Digital Media Update
Last December’s newsletter focused on great digital streaming devices. This month, we are following up on two fantastic streaming devices, the Netgear EVA9150 and the Linn DS Streaming Music System.
The EVA9150 is an upgrade from the popular EVA8000. The EVA8000 became an instant success, due mainly to its ability to playback and catalog DVD movies. Customers with DVD collections could rip and store these movies onto their home network systems, then access the movies at anytime by simply browsing through onscreen graphical renderings of the DVD cases, complete with title, actor, and genre search capabilities. With the introduction of the EVA8000, customers could purchase a DVD library system for a couple hundred dollars, something that would normally cost several thousand dollars with proprietary DVD movie systems. The EVA system did not require a dedicated PC, just the player itself and the necessary storage to hold ripped DVDs.
The newer EVA9150 adds an internal 500 gigabyte hard drive, which is a fantastic product addition. By including the internal hard drive, digital files can be added directly to the player, rather than from external storage devices. The EVA9150 is still a network player, so owners continue their ability to access digital media on existing networks, as well as through the internet, but those who simply want to access files locally off of the player, the integrated hard drive adds another accessibility option.
Additionally, the EVA9150 connects to Flickr, YouTube, and other online media sites. The added hard drive provides the needed “buffer” space to temporarily store the incoming internet stream. This small storage reservoir ensures glitch-free viewing of online media content. It is no longer a quest to play stored DVDs, people can now access a vast resource of movies, music, and information via the internet.
HDMI, 1080p, and digital surround sound support complete the package. Typical home theater digital connections revolutionize the internet media experience by relocating the digital media portal to the family room media system. Additionally, Control4 has built an IP driver that allows for full operation of the EVA9150 via network connection. Pressing the Control4 remote or touchscreen provides immediate response from the EVA9150, where music, movies, and internet ratio are accessed instantly.
At $499, the EVA 9150 is a great all-in-one product that integrates well with systems large and small. Since December, we have been specifying EVA systems, and they have proven themselves many times over.
Linn DS System
Founded over 20 years ago, Linn entered the Hi Fi market as a precision builder of what has now become the world's benchmark record turntable, the LP-12. In its nearly thirty-year development, Linn has grown from its small Eaglesham foundry to Great Britain's top ten manufacturing facilities. Boasting CD Players, Tuners, Preamplifiers, Amplifiers, and Speaker Systems, Linn now builds complete Hi Fi and Multi-Channel Playback Systems. Using such leading-edge technology as surface-mount solid state, switch-mode power supplies, and microprocessor control, Linn systems pass many Aerospace tolerance specifications.
Linn focuses on extracting musical signals from source material, then carefully moves the musical signals through quality electronics to deliver the truest musical experience possible. Linn’s philosophy starts with the source, then moves outward to control and eventual playback. During our first listening experience with the Linn DS “Digital Streaming” player, Linn representatives had two similar-looking boxes connected to their leading-edge reference Hi Fi system; one box was their flagship CD-12 CD Player, and the other was Linn's DS Streaming Music System. Linn representatives asked us to compare the musical quality of the CD-12 to their new DS streaming device. We were stunned to discover the DS with connected hard drive actually sounded better than Linn's flagship CD player.
How could this be? According to Linn, CD players must perform multiple complex tasks, simply to spin the CD correctly and to extract digital information from the laser pickup, all while maintaining signal integrity. The DS System has no moving parts; it retrieves packets of incoming digital data from a local hard drive, analyzes the data, provides critical error correction, and converts digital data to analog music. The improved efficiency provides performance superior to any CD player.
The added benefit of storing one’s cherished CD collection into hard drive is immense. Firstly, CDs are ripped once, then left alone in their cases. No more scratches and no more searching for the CD in a mass of scattered CDs. Linn has partnered with Apple to provide an IPhone/Ipod application, allowing for listeners to access albums and songs from their IPhone or Ipod Touch interface. Cover art and search capabilities make accessing the greatest musical experience easy and enjoyable. Since Control4 also has an IPhone/IPod application, allowing IPhones or Ipod Touches to become Control4 touchscreens, Control4 owners can access their Linn DS Systems house-wide when paired with a Linn DS System.
More importantly, modern digital recordings are moving beyond CD technology. CD specification is limited to 16 bits of incoming data, clocked at 41,000Hz. New “high bit rate ” recordings are expanded to 24 bits of incoming data, clocked at 96,000Hz. This is a vast improvement in signal quality. With the advent of the internet, high bit rate recordings are available to purchase and download. Linn has a fantastic web site, http://www.linnrecords.com/, where you can purchase and download “Studio Master Quality” recordings.
Pairing the ultimate musical listening experience with the ease of access and control via IPhone/Ipod, Linn’s DS has become the benchmark for modern musical media playback. Linn has high-end, mid-line, and entry-level solutions within the DS line. You can learn more about the DS System by visiting Linn’s Web site:
Digital entertainment is an exciting and ever-growing technology. Physical “discs” and other playback software are quickly becoming things of the past. Moreover, the experience of accessing media has become more streamlined and simplified.
We look forward to
hearing from you. Here are our contact links:
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Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved, Sight And Sounds
Netgear's EVA 9150 ...
With the ability to playback ripped DVDs and access multiple online media formats, Netgear's EVA9150 is a great product . (click image to view data sheet)
Rich Graphical Control Interface
You can view the 9150 in action, including the user interface, by watching this YouTube video. (click image to view streaming content)
Linn's DS System
Linn provides the highest possible listening experience and an ergonomic control interface with their DS system. (click image to view product information)
Linn's IPhone/IPod Integration
Linn has made the ultimate listening experience possible through simple software solutions. (click image to view product information)
Control4's IPhone/IPod Integration
Pair Control4's IPhone/Ipod Control and Linn's DS System, and you have a great combination. (click image to view product information)
The Next generation of Music
High bit rate recordings are increasing in popularity. Linn records has an online music download site (click image to view Linn Records)