Audio News for March 10, 2009

by | Mar 10, 2009 | Audio News | 0 comments

Cheaper HDTV Options – You don’t need to break the bank to have your own home theater. You don’t have to spend $4000 for a 60-inch display, there are fine DLP and LCD displays in the mid-50s sizes for about $2000. Consider an entry-level front projector, also around $2000 – many are 1080p HD and project a huge picture on the wall if you can darken the room enough. Or get a smaller HDTV display, such as the popular 42-inch or 46-inch, and check out the online price comparisons where you can save as much as $500.  Don’t purchase the special overpriced HDMI cables stores will try to sell you; especially in the shorter 6-foot lengths, the $5-$10 ones you can find online as just as good.  Ditch cable or satellite TV and get a good indoor or out compact UHF antenna (if your DTV stations are all in that band) and receive the very highest-def programming absolutely free, OTA (over-the-air).  Or try the $9 a month Blockbuster or Netflix movie subscriptions. Skip the TiVo and DVR and record movies on your computer hard drive instead. Getting them from there to your HDTV display may entail some struggle, but it can be done, and more HDTVs are coming out with Ethernet connectibility. We haven’t touched on the audio half of the complete experience, but there’s now some excellent online deals in smaller home theater speaker systems.

Sony Laptops Feature SACD Recording – Sony’s new Vaio All-in-One-Windows PCs can record, edit and play music at SACD quality and even upgrade older recordings to the hi-res standard. The new JS and L series Vaio PCs are pre-loaded with Sonic Stage Master Studio software and a built-in Sound Reality chip.  Sound Reality upconverts 44.K CDs to uncompressed DSD (Direct Stream Digital), used in SACDs.  The DSD signal can be remastered into a 5.1 channel surround SACD. The DSD stream can be edited before burning to a blank DVD-R, but it is unclear from the announcement whether the discs can then be played back on any SACD deck, or only on the Vaio PC with the Sound Reality audio device.

First Theatrical Movie Release with D-BOX – In sort of a reverse to the usual order of things, the D-BOX Technology – popularized on many DVDs and Blu-rays for home use with special gear under chairs and sofas to shake and roll them in sync with screen action – will be part of the action-thriller Fast & Furious, to be released in theaters next month.  The innovative and immersive experience will be deployed in exclusive viewing areas of theaters which are equipped with the special D-BOX-enhanced seating, similar to some entertainment site “rides.”  At the Mann Chinese 6 in Hollywood a D-BOX demonstration seat will be installed in the theater’s lobby to give patrons an opportunity to test the immersive movie experience.

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