Price: $200 At a Glance: Excellent isolation from the world outside • Bass so solid, you won’t miss your subwoofer • Modular construction
I’ve reviewed more than a hundred headphones, but the Sol Republic Master Tracks is the first to require some “assembly.” No worries; Slip the headband through the ear cups’ slots, plug in the cable, and you’re done. The whole operation takes about a minute.
Last weekend I attended the annual Flat-Panel HDTV Shootout held each year by Value Electronics, a small independent retailer in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale. This was the 9th year for the event, one that proprietor Robert Zohn started way back when as a marketing tool, but also out of obvious sheer love for the technology. In recent years it’s grown into quite the industry event. Zohn brings in arguably the most skilled and respected calibrators in the world to tune each of the sets to its absolute optimum image, a team which this year included Kevin Miller of ISFTV and Tweak TV, DeWayne “D-Nice” Davis of A/V Fidelity, and David Mackenzie of the U.K. website HDTVtest. The two-day affair was attended by a mix of industry types and press (including the renown Dr. Larry Weber, a brilliant and gregarious leprechaun of a man who many regard as the father of plasma TV), along with Value’s most passionate customers. For those who can’t be in attendance, it’s simulcast on the web and available for later viewing so videophiles everywhere can live vicariously through the attendees.
If you want to create digital copies of Blu-ray and DVD gems you own so you can watch your favorite flicks wherever you happen to be, you won’t have to schlep into Walmart with a bag of discs anymore (“UltraViolet: Building a Movie Library in the Cloud,” October 2012). Walmart is expanding its Disc-to-Digital service so discs you own can be registered for digital conversion on your home PC. Once the discs are authenticated and you’ve paid to acquire the digital copies, movie files are stored in the cloud.
The next time you sit down to watch a movie, take a minute and look around the room before you turn down the lights and hit the play button. Is the space everything it could be? Could it use a little drama? 3-D Squared, a Florida-based home theater design company, specializes in creating decorative acoustic panels and themes for home theaters. You can choose from more than 50 original designs, or the company will work with you to create appropriately sized panels featuring reproductions of existing art or your own art.
If it weren’t for the 2012 presidential election and the recent public shaming of Anthony Weiner and David Petraeus, we might have a difficult time finding any credibility in the outrageous humor of The Campaign. Scandals, corruption, lies, and character assassination: It isn’t just for breakfast anymore. It’s become part of our daily diet. Just watch CNN, for Pete’s sake.
One magical night, a lonely young boy named John makes a special wish that his teddy bear will come to life and be his best friend. And on that special night, the fates decide to grant him his wish. The next morning, John introduces Teddy to his absolutely freaked-out parents. Flash-forward 25 years, and John has grown up into a strapping young man who looks astonishingly like Mark Wahlberg. Best friend, Teddy, now just called plain Ted, has grown up, too, but only in maturity…or lack thereof. John and Ted now spend their afternoons getting high in front of the tube and talking trash about women.
With each passing year, we seem to be witnessing the further shrinkage of the gender gap, and so movies like A League of Their Own are ever-more fascinating. It shares with modern movie audiences the little-known true tale of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, created to help keep the national pastime alive while the menfolk were off fighting World War II. The idea was met with much resistance at the time, and so the girls face challenges off the field as well as on.
Audio Performance Video Performance Features Ergonomics Value
Price: $2,100 At A Glance: Free iOS and Android remote control apps • Built-in Control4 home automation controller • Four Easy Automation multi-parameter programmable scenes
A chimera is a mythical animal consisting of parts from various other animals. In Greek mythology, for example, a Chimera (with a capital C) was an unpleasant, fire-breathing creature that had a serpent’s tail, a goat’s body, and a lion’s head. (Insert standard joke about previous spouse/significant other, mother-in-law, editors, etc.) Although it’s not an official definition in the A/V world, I consider a component that’s been soldered together using parts from different components to be a chimera, too. The active soundbar with its amalgamation of amps, speakers, processor, and etc. is a good example of such an electronic creature. The deviant TV/VCR/DVD Franken-combo, on the other hand, is an example of how things can go terribly wrong.
Harman’s Luxury Audio Group announced that it is now shipping the Mark Levinson 40th Anniversary No. 52 Reference Dual-Monaural Preamplifier, which is being hailed as the finest preamplifier ever created by Mark Levinson.