Archive for July, 2008

McIntosh Introduces Its High-Performance Model TM2 AM/FM HD Radio Tuner Module

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Press Contact: Matt Calderone DBA Public Relations mcalderone@dba-pr.com (212) 388-1400

McIntosh Introduces Its High-Performance

Model TM2 AM/FM HD Radio™ Tuner Module

— The Very Best Way to Enjoy All the Benefits of HD Radio™; Combination with McIntosh’s New MA6600 Integrated Amplifier Constitutes Company’s First Stereo Receiver in Over 15 Years —

Binghamton, NY, July 14, 2008 — McIntosh Laboratory, a world leader in home entertainment systems for nearly 60 years, recently announced the introduction of the TM2 AM/FM HD Radio™ Tuner Module (SRP: $800), a high-performance luxury component that provides users with the finest HD Radio reception, including CD-quality FM performance, as well as leading-edge features such as RDS Data (artist, title, song) for a truly enjoyable over-the-air music experience. (more…)

Daily Blog – John E. Johnson, Jr. – July 14, 2008: SOMETIMES SMALL THINGS COME IN LARGE PACKAGES.

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Coming home from a benchmark training trip a few evenings ago, I looked in my driveway and saw these packages stacked one on top of the other.

Believe it or not, these represent one turntable.

The McIntosh MT10 turntable that I have been using for our Vinyl vs. CD article series is reference quality, and in order to test other cartridges, I would have had to remove the one in the MT10. The McIntosh is not configured for exchanging cartridges easily, and I also wanted to be able to go back and forth between two cartridges in my listening tests. So, I decided to acquire a second reference quality turntable.

Searching all over the place on-line and reading a lot of reviews, I decided on VPI Industries, which makes a number of very high quality units. I chose the HRX. It’s there in all those boxes in the photo. Actually, it’s the same model in the photo on Page 3 (Turntables, Tonearms, and Cartridges) of the Vinyl vs. CD article series.

I also ordered a cartridge to compare with the one in the MT10. The new cartridge is an MC (moving coil) unit, but it has 2.5 mV output instead of the 0.75 mV output of the MC cartridge in the MT10.

Results will be forthcoming shortly.

Daily Blog – Sumit Chawla – July 11, 2008: HTPC: KEYBOARD + TOUCHDISC.

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I have been using the “diNovo Edge” keyboard from Logitech for some time and it has worked out well. There are several features I like. Among them:

  • An integrated TouchDisc, so I don’t need a separate mouse. The TouchDisc is responsive and can be used to scroll both horizontally and vertically.
  • Communication with the PC is handled over BlueTooth and the range is good.
  • A built-in rechargeable battery with a quick charge cycle. A charging base is provided and the charge holds for a good length of time.
  • A slim-profile
  • Light-weight
  • Some special function keys with labels that light up; I would have liked the entire keyboard to be backlit.

Logitech’s line also includes a keyboard for use with the PS3, the “MediaBoard Pro”, offering similar functionality. It does not include a built-in rechargeable battery, and some of the media control keys are also missing. This keyboard should work with a PC, although it may require some tinkering. It is also less expensive, so if your budget cannot accomodate the “diNovo Edge”, you can consider this alternative. Hopefully the price of this keyboard will come down over time. I would also like to hear about other options that people are using, so if you have a keyboard (BlueTooth or RF based) that you like to use with your HTPC, please post.

SE2 Labs Hires Jeff Walker as Vice President of Operations

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Caster Communications at 401.792.7080

SE2 LABS HIRES JEFF WALKER AS VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS

Draper, Utah – July 10, 2008 – SE2 Labs, manufacturer of the groundbreaking Integrated Theater Console (ITC One), today announced the hiring of Jeff Walker as its new vice president of operations. Walker’s wealth of marketing and sales experience is expected to prove beneficial to SE2 Labs as the company continues its aggressive pursuit of new dealers. (more…)

Daily Blog – Ross Jones – July 10, 2008: WAITING FOR BLU-RAY.

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

I was helping my son shop for a birthday present, particularly focusing on his interest in a game console. I tried not to nudge him towards a PS3, but a little voice kept saying “Blu-ray player, Blu-ray player. . . .” Eventually, the angel on my other shoulder won out and I decided I would just buy a stand-alone player rather than co-opt my own child’s birthday present. As of today, the best Blu-ray player with Profile 2.0, relatively fast-loading time and a decent price, is the PS3. A game console, for $400.

I appreciate that having the studios line up behind different formats made for an untenable situation. But the “old” Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player in my rack, like every other HD DVD player, was based on a stable set of specifications (as Adrian just noted,  BD-Live is still ramping up).  And I paid $99 for it.

I had hoped that, with the end of the format battle, consumers would rapidly see a stable set of specifications, and more players available at a wide range of price points. Especially that all important entry-level player to introduce people to the joys of high-def video (kind of like those $999 HD flat screens).

Well, the big CEDIA show is less than two months away. I can still hope, right?

ReQuest Adds HD TV Interface and Sirius Radio to iQ Whole House Music System

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Ballston Spa, New York—July 9, 2008— ReQuest, the preeminent manufacturer of digital media servers has added two important new features to its acclaimed iQ Whole House Music System. An all-new on-screen HDTV GUI (graphical user interface), and Sirius satellite-radio compatibility, arrive together in a new software update v4.6.3, which will be released the week of July 14th. (more…)

NuVo Technologies Announces Training Dates for CEDIA EXPO 2008

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Hebron, KY – July 8, 2008 – NuVo Technologies will be hosting three training courses at the CEDIA Expo 2008, in Denver, CO. The courses will focus on NuVo’s complete “Suite” solutions to multi-room audio and provide valuable insight to understanding and maximizing the benefits of the system. This is a great class for seasoned installers to understand the Suite concept as well as for Rookie’s who are just learning about the NuVo product offerings. (more…)

Daily Blog – Ross Jones – July 3, 2008: THE BACKYARD THEATER.

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

It’s July 4th weekend here in the U.S., which traditionally means standing over a grill filled with searing animal meat, beer in one hand and BBQ tongs in the other. Why this is an appropriate way to celebrate the birth of our country is the topic of another blog (in a different publication). I have a nice set of Paradigm outdoor speakers, so will at least be able to enjoy my music while manning the grill.

But how about watching a movie in the backyard? Now you can stop by the local big-box store and buy an inflatable outdoor screen. I have seen commercial versions of them at parks, and while not a videophile experience, the image quality is at least on a par with the drive-in movies of my youth; plus you don’t have the metal speaker affixed to the car window or idiots who keep flashing their headlights at the screen every time there’s a romantic scene. Now that’s something I can celebrate.

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