Audio News for December 20, 2006

by | Dec 20, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

TV Retailers Fighting the Bargain Outlets – Home electronics retailers are suddenly seeing competition from stores like Home Depot and Wal-Mart, where the hi-def displays are stocked next to the garden hoses. The falling prices on video displays has made the stakes even higher. So the big electronics specialist stores have to fight back by offering expertise, extras and service. For example, most of the DLP displays come without a stand. Many customers are not aware that in order to receive HD broadcasts they need either an HD antenna, cable connection or dish system. They think if they got themselves a HDTV they are automatically watching hi-def (after all, there’s that little icon in the corner that says HD…).

Both HD Player Formats Hit the UK –  What one British writer termed “A 21st-Century battle for living room supremacy” was launched Monday in the UK as the first HD DVD machine from Toshiba and the first Blu-ray player from Samsung were made available. The wrong-headedness of the format battle was expressed by many. It was felt to be some advantage that at least both new machines offer the possibility of playing back standard DVDs with better resolution on HD displays. One writer noted an ironic problem of the additional definition and detail in images: technicians working on the HD release of Star Wars found viewers could now see the actors’ makeup lines, and aging actors may not like the “warts and all” clarity that HD brings. A sweeping shot inside the Death Star showed an image which was previously just a blur, but now it can be clearly identified as a filing cabinet – which shouldn’t have been there.

Content Is Important for Sirius Satellite Radio Chairman – Joe Clayton has expanded and improved his No. 2 satellite radio service to the point that it will soon eclipse the five million subscriber mark. But Joe likes plenty of content at home too. He has put every modern electronic convenience into his 16,000 sq. ft. English mansion on 5.5 acres outside Indianapolis. The house has 20 zones of audio and there are another eight on the manicured grounds, pool area and tennis courts. An art deco home theater has a 96-inch screen and D-Box motion simulator seats that move around to the action in a movie. DVD movies are stored on a Kaledescape video server and CDs on two Escient FireBall music servers. There are four plasma screens with surround sound systems, six Dish Network satellite receivers with HD DVRs, a Crestron control and AV distribution system for everything, a computer network, an electronic player piano, a pool house with its own surround sound system, and six Sirius receivers. The speakers? Sonance in-ceiling loudspeakers throughout. (Obviously Mr. Clayton is not one of our readers…)

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