It was bound to happen. Focal, known to audiophiles all over the world for its statuesque Utopia series of high-end speakers is readying its first sound bar system. It's the 3-inch deep, "uni-body" aluminum Dimension, which can be placed in front of a display or mounted to a wall and provide a five-channel audio experience. The Dimension sound bar's speakers deliver bass down to 50 Hertz, that's exceptional bass performance for a slender, one-piece sound bar. For tabletop mounting you can add the optional, "zero vibration" low profile subwoofer base that extends the … Read more
LAS VEGAS -- Though at its core the Snakebyte Vyper is a 7-inch Android tablet, it's better to think of it as an all-in-one home media and gaming console that allows you to stream video from your tablet to your TV.
Available in the US starting January 31, the Vyper is packaged with a docking station and an AirMouse remote control for $199.99. However, for $249.99, it also comes with a Bluetooth gaming controller.
In an of itself, the Vyper is a mid-range Android 4.2 tablet with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor inside. It has a … Read more
If you listen to more music than watch movies at home, a top-notch integrated stereo amplifier may be a better choice than an AV receiver. I've said that for years. But a lot of the better-sounding integrated amps are feature-challenged, and some offer nothing more than an input selector for analog sources and a volume control. Some don't even have a remote control. So I was happy to spend some quality time with Rotel's sweet-sounding, fully loaded RA-1570 amplifier.
The 17x5.8x13.75-inch component weighs a hefty 28.7 pounds. That's interesting because this 2x120 watt … Read more
The classic home theater setup -- with front left, center, and right, surround speakers, and a subwoofer -- was the de facto sound standard. High-end home theater buyers still use multichannel systems, but the multichannel home theater-in-a-box system is almost dead. Up until recently, I reviewed 12 or more home theater-in-a-box systems every year for CNET, but now sound bars are the most popular solution.
Altec-Lansing introduced the very first sound bar/subwoofer system -- the Voice of the Digital Theatre -- in 1998. Even today, it still looks like a fully contemporary design, but as far as I can … Read more
It's that magical time of year: Lists are made and checked twice, little eyes sparkle with anticipation, and countless children (at heart) prepare for the unveiling of something new and incredible.
I speak, of course, of the Consumer Electronics Show, where manufacturers from around the world show off their upcoming products.
And let me tell you, the onslaught of nonsense is incessant. Don't get me wrong, we're going to see a lot of cool stuff. We're also going to see a lot of crap, polished and sold as daisies.
This list is some of both.… Read more
At less than 24 inches tall, the Klipsch Heresy III is the shortest floor-standing speaker I've ever tested. Don't let its diminutive stature fool you. This speaker can outrun many a tower speaker -- and outlast them. In an age of disposable tech, any speaker that sticks around for five years or more is noteworthy, but Klipsch's Heresy has been in continuous production since 1957. And the Heresy III outshines most contemporary high-end speakers in a few key performance areas.
Dynamic impact and bass "slam," courtesy of the Heresy III's 12-inch woofer, are extraordinary. … Read more
While the majority of the TV industry prattles on about higher and higher resolutions, few talk about improving other, more important aspects of the TVs picture: contrast ratio and color.
Dolby, though best known for its audio technologies, has been doing a lot with video recently too. The latest development addresses dynamic range, or difference between light and dark, for televisions. The company says it wants to enhance not just contrast ratios, but the richness and realism of color as well.
Dolby won't be announcing the official name of this tech until CES next month, but for now let's call it the Dolby High-Dynamic Range Television System because it shares a lot of the same characteristics of HDR imaging. Here's why it's cool (potentially). … Read more
With televisions, HDMI is the most common connector. But if you want to connect a computer to your TV (or you've got a new computer monitor), the options tend to be HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, and sometimes old-school VGA.
Each connection has its pros and cons, and perhaps the best cable to use with your display is more than just "what it came with."
Here are the differences.… Read more
There is potentially a lot going on between these modes, and learning what they're doing can help you find what the best mode is for you. … Read more
UPP, or Unilateral Pricing Policy, is a way for TV manufacturers to force retailers to keep manufacturer-specified pricing. As in no crazy discounts to move stock, no doorbuster deals, and no (let's be honest here) price competition. The price is the price is the price. Break that price, and you risk that company banning you from selling its products.
Shockingly, this is legal. Read on for more info.… Read more