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by Gary Published on 06-27-2005 11:18 PM
Polk XRT12 XM Tuner OK Iíll admit it, Iím a XM junkie. Iím a big time jazz fan and the state of local jazz radio is very grim in this part of the world, so as soon as I heard about XM, I knew it was for me. This year when they added baseball, that was just icing on the cake. Since moving from my native Illinois, I have missed listening to my Cubs, so when the XRT12 became available I picked one up for my home. It gave me the chance to evaluate it for my clientís, while listening to Pat and Ron give the play by play. So then. Unlike most other XM tuners, the XRT12 is a designed to be a home stereo component. It is 17" wide by 2.3" high by 10.5" deep and weights 5 pounds. I not going to spend a lot of time on sound quality as that is not the purpose of this review, but it includes Burr-Brown Digital-to-Analog Converters, it has both coax and optical digital as well as RCA analog outputs. Considering the compressed nature of XM, sound quality is very good, it's not going to satisfy hard core audiophiles but it is easily the best sounding XM radio Iíve heard.
by Kelly Published on 06-24-2005 09:59 AM
Recently used one in a retrofit with existing wiring, speakers (4pr), volume controls, etc. I'll leave out all the specific job details, suffice it to say that I replaced a lot of the old stuff, and varified the load that would be placed on the amp. Anything above about 40% volume level on the Denon would cause the unit to go into "protect" mode after approximately 20-30 minutes (And this in a very open cabinet with a lot of circulation). I was not impressed....I've seen some rather low end AV receivers used in this manner really outperform this thing. Possibly a bad unit, with a weak amp? Regardless, I'll not use one again.
by AHEM Published on 04-24-2005 12:37 AM
I just installed my first one of these today, and at Gary's request, here's my take on it: First Impressions Prior to ordering, my first impression was how confusing all of the optional cards are to plan out and implement. The 848 uses three different sizes of card slots and each size slot is designed for a variety of different expansion cards. It is very important to plan out both the current and future uses of the system as each card array contains a very limited amount of expansion cards. For instance, the medium sized card slots will accomidate either 4 CO or 4 Hybrid extension cards with a maximum of 4 cards per chassis. The large card slots will support either 8 port SLT cards, 8 port proprietary extension cards, etc. Without having the installation manual, you'll easily pull all of your hair out trying to determine how many cards you'll need and be able to support. Upon unpacking, I noticed several nice improvements over the 624 systems. Cable management has been improved
by Gary Published on 04-15-2005 05:06 PM
I often talk about products or manufactures being audio only in an audio/video world. If youíre installing whole house music systems and ignoring distributed video, youíre selling your customer short and hurting your bottom line. We sell these systems, as ďDistributed TV SystemsĒ the idea is to take the simplicity of your home theater and extend it to the entire house. Whether they want to admit it or not, most people's home entertainment is TV centric. Allowing people to watch their Tivo or use the on screen interface to their music server at any monitor in the house is a very powerful thing. For the dealer, you get two big benefits, you sell more control (and make more money) and your clientís use the system more and tell more of their friends just how cool it is. Moving along. The Sonance Video Matrix is an 8X8 matrix video switcher that feeds up to eight video sources to eight monitors. The sources can be component, s-video, or composite. It supports resolutions up to 1080i, making it perfect for whole house HDTV. Control is via RS232, sorry no IR. Distribution is via Cat5, very much like the Crestron PVID, this switcher it uses one pair for composite, two for s-video, and three for component. Unlike the PVID it converts composite to S and vice versa. The front panel includes a USB connection that's for local control with a laptop. There's also a series of lights that indicate what source is routed to each zone.
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