, we visited the Aston Martin dealership in Beverly Hills to get a peek at the Bang & Olufsen 103” Plasma high definition television.  They had to schedule the demonstration in a car dealership due to the impressive weight.  The massive behemoth of a HDT V weighs 584 pounds (TV only) and over 1200 pounds if the motorized stand is included.  It requires five movers to deliver and install the television, only if the house’s foundation & structure passes muster from a qualified house inspector.  It’s no wonder that they needed the flooring support capable of handling the various Aston Martin vehicles in the immediate area. The viewing area was framed by a couple BeoLab 5 speakers on the sides and rear of the room.  As we sat down for the demonstration, the TV went in the opposite direction; ...
Wednesday, 08 April 2009 ,  Written by Mike Flacy
We got a chance to speak with Cheena Srinivasan last week, the Chief Operating Officer of Kaleidescape.  For those that haven’t been paying attention to recent hardware announcements, Kaleidescape just launched the Mini system.  The Mini is Kaleidescape’s first component that integrates a multi-zone system into a single unit.  It was also launched at a price point that’s 40% less than the previous system.Based on the design, we were curious if Kaleidescape was attempting to break into the consumer market rather than targeting custom installers as they have in the past.   While the mini system is still being targeted to installers for retrofit job and remodels, the mini player is designed to be used as a free-standing set top box in your home theater setup.  It comes with rubber feet on the bottom of the player for display or it ...
Thursday, 26 February 2009 ,  Written by Dick Ward
Is Plasma Technology on the Decline?
By now we’ve all heard the chatter.  Whenever two different types of technology are in competition with each other, there’s a tendency to declare a victor, and every media outlet wants to be the first to make the call.  The long standing rivalry between LCD and Plasma displays is no exception, and seems to have come to a peak in recent weeks as early this month; both Vizio and Pioneer announced the end of their Plasma television lines.Between the two brands, the main scope of television purchasers is covered.  Vizio, famed for their highly affordable entry level units, covers a fair portion of what we’ll call the casual crowd.  Pioneer of course caters to not only the casual consumer but the enthusiast looking for the best money can buy. As early as January 2007 articles appeared online declaring the LCD ...
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