I'm not a big fan of really small subwoofers. Not that the little ones can't make deep bass -- the best of today's mini subs can deliver lots of low-end oomph, but the quality of the bass won't be anything to write home about. The bass is usually sloppy and poorly defined, so individual bass notes blur together. That's not such a big problem when reproducing the sound of explosions and special effects, but most small subs are less adept with music.
With the release of iOS 6.1 for iOS devices, the Apple TV line quietly received an update as well. The update adds iCloud support for purchased music, Up Next support (although this was already present on an Apple TV), and the ability to pair a Bluetooth keyboard to your Apple TV. By pairing a keyboard you can control playback, navigate, and enter search queries all from the comfort of a physical keyboard.To pair a keyboard, make sure you've updated your Apple TV to the latest OS. You can update it by going into Settings > General > … Read more
New TV? Old TV? New gear? Old gear? Are you sure all your settings are correct? Even if you're not planning on watching the big game, it's worth taking a moment to ensure you're getting the most out of your TV and assorted A/V gear.
Think of it like getting the oil changed on your car, or a visit to the dentist, except there's less chance of screaming and/or a tragic dental floss mishap.… Read more
DTS demonstrated its new Headphone:X surround processing system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month. The system is capable of reproducing up to 11 channels of surround sound over conventional stereo headphones. I didn't hear it, but a few friends at the show who heard the Headphone:X demo came away impressed with its ability to project a sound field well outside the confines of the headphones. DTS is promoting Headphone:X technology as HTiP -- Home Theater in Pocket, and claims that the system can emulate the DTS reference listening room or a … Read more
Even by Oppo's high standards the BDP-105 is an extraordinary Blu-ray player. Sure, it's loaded with up-to-the-second features -- 4K upscaling, 2D-to-3D conversion, and a high-quality USB 2.0 digital-to-analog converter -- but what really makes the Oppo special is the sound. Pop the cover and look inside and you'll see why. Most of the 17-pound component's chassis space is devoted to the audio circuitry. That's nice, but the audio advantages will be completely irrelevant if you connect the BDP-105 to your receiver with a HDMI cable (the digital-to-analog conversion would then be handled in … Read more
Let's say you want to throw the ultimate football-watching party for the last game of the year. (Alas, using the name of said game is fraught with copyright challenges, so we're playing it safe.) Will a single big-screen TV suffice? Maybe. But what if you want to go really hard core, and have a few dozen people over. Can they all see the screen? Would the party be even better with multiple TVs in different rooms?
I'd say yes, and it's easier than you might think.… Read more
Making the most of your monthly subscription is much more than watching as many episodes of "The Walking Dead" in one night as possible. It's about effortlessly digging up the best available flicks, so that by the end of the month, you know you got your money's worth, and then some.
Sadly, there's no magic potion that will bring "Game of Thrones" to Netflix, but there are some best practices and little-known tools that will quickly transform you into a Netflix-watching maven.
1. Bookmark InstantWatcher Netflix's clunky content interface is hardly conducive … Read more
The first question is, what do you want from your hi-fi? Do you want to play LPs, CDs, or an occasional movie? Next, where will you put the speakers, and how large or small do they need to be? I'm writing this blog post for folks trying to put together the best-sounding hi-fi they can on a fixed budget. That's why I won't be covering wireless systems, because dollar for dollar, the better wired speakers always sound better than wireless models.
After expanding their streaming video service to the iPhone and iPod touch devices just a month ago, Amazon announced yesterday that their Instant Video service is now available on the Nintendo Wii. Here's how to set up the new app on your Wii:
Step 1: Go to the Wii Shop Channel on your Internet-connected Wii.
Step 2: Download the Amazon Instant Video app.
Step 3: Launch the Amazon Instant Video app from your Wii.
Step 4: Select "Register Your Device" and make a note of the code that appears.
I've long admired Pro-Ject turntables, but I was only vaguely aware of their electronics line so it was high time to check out one of their amplifiers. I requested their baby amp, the Stereo Box S ($299). It's the smallest power amp I've ever seen, a mere 4.1 by 1.4 by 4.8 inches, and the build quality of its all-metal chassis felt robust. The amp is available in silver or black finishes. A remote control adjusts volume and switches between two RCA inputs. The gold-plated speaker binding posts are really pretty small, and so … Read more