Sling Updates Consumer Boxes – For the first time in four years, Sling Media have rolled out two new devices—the 350 and 500 boxes, at $179 and $299 respectively—along with a line of mobile apps allowing these devices to work with today’s iOS and Android devices. The units can deliver 1080p HD video to any device supporting the format, and the interface to operate the devices has been improved. The 500 adds Wi-Fi and HDMI support, plus a USB port for attaching an external storage device. Initial setup can be down on the TV screen, without need of a computer. The 500 can both send and receive content from home networks. One of the apps automatically backs up videos and photos to an attached external storage device and another plays video or slideshows directly on a TV from a smartphone or tablet.
Benchmark Launches DAC2 – Benchmark Media Systems, creators of the DAC1 family, announces their DAC2 HGC, a new reference stereo preamp with headphone amp and PCM/DSD D/A converter. It uses eight balanced 32-bit D/A converters summed together for a pair of balanced outputs, and supports 192K PCM as well as native DSD conversion. The unit displays sample rate and word length, has jitter attenuation, a polarity switch, home theater bypass, digital pass-thru, and additional analog and digital inputs and outputs. HGC stands for Hybrid Gain Control, a system combining active analog gain control, passive low-impedance attenuators, 32-big digital gain control, and a servo-driven volume control. These are combined to maximize the dynamic range while minimizing distortion. The DAC2 HGC can be used with any home theater or audio system. It will be available in a week at $1995.
Largest Cash Prize in Classical Competition – The José Iturbi Foundation showcases new classical music talent in their Hollywood Concerts reflecting the Glamour years of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Each year the Foundation awards total more than $250,000, making it the largest cash prize classical music competition in the world. The Foundation was founded in 1985 and named after the concert, recording and broadcast great, pianist José Iturbi. It also sponsors concerts by some of the world’s greatest classical musicians in an effort to inspire appreciation of classical music and live concert performances for future generations.
SiriusXM Satellite Radio Grows – SiriusXM has boosted its projections for new subscribers to the service from the formerly forecast 1.6 million to 1.8 million, which would be the best in the company’s history. The addition of new subscribers is up 33.6% from a year ago. A company spokesperson mentioned the growth in new auto sales, of which many makers are now providing three months of free SiriusXM subscription (normally $13 a month) as an introduction to the service.
Atlantic Active Soundbar Delivers 47Hz Without Subwoofer – Atlantic Technology is shipping their 43-inch-wide PowerBar 235, which incorporates H-PAS technology to deliver bass down to 47Hz without a separate subwoofer. Their High Pressure Acceleration System allows for 50% smaller cabinets, smaller drivers and lower cost. It makes soundbars more appealing to more households and for use in secondary rooms. The 235 features 2×40-watt amps, Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, and a technology said to deliver a three- and five-channel experience from both two-channel and 5.1 sources.
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