Talk about a win-win. Not only is the BBC's Planet Earth series spectacular hi-def eye candy, it's so well-made and narratively compelling that it holds up to an insane number of repeated viewings. And I should know- my two-year old son has us watching several of these episodes (especially Shallow Seas and Ocean Deep) several times a week.
They're both sexy slim, and can hang on the wall. But in spite of the similar physical profiles these two technologies are very different, and each has its strengths and weaknesses and they're not necessarily the ones the sales guy at the Big Box Store will tell you about.
Some interesting info at Sony's press event included an update on PS3's shipping and availability. They're still selling fast, but the good news is enough quantity is getting out that you might be able to get one without being injured or paying thousands on Ebay.
Active, 200-Watt two-way, with one 6.5" polypropylene woofer, one 6.5" polypropylene mid/woofer, and one 1" ring radiator tweeter, built-in DSP room correction and IP (Internet Protocol) ready for networked systems
Polk is calling the LC-265i-IP the "world's first active IP addressable loudspeaker." OK, sure. What's that? These three-driver in-walls carry onboard amplification for each driver, and work in networked systems, which we assume is a way to move your iTunes library around the house. In addition to being fully powered, these advanced speakers also have DSP-based room correction built-in. Got your attention yet? Look us up in December for the verdict, just in time for Xmas!
Alpha B1 L/R/LS/RS: Two-driver, two-way speake r with one 5.25" metalized polypropylene woofer and one .75" aluminum dome tweeter, $279/pr.
HWD: 4.25" x 9.75" x 6.25"
Alpha C1 Center Speaker: Three-driver, two-way center speaker with two 5.25" metalized polypropylene woofers and one .75" aluminum dome tweeter, $229/ea.
HWD: 7" x 17.8": x 9.25"
SubSeries 5i subwoofer: 150-Watt powered, vented sub with one 10" polypropylene woofer, line and speaker level inputs, $499/ea.
HWD: 16.5" x 12.4" x 14.8"
PSB is a stalwart brand for offering high-end performance at a price. The Alpha B1 is the latest incarnation of PSB's minor classic, the Alpha mini-monitor. The new version offers improved driver materials and a tweaked design. Make sure to check out HT's November issue for the full download on how a 5.1-channel system built around these speakers performed for us.
Shopping for a big screen TV is only slightly less daunting than hitting your local used car emporium. The sales promos say they're givin' 'em away, but hey, their job is to make money on the sale. And our job is to help you keep the scales balanced and make sure you get what you need and don't buy the set with the most bells and whistles and the least in pure performance chops.
Big screen TVs ain't what they used to be- and that's a good thing. The CRT rear projection TVs of yesteryear were big. They still aren't flat screens, but digital technologies have shrunk RPTVs from front to back and dropped their weight in half. In addition, while CRT RPTVs die an irrevocable slow death from day one, digital RPTVs are lamp-based. When the lamp burns out, you buy a new one for a few hundred bucks and your TV is as good as new.
A common fallacy in the high-end audio world is that if you buy better, higher resolution gear all of your recordings will sound better. The short answers is, they won't. Higher resolution invariably exposes more flaws in recordings you already knew were flawed, but what's more uncomfortable is that you'll also hear "new" flaws in recordings that sounded pretty good previously. Some of these might be your favorite demo cuts, which really sucks. And of course, your best recordings will scale new heights entirely, but which turn out to be which is often unpredictable.