New Smart TV Platform – has been announced by LG Electronics and Qualcomm ahead of the January 2014 CES Show. It uses a new AllJoyn open source software framework to significantly improve interoperability between devices. For example, it can easily connect with a TV with content managed on a tablet or smartphone. The idea is to create a common language that seamlessly connects the Internet and its access to content regardless of the brand or operating system. The technology will work with next-generation LG Smart TVs. It will also open up opportunities for app developers. For example, several smartphones or tablets—each using an entirely different OS—can now participate in the same multi-player game on a LG Smart TV. This is considered a first-of-its-kind milestone in the home entertainment industry.
Free Linn Christmas Downloads – The Linn Records site is offering some free 24-bit Studio Master music downloads for the season. One of their albums is titled 24-bits of Christmas.
Klipsch Launches Anti-Counterfeiting Program for Headphones – There has been a major attack of the sale of counterfeit copies of major manufacturer headphones in various countries. The Klipsch Group has launched a serlal-number verification portal on its website to combat the counterfeiting of headphones. All its headphone boxes now incorporate a serialized holographic label with targeted security features. Users can enter the hologram’s serial number found on the box to determine if their Klipsch headphones are genuine products.
Spotliter App Produces Video Effects as They are Recorded – A new iPhone/iPod Touch app called Spotliter triggers special effects by tapping, pinching, swiping or sliding fingers on the screen of the mobile device. It produces unique effects, said not to be available on any other iPhone video recording app. For example, users can add a zoom feature to a friend’s face in a video, or change a specific object from black and white to color while recording the actual video. It has 12 unique effects for hi-def videos, including Magnify, Freeze, B&W2Color, and Searchlight. Freeze can freeze any section of the screen while the rest of the screen continues in regular motion.
Kickstarter Getting Involved in More Audio Product Introductions – More reasonably-priced, wide-appeal audio products are making use of the Kickstarter.com web site. One is a tiny combo USB amp and DAC that comes in three flavors: Geek, Super Geek and Super-Duper Geek—each having an increased power output. You can sign up and contribute on the site for half off the MSRP, 40% off or 30% off. All three play audio files in their native formats up to 384K/32bits, and support DSD to 6.144mHz.
Meridian Explorer is TAS’ Product of the Year – The Meridian Explorer hi-res USB DAC ($299), which delivers hi-res audio from any computer for headphone or speaker listening, was named Product of the Year by The Absolute Sound. It is fully asynchronous, uses USB class 2, and makes any file—from MP3 to hi-res—sound its best.
2013 Editors’ Choice Awards for Cartridges Under $500 – The Absolute Sound has published it’s suggestions on under-$500 phono cartridges. They include the Ortofon 2M Red and Black, the Grado Prestige Gold 1 and Reference Platinum 1, the Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 and Sumiko Blue Point Special EVO III, and the Auto-Technica AT440Mla/AT150MLX.