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Signal to Noise - Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD MA vs. Uncompressed PCM

July 14, 2008 By David Birch-Jones 422 comments
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How well do the new compression schemes from Dolby and DTS stack up against uncompressed audio? We buff up our golden ears to audition and compare the latest Blu-ray audio codecs, in the design labs that developed them.

Compared to DVD, the tremendous increase in storage capacity of the Blu-ray disc format, necessary to carry the increased high definition video data payload, also provides for expanded audio options, including the ability to carry so-called lossless audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Flat-panel TV mounts, lifts, covers, and hide-aways

July 3, 2008 By HE Staff 116 comments
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When you turn off your flat-panel TV, it becomes a black hole in the wall. Here’s how to hide it away when you’re not watching.

My friend Steve just bought a large flat-panel TV and mounted it to the wall. He assumed his wife would love the sleek look, but she’s not happy with the way the TV becomes a “piece of black glass that’s just hanging there” when it’s not in use. It seems like she wishes the TV would just go away when they’re not watching it. Luckily for Steve, it doesn’t take any magic at all to make that happen.

Dolby Pro Logic IIz vs. Audyssey DSX vs. DTS

September 23, 2009 By Geoffrey Morrison 91 comments
Dolby Pro Logic IIz vs. Audyssey DSX vs. DTS

Wall of Sound: Three new surround formats from Audyssey, Dolby and DTS aim to bring your theater sound to a whole new dimension. Literally.

You want me to buy more speakers? Yeah, I get that. To be honest, that was my first thought when I heard about height speakers. Just a gimmick, right?

Well, to find out, I journeyed up and down the California coast visiting the headquarters of the formats’ creators.

iPhone Home Automation Control Apps - Power in your Pocket

April 1, 2009 By Brent Butterworth 150 comments
iPhone Home Automation Control Apps

Your iPhone now controls everything those big home automation touchscreens can — from anywhere in the world.

A recent innovation is going to make your life a whole lot better — or a whole lot worse.

It all depends on how you feel about the iPhone.

WooAudio WES Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier and Stax SR-007 Mk2 Electrostatic Headphone Review

July 13, 2009 By Steve Guttenberg 59 comments
WooAudio WES and Stax SR-007 Mk2 Review

All ears!

Lucky me, I recently reviewed three of the world's very best headphones, the Audio Technica ATH-W5000, Denon AH-D7000 and Sennheiser HD 800 for Home Entertainment, due in the September issue.

But the advancement of high-end headphones doesn't stand still and now I've heard something even better: The WooAudio WES headphone amplifier and Stax SR-007 Mk2 headphone.

High End Headphone and Headphone Amp Roundup

December 15, 2008 By Steve Guttenberg 100 comments
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A mini survey of ear-bogglingly good headphones and headphone amplifiers

I'd like to let you in on a little secret: You can buy terrific headphones for next to nothing. That's not to say they all sound great, but a bigger budget definitely buys better build and sound quality.

For this roundup I've selected three contenders for the world's best headphone: the Denon AH-D5000, Grado Labs GS-1000, and the Ultrasone Edition 9, plus a pair of headphone amplifiers, Benchmark's DAC1 USB and Woo Audio's WA5-LE.

240 Hz and Beyond

November 20, 2009 By Geoffrey Morrison 83 comments
240Hz and Beyond

With claims of decreased motion blur, better detail, world peace, and smoother motion, LCD manufacturers are drastically increasing refresh rates. But why?

First it was 120 Hz. Now it’s 240 Hz. Already manufacturers are talking about 480 Hz. I mean, 60 Hz is so 20th century. Are there really any advantages to these faster refresh rates? If so, how do they work?

10 Best Software 2009

January 1, 2009 By Dennis Burger 133 comments
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Our 10 Best Software Award winners.

Nothing less than our picks for the best demo material of the past year.

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