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Saturday, July 29, 2006

FEED(back) ME!!!!!

Hello Treblemakers,

First of all, for those of you who have read and/or are readers of Treblemaker, thank you for supporting the site.

Secondly, as we start to grow a little and our content gets deeper we hope that it will continually improve - with your help.

And on that note, if anyone has suggestions about the site, I would greatly appreciate any advice.

Check out our new contact page and let us know what's on your mind.

The Treblemaker

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sony VRD-MC1

The Sony VRD-MC1 DVDirect multi-function DVD recorder allows both video and digital photos to be recorded to DVD without using a computer. Features include a built-in color LCD screen to preview video and pictures, software for burning CD/DVDs and easy USB connections for making copies to share with friends and family.

SonyStyle: "The new Sony VRD-MC1 DVDirect allows both video and digital photos to be recorded to DVD without requiring a PC. DVDirect has video inputs on one side for direct connection of a camcorder/VCR/PVR for easy direct recording of video to DVD+R/+RW discs. DVDirect also has memory card slots for the 5 popular camera memory cards and will directly record images from the memory card to DVD-R/-RW as a DVD slideshow. It’s even possible to connect a compatible PictBridge printer to DVDirect and directly print photos from camera memory cards or photo DVDs created with DVDirect. DVDirect can also be connected to a PC via USB 2.0 and make copies of Video/photo DVDs, advanced DVD projects, and much more."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

National Semiconductor Wants iPods Back

National Semiconductor received a lot of press last month for announcing plans to give every employee a 30-gig video iPod. About 8,500 people currently work at National Semiconductor. The iPods were a nice way to say thank you to their employees for helping give the company their "best fiscal year" of all time.

Well, I hope National Semiconductor enjoyed all that positive press while it lasted. It just went sour.

After giving all 8,500 employees iPods, the company then laid off 35 people from their Arlington plant and demanded they give their iPods back. National Semiconductor claims that the iPods were just loaners.

First you get fired. Then you have to give back the iPod. How's that for a bad day? Kind of reminds me of the movie Office Space when Milton got moved to the basement and Bill wouldn't let him take his red stapler.
Bill Lumbergh: Milt, we're gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?
Milton Waddams: Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler...

Anyway, National Semiconductor didn't give a reason for firing the 35 employees at their Arlington plant. Maybe they needed a way to pay for those 8,500 iPods? The 30GB video iPod normally retails for about $300.

So 8,500 x $300 = $2,550,000... Oops. I forgot to subtract 35 from 8,500 first. Let's hope someone (like Milton) doesn't set the Arlington plant on fire.

digg story | methodshop

Monday, July 24, 2006

Logitech's Portable iPod Speaker

At just 11.4 by 4.5 by 1.2 inches, the Logitech mm28 is a marvel of modern technology. Using NXT's flat-panel speaker technology, Logitech has created a portable speaker that sounds remarkably rich and full for its size.

This speaker is a sensation. By simply hooking this up to your iPod you essentially have a home audio system that sounds great with great portability.

We tried the Logitech mm28 with the following albums...some of the best for testing speakers.

In an earlier test of the Onkyo D-302E we learned a valuable lesson about the type of music to bring out the true characteristics of a speaker.
These musical choices will bring out the true character of any system.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Flat-Panel TV Prices Dropping Soon

Lower-than-expected demand for Plasma TVs is spurring makers to cut prices - setting the stage for a bargain-filled back-to-school and holiday shopping season.

This is really good news for anyone looking to make the jump from a heavy and bulky SONY Trinitron for example. Three years ago a 27-inch SONY that's now $340 could be had for about $700. And now for just a few hundred more you can have a beautiful plasma hanging on your wall...taking-up a lot less space too!

In all honestly didn't we see this coming? It's not unlike computers whose processing power doubles every year. While the "average" computer stays modestly priced we see the power of that machine growing disproportionately to its price. It's not a bad trend, computers get faster and cheaper while Plasma TVs get more affordable.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Panasonic TH-42PX60U

This entry-level Panasonic plasma is perfect for the avid TV watcher who wants a really good picture without breaking the bank.

