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Recent Home Theater Editorials

PlayStation 4, Xbox One - 20th Century Gadgets in a 21st Century World

PlayStation 4, Xbox One - 20th Century Gadgets in a 21st Century World

The next-gen game-console war officially begins this week when the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One officially hit the market. My own mission to land a PS4 on its launch day was a success; my new PS4 console now has a home in my home theater system and is sure to be a source of unadulterated electronic entertainment joy for years to come. But despite the childlike excitement of unboxing a PS4, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was indulging a 20th century pleasure in a 21st century world.

Sony Playstation 4, XBox One Comparison: The next-gen game-console war officially begins this week when the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One officially hit the market.

— November 22, 2013 12:15 in Editorials

Avegant Virtual Retinal Display

Avegant Virtual Retinal Display

Avegant's Virtual Retinal Display promises to be a game changer in world of head-mounted displays. Utilizing reflected light technology that projects an image directly on the retina of each eye, the experience promises to be realistic and immersive—especially for 3D and VR applications. Imagine pairing a premium set of headphones with the VRD and you have a potentially amazing, portable entertainment experience. For hard-core gamers, the VRD will also support head tracking in virtual reality and augmented reality gaming environments. Avegant is also envisioning custom content created specifically for the VRD, like virtual reality tours of locations. Exciting tech that we look forward to bringing you more information about as it matures.

Avegant's Virtual Retinal Display projects WXGA (1280x768 pixel) reflected light images to each eye; supports frame rates up to 240fps; has two million micro mirrors; and individual, adjustable optics

— October 17, 2013 08:00 in Editorials

What It Means To Be An Audiophile

What It Means To Be An Audiophile

As a life-long music lover who often looks for ways to combine my avocation as a drummer/percussionist with my vocation as an electrical engineer, I'm often asked “What does it mean to be an audiophile?”. The fact is, music is so ingrained in my life that it means EVERYTHING; I think about it morning, noon, and night! Let me take you on a tour of my audio evolution, listening habits, and equipment tweaks I've made throughout the years as well upgrades I plan in the future. An audiophiles work is never done!

A life long music lover, I take you on my personal tour of what it means to be an audiophile. I discuss the evolution of my audio system and my listening habits. An audiophiles work is never done.

— October 04, 2013 16:21 in Editorials

Analog (Vinyl) vs Digital Audio (CD, FLAC) Sound Quality Comparison

Analog (Vinyl) vs Digital Audio (CD, FLAC) Sound Quality Comparison

By every measure, digital audio is superior to analog. However, if I've learned anything over the years of running this website is there is often quite a difference between theory and reality. we assembled a listening panel to compare analog Vinyl records to their digital CD and FLAC counterparts. It's truly sad how much abuse has been done in the digital era of music. Here we are with virtually limitless dynamic range for digital media, but recordings are being squashed down to oblivion often making their technically inferior analog counterparts sonically superior. I think you will find the results are quite surprising and if you're an audiophile searching for the best sound quality, then this is a must read! Also check out our recently added Youtube Debate.

We compare the sound quality of Analog (Vinyl) vs Digital Audio(CD,FLAC)on a $100k+ stereo setup. The results may surprise you, as they did us. Check out our listening results. See our Youtube debate.

— October 03, 2013 08:00 in Editorials

Ultra HD 4k and Physical Media - A New Optical Format War?

Ultra HD 4k and Physical Media - A New Optical Format War?

The other day, I came across an announcement from Sony and Panasonic. They have banded together to create a new optical disc standard. This is what I read, " Sony Corporation (‘Sony’) and Panasonic Corporation (‘Panasonic’) today announced that they have signed a basic agreement with the objective of jointly developing a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs..." A cold shiver ran down my spine. "Not again," I whispered. The last thing we need in this industry is a new format war. We don't need a new type of optical disc for 4K. Blu-ray can work just fine. But if one of the manufacturers thinks they can make a buck or get some sort of monopoly by introducing a new format, don't think they wont.

The last thing we need in this industry is a new format war. When Sony and Panasonic announced a new format, we got to thinking. No more format wars.

