I've written about the Audeze LCD-2 headphones in this blog before, but now I'm going to cover the LCD-3 model, Audeze's best headphones. At first glance the two don't look all that different, but the LCD-3s sport real zebrawood earcups and have thicker and softer real lambskin leather cushions to coddle your ears. This is a fairly heavy (550-gram) set of headphones, but they're comfortable to wear for hours at a time. Details of why the LCD-2s and LCD-3s sound different aren't forthcoming from Audeze, other than the drivers, which use similar technology, are … Read more
DVDs or on-demand movies? Some pundits would have you believe it's one or the other, but you can walk the line and enjoy both. All you need is a Blu-ray player that has apps.
Like this one: While supplies last, Quick Ship Electronics has the refurbished Sony BDP-BX58 Blu-ray player for $64.99 shipped. It's without question the most loaded set-top box I've seen at this price.
Last week, I was reminded that cable-cutting can beat cable when it comes to a commercial-free TV-watching experience. Yesterday, an excellent story from Ars Technica reminded me why streaming often feels much more satisfying than watching Blu-ray.
The U.S. government yesterday rolled out not one but two copyright notices, one to "warn" and one to "educate." Six major movie studios will begin using the new notices this week. [...] Will the two screens be shown back to back? Will each screen last for 10 seconds each? Will each screen be unskippable? Yes, yes, and yes.
It'… Read more
Stereoscopic 3D in televisions, PCs, and game consoles has alternatively hailed as an industry savior and blasted as overhyped and undercooked. But no matter which side of the 3D debate you fall on, everyone agrees that bulky active shutter 3D glasses are a major impediment to widespread adoption.
That's why we were so interested in the idea of an autostereoscopic laptop (which basically means glasses-free 3D). Using the laptop's built-in Webcam and eye-tracking software, a laptop can, in theory, keep the 3D image in sync by tracking the viewer's eye movements. We first saw this demonstrated at … Read more
Not all HD is the same. For that matter, just because you have an HDTV, that doesn't mean you're actually watching high-definition video. A variety of factors could be conspiring to create an image that's not nearly as good as what your TV is capable of.
Make sure you're getting the most from your TV with this guide.… Read more
It's good to be reminded sometimes that automated technology solutions can't fix everything. That reminder came recently with the announcement of the impending big-screen return of The Beatles' trippy 1968 animated film, "Yellow Submarine."
A team of specialists at Triage Motion Picture Services and Eque is responsible for the restoration effort. Sure, it's a digital restoration, but that's not all that was involved with bringing it back to life. The team couldn't just load the film into a powerhouse computer, press go, and wait for the remaster to spit itself out.… Read more
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wants a federal law banning talking or texting on a cell phone while driving.
Yesterday at an event in San Antonio, Texas, he called for tough federal legislation that would deal with what he called a "national epidemic" of distracted driving, according to a Reuters report. LaHood told a group of doctors, government officials, and other advocates for bans on cell phone use while driving that police should have "the opportunity to write tickets when people are foolishly thinking they can drive safely or use a cell phone and text and … Read more
Researchers at the University of Liverpool say they have developed a new imaging technique that will help them identify, and thus analyze, tissue fibers in the heart that control whether the muscle beats regularly.
Using a micro CT scanner, the team imaged hearts whose tissue had been highlighted using iodine. The scientists discovered that certain tissue -- the conducting tissue that sends an electrical wave to trigger each heartbeat -- absorbed less of the solution than the muscular tissue.
This contrast made it easier to identify which tissue was producing electrical activity in 3D, which has until this study had … Read more
Recently I went shopping for a Blu-ray player. Call me old-fashioned, but there are some movies I want to see in full 1080p glory and hear in full 5.1-channel surround.
Plus, I'd just purchased my first 3D-capable TV and needed a 3D-capable player to go with it. (If you're in the same boat, be sure to check out my recent post, "Where to find 3D movies to watch at home.")
Given that I wasn't planning to buy another Blu-ray player for a long time -- possibly ever -- I wanted a decent model with features like Netflix streaming, built-in Wi-Fi, and, of course, support for 3D. I was also hoping for a price below $100.
My usual process for buying something like this is to browse sites like Amazon and Newegg in search of the models with the highest user ratings, then check the professional ratings at sites like CNET to see how well they match up.
Just one problem: I was hard-pressed to find a single Blu-ray player with uniformly positive user ratings. I perused models from LG, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and Vizio, and nearly every one had reviews that were all over the map.… Read more
If I had to recommend just one Blu-ray player for 2012, it would be Panasonic's DMP-BDT220 ($130 street price). It's in the sweet spot of Panasonic's Blu-ray lineup, with built-in Wi-Fi and an excellent set of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Vudu, MLB.TV, and Pandora.
And while competing players from Samsung and Sony offer just as many streaming apps, they're hamstrung by awkward user interfaces.… Read more