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.
NuVo Technologies, a company with roots in the music business that date back to 1924, was onto something when it introduced its first multi-zone home audio system back in 2002. A decade later, the company offers a lineup of wholehouse audio systems designed for professional installation and recently introduced the NuVo Wireless Audio System, its first DIY consumer product.
Will 2013 be the year of high-quality wireless audio?
Jim Venable, president of the Wireless Speaker & Audio Association (WiSA), thinks so. The association was formed in 2011 to develop interoperability testing and compliance programs for wireless products with a focus on multichannel surround sound systems.
Price: $299 (accessories: Air DAC Receiver, $149; iTX Transmitter, $79; uTX Transmitter, $59) At a Glance: Easy setup • Excellent wireless performance • Good sound from compact speakers
The promise was enticing: A compact wireless speaker system offering “exceptional” performance with the option of using an outboard digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to achieve a “much needed, audiophile-grade alternative to mediocre wireless sound.” Amen. The last thing the world needs is another pair of bad-sounding wireless speakers.
Denmark’s Bang & Olufsen has always had a knack for style, but the BeoLab 12 Series speakers just might be the most elegant-looking speakers you can put on a stand or—even better—hang on the wall next to a flat-panel TV in a modern room.
Video projectors that reside in the ceiling have long been a fixture of high-end home theaters and are usually accompanied by a screen that retracts into a wall-mounted sleeve or disappears behind a curtain—everything controlled by remote control. Flat-panel TVs can benefit from the same sort of crafty concealment.
Gibson has its famous Flying V guitar, the high-end audio community has Aragon’s signature V-notch power amp, introduced 25 years ago in Mondial’s Aragon 4004 amplifier and resurrected in the Iridium Monoblock, flagship of the recently revived Aragon brand.
Procella Audio, a Swedish company specializing in high-performance speakers for home theaters, professional studios, and screening rooms, prides itself on building speakers that can play 24-bit/96-kilohertz program material at THX reference levels with full dynamic range. Its latest model—the P6V—can be used for main-channel applications in small- to medium-size rooms 10 to 20 feet deep and is rated to produce a maximum continuous output of 110 decibels, 116 dB peak. Impressive, considering the P6V is only 18.5 inches tall, 11.4 inches wide, and about 5 inches deep, which also means it can be mounted on a wall (brackets included) or, when used as a surround speaker, concealed in an architectural column.