The National Advertising Review Board says Time Warner Cable can no longer run ads touting its supposedly "advanced fiber optic network." The ruling is a victory for Verizon, which makes a big deal over its FiOS fiber optic network.
Compliance with the ad-industry watchdog's recommendations is voluntary. However, most major advertisers belong to the National Advertising Review Council, and toe the line when its Review Board issues a ruling.
The world-beating PTM series power amps from Audio Design Associates include six- and eight-channel models but nothing in the more popular seven-channel configuration -- till now. The PTM-7150, at 150 watts into eight ohms and 250 into four, uses a new thermal design that combines the company's traditional fan-cooled approach with heat sinking. The amp monitors itself and the fan kicks in when needed. This makes for a quieter, albeit larger, amp that needn't necessarily be banished to a closed gear closet. Price $10,000. Incidentally, the PTM is a tribute to ADA cofounder Peter T. McKean. We still miss him.
Why does the cable connecting the Audio Design Associates MPS-502 amp to its external power supply resemble a thick piece of plumbing -- like the pipe under your bathroom sink? Well, it has to carry 100 amps of current, so it can provide five channels with 450 watts each. Introduced in 1992, this was the amplifier on which THX based its amp spec. Throw in the PF-2502 to bring the system up to seven channels. In the present day, ADA is shipping two pre-pros, the Suite 7.1 ($5500) and Cinema Rhapsody Mach IV. You can buy the latter for $4100 but you'd be better off paying $7500 for the version with Trinnov auto setup and room correction. Trinnov will also be built into a separate equalizer product, the TEQ-1. (We are looking forward to trying Trinnov in the long-awaited Sherwood R-972 receiver.)
The brushed nickel plated finish of new Audio Design Associates components immediately grabs the eye. For surround buffs the big news is the PTM-7200 amp with seven channels times 450 watts into four ohms. It's ADA's first Class D product. Mate it with the Cinema Rhapsody Mach IV pre-pro with eight HDMI 1.3 ins and two outs, which incidentally gives it something in common with the new Suite 7.1 HD switcher. No word on pricing yet. Shipping first quarter of 2009.
Hate your TV's speakers? Need a sweet little amp to drive something better? The Audio Design Associates CCA-3D is a third-generation device designed for that purpose. Also shown was a typically weighty seven-channel power amp, the MPA-7500, with 250 watts into eight ohms and 450 into four. ADA's longtime designer Alfred Langella is working on the company's first Class D amps but isn't quite satisfied yet. With his high standards, we suspect they'll be special.
The Suite 7.1HD surround preamp-processor from Audio Design Associates, second from bottom in picture, supports Dolby Volume as well as the new lossless surround codecs. It costs $5500 and will ship in a few months. There are eight HDMI ins and two outs, which should cover every high-def contingency known to humankind. Rather than introduce new amps, ADA is sticking with the existing PTM-6150 and -8150, which is absolutely the right decision, as they are (I'll stick my neck out) the best outboard surround amplifiers in the industry.
We're longtime fans of Al Langella, the guy who puts the Design into Audio Design Associates. If the Cinema Renaissance Mach III seems a little on the flashy side (don't worry, the front-panel showmanship can be subdued with a command), be advised that if it follows in the ADA tradition, it'll sound as good as or better than anything else in its category. Seriously. It's got a tube output stage. HDMI 1.3 won't be handled until the next generation, which will come along, well, eventually. Price quite reasonable at under $100,000. If Britney buys this thing, people will think she's gone sane again.
TV makers are increasingly adding internet features, including browsers and widgets, to their products. But until now, the standard for 80 percent of web video has not yet penetrated the television set. That's about to change, with Adobe Flash coming to TVs and set-top boxes later this year, Adobe announced this week.
Aerial Acoustics has long been known for great-sounding speakers but not, until now, for those with high sensitivity or efficiency ratings. The Model 7 changes that with an efficiency rating of 89dB, something that can run off a decent receiver with, say, 50 watts per channel. Price $9850/pair.
We are maxi. We would prefer to be mini but that would imply a life without pastries and beer. AktiMate, however, inhabits both modes of being with the Maxi and the Mini. Both of these 60-watt active speakers have a cool iPod dock that can fold down into the enclosure when not in use. Both have three line ins, USB in, and ethernet connectivity; the Maxi, a small fraction of an inch taller, adds internet and FM radio plus wi-fi. Maxi: $1000. Mini: $650.