Considering its full plate of goodies--built-in Blu-ray player, iPod dock, and the capability to stream Netflix movies and Pandora's online music service--the $800 price tag on Samsung's HT-BD8200 sound bar is quite reasonable. But that's not to say it won't be a tough sell in these economically anxious times. And that's where the new HT-WS1 comes in. The smaller sound bar is strictly audio-only--no Blu-ray, no DVD, no video connectivity whatsoever. It's more of a glorified TV speaker, accepting either an analog stereo or digital-optical input (it can decode standard Dolby Digital and DTS … Read more
I'm asked this question all the time: "Are there any great-sounding TV speakers?"
People want "something good," but they don't want hassles, and they sure as hell don't want to decipher techno-babble setup instructions. Nowadays there are plenty of single speaker systems to choose from, but most of them don't sound all that good, and setup--while way better than a bona fide multichannel system--is still more complicated than it ought to be.
We first saw the Polk Audio SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2008, where we chose it as one of only three home audio finalists for Best of CES. While it ultimately didn't take the crown, we were still looking forward to the final product. However, the product was pushed back from its April release date, and didn't end up arriving until the autumn of 2008. Looking at it now, more than a year after its coming out party, the built-in DVD seems a bit quaint--most of the home theater systems in the … Read more
PALM DESERT, Calif.--We've all heard of the promise of single sign-on, but to date, the concept has yet to make serious inroads. It's still mainly a concept with potential.
But the idea makes sense: giving users a way to log in to all the sites they use without having to have a different set of IDs and passwords for each. Since many Web users are busy and easily distracted by everything going on in our lives, only having to remember a single ID and password would be immensely valuable.
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
Mr. Polk Audio himself, Matthew Polk, was in town last week at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan to demo his newest creation, the SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater ($1,200).
I reviewed Polk's SurroundBar 50 in June and liked it well enough, and while the SurroundBar 360 doesn't replace the older model it's more highly evolved. First off, it's a powered system so there's no need to buy an A/V receiver to use it. And as you might have judged by its name, the new one is a two-piece, speaker and console/DVD player system. Just add a display and you're good to go.
Oh, and one more thing--you won't have to add a subwoofer--the SurroundBar 360 makes a fair amount of bass on its own. When Polk played the system I assumed there was a sub somewhere in the hotel room, but in fact the skinny speaker produced a big, fat bass sound all by itself.… Read more