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  • Time Warner Gives ESPN Das Boot in New Low-Cost Cable Package

    For years, I’ve told people that they were paying a huge portion of their basic cable bills for just one channel: ESPN. Long the trump card that’s been used to squeeze cable operators, most are paying somewhere in the $5-7 range per subscriber every month for the ad-supported network. In addition, the package will reportedly drop TNT, TBS, and/or the USA network. Time Warner Cable has been marketing a package for $39.95 in the New…

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Channel Master TV Lets You Cut the Cord without Cutting the Features

by Dennis Burger on Sep 12, 2011 at 06:11 PM

I’ll never forget being mocked as a kid for the massive TV antenna perched upon our roof. The presence of such, of course, did a much better job of broadcasting our home’s lack of cable TV than it ever did of receiving channels. I’ll also never forget my dad proudly… Continue Reading »

CEDIA 2011 Wrap-Up: A Few of My Favorite (and Not-So-Favorite) Things

by Dennis Burger on Sep 12, 2011 at 03:33 PM

One way or another, trade shows always end up with a theme. A few years back, 1080p was all the buzz. Last year, it was all 3D all the time. This year, JVC and Sony did their best to make 4K projection the main attraction, but few journalists seemed as… Continue Reading »

CEDIA 2011: Kordz Introduces PRS Series Commercial HDMI Cable

by Michael Riesenbeck on Sep 11, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Televisions are sexy. So are receivers. And speakers. Amplifiers too. Now let’s not forget how all that sexy stuff works: cables. I’ll bet when friends come over for movie night you’re not likely to show off the latest and greatest HDMI cable. Guests aren’t going to get all hot and… Continue Reading »

CEDIA 2011: Future Automation’s Horizontal Lift in Action

by Dennis Burger on Sep 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM

We’ve covered Future Automation and its introduction into the US market a couple times already. As cool as pictures and specs are, though, with a product like this, nothing conveys the cool factor quite like seeing their spy-cool automation and mounting mechanisms in action, so I stopped by the booth… Continue Reading »

CEDIA 2011: OmniMount Demos Play 40 Interactive Full Motion Mount

by Dennis Burger on Sep 8, 2011 at 01:48 PM

TV mounts are kinda like girdles: most people don’t use them these days no matter how much they help, and even the people who really like them have to admit they’re best hidden and rarely sexy. Consider OmniMount’s new Play 40 the Victoria’s Secret of mounts, then. A prototype of… Continue Reading »

CEDIA 2011: InstaPrevue Puts PiP For Every Input on Your AVR or DTV

by Jeff Kleist on Sep 8, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Hardcore Home Theater Enthusiasts usually don’t have a lot of trouble remembering what’s hooked up where, and we catalog the myriad inputs and devices in our heads and never have a problem remembering that the PS3 is on Input 2 on the HDMI switchbox, which is plugged into #3 on… Continue Reading »

CEDIA 2011: Display Development Opens for Custom Projection

by Enid Burns on Sep 7, 2011 at 06:39 PM

At CEDIA, custom engineered projection display manufacturer Display Development will split its showcase to exhibit at two locations: Sound Room 8 with Procella Audio, and in a suite at the Embassy Suites Hotel near the convention center. Procella Audio Sound Room 8 (SR-8) is a Display Development partner. In the… Continue Reading »

Star Wars Blu-ray Debuts THX Media Director Auto-Calibration

by Jeff Kleist on Sep 7, 2011 at 02:27 AM

The new Continue Reading »

Snazz Up Your Supervillain Lair (or Home Theater) with the Future Automation Sliding Panel System

by Jeff Kleist on Aug 31, 2011 at 05:43 PM

Let’s say you don’t want a giant TV hanging on the wall, either for aesthetic reasons, or because something that obvious might tip off Captain Hammer that you’re not quite as mild mannered as you’d like him to believe. Future Automation (whose introduction to the US market we previously covered… Continue Reading »

Netgear Shows Off Universal Push2TV Interface and Blu-ray Wireless Adapter

by Jeff Kleist on Aug 31, 2011 at 01:46 PM

This week at IFA, the European equivalent to CES, NetGear showed off new equipment that helps bring your PC and your HDTV closer together. Through a USB dongle, combined with a small receiver, similar to an AppleTV, NetGear allows you to jump all those restrictions on Hulu or The Daily… Continue Reading »

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Special Features

Was looking for a DVD/VCR recorder combo and had basically chosen this unit, the came across your article - question: are you still happy with it??



HBO requires a level of content protection that is not currently supported by Airplay/Apple TV. This is a capability that might be offered in the future as per HBO GO

kate on
HBO Debuts HBO GO App for iOS, and Android
September 12th 2011 9:42 AM

Way to go Aidan! Congratulations on your discovery and deserving award.

Is there anyone that has use this 3D adapter kit, How good or bad do this adapter do ?

