Hollywood special-effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen died May 7 in London. He was 92. While not a household name, Harryhausen is know for his work on such classic films as Mighty Joe Young (1949) and Clash of the Titans (1981). In his memory we present Chris Chiarella's 2008 interview with Harryhausen.
Until we’re able to use our minds to reliably control our A/V gear, most of us will continue to use a conventional remote handset to operate our equipment. But apps that that can turn a smartphone or tablet into a home theater remote control are becoming popular. Take a moment to respond to this week’s HT Poll and tell us how you control your gear stack. And if you use a remote control app, tell us what you like and don’t like about it in Comments.
Do you use your smartphone or tablet to control A/V gear?
Yes, for my TV only
1% (11 votes)
Yes, for a few A/V components
25% (207 votes)
Yes, for all of my A/V gear
10% (83 votes)
No, but I’m thinking about finding an app and checking it out
12% (102 votes)
No, I don’t see the point
13% (106 votes)
No, I love my pile of manufacturer-supplied remotes
11% (92 votes)
No, I love my programmable universal remote that controls all of my gear
Power cords. Three-prong adapters. Wall-wart power supplies and USB chargers with their thin, inevitably tangled cords. Running out of available outlets. These are all things I hate. Hell, even polarized plugs annoy the crap out of me. Let’s just say that when wireless power transmission – or power-harvesting devices – ever becomes a reality, I’m going to be a particularly happy individual. (If only Tesla were still alive…) In the meantime, the previously mentioned assortment vexing electrical necessities are things we all have no other choice than to deal with.
Fortunately there are plenty of devices out there that are specifically designed to lessen the pain of dealing with power cords and power supplies...
As part of its 40th Anniversary celebration, NAD Electronics has announced three compact, “eco-friendly” digital audio products, including an update of the iconic NAD 3020 integrated amplifier, one of the best selling hi-fi products of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Audio Performance Video Performance Features Ergonomics Value
Price: $1,000 At A Glance: Built-in Wi-Fi • Bluetooth with supplied dongle • Rudimentary room EQ
Sherwood can fairly lay claim to a slice of audio history. Born in Chicago in 1953, it was one of the great American brands of home audio’s infancy. Its vintage tube amps still sell on eBay as affordable alternatives to more sought-after brands like McIntosh and Marantz; some folks make a hobby of refurbishing them. Its early solid-state stereo receivers also have a modest following.
Price: $40 (wireless pocket keyboard additional $40) At a Glance: Android operating system • HDMI Stick connects directly to TV • Potentially unlimited content • Best keyboard/mouse remote available for any media player
Favi’s SmartStick is not, as many call it, a Google TV. Instead, it is a dongle (stick) that connects to an HDMI input on your TV and runs the Android operating system. Typically, smartphones and tablets have Android, but this is the first streaming Android dongle for your TV. And herein lies the problem. While most Android apps made for tablets can be downloaded to the SmartStick, they are not designed for a TV streaming device, and they don’t work when you try to use them.
There’s an old expression: “God is in the details.” This was never truer for a film than Ridley Scott’s visceral dystopian masterpiece Blade Runner. It’s not uncommon for a motion picture to be released in more than one version or cut for the public’s delectation. Many times, a filmmaker’s original vision is compromised in favor of releasing a more commercially marketable product by the studio putting up the money. As a result, director’s cuts, extended cuts, and special editions are much more prevalent now in the digital age and home video market. Few films, however, have seen as many versions or received as much scrutiny as Blade Runner.
Steve Martin stars as Neal Page, an uptight advertising executive who misses his scheduled flight from New York to Chicago when an obnoxious salesman steals his cab. As fate would have it, the cab thief turns out to be a shower curtain ring salesman (John Candy) who just happens to sit next to Neal on his flight home. Due to inclement weather, their plane is diverted to Wichita, and when they land, Neal fails to secure a place to stay for the evening. Lucky for him, his new “friend” has booked the last room in town. Thus begins a relationship made in heaven—or hell, depending on your perspective.
Last week Sony put on its best April clothes and entertained the foreign press in Los Angeles. Consumer electronics scribes attended from the U.K, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and likely others that I (with apologies) can’t recall. Only a few of local CE press were in attendance, including your humble reporter.
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Rotel Electronics Introduces Integrated Amplifier
North Reading, MA—April 2013—Rotel Electronics, well-known throughout the world as an affordable high-end manufacturer of audio and video components, has announced the debut of the RA-1570 Integrated Amplifier.