Audio News for July 24, 2015

Sony Brings Android TV & Hi-Res to Australia – The latest top end UHD TVs in the Sony line have built-in speakers that are said to be compatible with hi-res audio. They are also suitable for UHD Netflix streaming. Hi-res audio files can bee accessed via a USB drive or networked computer, and upscaling is said to improve the sound of MP3s. There are four new Sony TVs which run on Google’s Android 5.0 operating system. Users can use Google Cast to send content from their smartphone or tablet. Google Play allows accessed to music, games, movies and TV shows as well as range of apps in the hundreds. Voice search allows anyone wanting to find content or to ask general questions without using their fingers. The top half of the Sony range has their new 4K Processor X1 chip, designed to enhance an image’s clarity, color and contrast, while reducing noise. The new panels are capable of producing 150% more color than a conventional LCD TV, and also a wider brightness range. Sizes range from 43-inch to 75-inch.

Test of Hearing Hi-Res Improvement – What’s Best Forum did a test with three pairs of audio files – each pair contained one 24-bit and one 16-bit file. Do not know the sampling rate. Listeners did three separate listening trials on each pair trying to identify the 24-bit file in each trial. So the chances of correctly identifying all three hi-res files was 1 in 8. There’s so much discussion on the site about the test that its result is pretty much unclear. Those with more time available might want to follow the thread, which is: “Conclusive ‘Proof’ that higher resolution audio sounds different.” However, a senior member states the following: “Stats are only as valid as the formulation of the question they ask. As numbers go, they are as usual: wholly ignorant. Thus, in the realm of logic…give no weight of intelligence to numbers.”

Fringe Festival in Kansas City – The outer limits of classical music – where time signatures melt, eras blur and genres collide – is sampled in the current Fringe Festival. Among the performances are the contemporary dance ensemble Kacico Dance, the River Cow Orchestra – performed what it calls chill jazz – every tune created on the spot without arrangements, retakes or written music, a program of “music,movement and verse,” the experimental modern classical Oread Quartet, and the Defy Dance Project and Heartlines Dance Company. There will also be programs of music and dance from India.

Kickstarter Adapter Connects Chromecast to Any Stereo System – A number of music apps can be used with the inexpensive ($35) Chromecast in addition to video services such as Netflix and YouTube. The JoyDrone ($19) makes it easier to bring these Chromecast-compatible music services to any stereo system. It is a simple HDMI adapter optimized for Chromecast audio streaming. After plugging into Chromecast and plugging the JoyDrone audio cable into your audio system, your can select from Pandora, SoundCloud, Rdio and 8tracks on mobile devices. A recent study found that more than 50% of music listening happens in the home. Some other HDMI adapters have been available but this one has been tested for some time to make sure it works well with Chromecast.

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