Mr. Polk Audio himself, Matthew Polk, was in town last week at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan to demo his newest creation, the SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater ($1,200).
I reviewed Polk's SurroundBar 50 in June and liked it well enough, and while the SurroundBar 360 doesn't replace the older model it's more highly evolved. First off, it's a powered system so there's no need to buy an A/V receiver to use it. And as you might have judged by its name, the new one is a two-piece, speaker and console/DVD player system. Just add a display and you're good to go.
Oh, and one more thing--you won't have to add a subwoofer--the SurroundBar 360 makes a fair amount of bass on its own. When Polk played the system I assumed there was a sub somewhere in the hotel room, but in fact the skinny speaker produced a big, fat bass sound all by itself.… Read more
Back in January at CES we'd heard that Vizio, which is known for its bargain-price TVs, was looking to make a play in the home audio arena--and soon it will. Slated for a September release, the company is putting out a faux-surround system that includes a slim sound bar and wireless subwoofer for $299.
While its features don't quite match those of the Samsung HT-X810T that we recently reviewed, Vizio is pointing to that product as an indication of how good a deal its sound bar will be. The Samsung, which has a built-in DVD player and stereo … Read more
Featured at the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year event in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the new Tassimo Hot Beverage System by Bosch fits into both the kitchen's overall theme of user-friendliness and the consumer's modern desire for convenience with class. The brewer is featured as part of a line of new kitchen products that are being showcased as a "new benchmark for kitchen design," according to a recent news release from Kraft Foods.
At first glance, the upgraded version of the Hot Beverage System looks a lot like the original, but there are … Read more
When CNET reviewed the Yamaha YSP-3000 Digital Sound Projector, we singled out its "limited video capabilities" as one of the main shortfalls of the virtual surround speaker system.
Yamaha must have listened, because the company has just unveiled an upgraded version that addresses that very issue. The YSP-3050 adds to the mix the conversion of analog to digital video, but it's essentially otherwise identical to its predecessor. That's not a bad thing, either: we've found that the Yamaha YSP line remains the best choice for delivering convincing virtual surround-effects from a single speaker, and its all-in-one design precludes the need to purchase a separate AV receiver.
I remember the first time I saw the pod coffee machines, I thought they were ridiculous. I've worked in loose tea shops where tea bags are generally seen as over-processed cheap imitations of the real deal, and so the similarly-shaped coffee "pods" touted by the first single-cup pod coffeemakers instantly made it to the top of my "not worth it" gadget list. I'm a religious coffee drinker, and something about those tea bag-like coffee pods was very off-putting.
Fast-forward to several months later during a visit to my sister's house. After waking up … Read more
Back from the weekend, Randall's parents get rid of their home phone...so that Randall can't call anymore. Nine Inch Nails is another band releasing their album free online. Seth MacFarlane is back in business with Fox and may release a new Family Guy spinoff, Cleveland. Semi-Pro was semi-awful, and if you want to meet men, go to the Apple Store.
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My favorite start page, Netvibes, is getting an interesting upgrade. The new "Ginger" version gets social features for sharing your start-page widgets and layouts, as well as a status feed reminiscent of Facebook and Twitter. Netvibes Ginger also makes it easier to add content to your pages.
The site will be updated with the Ginger release in mid-February, but we have some invitations to the private beta now...read down to the end for details.
Polk Audio has officially unveiled its first single-speaker all-in-one home theater system, the SurroundBar 360. The system is comprised of just two components--a single elongated speaker (44 inches wide) designed to sit beneath your flat-panel TV, and a DVD player/amplifier head unit that houses the electronics. While the SurroundBar concept isn't new for Polk (the speaker-only 2005 version was designed to be paired with an AV receiver), the latest iteration utilizes a new active (powered) design that's said to maximize the speaker's eight drivers. In addition to the disc player and AM/FM radio, the head unit offers all of the standard DVD player outputs (including HDMI). Input capabilities fall short of HD switching, but the 360's analog composite and S-Video inputs will be upconverted via the HDMI output. A USB input is also available for digital photo playback and music players.
We had the opportunity to hear an early version of the SurroundBar 360 put through its paces by company founder Matthew Polk himself.… 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