Home Theater

Jan 16 2018

News - CES 2018 - Axiim & WiSA

It would be impossible to tell the WiSA and Axiim stories separately for CES 2018, so we are going to have to combine the two here. From a straight technology perspective, not much seems to have changed with the WiSA standard. Aside from Axiim there have only been some minor changes to the available consumer hardware. Although some major brands have recently joined the alliance so we could see additional speaker options before the end of the year. They had an interesting demo available however, where an LG TV output stereo PCM audio to a WiSA USB dongle. Removing the need for a separate AVR.

Sep 07 2017

News - Epson announces Home Cinema LS100 short throw laser projector

As home theater enthusiasts we all want a projector. That's a fact. Of course our housing, lifesytle, cost, and partner choices come into play - which is why most of us probably don't have one Smile. Short throw models make it much easier to install and place a projector, but have carried a massive price premium for the convenience. With a MSRP of $3,000 Epson's HC LS100 has made the cost problem much smaller; we'll have to wait for some reviews to see if it can deliver the requred PQ.

Aug 22 2017

News - Epson announces five (yes five) affordable home cinema projectors

In what must be an attempt to corner the affordable projector market Epson has announced five home cinema projects ranging in price from $359 to $900. Which means there should be something for pretty much anyone considering a projector to add to their maybe list.

Sep 22 2016

News - Axiim announces 4K Q, will upgrade existing users FOR FREE!

Wow. Just wow. It's not that often where you open a product announcement email to find out that the company is upgrading existing users for free. But, that's just what Axiim just did in their latest newsletter. Fixing one of my few, and arguably most important, complaints with the Q.

I need to lay down...

Sep 22 2016

News - SVS announces Prime Elevation directional speaker

In an ideal world, we'd all have perfectly shaped theater rooms. With ample space to place speakers in all the right places to create the right sound now matter what. Unfortunately, architects and spouses don't always allow for these environments to takes shape. That's where the recently announced SVS Prime Elevation speaker comes in with an angled shape that lets you point the output in a more targeted way. Allowing us to get the best from the room we've been dealt Smile.

Jan 15 2016

News - Robert Heron and Patrick Norton spin up new home theatre focused podcast

If the names Robert Heron and Patrick Norton sound familar, it's because they used to do the "HD Nation" video show on Revision3. I really liked the show, so I am hoping that their new podcast is just as awesome. I had intended to have a listen before posting, but after churning on it a bit I thought that was a bit selfish. So go listen to the AVEXCEL podcast.

Nov 09 2015

News - Reference Home Theater Reviews Harmony Elite Universial Remote Control

Harmony has been pushing its control ecosystem beyond the home theater and into the more general home automation space recently, with the Elite topping the lineup. The $350 price tag is a bit hard to swallow vs. its ~$130 siblings (what I use), but there are a few advantages to stepping up.

Mar 20 2014

News - Home Theater Review, Reviews Epson Home Cinema 2030 LCD Projector

Projectors used to be strictly for those with expensive setups, but now it's quite feasible to get a decent 1080p system without breaking the bank. Everything requires some compromise, so obviously you won't get the same performance from a sub-$1000 device as something that cost 5x as much, but if you have the space it's hard to argue with 100".

Epson's Home Cinema 2030 ($899.99) is the perfect example of a home entertainment projector, in both its design and its performance. From a design standpoint, this 1080p 3LCD projector is less than half the size of its higher-priced brethren in the Home Cinema line, including the 3020, the 5020UB, and the new 5030UB (stay tuned for a review). Measuring 11.69 by 9.72 by 4.13 inches and weighing just 6.4 pounds, the 2030 has a light and easily portable form factor. You wouldn't think twice about quickly picking it up and relocating outside for a movie night under the stars or taking it to a neighbor's house for some big-screen Monday Night Football. The projector's lens sits off the left of the front chassis, and there's a lever to manually open and close the screen cover to protect the lens during travel. The 2030 has an integrated speaker that also gives you flexibility to move your entertainment system around without needing to take speakers with you. The speaker doesn't have much in the way of dynamic ability, but it will get the job done. Perhaps a better option is to use the analog mini-jack output on the unit's backside to connect the projector to a good tabletop/wireless speaker to improve the audio experience without needing a complete HT setup.

Home Theater Review

Jan 15 2013

News - HDBaseT @ CES 2013

HDBaseTI love the concept of HDBaseT. Run some Cat5e/6, add a switch and some devices that support HDBaseT (or adapters if using "legacy" devices) into the mix and you get a whole home media distribution network capable of pushing 100MB, 100W of power, audio/video, and control anywhere. With the right devices, you can do everything with just one cable.

There are a few problems with the current implementation though, well actually just one - it's not available to DIYer right now, you need to engage a custom installer in the process. If you're OK with that, and the $ it entails: first I envy you and second congratulations I'm confident that you will enjoy it. This will not always be the case though with retail availability on the road map (somewhere ;)), and an increasingly larger pool of devices to choose from we should be able to take advantage of a really slick way to push all the good stuff we want around the home.

Check out the photos from the visit on the next page.

Jan 14 2013

News - WiSA @ CES 2013

WiSAThere's a lot of really cool stuff at CES, but most of it is part of the iterative, slow march towards something better and not really the big step forward that really engages the home theater geek inside. This year much of what I saw was exactly that; there were a few exceptions though with WiSA (Wireless Speaker & Audio) being one.

After peeling back the marketing, WiSA's goal is actually very simple - they are using wireless technology to replace speaker wire. Building something that offers the same level of interoperability and device agnosticism that we have come to expect from the physical transport, but with the convenience of wireless. Most importantly, having learned the lessons of early 802.11 implementations, they have created the process to ensure that this promise actually comes to fruition.

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