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Audio News for March 29, 2016

Benefits of a Curved Screen HDTV – Almost none. Perhaps if you’re a single person sitting right in the center of the screen it might be nice, but it prevents good viewing from the sides and takes up more room, as well as being more expensive. It may be nice in some commercial theaters but in the home the better visual quality is in fact unverified. Basically it’s just a commercial ploy to get you to spend more on a TV. And wait for the next generation of 4K HDTVs – this one doesn’t address the many other areas needing upgrading besides the resolution, and you need to sit extremely close to see any improvement in resolution anyway. And there is almost nothing reasonable available in 4K until the higher-capacity Blu-rays come out in a few months.

MIT Launches Battery-Operated Headphone Amp –  MIT has put their patented Multipole Technology inside an active circuit to make their Vero HCA 29 high current, silent-powered class AB headphone Amp. The new amp, which features 29 poles of articulation, is so far only on Indiegogo. Multipole Technology has been used on many films and recordings as well as MIT cables, but this is the first time it is featured inside an amp. It runs on two rechargeable lithium ion batteries for complete decoupling from AC or DC power. It will be around $950.

DACportable for Smartphones – There is also a new palm-size aluminum device to convert the audio of any smartphone, tablet or computer into a concert-hall experience. The DACportable uses a USB connection for its DAC and delivers pristine audiophile fidelity with EQ, digital volume control, quick charge battery and 32-bit/384K digital audio. Being self-powered, it won’t drain the smartphone’s battery, and works with devices lacking a headphone jack.

8K Coming – We are aware that the industry is erroneously calling UHD TV 4K even though it is not. Well, get ready for 8K, which is ultra-high definition digital video with 16 times as many pixels as that of Full HD 1080p, which is widely used today. Test broadcasting starts in Japan this year. It requires decoding video signals in compressed format, of course. High-speed, stable processing with low power consumption becomes essential to promote 8K TVs into popular use. Socionext, part of Fujitsu-Panasonic, now has a single-chip SoC processor that can decode 8K resolution HEVC video. Socionext is also preparing solutions supporting all the functionalities necessary for reception of 8K broadcasting, including demodulation, display control and others.

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