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  • Jan 26, 2019

    Sound Bars, Streaming Services, and Trends at CES 2019 | #191

    Details

    Nestled away on our broadcast platform at CES 2019, we took some time to reflect on past trends and look towards the future. Starting the show, audio journalist for The Wirecutter, SoundStage! Solo, and JazzTimes, Brent Butterworth, shares his excitement about modern sound bars and urges us all to get one for our home theaters. Then, we discuss format wars, their effect on consumers, and what is going on in the world of digital media. Next, we explore Brent’s new-found appreciation for The Beatles, a band he’s traditionally had a fair amount of disdain for. Closing the show, President and CEO of the International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA), Rob Grimes, tells us why identifying the trends over the fads is important for him in his bid to stay ahead of the curve in the food and beverage vertical. Tune in for the latest from CES 2019.

     

    ·[00:00:00] The Proliferation of Good Sound bars

    ·[00:07:19] Vizio’s Sound bars Are Great Experience

    ·[00:12:30] A Lesson From Format Wars of the Past

    ·[00:19:51] 2019: The Year of Big Media Shake-ups

    ·[00:27:54] Two Guys Pontificating About The Beatles

    ·[00:35:51] Identifying Trends over Fads at CES 2019

     

    [00:00:00] The Proliferation of Good Sound bars
    When it comes to a great home theater experience, video is only half the picture. Audio journalist for The Wirecutter, SoundStage! Solo, and JazzTimes, Brent Butterworth, and Mike discuss the importance of getting high quality audio in your living room with modern sound bars. Roughly eight years ago, a ‘good sound bar’ was a bit of an oxymoron, but when Brent was treated to a test of one of Vizio’s first high-quality units, he was blown away. Now that level of craftsmanship is the norm as prices plummet. If you want to kick your home theater into high gear, do yourself a favor, get a sound bar!

     

    [00:07:19] Vizio’s Sound bars Are Great Experience
    While the quality floor on sound bars continues to rise, so does the ceiling. Audio journalist for The Wirecutter, SoundStage! Solo, and JazzTimes, Brent Butterworth, tells us about a 36 inch Vizio sound bar that he recently tested that comes with a subwoofer and an AV receiver. This speaker may look small but it’s packing huge sound. Get your hands on this self-contained theater system for $500, or pick up the $550 version with upward firing speakers that simulate an overhead effect, wrapping you in a blanket of sound. In other news, Sennheiser revealed a hefty looking $2,500 speaker that comes with the promise of big sound in a single, self-contained unit. Listen in to find out more about high-end audio.

     

    [00:12:30] A Lesson From Format Wars of the Past
    If there’s one lesson media companies have learned it’s that consumers HATE competing content formats. Well, Fraunhofer Labs, the company responsible for MP3 and the MPEG format, may not have taken that lesson to heart. We discuss Fraunhofer’s new MPEG-H, and the history of audio and video format wars that have been going on for the past few decades with Audio journalist for The Wirecutter, SoundStage! Solo, and JazzTimes, Brent Butterworth. From VHSC vs 8mm on camcorders, to HDDVD vs Blu Ray most recently, whenever big companies fight over who’s format is better, no one wins. Thankfully, as technology continues to advance beyond physical media into the age of streaming, these bicker-battles have less of an effect on consumers. Have you ever been frustrated by competing media formats?

     

    [00:19:51] 2019: The Year of Big Media Shake-ups
    20 years ago, if you we’re a content creator headed to CES you’d likely be asked “what for?” Now, CES is brimming with YouTubers, movie production companies, and other media entities. The Wirecutter, SoundStage! Solo, and JazzTimes, Brent Butterworth, and Mike theorize that 2019 will be a year of big media shake ups with many content providers jumping in on the streaming service craze. Will we face a world of highly divided avenues for consumers to access their favorite shows? With Disney, and potentially AT&T, set to roll out their own streaming services, we wonder how these moves will affect the content currently available on established streaming services like Netflix. Many people have been successful in supplanting their traditional (and expensive) cable packages with their favorite streaming services, but with an impending fracturing of content, will consumers suffer as they pay $10-$15 per month for a host of subscriptions? It may sound gloomy, but Brent provides a happy realization – music streaming services like Spotify are a colossal savings for consumers. What are your favorite streaming services?

     

    [00:27:54] Two Guys Pontificating About The Beatles
    Everybody loves The Beatles, right? Well, apparently not everybody. The Wirecutter, SoundStage! Solo, and JazzTimes, Brent Butterworth, famously held a disdain for The Beatles, and would have musical sparring matches on the matter with Mike when they used to appear together on Sound and Vision Radio; but the winds of change are blowing. Recently, on a cross-country drive, Brent downloaded the entire Beatles discography and listened to it front-to-back, much to Mike’s shock. Mike and Brent discuss his new found appreciation for one of classic rock’s most influential bands and how all of it was made possible by Spotify. Has Spotify changed your life like it has Brents?

     

    [00:35:51] Identifying Trends over Fads at CES 2019
    The Consumer Electronics Show is a platform for tech companies of all shapes and sizes to show off their latest innovations; but sometimes these inventors don’t fully conceptualize the range of applications their products may have. President and CEO of International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA), Rob Grimes, explains how in his quest to find consumer technologies with food and beverage applications he sets off the light bulbs in the minds of exhibitors at CES. Find out why robotic suitcases, smart glasses, and foldable screens have Rob very excited for the future of the IFBTA.

     

    Explore More with Helpful Links:

    ·Contributor:  Brent Butterworth | Audio journalist, The WirecutterSoundStage! Solo/ JazzTimes

    ·Special Guest: Rob Grimes | President and CEO, International Food and Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA)

    ·Website: CES

    ·Website: Vizio

    ·Website: Sennheiser

    ·Website: Fraunhofer

    ·Website: Netflix

    ·Website: Disney+

    ·Website: Spotify

    ·Product Mention: VIZIO 36″ 5.1.2 Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos

    ·Product Mention: VIZIO SmartCast 45″ 5.1 Sound Bar System

    ·Product Mention: Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

    ***

    This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at info@ernlive.com.

    Credits

    Host: Mike Etchart
    Producer: Cody Castleberry
    Production Asst.: Joanne Bolden
    Audio Engineer: Cody Castleberry
    Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
    Contributor: Brent Butterworth
    Special Guest: Rob Grimes

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