Archive for April, 2008

Firefly Design Group Supports Industry by Boosting Integrator Profitability

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Florida-based Engineering Consultant Firm to Conduct Regional Trainings Aimed at Improving Integrator Performance through Workshops on Strategy, Sales Techniques, Time Management and Efficiency

HOLLYWOOD, Florida – April 15, 2008. Firefly Design Group, the premier engineering and systems consulting company in the custom electronics industry, is conducting a series of workshops designed to help integrators improve profitability and efficiency, the company announced today. The initial sessions will be held in South Florida, with a national schedule to be announced. (more…)

No Sonic Compromises Necessary With Nuvo Technologies’ New 500 Gb Music Server

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Offering more than triple the capacity of its predecessor, the half-terabyte NV-M3-500 enables homeowners to easily store, distribute and manage their digital music collections at the highest bit rates possible—even fully uncompressed. (more…)

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – April 15, 2008: A DEPRESSED ECONOMY IS A TIME RIPE FOR CRIMINAL FOLK HEROES.

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I just finished reviewing The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in our Movie Renter’s Guide.

I also just watched a documentary on Jesse James on broadcast TV.

What was so interesting was the similarity in the way that Jesse James was revered in his day and the way people felt about a pair of folk heroes a little more than a half century later, Bonnie and Clyde.

The James gang came to be at at time when the South was trying to recover from losing the Civil War, and when southern banks held money mostly belonging to investors from the north, called “carpet baggers” because they showed up carrying large bags that looked like they were made from carpets.

So, even though Jesse James was a psychopathic murderer, southerners protected him and his gang members because they felt that the banks and railroads were exploiting them.

The same thing occurred with Bonnie and Clyde. They rose in fame as the Depression of the 1930’s held the entire country in the grip of financial disaster. Farms were lost to banks that held the mortgages, so when Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow robbed those banks, the farmers loved it.

What I am wondering, as I read today’s newspapers that discuss millions of families losing their homes through bank mortgage foreclosures, oil prices going sky high, and not enough food to take care of so many people in other countries, is whether or not we may see emerging criminals being turned into folk heroes once again.

We’ll see.

Omnimount’s Full Line of Professional Mounts Provides Complete Digital Signage Soluti

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Omnimount’s Full Line of Professional Mounts Provides Complete Digital Signage Solution

Extensive Line-up of Wall Mounts, Ceiling Mounts and Floor Stands Address Virtually Every Digital Signage Application Imaginable

PHOENIX, ARIZ. – April 14, 2008 – OmniMount, dedicated to being a one-stop-shop for professional and consumer products, announced that its full line of commercial wall mounts, ceiling mounts and floor stands is now available. Ideal for virtually all digital signage applications, these professional grade products all feature Lift n’ Lock™ for easy installation and a large-capacity cable management system. (more…)

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – April 14, 2008: DUMP THE FACTORY BATTERIES.

Monday, April 14th, 2008

When you purchase a DVD player, TV, receiver, satellite box, or any component that comes with a remote control, there are always a set of AA or AAA batteries in the box.

Most of the time, the brand of the batteries is not a familiar name.

Usually, I throw them out and use Energizer or Duracell batteries that I keep on hand in bulk.

Occasionally, though, I just use the ones that came with the component.

What a mistake!

Yesterday, I went to change the batteries in a remote that had gone dead. It was the no-name batteries that came with the component.

The batteries had leaked all over the inside of the remote. I cleaned it out, but there was still corrosive material in there that had damaged the battery terminals.

My suggestion is, whenever you buy a new component with a remote, throw the batteries that came with it in the garbage and use name brand batteries instead. If you don’t have them on hand, go to the drugstore or grocery store and buy some.

Daily Blog – Piero Gabucci – April 11, 2008: ON THE ROAD WITH HI-RES AUDIO.

Friday, April 11th, 2008

When the 2004 Acura TL came along, it had one of the first sound systems that could handle surround 5.1 audio from DVD- Audio discs. I was in the market at the time and I never took the car for a test drive, I sat in the front seat and listened – the salesman thought I was nuts. I never bought the car, it was just out of the price range I was looking for but they got me in the showroom for no other reason than the audio system. 

