Audio News

Audio News for May 7, 2013

The End of New Devices; Cut the Cord and Save; 47% of Entertainment Devices Are Connected to the Internet; Q1 Growth of Home Media Spending; Thiel Audio Ships First Speakers Since Acquisition

Published on May 7, 2013

The End of New Devices – In the current online issue of hometoys.com, there’s an article titled “The End of an Era, The End of New Devices.” See it. There’s millions of new devices out there being marketed as a replacement for your computer, and people use them to develop, produce, distribute, share and enjoy with everybody—including some people they would rather not have access to their information. Everyone thinks they are the center of the huge data universe, creating things for and in the social media. See the chart of adult gadget ownership over time. The writer would like to lighten his load and disconnect more often, before we all turn into Borgs. Not a bad idea.

Cut the Cord and Save – With many persons spending a sizable chunk of their income on their monthly cable or satellite TV service, there is a movement to cut that cord and save by using the idea that broadcasting in the U.S. was originally set up for: OTA, or over-the-air reception. Few pay for FM reception; why pay for TV reception if one is in or near a metropolitan area with dozens of stations broadcasting free higher resolution images and sound than one receives on any cable or satellite service?  The best results are had with an outdoor TV antenna, though there are some good indoor models now available. If you have a legacy analog TV, you will need a digital tuner, which was once free but now costs about $50.  You will either receive local stations or not—there is no halfway, snowy/noisy reception.  And the image quality on even an analog TV is immensely improved—that should have been promoted in the original offer for the free converters and more people would have applied for them then.  Plus many TV programs and series are available on the Internet, some at no charge. If a pay-per-view series really gains your interest, just be patient for the release of the Blu-rays or DVDs. Start your investigation with one of the several suppliers of TV antennas: www.antennasdirect.com

47% of Entertainment Devices Are Connected to the Internet – The “Connected Intelligence Home Report” from the NPR Group notes that 47% of connected home entertainment products were hooked up to the Internet. Blu-ray players are the leading connected device, but this should change soon with streaming-media players becoming the entertainment device most installed and connected. The other most popular devices are smart TVs and video game consoles. 40% of all TVs are now connected to the Internet, either thru the TV itself or a connected device used to watch Netflix.  Netflix, YouTube and Hulu are the current top apps used in smart TVs.

Q1 Growth of Home Media Spending – According to the Digital Entertainment Group, there were increases in both digital and physical home entertainment media sales during the first quarter of this year. Sales were 5.08% higher in overall consumer spending compared to the same period last year. Blu-ray disc sell-thru and digital distribution saw double-digit growth. New releases on Blu-ray climbed 37% and catalog titles increased 16% over Q1 2012.

Thiel Audio Ships First Speakers Since Acquisition -  The CS 1.7 ($4000 a pair) two-way floor-standing speaker is the first new product shipped since the acquisition of Thiel by a small Nashville-based private-equity firm. The speaker is of moderate size and uses real-wood veneers. The company’s Coherent Source design is used to phase- and time-align the drivers.




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