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AV Rant #338: Waveforms and Eye Rolls

August 7th, 2013 No comments

Ever wonder what a waterfall plot was and how to read it? Wonder no longer. You and Liz will learn just what they are, how they work, and, most importantly, what they tell you. Still confused? Here are three videos to help you out. Tom previews his Samsung BD-F5900 Blu-ray player review. Is it worth $120? Time Warner and CBS are fighting. Who loses? You do, of course. Netflix adds the ability to make multiple profiles within one account. Let the rejoicing begin. Liz has a suggestion for their next improvement. Rob got a surprise from a listener. Is there a new format war on the horizon? Eh…probably not. Tom finally gets around to talking about the Leap Motion. Do you need one? Again, probably not. But it is super cool. This weeks recommendations are: Rob: www.audiocheck.net – a site where you can build your own test tones. Liz: not the lab-burger but to get yourself to Hamburg to have a miniature made of yourself. Tom: www.cross-spectrum.com – for under $100, you can get a calibrated microphone for measuring your home theater.

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AV Rant #337: Unfortunate Turing of Phrase

July 31st, 2013 No comments

This week we welcome listener Jason to the podcast. Jason has just cut the cord (as of last week) and tells us all about it. Like every other tech source on the web, we discuss Google’s Chromecast, what it is, how it works, and how it has already been hacked. Dell’s Project Ophelia is also new(ish) which is a dongle that turns your display into a PC…sort of. Alan Turing is being exonerated…for being gay. About time for a man that did so much and got a pretty raw deal in return. Sound & Vision is being merged into Home Theater mag and they are letting most of the S&V staff go. We discuss (Jason is a subscriber so he has a lot invested here). Tom wants to discuss his new Leap Motion but there is no time. This week’s recommendations – Liz: Cloud Atlas. Rob: five Canadian websites for AV gear (listed below). Jason: Do you research and buy the best you can even if it means you have to wait to fill out your home theater. Tom: Good Cops and Rubber Pipe Insulation Tape. That last one might sound weird but, compared to this episode, it’s fairly tame. Plus, your home theater will thank you.

Rob’s Canadian Website recommendation:

1) Audio Video Unlimited (higher end retail): http://www.avu.ca/website/

2) Electronics For Less (TVs & Electronics): http://www.electronicsforless.ca/

3) Sonic Boom Audio (SVSound): http://www.sonicboomaudio.com/

4) Eastporters (projectors & screens): http://www.eastporters.com/estore/

5) Just One Cable (the Monoprice of Canada): http://www.justonecable.ca/

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AV Rant #334: OTA DVRs

July 10th, 2013 2 comments

Tom is on the market for a OTA DVR and he and Rob discuss a few options. Tom was leaning heavily toward Boxee.TV until they sold to Samsung and Samsung killed them. Other suggestions include the TiVo Premier (have to pay for the service though), the ChanelMaster CM-7000PAL (which has been replaced with a newer, less good unit), the TVIX (need someone to translate the Korean for us), and the DIY XBMC (very tweaky). Of course, Rob is an advocate of the HTPC. We tackle user questions from Art, Jon, and Keith. If you had $2000-$5000 to spend, what would you spend it on? Rob and Tom weigh in. Yes, Tom said subwoofer but you knew that was coming. He also had other, less predictable answers. Rob has a Blu-ray suggestion and Tom promises to start making Streaming suggestions beginning next week.

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AV Rant #333: Cat’s Away

July 6th, 2013 No comments

This week Tom is on vacation so the kids are running wild. Rob and Liz talk about new Pioneer offerings (an AV Receiver with HDBaseT, a new Andrew Jones Sound bar), new separates offerings from Yamaha, and the politics and complications of royalty checks from Internet-based radio. Is Pandora the bad guy? Listen in for Rob and Liz’s take on a songwriter’s complaint. Rob answers a listener question about room acoustics and room correction — good to see that different experts mostly agree. The Guardian has a useful, hands-on review of Google Glass and finally Liz asks for your political opinions — should Channel 4 broadcast the Muslim call to prayer during Ramadan? Should it interrupt regular programming to do so? What do you think about Wikileaks becoming an official political party in Australia? 

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AV Rant #331: Running Wires

June 21st, 2013 No comments

This week, there is a lot to talk about (the Xbox One turnaround hadn’t happened yet – we’ll get to that next week). Google Loon – a project just so crazy…well, it’s just so crazy. But BALLOONS! Yea! Who doesn’t like them? What is Oculus Rift? Would it make a good name for a child? Tom thinks so. Which is why Tom is not allowed to name children. ESPN 3D falls down, goes BOOM! To the surprise of, well, no one, really. Though if 3D was going to take off, sports seemed to be the best bet. The new VIZIO 80″ M-Series display is out. And it is less that $4000 (a penny less, but that’s less). Ford is taking a step back while Apple takes a step forward. This week in Netflix – is original content the way of the future or not? We discuss this (and this) article from listener Jonathan. Tom says a very special thank you to all that have donated. We often talk about running wires behind baseboards and molding. But how does that work exactly? Tom tells all.

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