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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 23, 2014 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q Are there any AV receivers available that provide crossover frequencies assignable by speaker type in a surround sound system? Say, 60 Hz for the fronts, 80 Hz for the center, and 100 Hz for the rears? —Jason BF

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 22, 2014 0 comments
The annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was held in early October in the Marriott Hotel at the Denver Tech Center. For at least the past 10 years this has been the biggest of the many audio shows now jostling for position around the U.S. Depending on who you ask, the Newport Beach (CA) show, held in June, is nipping at its heels but isn’t quite there yet.

Manufacturers (not to mention the press) must be tearing what’s left of their hair out trying to support all these shows, which now include RMAF, Newport, (northern) California, Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., and Toronto. Let me know if I’ve missed one! And this doesn’t even include the trade-only CES (and, for some, CEDIA EXPO). For small manufacturers this is a major expense, and many of them only attend one or two. If they support two, it’s most likely they’ll include RMAF and CES).

Unlike many present-day audiophiles I keep one foot in the audio/video world of home theater and surround sound and the other in the 2-channel world of high-end audio. I regret that multichannel, even for music alone, remains anathema to many audio fans. As for film sound, for many that’s clearly the spawn of the devil...

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 22, 2014 0 comments
At its best, science fiction sparks the imagination, inspiring the question, “What if…?” And in the world of cinema, this enthusiasm gives way to conjecture, even debate: Remember the decades of geek chatter about the version of Blade Runner that might have been, eventually leading to Ridley Scott’s Final Cut? We come away from Frank Pavich’s remarkable documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune with that same excitement. The second half of that title is no doubt familiar, either as Frank Herbert’s seminal novel or as the much-reviled 1984 film by David Lynch that it eventually became. The first part, not so much: Chilean-born filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky is perhaps best known for the surreal Western El Topo, widely considered the first “midnight movie” for its offbeat appeal.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Oct 22, 2014 0 comments
Is man ruled by heaven or his own will? Is the great flood coming again? Does man deserve to survive? Often defying logic, this mythological story where miracles occur regularly explores such questions. Noah, who follows the ways of God and respects fellow creatures, is conservationist, vegetarian, but not pacifist, slaughtering those who oppose the Lord’s work. Those, the descendants of Cain, have created cities, ripping minerals from the land to forge weapons and armor. But the land is dying, and the cities are dead. And since selfish man has broken the world and exploits other creatures, God decides to annihilate humans. This, once the family is isolated on the ark and all special effects are done with, sets off a smaller, more intimate drama closer to Greek tragedy with sons murderously set against father.
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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
PRICE $4,000

Exceptional blacks and shadow detail
Excellent color and resolution
Impressive sound with optional subwoofer
Small screen for 4K

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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