In the age of the digital music download and the pervasive presence of tiny portable MP3 players and earphones as the listening method of choice, Howard Bardach enjoys a unique position as both a proponent and purveyor of the true audiophile tradition among music enthusiasts. The man loves his work, and his enthusiasm for the sound quality and musicality of classic analog gear and recordings borders on the evangelical.
Early in 2008, a friend sent me an email with a link to a YouTube video. The video was a preview of a movie he was producing/directing called "Overnite Shift". I was immediately intrigued by the excellent look of this no-budget movie, and something about the characters piqued my interest. I did however have reservations concerning the audio, which to my ears was problematic. On getting in touch with him, he informed me that most of the film had already been shot, but that he was having issues with the sound person delivering on his commitments. The director and I had previously worked together, so he asked me if I wanted to become involved in the project.
At the heart of the receiver is the surround-sound processor. The most basic surround processors use a Dolby Pro Logic II decoder. Pro Logic II is a "matrix" system that takes an encoded two-channel stereo signal and converts it to a five-channel full bandwidth (range) playback (Left/Center/Right/Left Surround/Right Surround),resulting in a surround experience. Most TV shows are encoded in Dolby Pro Logic II, as are the majority of VHS videos. You can also play DVDs through a Pro Logic II only-receiver because DVD players can synthesize a Pro Logic II signal that mimics a surround soundtrack. The newer Dolby Pro Logic IIx adds the ability of converting stereo or 5.1-channel surround sound for seamless 6.1 or 7.1 playback.
The Used Department at B&H Photo's NYC Superstore is larger than most camera stores, and much of the used gear we have in stock isn't even on display. We have what must be the most eclectic assortment of used classics, limited edition, and special purpose cameras you're likely to find in one location. But since many of our best, long-time customers live too far to ever stop by and say 'Hi', we thought we'd write about some of the more interesting items we had on hand at the time of this writing.
Back in the mid-70s Nikon made a 6/2.8 fisheye lens that captured a 220° circular image, which is 40° wider than the standard-issue 180° fisheyes manufactured today. Weighing in at 11 lbs, it had a front element the shape and size of a small goldfish bowl (9.3") and all-but-dwarfed the Nikon F hanging off the back of it. You could actually see behind the camera. And it could be had for about $13,500 in 1975 Yankee dollars.
Fast forward 35 years and I find myself palming a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1, a sub-compact bridge camera with a 9.1Mp Super Exmor CMOS sensor (1/2.4"), full-res burst-rates of up to 10 fps, a 20x Sony G-series optically-stabilized zoom lens, and a long list of features you'd expect to find nowadays on bridge-style digicams.
Until recently, options for multi-monitor support were limited. You could accept the fact that your computer didn't support it – or replace the computer entirely. Or, assuming your machine had an open expansion slot, you could take on a DIY video-card upgrade, a project fraught with the joys of research, installation, troubleshooting, and without any guarantee of success.
There are many special moments that we would love to share with friends and family, from sonny's first baseball game, to that cute thing the baby does when she eats her sweet potatoes. But unless you live in the same neighborhood, grandma may not be able to witness Mary toddle unsteadily across the living room floor to retrieve her favorite teething toy.
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