DTS demonstrated its new Headphone:X surround processing system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month. The system is capable of reproducing up to 11 channels of surround sound over conventional stereo headphones. I didn't hear it, but a few friends at the show who heard the Headphone:X demo came away impressed with its ability to project a sound field well outside the confines of the headphones. DTS is promoting Headphone:X technology as HTiP -- Home Theater in Pocket, and claims that the system can emulate the DTS reference listening room or a … Read more
Even by Oppo's high standards the BDP-105 is an extraordinary Blu-ray player. Sure, it's loaded with up-to-the-second features -- 4K upscaling, 2D-to-3D conversion, and a high-quality USB 2.0 digital-to-analog converter -- but what really makes the Oppo special is the sound. Pop the cover and look inside and you'll see why. Most of the 17-pound component's chassis space is devoted to the audio circuitry. That's nice, but the audio advantages will be completely irrelevant if you connect the BDP-105 to your receiver with a HDMI cable (the digital-to-analog conversion would then be handled in … Read more
Let's say you want to throw the ultimate football-watching party for the last game of the year. (Alas, using the name of said game is fraught with copyright challenges, so we're playing it safe.) Will a single big-screen TV suffice? Maybe. But what if you want to go really hard core, and have a few dozen people over. Can they all see the screen? Would the party be even better with multiple TVs in different rooms?
I'd say yes, and it's easier than you might think.… Read more
Making the most of your monthly subscription is much more than watching as many episodes of "The Walking Dead" in one night as possible. It's about effortlessly digging up the best available flicks, so that by the end of the month, you know you got your money's worth, and then some.
Sadly, there's no magic potion that will bring "Game of Thrones" to Netflix, but there are some best practices and little-known tools that will quickly transform you into a Netflix-watching maven.
1. Bookmark InstantWatcher Netflix's clunky content interface is hardly conducive … Read more
The first question is, what do you want from your hi-fi? Do you want to play LPs, CDs, or an occasional movie? Next, where will you put the speakers, and how large or small do they need to be? I'm writing this blog post for folks trying to put together the best-sounding hi-fi they can on a fixed budget. That's why I won't be covering wireless systems, because dollar for dollar, the better wired speakers always sound better than wireless models.
After expanding their streaming video service to the iPhone and iPod touch devices just a month ago, Amazon announced yesterday that their Instant Video service is now available on the Nintendo Wii. Here's how to set up the new app on your Wii:
Step 1: Go to the Wii Shop Channel on your Internet-connected Wii.
Step 2: Download the Amazon Instant Video app.
Step 3: Launch the Amazon Instant Video app from your Wii.
Step 4: Select "Register Your Device" and make a note of the code that appears.
I've long admired Pro-Ject turntables, but I was only vaguely aware of their electronics line so it was high time to check out one of their amplifiers. I requested their baby amp, the Stereo Box S ($299). It's the smallest power amp I've ever seen, a mere 4.1 by 1.4 by 4.8 inches, and the build quality of its all-metal chassis felt robust. The amp is available in silver or black finishes. A remote control adjusts volume and switches between two RCA inputs. The gold-plated speaker binding posts are really pretty small, and so … Read more
Sound bar buyers' performance expectations are pretty low; all the 'bar has to do is sound better than the lousy speakers that are built into their TVs. So if that's all you need, a sound bar will get the job done -- but there are better-sounding alternatives, starting with a pair of self-powered Audioengine A2 ($199) speakers. The A2s are terrific, but the Paradigm Millenia CT ($700) is a 2.1-channel subwoofer/satellite system, and it sounds better than the Audioengines. A lot better, and it's really pretty amazing.
Spread 64 inches apart, the Millenia sats produced a … Read more
Mounting a TV up and out of the way above a fireplace seems logical, convenient, and undeniably cool. However, there are serious issues with such placement.
If you're planning on watching the TV only occasionally, that's one thing. But if this is your main TV and you're going to be watching it more than a few minutes at a time, beware.
The best I can say about most cheap subwoofers is they make bass. The bass won't be the deepest, most powerful, or the clearest, or blend all that well with most speakers, but all subs make bass. Better subs, like the $449 Hsu Research VTF-1 MK2, generate deeper, less distorted sound, so you can actually hear distinct bass notes, and can play louder and fill larger rooms better than most cheap subs.