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All posts tagged "home theater"


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is This The Best Home Theater PC Keyboard?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 05:30 PM

http://www.crunchgear.com/2011/03/1...-htpc-keyboard/

"Little-known keyboard maker Koribo has put out a unit called the Leira that looks like a couch potato's dream. Indentations on the underside that fit onto your legs? Really, Koribo. How deliciously decadent."

Devin Coldewey over at CrunchGear had a chance to check out this HTPC keyboard and came away impressed. While he didn't seem to think much of its looks, he was impressed with its bevy of features: multi-touch trackpad on the right side, a cluster of play control buttons on the left, channel up/down controls, Windows key, and much more. If you are into home theater you know just how handy a keyboard like this can be. It is from Koribo, and seems to me to well worth investigating.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Plea to Upgrade Your Home Theater Audio

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:30 AM

http://notebooks.com/2010/12/03/ask...r-audio-system/

"People put a lot of thought into what their movies, video games and other digital content will look like when they’re getting ready to buy a new HDTV. But most people don’t think enough about what all that high-def content will sound like. Even the most expensive HDTVs deliver relatively poor audio through tiny speakers that are almost an afterthought."

HDTVs have become much more affordable over the past couple of years and while the latest trend is the promotion of 3D TVs, audio has taken a back seat. Home Theater systems serve as an excellent compliment to that shiny big screen TV and can serve to make a much more immersible experience. I think that less attention is given to audio largely because people seem much more willing to tolerate "just enough" and that higher quality audio is not always as readily apparent as a higher resolution video. Two examples come to mind when I think of how people interpret audio, are MP3s and stock earbuds. MP3s still dominate audio in many ways and people seemed to be quite happy with 128kbps quality for the longest time. Sure, higher bitrates are now available but think of how long of road it has to reach that point. By stock earbuds, I mean those lightweight, token earbuds that usually come with your PMP, be it an iPod, Archos or that discount player at Walmart. While competent at playing back music, they hardly are a shining beacon when it comes to audio reproduction, though many might not realize it. The same comes to home theater audio. While tiny stereo speakers may be adequate, a good sound system, while adding quite a penny to your home theater cost, is worth it.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Speaker Company's ASW-10 Subwoofer

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

I recently reviewed the TSAT-2000s from The Speaker Company. I really liked them and one of the few negatives I came up with was that they did not offer a subwoofer as part of their package even though it was really required to fully enjoy the speakers. Shortly after my review, they added 2 subwoofers to their lineup and I recently purchased a full set of the speakers I reviewed along with the ASW-10 subwoofer, so thought I would relay my thoughts on the subwoofer.

After the break, get my take on this addition to the package. Read more...


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cringely Looking For Wireless Audio Standard

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 09:00 PM

http://www.cringely.com/2008/12/the-missing-link/

"What’s missing here is a de facto wireless audio standard for televisions. Look on the back of any of these new TVs and you’ll find a forest of connections but none of the audio is wireless. There are RCA jacks, minijacks and optical, but no wireless. How much could it cost to add one more audio option? Not much – generally less than $10 in manufacturers’ cost."

Robert Cringely is lameting the fact that there isn't a standard for wireless audio. While there are various ways to transmit audio wirelessly, there is no standard like there is for video cables and audio cables for inside the house. Having dealt with finding a way to stream music and audiobooks to my bedroom wirelessly, I can sympathize. While I settled for the "low-tech" solution that is an FM transmitter, that technology does not provide the fidelity or capability of what a home theater deserves. He does concede to comments that HomePlug may be a feasible solution, but dismisses it owing to cost. However, earlier in the article, he notes that even sophisticated audio solutions are high in cost, owing to economies of scale. If HomePlug were to be fully embraced, I'm quite sure it would drop in cost. There are possibilities like Shoutcast and other streaming that could use an existing wireless network as well. Has anyone found a cost effective solution to provide 5.1 or 7.1 audio for a home theater?


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rocking with the TSAT-2000s from The Speaker Company

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Home Theater Speakers
Manufacturer: The Speaker Company
Where to Buy: The Speaker Company
Price: $449.97
System Requirements: Any 5 channel amplifier
Specifications: Drivers - 1x 1" Shielded HiCell dome tweeter and 2x 3.5" Shielded Aluminum cone midranges/woofer. Frequency Response - 120 Hz to 20 kHz. Sensitivity - 87 dB. Nominal Impedance - 8 ohms. Recommended Power - 15-125 watts continuous. Dimensions - 12.5" H x 5.31" W x 3.25" D. Weight - 4 lbs. 2 oz. each.

Pros:

  • Excellent aesthetics;
  • High build quality;
  • Low price.

Cons:

  • Sub-woofer required, but not included in package;
  • Won't impress the brand conscious.

Summary:
As a newcomer, but with a respectable heritage, the TSAT-2000s offer a great value. If you are looking for a quality set of classy, unobtrusive speakers to go with your flat panel TV, this is probably one of the best bargains going. Read more...


Monday, April 28, 2008

Orb Audio: Do These Small Speakers Measure Up?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM


Product Category: Home Theatre Speaker System
Manufacturer: Orb Audio
Where to Buy: Orb Audio
Price: starts at $549 USD for two-channel system with sub-woofer (the Mod2 configuration reviewed here, without stands, is $1289 USD)
System Requirements: An amp to power the speakers, and hopefully a nice big TV to go with them.
Specifications: See the Orb Audio specifications page.

Pros:
  • The great-looking satellite speakers sound incredible, with crisp, punchy audio;
  • Both the 8" and 10" sub-woofers are extremely powerful, yet deliver smooth, distortion-free bass;
  • Reasonable price for the quality of the speakers when compared to retail prices;
  • Many options for custom order configuration and speaker finish.
Cons:
  • Mail-order means you probably can't hear them before you buy them;
  • If you need them for your setup, the beautiful hand-crafted HOSS speaker stands put a big bite into your budget at $299 per pair.

Summary:
You've probably never heard of Orb Audio before, or their speakers, but if you're looking for small, powerful home-theatre speakers that are surprisingly affordable for the quality you get, this is one company you should pay attention to. Read more...


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