Good points John.  For me it sort of helps to answer my question but for different reasons. That is: in those instances where i have a fully DDD recording on LP, the CD will probably serve me just as well.  I will note that many early CDs sounded bad because they were made from compressed-for-lp slave copies of master tapes or (in the case of some “twofers” (2 albums on one disc) a smaller size file was used to squeeze all the info on a single disc (zappa’s overnight sensation/apostrophe disc was way tinny sounding and fared much better—after complaints—breaking them out into two discs at fuller CD resolution

Regqrding the sound of vinyl vs CD and distortion “hidden” in the LP, more times than not I was amazed to find out that distortion I heard on vinyl—and which I attributed to my less than perfect condition pressings—were actually on the original recording. I was surprised hearing certain records by Zappa, The Velvet Underground, Dylan, The Moody Blues and others on CD for the first time and discovering that my LPs didnt sound so bad after all ... it was the way the recordings were made!

I do believe that analog masters contain more sonic info than 44.1/16-bit clones would be able to capture.  But I have to assume (unless someone explains otherwise) that for recordings made natively in the digital domain, then those recordings are what they are…. they’ll never be anything more than what the original was recorded at.

So there is probably no good reason to keep a digitally recorded LP if I can get it on CD these days… unless of course it contains a mix that was later changed/remixed

Hi Mark,

This has been my life’s work since about 1978.  We had some of the first digital multitrack recorders that 3M ever built, and a huge part of my life was supervising the cutting of analog (and later digital) tape masters into vinyl, following those lacquers through electroplating, and then the actual pressing into vinyl.  We had our own pressing plant, so I got to see it all happen every day, from trombonists coming through the front door to record jacket fabrication and excess vinyl re-grinding to make audiophile records.

The bigger point is not which sounds “better”—it’s what sounds most like what the mixer heard when he was working on it in the control room.  If you had the privilege, as I did for years, of sitting beside a mixer listening to control room monitors and watching as he went for a particular “sound”, often worrying himself about the accuracy of the speakers and the room acoustics, you would understand that the whole goal was to try to replicate what he heard. 

Analog tape was very good at that, but always lost a bit of transients, and increased the noise floor a bit, simply because of the limitations of tape.  Indeed it was often quite difficult to tell whether you were listening to the console output or the one-second-delayed playback head of the 2-track master.

When digital mastering came on the scene, first on videotape (we used black and white U-matics, which is why the weird sample rate of 44,100 came to be—it’s a multiple of the horizontal sync frequency of black and white videotape) we were all amazed at the transparency.  What we heard coming back from the digital deck was an identical sonic clone to the console itself, indeed showing the limitations of the console electronics.

Many consumers, however, had grown accustomed to the tracking and tracing errors and distortions that vinyl records inherently have.  No vinyl record truly sounded like what we were hearing on the mix console; it was several layers of distortion removed, with the distortions coming from the cutting angle of the cutterhead, the “de-horning” process which cut off the bottom of the grooves so that the vinyl would release from the stamper, and the inherent noise of the vinyl medum itself.

A CD is a much, much closer replica of what the original mixer heard on his board than an LP could ever be.  Now does that mean that you would rather experience what the mixer heard or experience what an LP listener of the era heard?  That’s actually a very serious question.  Almost no one who didn’t work in recording studios heard “clean” audio, and it was a very foreign sound to consumers, resulting in a lot of reluctance to accept digital media.  Consumers simply didn’t understand that they were, for the first time, hearing what we had heard in the production control rooms.  In many cases, the noise floor and distortion of the vinyl helped to cover up the limitations of the original master—making the CD sound “worse”.

I hope this helps, but I fear it may only add to the confusion.

NW. I bet a tactile transducer connected straight to the desk couldn’t even do that.

BB1 on
How Much Bass is Too Much Bass?
August 09th 2011 8:53 AM

I have the streaming-only service.  One thing that ticks me off is - I am using a web-based service, right - but there are no web-based methods of contact with Netflix - go ahead, try to find a “contact us” that isn’t a phone number!  No email, no chat, nothing!

I wanted to complain about how they had lured me into their service, only to start dropping some titles I had expected to be able to watch (such as all of the, admittedly limited, selection of James Bond flicks).

I also wanted to complain that for weeks, the “Recently Watched” listing was missing.

MikeG on
Netflix's Latest F-You Communiqué
August 02nd 2011 10:59 AM

Wow i would be pissed if i was a Netflix user pisssssed. Here is a secret people. Corporations only get away with what you let them get away with. Hit their pocket book and they will suddenly start whistling another tune.

Carmen on
Netflix's Latest F-You Communiqué
August 01st 2011 3:48 PM

I don’t work for Netflix and I think the author of this article is a huge baby-man with an entitlement complex.

Netflix's Latest F-You Communiqué
August 01st 2011 3:23 PM