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Audio News for November 5, 2013

Five Common Home Theater Mistakes; Jump in Sell-Thru Revenue for Electronics in Q3 According to DEG; The Economist Says Digital Divide Should be Redefined; Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Others Seeking More Screen Time With You

Published on November 5, 2013

Five Common Home Theater Mistakes – Aperion Audio has a feature on “Five Common Home Theater Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make.” Here is a quick summary (with our editorializations):

1) Don’t audition speakers only in the stores; insist on an in-home audition for your final decision.
2) Don’t place speakers simply where it’s convenient. Observe the proper angle, height and distance values to your sweet spot for both music listening and TV. Don’t mount either your TV display or speakers too high.
3) Don’t skip the calibration of both your receiver/preamp and HDTV.  It may be worth it to have an ISF expert in to professionally calibrate your display; it’s not as expensive as it used to be because the latest sets have so many built-in adjustments. [I just had it done and it made a world of difference on both 3D and standard video sources...Ed.]
4) Don’t use the wrong audio cables; high end cables can sound better but there are limits. Consider not using any connectors at the ends of speaker cables. Usually get the least expensive in HDMI cables but there are exceptions—see this review.
5) Don’t use poor source materials. Many older CDs, MP3s, online streaming and much FM are really terrible, so go with xrcds, audiophile vinyl, SACDs, Pure Audio Blu-rays and true hi-res downloads for the best possible sonics on your system.

Jump in Sell-Thru Revenue for Electronics in Q3 According to DEG – The Digital Entertainment Group has issued its third quarter report, which shows a 46% jump in electronic sell-thru consumer spending compared to the same quarter last year. Total consumer spending on all digital products is now up 24% vs. a year ago. Blu-ray sales year-to-date are up 7% and the number of Blu-ray homes is now at 62.3 million in the U.S. More than 7.1 million HDTVs were told to U.S. consumers in Q3 and HDTV penetration exceeds 102 million U.S. households. However, the “box office value” of home entertainment titles in Q3 was down 6.4%, and overall consumer spending was flat compared to Q3 2012.

The Economist Says Digital Divide Should be Redefined – A new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 218 telecommunications industry executives and government policymakers thruout the world. It states that current strategies for overcoming the digital divide fail to address underlying gaps such as affordability, usage, and relevance of content. Research shows that broadband penetration levels fall by as much as half in lower income populations, and 56% lack the ability or skills to use information and communications technology. There is a huge urban/rural digital divide everywhere. In the U.S., 14.5 million of the 19m people in rural areas lack broadband access. Policymakers often lack the ability or skills to use ICT. Funding is the biggest area of disagreement between the industry and policymakers. Competition and regulation are also important. In France, 86% of households have a choice of at least two providers, but in the U.S. only 14% of households have a choice.

Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Others Seeking More Screen Time With You -  A contest is brewing to see how many screens an Internet company can control. No screen is off limits: not PCs, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, TVs and even Google Glass. There will be heavy advertising everywhere.




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