38 Different Recordings of The Rite of Spring – May 29 will be the 100th Anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky’s popular ballet Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), and Decca Classics is celebrating by offering a 20-CD boxed set of 38 different recorded versions of the ballet across 65 years, including classic recordings from Ernest Ansermet, Antal Dorati, Pierre Monteux, Leonard Bernstein, Bernard Haitink, Herbe von Karajan Sir George Solti and many others. There are also three recordings of the composer’s own two-piano version and a historical recording of Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto. The set includes a one-hour audio documentary which has comments on the power of the work from various international conductors, plus recollections by the ballerina who danced in the 1913 premiere of the work.
Turn Your TV Into a Very Smart TV – The new smart HDTVs come at an equally large cost. There is now an inexpensive solution, a tiny device that turns any TV into a giant Android tablet with more features than most smart TVs. It’s about the size of a drink coaster, weighs about the same as a cell phone, and can stream 1080p HD video from the Net and run whatever apps are available in the Google Play store. The SRP is $99 but an eBay vendor was only asking $58. The Mini Xplus H24 TVbox runs Android 4.0, has one gig of RAM and 5 GB of flash memory. It also accepts SB thumb drives and microSD cards. An external antenna hooks up to your wireless network, and the box runs practically every video, audio and photo format available, including the Blu-ray quality video format MKV. A remote is included but you can also use a regular keyboard. There are HDMI ports, and you can surf the web from the comfort of where you sit to watch your TV. It comes with a HDMI cable, a standard AV cable, Wi-Fi antenna, heating sink holder, a micro USB power cable, AC power adapter wall-wart, a remote and a CD with the instruction manual.
Shapiro Says Hollywood and Consumer Electronics ‘Need Each Other” – Consumer Electronic Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro said during an Entertainment Supply Chain Academy digital conference last month that the relationship between Hollywood and the consumer electronics industry “has not always been smooth, but we need each other.” He said. “In our industry, by definition, everything we do in consumer electronics is disrupting the business model of somebody else, whether it’s broadcasting, cable, satellite, Hollywood or the music industries.” He spoke out about the next big things for the CE industry: Ultra HD sets, with four times the resolution of today’s 1080p HDTVs. He said “Ultra HD I think will be huge, and l don’t think it’s going to need that much promotion.” He called the 3DTV push “overhyped” and said both the CE industry and Hollywood collectively made mistakes with 3D in the home.
Does Your Home Have an “Electronic Elephant?” – The Wall Street Journal referred to the huge amount of time children now spend online, captivated by games, shows and web surfing. This contrasts with past normal childhoods, spent largely outdoors, exploring nature, learning about the real world. The article suggested taming this electronic monster by letting school performance dictate the amount of freedom children have to use computers at home. Also, parents must model an appropriate amount of time spent on computers.