Audio News for November 20, 2007

by | Nov 20, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

Pioneer Launches SyncTV – Pioneer Electronics has expanded their long involvement in home entertainment into a new TV download service called SyncTV at  The idea is to provide “home theater quality” TV shows on an unlimited download basis, so users can download whole seasons of shows and then watch them when they are able.  The service works with both Windows and Linux PCs & Macs, and will eventually also work with TVs and portable video players. HD programming with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus audio will also be provided for some shows.  Choice of channels is a la carte, so you subscribe only to those you want. So far the content offering is rather thin, with CBS’ Showtime premium cable the main attraction, and the cost is $2 to $3 per channel per month.  However, as offerings pick up and methods of connecting PCs and TVs improve, SyncTV could be a winner.

Dealing With Media in the Home – Whether you have a home network setup or not, the need has been growing in many home situations to be able to move media content back and forth between the Internet, computers and TV displays. You don’t mind looking at a short video from YouTube on your 20” computer screen, but most people would rather view an hour-long show or feature film on their 50” living room or home theater screen.

There are some products along these lines, such as AppleTV, but so far most are limiting in some way. Things need to get simpler – much simpler than the typical coffee table full of remotes with which only a single member of the family is usually familiar.  There are some expensive real “home theater in a box” systems which attempt to be a single easy solution to replace all the stuff around your TV. But most don’t handle either acceptable surround sound or HDTV. And another aspect to this is that the videos you get from the Net may be encoded into a format your TV or set top box fails to understand. It may be DivX, avi, Flash, etc.  So a reasonably-priced HT device or set top box must include all that in its effort to bring our media and Internet materials to the under-$1000 flat panel video displays we now are able to have. The goal is to reduce the electronic gadget clutter, and put one’s music, movies and photos at one’s fingertips on the large screen, perhaps also including a simple way to store, catalog and access all that material.

Theta Digital Sold to ATI – A pioneer in DACs and disc transports, Theta Digital, has been purchased by Amplifier Technologies Inc. (ATI). ATI’s president Morris Kessler – who for decades owned SAE –  said the improved engineering and financial strength will allow Theta to develop new and innovative products.  Their first focus will be on Theta’s flagship Casablanca surround processor, and they expect to release a new pure Class D amp.

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