Audio News for October 28, 2011

by | Oct 28, 2011 | Audio News

Amazon Beefs Up Streaming Options – Amazon Prime members will now be able to instantly stream current and archived PBS programs. This will bring the total number of Prime instant videos to 12,000 by the end of 2011, more than doubling the Prime instant video title count since its launch. More than 300 different devices are compatible with Amazon Prime, including the new Kindle Fire tablet. Prime members will be getting access to over 1000 episodes of PBS TV programs, such as NOVA, Ken Burns’ documentaries, Frontline and Washington Week. PBS joins recently-announced Fox shows 24, Arrested Development, The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In early November PBS will bring Prime memebers 200 episodes of The French Chef with Julia Child. The subscription rate is $79 per year, and members receive free shipping on certain Amazon purchases as well as access to Amazon Prime instant videos—including more than 12,000 movies and TV shows at now additional cost. Licensing deals have been secured from such partners as: CBS, Fox, PBS, NBC Universal, Sony and Warner Bros. Amazon Instant Video streams over 100,000 titles, including new releases and TV shows the day after airing.
Panasonic to Restructure Their Loss-Making TV Business – Panasonic is closing factories and losing more than 1000 jobs as they continue to slash expenditures. Although Panasonic plasmas are picked as the best plasma TV in the world today, the company is facing millions in losses from their plasma and LCD TV business. Their production of plasma panels at Amagasaki, Japan will be halted next March and they are also selling their LCD display panel-maker in Mobara.
Cool Turntable Spins Your Vinyl for Only $150,000 – Engineer Aleks Bakman (who once received a special award from NASA) has created an audiophile-pleasing precision turntable benefitting from virtually resonance-free operation.  The beautiful One Degree of Freedom system has a massive sound-dampening platter suspended on a specially-developed self-centering bearing in a non-resonant liquid suspension—claimed to eliminate shift or wobble in all cylindrical bearings. The aluminum alloy platter weighs 50 lbs. and features six chambers filled with a mixture of viscous oil and solid matter to dampen platter resonance. There are three o-ring drive belts and a microprocessor-controlled noise-canceling brushless drive adjusts its vertical motor position on-the-fly to cancel out any possible resonances in the drive belts. Using similar technology to that in noise-canceling headphones, the microprocessor detects any distortion from the mechanical system, and generates a counterphase signal to block out unwelcome sonic impurities. The drive is also said to have an error of less than 0.00001% of velocity value per revolution. The tonearm tower an support up to three tonearms and will work with any tonearm-cartridge combination to provide continuous smooth vertical tracking angle adjustment over three inches.
Sony Music Unlimited Now on Its Tablet – Sony’s Cloud-based streaming digital music service, Music Unlimited, is now available for their Android-based Sony Tablet. The service, which has a catalog of more than 10 million tracks and operates in nine countries, is a native app on the Sony Tablet. A Basic subscription is $3.99 and first-time subscribers can get a 180-day trial of the basic plan. It has an upgraded user interface, can create playlists faster, easily disover related songs and artists, quickly navigate between album view and catalog, and can return more streamlined search results.

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