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Editorial: Notes on Converting SACD Music Tracks to PCM in Disc Players


EDITORIAL: Notes on Converting SACD Music Tracks to PCM in Disc Players. There has been a lot of discussion about how high a sampling rate that should be employed when a player converts SACD music track bitstreams to PCM.............


TVs? We Don't Need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multi-channel Audio - Part 3

TVs? We don't need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multichannel Audio - Part 3

It is useful to have the Blu-ray player read downloaded MP3, FLAC, and WAV files off a memory stick. If the player is well designed, the MP3 files should display information on the work and the performer on the TV screen. FLAC files encoded at sampling rates of 96kHz, or a sampling rate or 192kHz, should be bit-accurate at the both the S/PDIF or HDMI outputs. Be careful; many Blu-ray players do not support FLAC data files.

Most Blu-ray players USB ports will also work with Hard Drives. Another option on many Blu-ray players is to find music across a computer network if you establish an Ethernet connection for the Blu-ray player to your computer router. Special software must be resident on the computers. How to do this is way out of the scope of this article.

It is most important that your Blu-ray player should read MP3, FLAC or WAV files that are burned to DVD on a computer.......

See Sidebar: The Impracticality of Analog or DSD signal-transfer in multichannel


Editorial: MP3 Music and Undersaturated Movies

editorial-banner-7-7-10I received an interesting e-mail today, from a reader who was concerned about all the movies that have been released over the past few years with little to no color in the image.

I have been planning to write an editorial about why I think young consumers are into MP3 music and don't really care about the high quality of lossless digital music that the rest of us have been trying to get them to switch over to, or at least give it a listen.


TVs? We Don't Need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multi-channel Audio - Part 2

TVs? We don't need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multichannel Audio - Part 2

It is not practical to connect your Universal Blu-ray Player to your AVR using an analog connection if you want to listen in multichannel. For similar reasons you should accept that the multichannel DSD data off an SACD is going to have to be transcoded at some point to LPCM. S/PDIF is also not a connection option in multichannel. Options you had in the stereo world are just not workable in the multichannel universe. All of this is explained in the Sidebar: What you need to know to be a multichannel Geek

So what features do we want in the Universal Blu-ray Players HDMI transmission system?

See Sidebar: What you need to know to be a multichannel Geek


Alice in Wonderland: The Theater Movie as Seen with IMAX 3D vs. Dolby 3D


I recently had the pleasure of catching this movie in IMAX 3D, and then later in Dolby 3D.  I have not seen this film in a regular theater setting, but then the "buzz" around this film is all about the 3D.  One of our SECRETS team has commented on the current film along with his review of the vintage Alice films in the April, 2010 Movie Reviews.


TVs? We Don't Need no Stinking TVs - Third Generation Multi-channel Audio - Part 1

TVs? We don't need no Stinking TVs - Third Generation Multichannel Audio - Part 1

Conceptually, multichannel audio makes abundant sense. Practically, however, it has failed with a critical mass of listeners. Quadrasonic sound, circa 1971, was the first setback. While modern analysis of optimal multichannel reproduction now reveals the unfavorable placement of the rear channels, its primary undoing was the intractable challenge of lifting four high-quality discrete channels off a vinyl record.

Ten years ago, the industry tried again with optical disc media. A format war, coupled with the need for special equipment, resulted in little consumer interest, which was already a crowded space with the advent of home theater and portable MP3 players. The Blu-ray audio disc is the new promising third iteration owing to its seamless compatibility with home theater installations.

The audiophile and videophile have not merged into one species........This three-part series outlines the general concepts of an audiophile-friendly third-generation multichannel audio system.


Audio/Video Cables: The Science and the Insanity


Over the past several years, I noticed that some A/V cable companies have expanded their lines to include interconnects and speaker cables that cost in the thousands, no make that tens of thousands, of dollars. You can actually spend about $25,000 on one pair of speaker cables about 5 meters in length. For that same amount of money, you can purchase a Blu-ray player, top notch receiver, full set of 7.1 speakers, good subwoofer, 1080p projector, a projection screen, and all the A/V cables you need to connect them - in other words, a complete home theater system.


CalMAN Calibration Bootcamp: A Crash Course in the Science of Calibration

SpectraCal Calibration Bootcamp: A Crash Course in the Science of Calibration

In May, 2010, Senior Editor Chris Heinonen and I published an article here on Secrets looking at some of the popular consumer targeted video calibration software options. We tried the free HCFR program as well as the incredibly popular CalMAN platform marketed by SpectraCal, and a new entry, ChromaPure.


NAIM Audio Recap Tour

McCormack LD-2 and DNA-250

In my recent review of the Primaluna Dialogue Two I complained that tubes require maintenance. I didn't complain much as Primaluna does a great job of minimizing those requirements. I should have held my complaint for my solid state gear. That's right, even power supplies require maintenance. That's the message that Naim is sending out with their Recap Tour. That's 'Recap' as in 'Replace the Capacitors'.


Editorial: Playing Downloaded High Resolution Music Albums on a Universal Player Instead of Your Computer

editorial-banner-7-8-10Although SACDs and DVD-As have not succeeded as much as music studios had thought, and audiophiles had hoped, they are still being released in small quantities, particularly by independent labels. However, there is another alternative, which is downloading the high rez albums if they are not available commercially on discs in stores.


Vinyl vs. CD - A Running Commentary - Parts 6 - 9


When attending CES and Rocky Mountain Audio Fest over the past couple of years, I noticed that turntables are starting to be the majority of sources for exhibit rooms. We all have heard about the vinyl renaissance, but I just did not realize how strong it is. I mean, LPs are being played everywhere at hi-fi shows. So, we decided to compare Vinyl LPs to CDs in terms of the recording process, manufacturing, and the sound. Parts 1-5 (Part I: Introduction, Part 2: The Technology, Part 3: Turntables, Tonearms, and Cartridges, Part 4: The RIAA Curve, and Part 5: Setting up the Turntable) are published in a previous article. Here are Parts 6-9.