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Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 22, 2014 0 comments
“It’s a very common name. Back of $20 bills, that’s me.” Producer Andy Jackson is being typically self-effacing as he leans back in a chair across from me in front of the massive Neve 88R console that dominates the control room in the Astoria, the grand houseboat recording studio moored on the Thames somewhere near Hampton, Middlesex in England. It’s late August 2014, and it was my distinct honor to be summoned across the Pond to partake in an exclusive listening session for The Endless River, which has been deemed the final Pink Floyd album. (River will be released worldwide by Columbia on November 10.) After a rousing listening session in a place where much of the music I heard was either created, recorded, and/or mixed, I sat down across from Jackson exclusively to discuss the genesis of River, the costs and benefits of mixing in both analog and Pro Tools, and what may (or may not) be in Floyd's future.
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John Sciacca Posted: Oct 22, 2014 0 comments
Manufacturers have been so busy focusing on video upgrades with 3D, 4K, local dimming, and OLED, they’ve pretty much forgotten that audio makes up at least 50 percent of the experience. The end result is that we haven’t really seen any significant surround sound advancements since 2000 following the release of Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace, which brought Surround EX and rear channels.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 22, 2014 Published: Oct 21, 2014 0 comments
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is getting more specific about its standards for Ultra High-Definition TVs and projectors. Building on its initial 2012 specs, it requires UHD TVs to have: resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels; aspect ratio of 16:9 or more; upscaling of HD to UHD; one or more HDMI inputs supporting 3840 x 2160 pixels at 24, 30, and 60 frames per second; one or more such inputs with HDCP 2.2 (or equivalent) copyright protection; support for the ITU-R BT. 709 color space or wider colorimetry standards; and a minimum color bit depth of 8 bits.
Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 22, 2014 Published: Oct 20, 2014 0 comments
Google's Nexus Player, the first Android TV, is available for pre-order with delivery set for early November. That is, of course, if it isn't sold out...
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SV Staff Posted: Oct 21, 2014 0 comments
Denon has announced that a fee-based firmware upgrade for the new Auro-3D surround-sound format will be available for its AVR-X5200W ($1,999) and the AVR-X4100W ($1,299) AV receivers in early December. Both receivers have built-in Dolby Atmos surround sound processing.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 21, 2014 3 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Exceptional blacks and shadow detail
Excellent color and resolution
Impressive sound with optional subwoofer
Minus
Price
Small screen for 4K

THE VERDICT
Short of sitting very close, you’ll need a screen bigger than 55 inches to see the full benefits of 4K resolution. But the XBR-55X900B is, nevertheless, a champion in all respects, including one we didn’t anticipate: state-of-the-art edge-lit local dimming.

The XBR-55X900B is the smallest set in Sony’s X900B series, which also includes the 65-inch XBR-65X900B ($5,000) and the 79-inch XBR-79X900B ($9,000). Fifty-five inches is a relatively small size for achieving the maximum benefits of 4K resolution. But it’s also perhaps today’s most popular size for the principal home HDTV, so there’s no denying its market importance for Ultra HD as well.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 21, 2014 2 comments
Congratulations! You, the president of a multinational audio technology company, are a man among boys. You are a captain of industry, a titan of corporate prowess. Under your command, your dozens of factories and thousands of employees toil to bring forth wondrous new products. And what wonders they are—your portable CD players are the best of the best. People line up to buy your cutting edge in-dash head units. In a few months, your keynote will blow away the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show. Then you wake up, alarm buzzing. It's 2014. Hitting the snooze button isn't an option.

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SV Staff Posted: Oct 20, 2014 1 comments
Published in The Boston Globe on October 19, 2014. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more on Guenther's legacy.

Godehard A. Guenther, of Concord, MA, and Reno, NV, physicist and home electronics entrepreneur, died on October 16, 2014, at the Miriam Boyd Parlin Hospice Residence in Wayland, MA...

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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 1 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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