Last year my wife’s car had been totaled and sure enough it was time to look for a new car. As she liked driving mid-sized American cars, the one that stuck out was the Lincoln Zephyr, now the MKZ which has a THX system available, and once again I never drove the car, just went to the dealership and brought along a few of my own DVD-Audio discs, just like at the audio shows, cool!  I could not convince my wife that she needed this car and frankly it wasn’t all that interesting, despite the obvious audio improvements. 

Last week I was surprised to acquire a company car and sure enough my dream came true, a DVD-Audio system!! Nobody seems to understand why I don’t care for the huge sun-roof, or navigation, or full leather seating and wood trim – this thing had glorious 5.1, not the best speakers I’ve ever heard ( you all know them by their name, that four-letter word) but I don’t care, I’m truly enjoying my DVD-Audio discs on the road!

Traffic jams?! Who cares!!

LWC Introduces ‘Direct Burial’ Cables, Ideal Solutions for Outdoor Applications

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Rugged, Moisture-Proof Category, Coax, Speaker and LibertyLinx™
Control Cables Perform Flawlessly in the Harshest Environments[/size]

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, Apr. 10, 2008 — Liberty Wire & Cable, worldwide supplier of a broad range of wire and cable products for the audio/video trade, including custom installers and systems integrators, has announced a full family of rugged and versatile Direct Burial Cables to provide solutions for a broad range of outdoor applications. (more…)

Daily Blog – Ross Jones – April 10, 2008: MY HD DVD PLAYER: SHOULD IT STAY OR SHOULD IT GO?

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Not only did I not take sides in the Blu-ray/HD DVD format battle, I was one of those “wait-and-see” guys that had every intention of waiting until the dust settled before jumping in.

The peer pressure from many of my colleagues, who went “purple” and immediately bought both formats, was intense. But I was determined to sit on the sidelines.

Then came the Wal-Mart HD-A2 $99 sale, and resistance was futile. I changed my Netflix subscription preferences to HD DVD, got the five free movies via coupon, and life was good.

We all know what happened next. The HD DVD player now sits forlornly in my rack, gathering dust except for the occasional showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Aeon Flux. My Oppo player handles upconverting standard-def DVD’s. But I still have a soft spot for the Toshiba, and have been keeping an eye on the discount deals for software. Now comes news that Wal-Mart is offering to take back the HD-A2 and refund the $99 purchase price, which would mean that my total investment in the failed format was, uh, zero. But the Toshiba really is a nice player, and I’m still not (quite) ready to jump into the Blu end of the pool (finished specs would be nice).

Thus the question: should it stay or should it go?

New Multi-Input HD Video and Audio Processor from TV One Now Shipping

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

New Multi-Input HD Video and Audio Processor from TV One Now Shipping
TV One’s C2-7310 HD Video Processor with full HD-SDI Audio embedding and extraction, supporting Up, Down and Cross Conversion is now shipping and will be showcased at NAB 2008 in Booth N1725. (more…)

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – April 9, 2008: IT’S ALL IN THE POWER SUPPLY.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Denon has released a new power amplifier that has 10 channels at 150 watts rms per channel. It weighs 132 pounds. They also have a receiver that has 150 watts per channel x 7. It weighs 63 pounds. The amplifier is priced at $7,000 and the receiver at $5,200.

What is the difference?

The power supply.

Denon has made several high-end power amplifiers over the years. I was very interested in some of them back in the 1980’s.

The power supply is probably the most critical component in the power amplifier, and is really the foundation for great sound. It boils down to having a big transformer and lots and lots of capacitors. The quality of the capacitors is important, but probably not as much as just how much capacitance you have in there, because caps these days are all pretty good.

A sign that there is a nice power supply is the double-down of power output at half the impedance, and the Denon is rated at 150 watts with 8 ohm loads and 300 watts with 4 ohm loads. You won’t find that kind of spec in any receiver.

The reason mass market receivers don’t have big power supplies is very simple: the cost. Transformers and capacitors are the most expensive parts, and consumers want a lot for their bucks. A 4 ohm double-down rating is not part of that “want”.

However, the larger power supply also allows the designer to have some other benefits, one of which is not needing so much negative feedback, and perhaps not so many gain stages.

The SSP part of the receiver benefits from clean power, but it does not need so much of it. So, one thing you can do to improve your home theater if you have a small receiver is to purchase a better power amplifier and use the pre-outs from the receiver to drive it. In fact, this can improve your sound in a very big way.

So, the next time you are shopping for receivers or power amplifiers, look at the weight. Heavier is definitely better. 

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