Home > Podcast > AV Rant #189: Tim and Hollis

AV Rant #189: Tim and Hollis

July 16th, 2010

This one is late because Tom’s not used to the 12 hour time difference. Well, at least he’s back(ish). Next week may be the last Rob episode which promises to be extra long. This week it’s Tim and Hollis – two audio engineers. You may remember Tim from a while back when he recorded a guest episode with Tom. On tap for this week: Hollis is looking for 5.1 headphones. Apple’s new Mac Mini. Rental windows online. Why does Apple hate Blu-ray so much? DVD conspiracy? Blu-ray vs. DVD. If you have a PS3 do you need a standalone Blu-ray player? No but the question is do you want one? Hollis is tempted. What do you call your TV room? Movie theater disorientation. Wireless interference. Hold on to your hats, here comes golf in 3D! Motion control, iPad, and apps. Tim has no love for Hulu, Hollis explains. Thanks for listening and don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley. To see our (mostly) complete collection of show videos, click here. To get our iPhone app, visit the iTunes store.

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  1. Rob
    July 16th, 2010 at 13:59 | #1

    Tim! Welcome back! And Hollis – welcome 🙂 Great to hear some more listeners getting in on the action! Fun, isn’t it? 😀

    Fun episode and great sound quality (although I guess I should expect that from two audio engineers 😉 ).

    On the dark home theater thing: in my first three rental apartments, I used a front projection setup as my sole display. As such, I had blackout curtains over all of my livingroom windows (necessary if I wanted to watch anything during daylight hours) and I pretty much never had any lights on!

    After a couple of years of living like that, I just had to bring some natural light into my living space, so that led me to ditch the FP for the time being and go with a plasma instead. Needless to say, going from 92″ down to 50″ was a big shock, but now I’m up to a 60″ from just 7.6′ away, so things are tolerable 🙂 If I ever purchase a proper house with a basement that I can turn into a dedicated theater though, there is no question that I will be back to a FP setup for that!

  2. xego
    July 17th, 2010 at 07:26 | #2

    Great show guys keep up the good work!

  3. andres
    July 19th, 2010 at 20:17 | #3

    Hollis – I have a pair of Astro A40s with the Astro MixAmp. The key is the MixAmp which decodes/re-encodes Dolby Digital and Dolby Headphone. They do a pretty good job at surround sound and helping pinpoint footsteps and gunshots. I play a LOT of MW2 and they’ve helped with tactical gametypes like Search & Destroy where you don’t respawn until the next round.

    I did quite a bit of research online and found all kinds of options. The one thing I found was that the MixAmp was hands down the winner for the decoding if your serious about gaming/movie watching with headphones.

    The headphone part is quite a bit more biased. The A40s I have are a little flat. Not very much bass but you do get all the sounds and good communication with teammates. I chose these mostly because I got a screaming deal on them. I found both the MixAmp and the A40s on Craigslist separately. Other popular headsets with mics are the Sennheiser PC350, Turtle Beach HPX/HPA2, and Astro A30. Headsets without mic are Sennheiser HD555, Senn HD595 AudioTechnica AD-700, Grado SR60, Grado SR80 or any good audiophile type headphone.

    BTW, the Astro A30s are on sale right now on the Astro site. $200 for the headset and MixAmp.

  4. David
    July 22nd, 2010 at 01:37 | #4

    One box to rule them all.

    I think we need a show on the wonders of the HTPC.

    For ~$400 it is central repository and aggregater of all of your media. All of your TV shows recorded, stored and distributed from one place. Digital pictures,CDs, DVDs and if you have the space Blurays all in one box with one common interface. Media Center does Internet and FM radio and it even has Netflix. There are even Hulu plugins available. All easily controlled with the universal remote of your choice.

    Hook a cheap Xbox 360 Arcade(Target had them for $80 a couple of weeks ago) to other TVs in the house and everything on your HTPC is now avaiable on your Media Center Extender.

    For those concerned about noise, you can build a quiet machine for a little more money. Or you can do what I did, put the HTPC in a different room/closet, mount that TV on the wall where it belongs and run the wire through the walls.(crown molding/baseboards/basement/attic/crawl space/where ever you can hide it)

    End of mini rant.

  5. July 23rd, 2010 at 09:26 | #5

    Great show, guys! I liked the sort of rambling, living-room chat style of your piece. The audio quality was stellar. You talked a lot about stuff that I haven’t really thought about much: HTPCs and media centers. Honestly, I have been happy with just having Blu-ray and Netflix streaming, but now that you mention it, I would love to play the iTunes content from my laptop through my home theater…

    Sigh. Upgraditis strikes again.

  6. leitweight
    July 27th, 2010 at 15:50 | #6

    Glad you guys liked the podcast. We wanted to do something different cuz you can’t replace Tom, so why even try? I like our “chat” approach, though my excessive ‘you knows’ are cringe-inducing! Rob, quite brave of you to use a front projector as your only display, especially in an apartment. Your current display size sounds about right. Still liking the LCD? Ted, glad that we got you thinking about some things you hadn’t thought of before. Come to think of it, now I’m thinking about the 5.1 headphones! So Andres, thanks for the advice. David, for me there’s still too much complication with trying to do a one box solution for all media storage and playback. Especially when it comes to recording TV content. Most of the things I would be interested in recording are scrambled channels, requiring a CableCard, which seems like way more hassle than it’s worth, especially if I need more than one if I intend on recording more than one thing at a time. For now, I’m perfectly happy to let my cable box handle these chores, watching BluRay, DVD and playing games on my PS3 and watching all the content I store on my computer through Apple TV.

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