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SV Staff Posted: Oct 19, 2014 0 comments
Sound & Vision readers who participated in last week’s poll are not exactly falling over themselves to smarten up their homes with the sort of automated amenities Darryl Wilkinson wrote about in his recent blog, “Affordable New Home Automation Systems Put the Smart in Your Home.” Four in ten respondents...
Tom Norton Posted: Oct 19, 2014 0 comments
Panasonic launched its new flagship 4K Ultra HD sets, the 65-inch TC-65AX900 and the 85-inch TC-85AX850, at a press event in Los Angeles last Thursday. The two models are similar in many ways, including their Ultra HD capabilities, THX certification, connectivity, HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, and H.265 (HEVC) decoding, which is planned for upcoming 4K source material, but not yet universally used in the limited consumer 4K material presently available) The TVs also incorporate Panasonic’s quad-core, Pro5 processor for their “Beyond Smart” feature set.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 17, 2014 0 comments
At the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, the west coast edition of the Luxury Tech Show was filled with gold phones, automated homes, and personal drones. Here’s a roundup of some of the more unusual offerings on display.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 17, 2014 1 comments

Imagine XB Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value
SubSeries 125 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,846

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clarity and evenness
Compact, tuneful sub
Affordable price
Minus
Dynamic limits of small sub

THE VERDICT
PSB’s Imagine X series refreshes a popular speaker line with reliably excellent sound.

A small but growing number of my younger readers care more about headphones than loudspeakers—but might eventually want to own both. That’s why I’m about to use headphones as the starting point in a speaker review.

There are names that evoke loudspeakers: Bowers & Wilkins, GoldenEar, KEF, Klipsch, MartinLogan, Paradigm, Wilson, Definitive Technology. Then there are names that evoke headphones: AKG, Audeze, Beyer, Grado, Koss, Sennheiser, Stax. However, though several speaker manufacturers have dabbled in headphones, it’s hard to think of many brands known equally well in both categories.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 16, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $90

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Well-designed remote app with mirroring mode
Uses phone’s accelerometer to control games
Multiple users can control same BiggiFi
Minus
Touchscreen remote mode takes practice
Slight lag time when using screenshot remote mode

THE VERDICT
A versatile streamer that’s fun for playing games.

Before the official Android TVs come on the market, several small companies have been making Android-streaming devices that connect to a TV. BiggiFi is the newest Android-on-a-dongle that connects to a TV’s HDMI port. Other than its strange name, and obvious English-as-a-second-language notifications, this smartphone-controlled device might be a good streaming stick choice for users who like to play smartphone apps on the big screen.

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 16, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m confused by the volume display on my AV receiver. There are two settings to choose from, Relative and Absolute. What’s the difference, and what do they mean? —Scott Oakley / via e-mail

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 15, 2014 1 comments
HBO has officially announced a standalone HBO Go option will be available in 2015. The new option will allow users to stream to the HBO Go app without requiring a subscription to the HBO premium cable channel.
Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 15, 2014 1 comments
“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.” John Lennon was referencing a theme from the Tibetan Book of the Dead by way of Timothy Leary’s book The Psychedelic Experience, but there really was no other way to start “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the pivotal track that ends Side 2 of The Beatles’ groundbreaking August 1966 album release, Revolver. And “Tomorrow”—originally identified on the recording sheet for “Job No. 3009” in Abbey Road Studio Three as “Mark I” when sessions commenced on April 6, 1966—is rife with studio innovations and flourishes only The Beatles and their revolutionary team of Abbey Road engineers could inaugurate as the methodology so many future artists would embrace: Inventing Artificial Double Tracking, a.k.a. ADT, to simulate the natural double-tracking of instruments and vocals (thank you, Ken Townsend).
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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks is assigned to a transatlantic flight from New York to London, but the seemingly routine assignment is anything but. Shortly after takeoff, he starts receiving cryptic text messages on his secure government phone informing him that a passenger will die every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred into an offshore bank account. When people start dropping like flies, Marks frantically tries to find the killer, but he always seems to be one step behind him.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Oct 15, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Interactivity
What makes a man a man and not a robot? This is the question at the heart of RoboCop. People can feel, preventing them from hurting a child, where a robot won’t care. But the manufacturer of all this equipment, OmniCorp, argues that humans can also feel fear, anger, despair, and disillusion—and can be corrupted. The way OmniCorp decides to circumvent the law is to combine the body of a robot with the brain of a man.

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