Audio News for September 5, 2014

New Curated Music & Video Streaming Service – Later this fall, a Scandinavian music streaming service called WiMP HiFi will introduce TIDAL in the U.S., which offers uncompressed lossless sound, hi-def music videos and is curated by experienced music journalists. It will have over 26 milllion CD-quality tracks and over 75,000 HD music videos for a monthly subscription of $19.99. It will be available on the web as well as thru a dedicated player app of iOS and Android devices. When streaming on the move, users can choose either a lower bitrate, AAC+96 or AAC 320kbps.

Pono Music Store to Launch in October – A new source for HD music downloads is always welcome, but contrary to some online information, the Pono Music Store will actually be in operation next monthy with about two and half million hi-res downloads.

Roku Smart TVs from RCA TV – The made-in-Korea line of RCA TVs, under license from Technicolor, ship with a pre-installed MHL-Roku streaming stick. They don’t require any additional power connection to operate, each TV suppying the power the device requires. The TVs are also operable with a remote control that incorporates special buttons for Roku control. The plaform accesses the Roju Channel Store, with thousands of streaming app choices.  The RCA TV linup includes both 720p and 1080p LED LCD displays; some have edge-light placement and some have LED direct backlighting, and come in 50-, 55- and 65-inch FullHD models.

Sony Introduces Hi-Res Portables – The PHA-2 portable headphone amp and DAC/amp is the first to be compatible with virtually every hi-res digital file format, including Double DSD. The headphone amp has a high slew rate, ultra-low distortion operation, is output capacitor-less, and has a dual power supply for more stable and accurate reproduction. The TA-A1ES Integrated  Stereo Amp complements Sony’s reference hi-res music player. It has FET input and buffer circuits, and its power amp stage is Class-A, with Sony’s proprietary toroidal transformer.

MacWorld Says Start with NAS for the Ultimate Home Theater – NAS stands for Network Attached Storage and is the latest buzz-word in HT.  A NAS unit usually has no keyboard or display and operates as a specialized file server for faster data access, easier administration and configuration and easy sharing of audio and video files across multiple devices.  They usually have one or more hard drives which are often arranged into redundant storage containers or RAID. It centralizes all your media, creating a personal cloud acting as a hub for all of it. It is connected to your home network and is acceible from any device by simply connecting to the network and logging in, including away from home. It solves the problems of buffering and glitches in listening to music or viewing films once you have digitized everything that isn’t already. The NAS is not subject to the whims of streaming services and is just as accessible. QNAP’s TX-x51, for example, plays videos in full HD thru a built-in dashboard called HD Station, supports web browsing and YouTube and operates on the DLNA standard. Your mobile device can be used as a remote control.

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