— July 31, 2013 13:00 in Editorials

WiSA Gains New Members: Onkyo, DALI, Amber Technologies, and Gibson

WiSA Gains New Members: Onkyo, DALI, Amber Technologies, and Gibson

The Wireless Speaker and Audio (aka WiSA) Association appears to be building up some momentum, having recently announced the addition of several key players in the home entertainment market as WiSA members: Onkyo, DALI, Amber Technologies, and Gibson. For those unfamiliar with WiSA, they are aiming to establish standards to deliver reliable, high performance, interoperable, wireless surround sound audio products to the home entertainment market. Read on for more information about the newest members of the WiSA Association.

The Wireless Speaker and Audio Association (WiSA) has gained 4 new members: Onkyo, DALI, Amber Technologies, and Gibson. Read on to find out the details.

— June 20, 2013 18:05 in Editorials

Electronic House 2013 Home of the Year Awards

Electronic House 2013 Home of the Year Awards

We follow the folks over at Electronic House and are particularly enamored with their annual Home of the Year Awards. This is where they select from literally hundreds of entries to come up with the home installations that are the very best among the various categories and budget ranges. For the 2013 Home of the Year Awards we checked out the 12 different categories, some of which included several finalists in Gold, Silver and Bronze designations. I think that, after seeing them, you'll agree that any of these homes would be impressive. And that's just on the surface. Any time you're impressed with the look and layout of a home theater or whole-house audio/video system—just imagine all the work it took to design it, lay it out and, of course, install the system.

For Electronic House's 2013 Home of the Year Awards we checked out the 12 different categories, some of which included several finalists in Gold, Silver and Bronze designations. You're gonna love it!

Electronic House — May 13, 2013 05:45 in Editorials

What Makes WiSA Certifications Different From Other Wireless Speaker Solutions

What Makes WiSA Certifications Different From Other Wireless Speaker Solutions

Each wireless technology has its place, but no one is offering wireless surround sound audio for the home theater with all of the WiSA benefits such as multi-channel surround sound that is interoperable with any compliant system; transmitting uncompressed, interference free HD audio that is easy to set up and easy to use. There is also no reason that AirPlay devices and WiSA certified devices can’t work together. Basically, someone can take the stereo or HDMI output from the AirPlay receiver and plug it into an input on the WiSA certified audio hub. WiSA certification is a game-changer in the wireless speaker world. It IS the new industry standard for high quality surround sound in the home theater. WiSA speaker technology can also be used in portable speaker applications too.

Each wireless technology has its place, but no one is offering wireless surround sound audio for the home theater with all of the WiSA benefits such as interoperable multi-channel surround sound.

Alan Ruberg — May 06, 2013 03:00 in Editorials

The Hidden Home Theater: Hiding Surround Sound in an Older Home

The Hidden Home Theater: Hiding Surround Sound in an Older Home

In older homes, home theater really needs to be hidden. If not, then you can ruin the decor of the home. This isn't easy and we give you seven tips to achieve the hidden home theater. My grandma always told me that children should be seen and not heard. I live in an historic part of the city and when it comes to home theater, the exact opposite is true. Around here, people care about what their houses look like and home theater ruins the décor.

In older homes, home theater really needs to be hidden. If not, then you can ruin the decor of the home. This isn't easy and we give you seven tips to achieve the hidden home theater.

— April 26, 2013 04:00 in Editorials

Legacy Audio Interview: Room Correction, DSP & EQ Processing of Loudspeaker Systems

Legacy Audio Interview: Room Correction, DSP & EQ Processing of Loudspeaker Systems

We had the good fortune this month of sitting down with Bill Dudleston, Chief Designer and Owner of Legacy Audio to discuss DSP and EQ processing for loudspeaker systems. Bill shares his views of various room correction systems, including listing a couple of his personal favorites. He also discusses the necessity of the EQ system allowing the end user to tweak and also set their own target curve to suite their room acoustics and listening preferences. Bill is a champion of full range speakers even in systems with powered subwoofers to increase room modal density while also greatly reducing system distortion and improving transient response. Some great advice is given on how to properly setup and EQ a fullrange multi-channel loudspeaker system. So, have a read and feel free to comment in our dedicated forum thread.

