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Today’s Show:

What we’re thankful for ’14

Each year at this time of year we do a show where we discuss what we are thankful for. There are the obvious things to be thankful for like our families, especially our wives who put up with our home theater obsessions. And of course we are thankful for you, the listener/reader of our show. So as is tradition over the last six Thanksgivings, on today’s show we give you our list of consumer electronics things we are thankful for.

But first, a very quick rundown of last year’s list:

  • Aereo
  • Netflix
  • Insteon
  • The DVR
  • High Speed Internet
  • 4K TV

For 2014

Roomie Remote – I (Ara) drank the Roomie Remote Kool-Aid last year but this was the year that the application really went to another level. With the release of version 3 users now have powerful home controller that would cost $10K just a few years ago. If you are a DIY kind of person you may want to check out the Roomie Remote Control (www.roomieremote.com)

The Hopper – The single worst part of watching any television program in glorious high definition is the dreaded commercial break. The DVR has made our Thanksgiving list consistently, but the Hopper and the Auto-Hop feature take the DVR to the next level. Once you’ve tried it, it really is hard to go back. You almost find yourself avoiding shows that aren’t on the Prime networks because you have to manually skip commercials.

4K TV – This made the list last year but this year we actually own one. While there isn’t much 4K content out there yet we are thankful for early adopters who will push producers to release more content in glorious 4K.

Home Automation – This has become a bigger area for the show this year. Many don’t understand what our infatuation with the subject is until they automate something. It may be a light, a door lock or a garage door opener. But once they get the bug they are done. This year we saw numerous companies releasing hubs that talk to a disparate group of devices. Its never been easier to automate your home!

Amazon Prime – While we love Netflix, its great to see competition. And with the recent announcement that 4K content will be included with the Amazon Prime subscription what’s not to be thankful for? When Amazon first launched this service they barely had more than 10,000 movies and TV shows. Today they have more than 40,000. Throw in free two day shipping on many items sold through Amazon and you have a no brainer!

Amazon Fire TV – And what if there was a tiny set top player that could connect directly to your Amazon Prime library and stream it all seamlessly? There is. And what if that box could also play games? Games that cost a dollar or two, not fifty or sixty dollars. If you happen to have five boys, you may want to put one in every room of the house. We’re thankful for peace and quiet.

802.11 ac – Wifi makes all of our lives easier whether its for home theater or just web surfing. The issue is that everyone uses it and if you live in a high density environment it becomes unusable for home theater related uses. The ac update makes wireless and viable alternative to stringing wire all over your house. We still claim NOTHING beats wired but with ac its a tradeoff that doesn’t cost you too much.

NuForce / Emotiva – This is really less about NuForce, which Braden uses, or Emotiva, which Ara uses, and really more about our awakening to the idea of separates for home audio. Just like our original HDTVs, or the first time we ran front projection setups, or our first taste of home automation, separates are a whole new world of sound. And we love it. Yes, we’re thankful for surround sound and Dolby and DTS, but we’re also thankful for separates that sound amazing that we can actually afford.

Sonos - This year Sonos made it possible to have a multi room audio system that competes with systems costing thousands of dollars more. And those systems don’t even include speakers! Sonos has created speakers that look and sound great. No need to hide your speakers. Just put them out for everyone to see. Whether its music residing on a computer on your network, in the cloud or from a number of music services. Sonos gives you control! You can do it for less but not nearly as elegant. You can do it for more but why waste your money!

Download Episode #662

Posted by The HT Guys, November 21, 2014 3:22 AM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.