Update (February 12, 2009): Check out our follow-up story, with full reviews of all the products mentioned here.
I receive a lot of e-mail asking why we haven't reviewed many AV receivers in recent months. First off, let me say: mea culpa. Reviews coverage of this category has suffered, mostly because AV receivers are among the most time-consuming products to analyze (because they now need to be examined in detail for their audio and video performance). But enough of the excuses; here's what we're doing to remedy the situation. … Read more
Today's audiovisual receivers are jam-packed with features, but the rarest feature is real power.
Power in the range of 100-to-150 watts or so is all you get, even in the high-end models. Models with 200 watts are rare, so we were excited to hear about the TGR-401, Sunfire's latest 200-watt receiver. Sunfire's in-house genius Bob Carver has a knack for designing high power amplifiers. Carver, in fact, designed the world's first consumer high power amp, the legendary 350 watt by two channel Phase Linear 700 stereo amp in 1972.
Carver's latest, the TGR-401 ($4,000), is a 200 watt by seven channel AV receiver that sports three HDMI version 1.3a inputs.
Hidden behind a viscously damped, brushed aluminum door the front video connections may be assigned as Y/Pr/Pb/optical for HD gaming, or composite/S-Video/analog for camcorders with a simple press of a button.
The TGR-401's Auto EQ provides a simple, automatic process to equalize all seven channels plus the subwoofer. For the installing dealer, who would like to perform hands-on tweaking, there are detailed manual adjustments available for each channel pair.
Also onboard is Sunfire's remarkable Sonic Holography circuit. Invented by Bob Carver in the 1980s, Sonic Holography creates a wide and deep soundstage from stereo recordings. … Read more
It doesn't matter how powerful your home wireless router is, there might still be some corner in the basement the signal can't reach. This is when you need an alternative solution, such as a pair of Powerline adapters. Powerline adapters basically extend the length of the network cable by using the existing electrical wiring--this means you can bring your network port anywhere in the house where there's a power outlet.
A new report (PDF) from Secunia is raising awareness about the need to patch vulnerabilities and block malware from desktops.
The report found that "security vendors do not focus on vulnerabilities." And while Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 bests the 11 other suites tested, Secunia found that Symantec "detected a mere 64 out of 300 exploits, or less than one-fourth, leaving 236 exploits undetected." Overall the dozen products all received an "F" on the report.
I've reviewed hundreds of speakers, and back when I was selling high-end audio, I auditioned many hundreds more. Summing up those experiences here's what I've learned: they all sound different, but some sound more "right" than others.
"Right" connotes an even-tempered balance that doesn't call attention to itself and is likely to wear well over the years. The Aperion Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD should do just that. You can read my full review for Ultimate AV here.
The Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD ($2,829) is a six-piece system featuring a pair of 5T towers, the 5C center speaker, a pair of 5DB dipole/bipole surround speakers and a remote-controlled subwoofer, the Bravus 10D. True, the speakers don't look all that different than previous generations of Aperions, but as they say, the devil is in the details.
Aperion sells direct from its Web site with a 30 day money back return policy. UPS Ground shipping is free in both directions, and Aperion doesn't collect sales tax in the continental US. Feel free to try the Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD as I reviewed it -- and then if you decide, heck, I want the larger Bravus 12D sub that'll be no problemo. Aperion will pay for the Bravus 10D's return shipping and you'll just pay the difference in price between the two subs.
With the release of its Apple SA-2008-10-09 security update on Thursday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company provided patches for nearly two dozen software flaws.
Some of the fixes included in the update, which can be obtained from Apple's Software Downloads page, are specific to Apple features, such as Single Sign On, Finder, and ColorSync. But the release also addresses an error introduced in Mac OS X 10.5.5. Other fixes are updates to open-source projects, including Apache, ClamAV, PHP, and Tomcat.
Apache This patch affects users of Mac OS X v10.5.5 and Mac OS X … Read more
Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm guessing 70 percent to 80 percent of you have a maximum of four sources hooked up to your AV receivers.
You've got a Blu-ray/DVD player, cable/satellite box, maybe a game and a VCR wired up, and you're done. Most of the jacks remain empty, nothing wrong with that, but all that extra capability adds to the complexity and cost of the receiver. Has connectivity gone wild?… Read more
Ever wanted to view a 52-inch screen from nine feet away in the comfort of your own home, without the 52-inch screen? If you answered "yes," then you're in luck. If you answered "no," then you have no soul. This should not, however, stop you from continuing to read this article.
The AV310 projects a virtual 52-inch screen nine feet away from your eye, which is about … Read more