You'll never find a comparably equipped 1980 Corvette outperforming a 2011 'Vette, or a 1980 TV or computer blowing away a '11 model. Audio is a different matter; a lot of decades-old gear really does sound better than its 2011 equivalents. That's especially true when comparing 1970s and 1980s receivers with today's models. I covered why that is so in last weekend's "How can 30-year-old receivers sound better than new ones?" blog.
If you've ever watched stereo 3D on your smartphone and found yourself rubbing your temples, you're not alone.
New research out of U.C. Berkeley suggests that eyestrain and the ensuing discomfort is the result of a phenomenon called the vergence-accommodation conflict, by which the eyes have to manage both watching a screen at a certain distance and simultaneously making sense of images that are either in front of or behind that screen.
"When watching stereo 3D displays, the eyes must focus--that is, accommodate--to the distance of the screen because that's where the light comes from; and at the same time, the eyes must converge to the distance of the stereo content, which may be in front of or behind the screen," says Martin S. Banks, the professor of optometry and vision science at Berkeley who published the report in today's Journal of Vision.
Though his series of experiments was conducted on just 24 adults, a sort of discomfort trend emerged: Watching stereo content in front of the screen (which appears to jump into the viewer's space) was less comfortable from a shorter distance more typical with cell phones and laptops, while stereo content placed behind the screen (appearing as though the viewer is peering through a window) was less comfortable when viewed at greater distances more common in movie theaters.
Banks suggests that more studies be conducted across larger sample sizes that include children, and that those pave the way for actual guidelines on appropriate viewing distances.
"This is an area of research where basic science meets application, and we hope that the science can proceed quickly enough to keep up with the increasingly wide use of the technology," he says.… Read more
Back at CES in January we reported that BlueAnt was branching out from its wireless Bluetooth roots and going, well, wired.
Now the company is officially getting set to ship the new premium stereo "headset," which has been given a name--Embrace--and a price: $199.99. The stylishly designed over-ear headphones include an integrated mic and controls for the iPhone that allow you to make hands-free calls and play, pause, and track-forward audio selections.
Altec Lansing already offered a single housing monaural speaker in its Orbit line of portable speakers. But now it's doubled up with the latest model, the Orbit Stereo--a pair of USB-powered speakers that snap together into one long tube when not in use, so you can tuck them into a suitcase or laptop bag.
While the IML247 Orbit Stereo speakers aren't tiny, they are fairly lightweight, weighing 12.8 ounces, and you don't have to carry around any sort of extra power adapter. They also cost an affordable $49.99, which is $15 to $30 more than … Read more
I view the rising popularity of sound bar speakers as proof positive that more and more people are rejecting the notion of deploying five or more speakers in their home theaters. It's not just the number of speakers, people are also not thrilled by the idea of running wires to the far corners of their home theaters. Truly "wireless" surround speakers are a recurring fantasy, but I've yet to see a wireless surround speaker that doesn't have at least one wire; most have two (one for signal, one for power), which as far as I … Read more
Skipping CDs, navigation CDs do you even need CDs at all these days? We'll let you know all about it, but first I'm about to totally nerd out about all-wheel drive systems. This is the 14th episode of CNET Roadside Assistance for Thursday, the 26th of May 2011 and I am Antuan Goodwin alongside Senior Editor Wayne Cunningham. This is the show where the car tech guys take a moment to answer your emails and highlight your comments.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 014 cartech.cnet.… Read more
Alpine Electronics puts its weight behind SiriusXM satellite radio in the car with its announcement of a new line of single-DIN CD receivers that will bear the new SiriusXM-Ready badge, marking their compatibility with the car audio supplier's new SVX100 SiriusXM Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit. For the first time, Alpine is offering a bundled SiriusXM tuner and CD receiver package, giving customers a turn-key option for getting satellite radio content through their cars' speakers.
The star of the show is the SXV100 SiriusXM tuner, which provides access to a number of advanced satellite radio features in addition to the … Read more
Altec Lansing has previously gone with a single, mono speaker for its Orbit line of portable PC speakers. But now it's doubling up with the latest Orbit--the Orbit Stereo--a set of USB powered speakers that snap together into one long tube when not in use, so you can tuck them into a suitcase or laptop bag. While the Orbit Stereo aren't tiny, they are lightweight, weighing in at 12.8 ounces.
We've been playing around with a pair and they sound decent enough at close range, and while they don't exactly fill up a room with … Read more
A home theater isn't really a home theater unless it has speakers, preferably of the 5.1-channel surround variety. Of course, you can't just plug them directly into your TV; you need a receiver to act as the hub and amplify the audio.
Receivers can cost a small fortune, but here's your chance to score a killer deal: Newegg has the Yamaha RX-V367 5.1-channel digital home theater receiver for $149.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code EMCKFJH22 at checkout. (Note: you must be a Newegg newsletter subscriber to use the code.)
The RX-V367 is … Read more
This week we try to help a listener replace her wagon, a Honda Accord owner wants to ditch his busted CD changer, and we explain what the heck "satellite based navigation" means.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 006 SHOW NOTES
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