Archive for June, 2008

Daily Blog – Ross Jones – June 19, 2008: THE FRONT PROJECTOR IN THE LIVING ROOM

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

We’re starting a series of front projector reviews, including systems that can be used in non-dedicated environments (such as family rooms) without requiring custom installation. I’m guessing that, given the current state of the economy, projectors that can deliver the goods in a multi-use space will become increasingly popular.

As I’ve mentioned before, my home doesn’t have a dedicated theater room, so it is a perfect guinea pig space for these systems. Last Saturday night, I sat the family down on the couch with Transformers (HD DVD), a 1080p projector, 84” screen, and many bowls of popcorn. My six year-old (who has encyclopedic knowledge about Optimus Prime) giggled with delight every time the autobots appeared, while my teenage son stared open-jawed at a larger-than-life Meagan Fox (not that I noticed, of course). Even the wife approved of the movie theater ambience.

Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

Liberty Wire & Cable Names New Southeast Territory Manager for Commercial Products

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

A/V Industry Veteran David Traeger Appointed to Cover Wide Region
Including the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico

INFOCOMM ’08, LAS VEGAS, June 18, 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 the appointments of David C. Traeger as Territory Manager for Commercial Products covering the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. (more…)

Daily Blog – Brian Florian – June 18th, 2008: HDTV IS STILL (APPARENTLY) NOT ALL THAT APPEALING

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

We’re on the brink of analogue OTA finally getting flipped to digital, and hopefully we’ll finally see HD penetration where it should be, yet HDTV still seems to lack critical appeal.

A relative of mine got all setup last Christmas with a nice new LCD HDTV and HD Cable service in their cosy upstairs living area. I helped him set it up and it looks great.

While I was visiting him on the weekend he fired up the baseball game … on his 15 year old 20” tube TV in the downstairs living room.  “Is this game not on in HD upstairs?” I asked.  “Yea…but to tell you the truth, I still watch a lot of TV down here…”  he answered.

That says alot about the state of HDTV.

Life|ware Connects Current and Future Technology at Innoventions Dream Home in Disney

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Life|ware simplifies life for the fictional Elias family and educates visitors about the potential and possibilities for their own digital homes. (more…)

Universal Remote Control Unveils Complete Control Partner Program

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

CCPP will assure URC dealers that a wide variety of third-party consumer electronics products will work fully and seamlessly with URC controllers. (more…)

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – June 16, 2008: THE PERFECT STORM.

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Do you remember the movie The Perfect Storm released back in 2000?

I had never heard that term before until I saw the movie. It means everything bad that can possibly happen just comes together at the same time.

So, what about the situation in the US today?

(1) Horrific weather patterns across the country that are flooding thousands of homes.

(2) Thousands more homes lost in the mortgage crisis.

(3) A war that is costing us about half a trillion tax dollars.

(4) Price of oil and gas going through the roof because rapidly growing new economies have huge demands for it.

(5) Price of food going up because we started using corn to make fuel, and the cost of fuel makes it more expensive to move the food where it needs to go.

(6) Airlines going bankrupt because they can’t afford the cost of fuel.

(7) Auto manufacturers in trouble because no one is buying the big cars.

(8) Weather patterns changing and California is headed into a drought and maximum fire hazard. So, Iowa, where a lot of America’s food is grown, has too much water causing floods, and California, where a lot of America’s food is grown too, will not have enough water.

(9) US dollar weak and all those goods we make overseas will now be more expensive to import.

But, we are still going to the movies and watching Blu-ray at home. It is a great escape. I am very curious to see how the entertainment industry changes as we get deeper into an experience we have not had since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

JL Audio and Hard Rock Park create a new ride experience.

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Miramar, FL—June 13, 2008—Hard Rock Park, a 55 acre Rock n’ Roll theme park in Myrtle Beach, SC, officially opened to the public on June 2, 2008. This brand new park features over 50 attractions for rockers of all ages, including live shows, thrilling rides, restaurants, live musical entertainment and more. The Park, which expects to draw 3 million visitors annually, turned to JL Audio in their quest to create an entirely new performance benchmark for on-board audio in four of its key attractions. The goal was to immerse riders with clean, powerful sound that would rival a live concert. (more…)

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – June 13, 2008: PRODUCT DEBUTS AT YOUR LOCAL HI-FI STORES.

Friday, June 13th, 2008

The bad US economy is definitely changing things in the hi-fi business.

One of these is an upswing with local stores hosting new product debuts, usually on an evening from 6 to 9 PM. This gets potential customers into the store where they can mingle with the factory people, register for a door prize, listen to some music, and munch on some goodies. Sales of audio equipment are down – like everything else these days – so this is one way to get things moving.

I attended one of these a few days ago at Magnolia Hi-Fi in Palo Alto, California, about 20 minutes from my house.

There were two new products being shown, a pair of speakers from Vienna Acoustics and some 300 watt monoblock power amplifiers from McIntosh.

Ron Cornelius, of McIntosh, demonstrated the monoblocks with a McIntosh preamplifier and a turntable. They were connected to the new Vienna Acoustics speakers.

The sound of course was fantastic, but the real enjoyment came from meeting more audiophiles who live nearby. The whole thing was really a lot of fun.

I am going to another one in Seattle next week for the debut of a Meridian projector, and one of our staff will be attending an event in Southern California for MartinLogan about the same time.

So, check with your local stores. They are likely having product debuts coming up that you will enjoy immensely. New toys, new friends, great music.

Ultralink/XLO Unveils Argentum Acoustics Cable Line

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Argentum Acoustics Cables
Engineering Truth
Elegant • Evocative • Existential!

“Music is the most perfect form of art.”
– Albert Camus

Ontario, California • June 12th, 2008 • ULTRALINK/XLO PRODUCTS, INC., a manufacturer of premium audio/video cables and AC power products, announces a provocative new cable line called ARGENTUM ACOUSTICS®. (more…)

Daily Blog – Ross Jones – June 12, 2008: KICKING BACK WITH VINYL.

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

If you’ve been following JJ’s vinyl vs. CD series, or read Piero’s new review of the Marantz turntable, then you know that vinyl is “in,” again. Putting aside the technical merits of the debate, I was fascinated by the discussion about the aesthetic pleasure of listening to an album all the way through.

We’ve become adjusted to listening in the digital world, which means shuffling through a songlist or creating our own track lists. Even if I’m listening to a CD, skipping a track involves nothing more than a light twitch of the finger on the remote.

But vinyl is a difference experience, isn’t it? You are basically committed to 20-some minutes of whatever the artist decided was going to fit on the side of that LP. I can remember listening to albums where I didn’t care for track 3 of a side, but sat through it anyway because it was too much hassle to get up, walk to the turntable, lift the tonearm, and (most importantly) gently lower the tonearm in the leader space between tracks. Instead, I ended up sitting through that track 3 and quite often, the track would grow on me.

So I think it’s great that vinyl is making a comeback, especially for the generations that were never exposed to the Zen of sitting through the entire side of an album. Now if only I can find that old lava lamp!

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