Audio News for December 16, 2008

by | Dec 16, 2008 | Audio News | 0 comments

Monthly Cable/Satellite Bill Painful? – Then you might want to start the new year by cutting that cord (or dropping the premium channels) and getting your HDTV for free using an OTA (Over The Air) antenna. You can get your analog TV for free using the convertor boxes you already have if you have any analog TVs in the house, right?  If not, better get busy because February 2009 is coming up fast [dtv2009.gov].  The DISH Network even offers a DTV converter box for exactly $40, which is what the government coupons are for, so you’re only paying shipping. Remember, unless you’re located in a difficult fringe area for reception, you’ll probably be getting a lot more channels with either a HDTV or a converter box than you did with your analog TV tuner, and with a much better picture even at standard resolution. We’ve harped about all this before, but here’s a good summary at one of our colleague AV sites.
YouTube Classical Participation – The popular online video site has announced plans for a YouTube Symphony Orchestra, featuring newbie musicians as soloists with an orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, in music by Tan Dun and others. Musicians are currently submitting two videos to enter: one displaying their musical talents and another performing an original short work by Tan Dun.  YouTube users will vote on the winners, who will be announced on March 2.  Clips from the video entries will be woven together to create a living YouTube Symphony. Pianist Lang Lang is also participating in the YouTube project, along with the London Symphony Orchestra. It’s an unusual mixing of high and low culture, with some borrowings from “American Idol” on top of it. A YouTube executive observed, “Classical music has embraced YouTube a lot more than people think.”  One can view historical videos of performances by arists such as Horowitz, Gould, Heifetz, Joshua Bell and many others (as well as a host of classic jazz performances).  Excerpts from some of the Zenph Studios re-creations of Gould and Art Tatum are also on YouTube. Tan referred to the Internet as “an invisible Silk Road” blending ideas from all over the world.  More than 52 millions viewers, for example, have watched a young Korean guitarist playing a rock version of Pachelbel’s Canon.

Premium Audio System in Europe’s Car-of-the-Year – SRS Labs and the ASK Group have partnered to offer the advanced Interscope Sound System exclusively in the best-selling Fiat 500, named 2008 European Car-of-the-Year.  SRS’ WOW technology creates an audio solution that adapts to the automotive environment, improving a dynamic and immersive audio experience for all vehicle passengers. WOW extends the perceived bass response, elevates the sound stage to ear level, provides spatial correction and better vocal clarity.  The Fiat 500 minicar has achieved near-cult status in Europe as a stylish, green and gas-conservative automobile.

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