Home Theater & Speaker Week in Review 3/28/18

Cambridge Audio Launches Edge Series

For the last 50 years UK company Cambridge Audio has been known as a source of quality amplifiers and one of the companies that has been at the forefront of creating the well balanced “British Sound”. Here at Aperion, we’ve long been fans of them and recommend their gear as they make our speakers sound amazing. So it’s great news that Digital Trends has announced that Cambridge Audio have just released three new Hi-Fi models, the Edge A integrated amplifier, the Edge NQ preamplifier with network player and the Edge W power amplifier. CA pioneered the use of torodial transformers in amplifiers and they’ve been known to deliver some of the cleanest power available in consumer amps ever since. Now they are taking that a step further with twin torodials that feature opposing symmetry to cancel out even more electromagnetic interference and maintain consistent tonality.

In addition to the new transformer design, both the Edge A and Edge W feature Class AB amplifiers with bias voltage (a fancy way to say DC power) to reduce the distortion down to a THD rating of .02% for a full range signal, which is very indeed very low. In terms of wattage, both models offer two channels of 100W RMS into 8 ohms.  Most impressively, they both have an extremely simplified and elegant signal path of just 14 components between the input and outputs, a feat of engineering that will keep the sound as accurate and lifelike as possible. If you’re into home theater, pairing the Edge W to power the front channels with an A/V Receiver to drive the rest of the system would make for a killer set up. Prices range from $3000 for the Edge W power amp to $5000 for the Edge A integrated amp, so not exactly for the budget minded, but equipment this well made should last for decades and represent a “sound” investment.

Google Play Movies and TV App Consolidates Streaming Search

It’s the definition of first world problems,  but with so many streaming platforms these days it can be a bit of a hassle to figure out which service will allow you to watch the 1986 BMX classic “Rad”. Spoiler alert, you’re probably going to have to pony up for a DVD if you really want to watch Lori Laughlin and fluorescent dirt bikes. In the past, free streaming search site Can I Stream.it? has been a great resource, but unfortunately the site has now slowed to the point where it is basically unusable. But fret no more, according to Engadget, Google has come to the rescue with its Google Play Movies and TV app, which will let you know if a title is available on Hulu, HBO, Amazon, the three major networks, Disney Now and more with around two dozen streaming services included in total. Which is great news if you’re an Android user or if you want to use the web version at the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, there is one glaring omission in the form of Netflix, but hopefully that will be added down the road. You can also use the app to create and maintain a watchlist of things you plan on viewing once you have free time, possibly around 2030 or so, and you can filter titles by genre, release date and ratings.

Bleacher Report to Offer Sports Streaming Service

In other streaming news, over at Variety they are reporting that Bleacher Report, the popular sports news service owned by Turner Sports, will be launching Bleacher Report Live next month and feature NBA League Pass and UEFA soccer matches, PGA events, NCAA championship games and more. No word on pricing yet, but the service will be free when it launches and then move to a pay model this summer. The service’s programs will be on an a la carte basis with individual games and events being the only offerings and no subscription packages. B/R Live also plans to offer a “micro-transaction” model for NBA games where you can join a game in progress and watch five minutes for 99 cents and then load in another five minutes to keep watching. So basically it’s like a collect call, but a lot cooler and if it succeeds, a reference that people under 25 will actually get. The first event to be streamed will be the new developmental football Spring League game on April 7th, and will feature perennial trainwreck Johnny Manziel, which isn’t exactly what we’d call an auspicious beginning.

Star Wars : The Last Jedi 4K, Blu-Ray and DVD Release and Mark Hamill Interview

And finally, one of the biggest releases of the year comes out this week in the form of Star Wars: The Last Jedi which will be available in all the usual formats of 4K/BD/DVD. You can head over to Best Buy for the limited edition Steelbook version while it lasts, as well as Target which is selling an exlusive edition that includes a 40 page gallery book with conceptual art and quotes from Rian Johnson and the design team. In other Star Wars news, Mark Hamill made some interesting comments to IGN yesterday, including that he had seen George Lucas’ plot outlines for the Star Wars sequels that he never made. Hamill said, “George didn’t kill Luke until the end of [Episode] 9, after he trained Leia.” Not getting to see Leia as a jedi does seem like a missed opportunity for the series and another reason that makes Carrie Fisher’s death all the more heartbreaking. Call us crazy, but bringing Lucas on as a consultant for these new movies might have been a good idea and a way to make them feel a little more contiguous with the previous films. Oh well, such is life, at least we can all agree that it will be a miracle if “Solo” turns out to be any good.


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