Short Circuits: Classic sitcoms in high-def; nightstand system; top Xbox 360 games

  • Updated: May 5, 2014 - 3:37 PM

“The Andy Griffith Show” starred, from left, Don Knotts, Ron Howard and Andy Griffith.


Classic sitcoms hit high-def format

CBS/Paramount offers the Blu-ray debuts of three classic-TV sitcoms: “The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1,”I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1” and “The Honeymooners: ‘Classic 39’ Episodes.” (The “classic 39” refers to the black-and-white half-hours that originally aired in 1955-56, not the sketches and specials that aired before and after that season.) Each set is $130.

Are these worth the price? It depends on what you are looking for. Amid the new extras are many that have appeared on previous collections of the shows. But if you want these to look better on your big screen, the picture is indeed sharper than DVD releases of the same shows, letting you see little details more clearly. And the audio on “The Honeymooners” is noticeably better than on the ­previous DVD.

Akron Beacon Journal


Also out Tuesday: “The Art of the Steal,” “China Beach” (Season 3), “Little House on the Prairie” (Season 2; Blu-ray), “Veronica Mars.”



Nightstand system offers flexibility

Soundfreaq’s Sound Rise (SFQ-08) wireless speaker and alarm clock ($70-$80; is a nightstand system designed the way a gadget like this should be: It can be used with any brand of wireless devices; it doesn’t take up a lot of space, and, most important, it looks good and sounds great.

Charging and docking are done with the USB cable that came along with your device. Plug it into the USB port — and you’re not hostage to using the phone on a dock specific to any brand — enabling bedtime reading, texting or whatever you need. As for the clock, it’s a front-facing display that has controls to adjust the brightness with six settings. Audio is streamed with Bluetooth (4.0) into a great-sounding speaker system. If wireless streaming isn’t your thing, there’s an auxiliary-in port for a wired connection.

There’s also a backup battery compartment to keep the clock running in the event of a power failure. It also offers time in 12- or 24-hour settings, snoozing, sleeping and two alarms. Even an FM radio is built-in if you want to go old school with the presets.

Controls on the Sound Rise (5.5 by 3 by 3.25 inches) are on the top for most settings. The Sound Rise is available in black or wood/taupe ­finishes.

McClatchy News Service



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  • Sound Rise is an updated version of Soundfreaq's original bedroom speaker, which keeps the same comforting features found in old-school alarm clocks, with much improved functionality and added features. (Soundfreaq/MCT) ORG XMIT: 1152363

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