The first thing it has going for it is that it's 42 inches...that's just plain and simple a nice size screen to watch the game, your favorite show, or play some games.

Secondly, with its slim profile it doesn't take up too much space. At only 3.7 inches thick there are lots of options when it comes to placement within your home or apartment. It does come with a pedestal base but if you're planning on mounting this on the wall you can check out the Mustang MV-TILT3 Tilt Wall Mount or a basic Univeral Tilt Wall Mount.

Thirdly, this TV will compliment any system with the right connection. Whether you have a top-of-the line audio system with the latest and greatest Blu-Ray DVD player or mid-range components, with some high-quality cables this TV is going to make everything look and sound better. We've heard good things about the ULT V1000 CV-4 THX Ultra 1000 Component Video Cable and know from personal expereince that good cables are a good investment when it comes to getting the most from your entire system.

The scoop on this plasma is that it's not a fully-loaded overpriced TV with tons of features you'll never use, just a good solid performer.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Harman Kardon TC30 Universal Remote

The Harman Kardon TC30 is a great remote. It does everything it should do and does it intuitively. It feels good in your hand, won't roll off the couch, and is easy to program.

With the functionality covered, let's get the point of buying such an item. This remote is simply one of the coolest looking pieces of technolgy going...all other remotes look a 1950s toaster compared to this.

According to Harman Kardon, "There’s a good reason that the "TC" in "TC 30" stands for "Take Control." This unique product does more than just operate single components; it dramatically changes the way you configure and use a remote control. Setup is done directly with our Web site, where plain language "wizards" recognize the brand and model of all your equipment and automatically send the right codes back to the TC 30. The TC 30 remote groups all the needed commands, including "Watch TV," "Listen to CD," "Watch a DVD" and "Listen to The Bridge," into unified activities. All you need to do is look at the color LCD screen, select the icon that matches the activity, and the TC 30 does the rest. It’s easy, it’s fun and it makes operating otherwise complex systems a breeze."

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Teen's iPod Struck by Lightning

It was just two weeks ago that the British Medical Journal warned of the dangers of using a cell phone during a thunderstorm. The doctors said having such devices near your head when hit by lightning can result in even more severe injuries... Maybe they should add iPods to that list.

On July 6th, a Colorado (USA) teenager named Jason Bunch was mowing the lawn and listening to his iPod. The next thing he knew he was lying in bed bleeding from his ears and vomiting. Believe it or not, Jason's iPod was struck by lightning.

As you can see from this Denver Post photo below, the lightning seriously burned the inside of his ears. Unfortunately, he's also lost some of his hearing.

To make things worse, Jason had a big date that night. According to the Denver Post, he called the girl the next day from his hospital bed and told the girl "I did not stand you up. I was struck by lightning."

In case you are curious, the Denver Post also details what happened to Jason's iPod:
"The wounds follow the line of his iPod, from his ears down his right side to his hip, where he was carrying the device. The iPod has a hole in the back, and the earbuds dissolved into green threads."
One weird thing about the Denver Post article is that they mention Jason was listening to Metallica when he was struck by lightning. It seems like an irrelevant fact unless he was listening to the Metallica album called Ride the Lightning. It just seemed kind of weird.

If Jason was listening to Engelbert Humperdinck would the Denver Post still have reported what he was listening to?

digg story | methodshop

Monday, July 10, 2006

Party with the Denon AVR-1906

The proliferation of the iPod is changing the way people enjoy music - not only on the go, but also at home. If an iPod is the centerpiece of your home-audio system, you might want to consider a fully-loaded and versatile receiver that will help you get the most out of your iPod's compressed digital audio files.

The Denon SVR-1906 not only delivers great home theater sound, but also offers plenty of convenient features that can make your entertainment system easy to use and enjoy.

