The Amazon Fire TV arrived on Friday and immediately replaced both the Apple TV and the Sony network media player in my family room system. One box instead of two, one SMPS instead of two and one ethernet connection instead of two.
The beauty of the Amazon Fire TV box is that I can now easily watch Netflix or Amazon Prime Video without changing inputs on my DAC or TV. Less chance for a macro to go wrong.
The Amazon Fire TV is fully controllable from my Harmony Remote with the exception of voice search. For the convenience of only having one remote control for the whole system, I can live without voice search.
The sound quality seems to be as good as the Apple or the Sony and I think the image quality is better than either. No network glitches or buffering so far so it seems well sorted from a networking point of view, which is a little more than I can say about the Sony.
The screen saver images are also stunning. Super sharpened but without any MPEG/JPG style artefacts that I can see.
I’ve seen complaints about the menu system, the fact that it favours Amazon products (Duh) but it’s easy to use, works well and in two days I’m used to using it.
All for £49 delivered if you have a Prime account.
Having a PC in my listening room was convenient as I have often been experimenting with different audio playback apps, sound cards, and all the various drivers like ASIO and Kernel Streaming.
The problem though was the noise of the PC. All that investment in a great hi-fi system and a signal to noise ratio destroyed by computer fans.
The solution came to me last week and it was simple.
OK, I have an advantage: a cable company as a client. Nigel at Chord was kind enough to send me a 5m HDMI Silver Plus cable and two DVI to HDMI adapters.
The experiment was to move the PC outside my listening room and then to use a 5m Chord HDMI and 5m USB cables to monitor and control the PC.
The worry was running a good monitor at 1920 by 1200 over a 5m HDMI cable. Would the image quality be reduced? The image was absolutely fine and so much so that I temporarily tried a 10 m cable which worked just as well.
Definitely a result. Noise removed from my listening room, the hi-fi sounds significantly better. The computer is no harder to use. I’ll use a USB DVD drive near the monitor for normal stuff but walk the few metres to use the Plextor Premium CD drive for serious ripping.
On demonstration for the first time at the Bristol Sound and Vision show February 20-22, and on sale from April 2009, the NaimUniti – the more music box – will deliver the customary Naim sound quality and emotional connection to music to a new generation of customers as well as existing ones.
Naim developed the NaimUniti – never to be called Uniti – in recognition of a growing demand for integrated solutions. Sophisticated consumers are becoming used to converging audio sources but can be reluctant to compromise on quality. Now they don’t have to.
NaimNet has developed the new website – which is live in time for the ISE show in Amsterdam – to operate on three levels: to offer a high level of support to NaimNet installers; to act as a shop window for prospective customers – to drive traffic to NaimNet installers – and to provide non-NaimNet-certified trade with more technical information
Now that the MF9s have run in and stabilised it was time to spend some time moving them a few centimeters at a time to find a more ideal position.
As they ran in they had become a bit bloated in the mid-bass, reducing clarity and general intelligibility as well as reducing the speed that they are normally so good at.
My room has a tendency to thickness rather than leanness so careful positioning is always needed, but the Neats have required more effort than most. They are a true full-range loudspeaker so are capable of exciting most room modes and resonances.
The effort has been rewarded with a far better insight into music, the recordings and, most importantly, the performances.
I think there is still more to come with even more fine tuning but that will come with time and patience.
Interestingly, as the performance has improved from CD, Hard Disc and Vinyl, it has exposed the shortcomings on internet radio. It’s not going to stop me listening to Radio Paradise as their choice of music is so good, but if only they had a 320k AAC feed…