An industry insider recently admitted to me that only 30 percent of AV receiver buyers ever bother to hook up all seven channels to their receivers. That guesstimate seems a little high to me; the standard 5.1 channel setup: Left, center, right speakers upfront, and a pair of surround speakers to the sides of the main listening position can supply a truly immersive sound experience.
Seven-channel home theater adds two more speakers, placed behind the main listening position. That's tough to accomplish in rooms where the couch or chairs are up against the rear wall. There's no "rear" there, so some folks mount the rear speakers up high, or bounce the sound off the ceiling.
Still, the rear surrounds typically contribute little, so it's pretty hard to justify the added expense and hassle of running the extra wires for a marginal sonic improvement. The one exception might apply to very large rooms where the side and rear surround speakers are further apart from each other. The extra coverage may produce a more complete sense of surround envelopment. … Read more
Start with your own music collection on the phone. Sharetones compares your list to its growing database of user-cut ringtones and returns matches. After previewing and picking, Sharetones will extract metadata information about the sample ringtone and rip your own song to match it, including fade-ins and fade-outs. Bottom line: the only person's music you touch is your own.
The application's actual interface is a tad sparse. You can preview the ringtone, pausing or saving it. The menu button reveals options to sort by title or artist, to re-sync the library, and to view the ringtone, alarm, and … Read more
VideoLAN's VLC media player, arguably the world's best media player, hit version 0.9.9 in early April. Three months and more than 78 million downloads later, VideoLAN has announced VLC 1.0.0, or "Goldeneye."
Your media will never be the same.
In fact, with VideoLAN's VLC media player for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it doesn't have to be. One of the amazing things about VLC is that it can play anything that you've ever even thought about playing. That random media format that one site in Ecuador requires--VLC likely plays it, … Read more
While CNET did not review the Sony BDP-BX1, we did review the nearly identical Sony BDP-S350. The only significant differences between the two models are that the BDP-BX1 includes a 1.5-meter HDMI cable and its remote is backlit. Otherwise, the two models are functionality identical.
I usually apply all the Windows updates that Microsoft labels as "Critical" or "Important." However, since Windows patches sometimes cause problems of their own, I often wait a week or more to install those that I determine I don't need right away.
If you have Automatic Updates set to download and install updates automatically, you won't see any Windows Update alerts in the notification area of the taskbar (the area near the clock) or anywhere else. Likewise, if you've disabled Automatic Updates, you won't be prompted to view or download anything, though … Read more
Has the U.S. auto industry finally hit bottom? U.S. will get a new small SUV from BMW--and perhaps a new mini Miata. Plus, we take you for a ride in a really nice car that could be so much better.Listen now: Download today's podcast SHOW NOTES