In just a few sort years, HDMI connectivity has become arguably the most important spec for AV receivers. Pioneer rolled out four new HDMI-capable receivers today, ranging from the budget VSX-518 to the midrange VSX-1018TXH-K. All four models have three HDMI inputs, which is one more than the previous standard of two. On the other hand, onboard decoding for the new high resolution soundtrack formats--such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio--is limited to the VSX-1018TXH-K, which is a little disappointing considering it was available last year on the inexpensive Onkyo TX-SR605. The VSX-1018TXH-K looks to be the sweet spot … Read more
The last time we saw a set-up like this, we were trying to figure out how to spell Nebuchadnezzar without much luck. But this takes the concept behind the "G-Tech Neber" to an entirely new level, out of the clinical category and into the living room.
Despite its Pottery Barn-inspired name, the "Maya Single" media apparatus impressively features an architecturally designed chair with strategically positioned 60-watt speakers, subwoofer, and 32- or 26-inch screen perched precariously by a metal arm hanging overhead, all accented with natural wood trim, according to T3. The sound system definitely puts it … Read more
Anyone who's ever visited AVS Forum--probably the largest online forum for audio/visual discussion--knows that people can get carried away. And anyone who has dared to venture in the HD DVD and Blu-ray forum is well aware of rampant fanboy flame wars--the kind that used to be reserved for game consoles.
Well apparently a couple of the AV geeks have gone too far, which has led to AVS Forum moderators to completely shut down the HD DVD and Blu-ray forums until the end of the week. And in case you think it's an overreaction, check out this quote from the letter they posted to AVS members:
We have seen members attacking other members not only in debate, which is the right way, but with physical threats that have involved police and possible legal action.
Wow.… Read more
The Dell XPS M1730 we just reviewed took home an Editors' Choice award. This massive, 11-pound laptop is about as good as it gets for mobile gaming. It serves up a most powerful mix of components, from a Core 2 Extreme CPU to Nvidia SLI graphics. The M1730 even finds room for Ageia's PhysX processor. While we liked what we saw from the M1730 in our labs, what helped it score so highly was a number of new features absent from previous XPS models. There's a gamer-friendly, 10-key number pad, a useful status LCD above the keyboard, and … Read more
Birthdays are one of the wonderful aspects of life that set us apart from robots, but that doesn't mean the cloud that is the Internet isn't fond of well wishing people with birthday salutations. Working at Webware, I register with an average of two services a day, often times more. Depending on the type of site, they'll occasionally ask for my birthday (mostly for age verification), which gets tucked away deep inside some server farm in rural Russia, or Ohio. Over the course of the past 10 months I've been here, plus whatever sites I've … Read more
I spent some time last week talking with Dean Drako, CEO of Barracuda Networks. I'd wanted to talk with Dean for some time, as I've been an admirer of the company for many years. Barracuda recognized the strength of open source, and capitalized on it, well before most people were willing to even give open source a chance.
The conversation was particularly interesting because of Barracuda's announced intention to join the Open Invention Network, as well as some research it had done on perceived customer value for open source.
I started by asking Dean, Why do you care about open source?… Read more
As an audio guy I'm super curious about HD DVD and Blu-ray's high-resolution audio formats, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-Master Audio. Yes, they've been around for awhile now, but listening to the super duper formats hasn't been easy. I haven't yet heard them at home, and show demos haven't been of much help in determining the sonic advantages of the lossless formats. The potential for much better than standard Dolby and DTS sound is there, but getting there, well, I'm still waiting.
Sourcefire just announced its acquisition of ClamAV. ClamAV is by most estimates the most commonly used open-source antivirus product on this planet, with over 10 million downloads (and a significant percentage). Great, great move by Sourcefire.
There's just no end in sight of this open-source M&A market, friends, and this time it was one open-source project buying another. I like that. Keep it in the family.
A few days ago, Yamaha announced three new AV receivers: the RX-V1800, the RX-V3800, and the flagship RX-Z11--which is an 11.2-channel receiver. We'll get into the details on each of the new models, but overall they share many of the same new features we've been seeing on models from Onkyo, Denon, and Sony, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support, several HDMI 1.3a ports, and extensive video upconversion options. Both the RX-V3800 and the RX-Z11 also feature a graphical user interface (GUI), following the trend started by Sony with the STR-DA5200ES and now followed … Read more