Editorial for June 2006

by | Jun 1, 2006 | Editorial | 0 comments

OUR JUNE DRAWING is for two Logitech Harmony advanced universal remote controls. You access your entire Home Entertainment system with just one button! Select an activity, and the remote sends the right commands so you don’t have to juggle or misplace remotes or remember a sequence of buttons. Works with your own page on the Harmony web site.  The winning AUDIOPHILE AUDITION reader who has Registered Here (or has registered in the past) will win the top Harmony 880 Universal Remote – identical to the one we reviewed Here. The runner-up will receive a Harmony 550 Universal Remote (on right), which does everything the 880 handles. We’ll announce the two lucky winners early in July.

 Special Editorial:  Convergence of Computers
and AV Systems Inevitable?

The explosion of iPod use has changed and accelerated the push – started by MicroSoft – to converge computers with home entertainment systems.  After all, the iPod is just a tiny computer hard drive holding music and photos or video. A recent poll of 20 countries around the world asked 20,000 people what technology they just couldn’t do without.  The figures for the U.S. were 89% for TVs and 87% for personal computers. In the other 19 countries 75% of people listed computers as the No. 1 item they couldn’t live without (TV got 67%).

These figures demonstrate how computers have become a primary part of home and mobile entertainment of all sorts.  They are used to store music, photographs, videos, for playing games, for accessing the universe of information and entertainment on the Internet. Legal music downloads in the U.S. and Europe have tripled between 2004 and 2005. In Korea, the Seoul Broadcasting Service sells reruns of soap operas online for 40 cents an episode. Sports fans in the U.S. pay for live webcasts to an amount that is expected to hit $1.3 million by the end of 2006. More and more Americans are downloading their movies from the Net rather than renting DVDs in a store or getting in the mail.

The widespread growth of broadband Internet connections around the world, as well as the development of advanced compression software for both audio and video, is making this possible. Both online movies and DVDs have become so hot that some industry people feel movies should be released in both formats the same day they open in the theaters.

There are still many concerns about computers becoming part of home entertainment systems. How about viruses? What happens when the system crashes? Will you have to spend time struggling with tech support on the phone just to play a DVD or CD? In most homes the computer is in the home office or study and the TV is in the living or family room. How to get the two together?

There are several proposals.  Intel’s Viiv (rhymes with Five) is one; working with 250 different companies in the Digital Living Network Alliance to develop new guidelines for all the computer, audio and video gadgets that could share content wirelessly or via wires in the home. The idea is to integrate all the digital stuff with user-friendly software.

Americans are spending a lot more on home entertainment than they ever have. But movie tickets have gone up, and when you can not only duplicate most of the theatrical experience at home, but eliminate all the negative stuff associated with it, why not enjoy your entertainment at home?  Imagine the surprise a decade ago of neighbors hearing that someone had spent $5000 on a home AV system.  Now that’s a common thing because we have access to so much more and at much higher quality.  


General Editorial 

Welcome to the web publication for audio, music and home theater, emphasizing hi-res and surround sound for music! AUDIOPHILE AUDITION began as a weekly national radio series hosted by John Sunier, which aired for 13 1/2 years on up to 200 public radio and commercial stations coast to coast.
June 06 is our 88th issue and we’re in our eighth year! AUDIOPHILE AUDITION has moved away from monthly editions to an ongoing publishing schedule. All reviews – over 100 a month – are now added throughout the month as they are written. This ensures you get the latest reviews, without having to wait a month for new content.
We have also reorganized the web site to make it easier to navigate and find content. The most recent reviews appear at the top of each Section Index. To read the full review, click on the headline and you will be taken directly to a page for that review. The Home Page lists the five latest published reviews, the Section Index lists the past two months of reviews, the Archive goes back to June 1, 2005 and for all reviews by month prior to that you need to click on the Old Archive.  The Disc Index also past reviews in every section.

We welcome your feedback, and have a “Reader Feedback” section. Please send us your comments, and we will review and possibly post them to that new feedback section. We made these changes to provide you with a more useful service, and we look forward to publishing many more timely reviews from now on! Check back with us frequently for more reviews & news, and be sure to register for the monthly giveaway!


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