We discuss room correction, DSP & EQ processing of loudspeaker systems with Legacy Audio in this interview with Bill Dudleston, Chief Engineer/Owner of Legacy Audio.

— April 07, 2013 19:20 in Editorials

Star Trek: Enterprise Season One Blu-ray Review

Star Trek: Enterprise Season One Blu-ray Review

The first season of Star Trek: Enterprise, that bastard-child of the Trek franchise, is hitting Blu-ray, presented in a six-disc set consisting of all 25 episodes, including the 2-hour pilot Broken Bow. Although the show divided the Trek-faithful like no other, its fans will be tempted to upgrade their 2005 Enterprise DVD set to get their hands on the substantial amount of new material included in the special features. Unfortunately, with the gold standard in Trek Blu-ray conversions already set by the ongoing deployment of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Enterprise just doesn't measure up.

The first season of Star Trek: Enterprise, that bastard-child of the Trek franchise, is hitting Blu-ray, presented in a six-disc set consisting of all 25 episodes, including the 2-hour pilot.

— March 26, 2013 05:00 in Editorials

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey...into Bad HT Video Technology

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey...into Bad HT Video Technology

These days special effects in movies aren’t limited to what’s happening on-screen but rather how a film is presented at the movies and on your TV. But, are some technical advances ruining video quality at the movies and in your home theater system? TV manufacturers are embracing any new technology in their quest for the next feature that will entice us to replace our aging TVs. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was filmed in High Frame Rate 3D (HFR 3D). Of the moviegoers lucky enough to view Peter Jackson’s giant film in a theater capable of displaying the elevated frame rate, many complained of an artificial quality to the video and said that the so-called enhancements only made the film look suspiciously like a soap opera. LCD displays have been employing artificially enhanced frame-rates for years with features bearing such inventive names as "Motion Flow" and "Clearframe". Many of us find it annoying. So, let’s take a closer look popular video effects you’ll find on new TVs today and we’ll leave it up to you to if you see enhanced motion in stunning 3D, or if your eyes only see a cheesy soap opera effect.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was filmed in High Frame Rate 3D but it was criticized for looking too real – so real it looked artificial.

— March 06, 2013 07:55 in Editorials

The Inside Story: A Prognosis of Best Buy from a Veteran Employee

The Inside Story: A Prognosis of Best Buy from a Veteran Employee

I started working for Best Buy during my senior year of high school and stayed with them up until graduate school. Through that span of six years I saw the company fall from a spot of power and strength and repeatedly fail to get back up. It seems that every story about Best Buy in the past four or five years has been one of defeat. As a former employee I have a unique view on why they are failing. It's easy to blame the changing market, but Best Buy's dysfunction is rooted much deeper than an external economic decline. Throughout my tenure at the organization I have observed a failure in their pay system, an inability to attract qualified employees and a lack of a single vision.

I started working for Best Buy during high school and continued with them all the way through my undergrad and into graduate school. This has given me an inside view into the failings of the company.

— March 04, 2013 06:20 in Editorials

Samsung Introduces HomeSync Android TV at Mobile World Congress 2013

Samsung Introduces HomeSync Android TV at Mobile World Congress 2013

At Mobile World Congress 2013 this week Samsung has introduced HomeSync Android TV. No, it’s not a soap opera about artificial humans, it’s a set-top box for your home theater system that runs on Android Jelly Bean. We don’t usually see set-top boxes unveiled at Mobile World Congress, but in this era of crossover technology Samsung has decided to do show off the versatility of the Android operating system. Samsung promises your ‘droid phones or tablets (not just Samsung) will be able to take control and stream media to its glossy little home-cloud bridge that’s no bigger than a wireless router.

Samsung has introduced HomeSync Android TV a set-top box for your home theater system that runs on Android Jelly Bean. The biggest questions are what will it cost and how quickly will it take off?

— February 28, 2013 05:10 in Editorials