Denon's acclaimed high-current amplification drives up to 7 home theater speakers with power and precision. Pair up that power with a Harman Kardon HKTS 14 and you'll have system that can wake the neighbors and keep any party hopping. Just try not to play your David Hasselhoff CDs too loud (or at all).

Worst Scratched iPod Contest

Does your iPod look more like the photo on the right or the left? Chances are the average iPod owner will collect a few scratches here and there over time. That's especially true for iPod Nano owners. But if your iPod looks like it got into a fight with a gang of alley cats, then you might want to check out a company called ColorEnvy.

ColorEnvy provides scratch repair and custom paint jobs for your iPod. To help promote their services, they they are currently running a contest to find the world's "worst scratched iPod." The winner will receive a full refurbishing and custom coloring of their choice, as well as a free iPod scratch removal kit for any future accidents.

To enter, just email them a picture of your scratched iPod. If you want to see who you are up against, check out the other contestants on display in the ColorEnvy gallery. The contest ends August 1st. Good luck and next time get yourself a good protective iPod case.

digg story | methodshop

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1

Ready to turn your computer into the centerpiece of your home audio system? The KPMU 5.1 is a veritable 500-watt powerhouse. Each of the four identical satellites house two-way enclosures with one .75" metal polymeter dome tweeter inside a MicroTractrix horn and a long-throw 3'" driver with a convex dust cap. The center speaker has the same, but positioned horizontally.

Klipsch says, "After setting industry standards with the acclaimed personal audio system, Klipsch Audio Technologies introduces a new and enhanced version. The Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 augments the performance and style of the award-winning ProMedia 5.1 with an even more impressive subwoofer, updated crossover networks, and new cosmetics on the satellites and control module. It is currently available in 120 volt and a 230 volt version."

Obviously Klipsch thinks pretty highly of their own product, but what are other people saying about the ProMedia Ultra 5.1?
Barron's: "...if the mood strikes you, you can crank up a Foo Fighters CD , stomp you feet and clear your head. In fact, you can turn your desktop computer into a full-blown concert hall with Klipsch's ProMedia 5.1 surround-sound speaker system. The 200-watt subwoofer and five 60-watt speakers deliver sound that is clear, crisp and, when desired, astonishingly loud. In a Barron's test, they shook the windows of a sturdy suburban home."

Home Theater Magazine: "At low volume, the ProMedia 5.1 system can subtly imbue a workspace with the full ambiance of any elaborately mastered DVD or wrap the listener in a warm musical blanket. Cranked up, this thing simply and effortlessly rocks the house."
Once you get a new system, the next step is to try some new tunes. Here's an eclectic list of tunes that offer a great mix of lyrical artistry and outstanding sound.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Colleague's Take on Headphones and Audiophiles

This is an interesting opinion article on headphones, audiophiles, iPods and good audio on a shoestring budget. The rest of this website is entertaining as well.

The Author, N2XE is John Ceccherelli - electrical engineer, radio amateur, writer, hiker, rock climber, husband, father, shameless self-promoter, provocateur and hopeless romantic.

John recommends the Sennheiser CX 300s (left).

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Toshiba Still Wants Unified DVD Format

Toshiba reported it would still like to develop a unified format for advanced optical DVD Discs, but two competing - and incompatible - products are likely to hit the market at first. With the next generation of DVD players starting to hit the market, we're seeing another technology battle and compnaies jockeying to position their technology in such a way that it will become the indutry standard and consequently become the generic.

Toshiba is a leading proponent of next-generation HD DVD optical disc technology, which competes with the Blu-Ray standard promoted by Sony.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD Player

You'll experience spectacular picture and sound — and a few operational quirks — with this groundbreaking player. The Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD Player is the latest and greatest offering from one of the most trusted names in home electronics.

Crutchfield: "Toshiba hit a homerun with this player! The picture and sound quality of standard DVDs is incredible. I find myself reviewing my entire DVD library and discovering nuances I never saw previously. This player is without a doubt the best up-converting DVD player out there (as many professional reviewers agree)."


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