By Don Lindich
Week 39, 2021
Q. My kids are making me nuts with constantly having to replace the Lightning charging cables for their iPhones. The official Apple ones aren’t great, and the Amazon ones do not seem not to last either. Do you have any recommendations?
-A.F., Upper St. Clair, PA
A. I’ve gone through quite a few Lightning cables myself and get frustrated by the poor quality. They also seem to fail at the least opportune time, for example on a long trip when I am using my phone for navigation. This happened to me recently and I ended up paying a princely sum for a cable at a gas station so I could finish the journey without running out of power.
My favorite Lightning and USB cables are made by Anker. Anker cables are very well-made, last a long time and are available in most any configuration you would need. You may want to consider picking up an Anker Nano charger as well. This USB-C charger will charge your iPhone very quickly, with a 15-minute charge providing enough power for 3 hours of video. The Nano charger with a USB-C-to-Lightning cable sells for $29.95.
Q. Does the Technics SC-C70MKII sound system play broadcast radio? Can I connect it to my TV for sound? What DVD player should I purchase and how do I connect it?
-D.B., Alameda, CA
A. The Technics SC-C70MKII has a tuner for FM radio reception (but not AM radio) and can be connected to a television using the optical audio connection. When you connect a video disc player to your TV with an HDMI cable, the audio signal will be sent over the TV’s optical audio connection to the SC-C70MKII for playback.
The SC-C70MKII is an all-in-one CD music system that features an optical audio connection, Internet Radio, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Bluetooth, USB, DAB/DAB+, Chromecast, Airplay, and it works as a network player. The sound quality with the CD player and FM radio are enough to make it worth the asking price, but the multitude of playback formats as well as the advanced technology and high-end build quality make it a $999 bargain. Many readers have purchased the original SC-C70 and the newer SC-C70MKII, and I have never received anything but high praise from happy owners. technics.com
DVD players are obsolete and the standard definition video contained on a DVD is very poor compared to Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray, especially when played on today’s large screens. Plan on buying a 4K Blu-ray player. It will play DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and UltraHD 4K Blu-ray Discs, as well as CDs (though the SC-C70MKII has that covered.)
The $499 Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray player is my top recommendation under $500. It uses the same video processing as the Panasonic DP-UB9000, the world’s best 4K Blu-ray player. This video processing makes your DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays look their very best, and the difference is quite noticeable compared to an ordinary player. Like the SC-C70MKII it is a bargain for the performance received, especially if used with a very large TV or projector. Some value-priced picks are the $249 Panasonic BP-UB420 and $299 Sony UBP-X800M2.
AOGNY High Frequency RF Skin Care Machine: I received many emails from readers about the very popular AOGNY being sold out. I was told it will be back in stock towards the end of October and will have a follow-up column when it is available again.