LATEST ADDITIONS

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Rob Sabin Posted: Aug 27, 2015 0 comments
With pomp embodied by New York City’s famous art deco Edison Ballroom, NBC autosports commentator Leigh Diffey as master of ceremonies, actors dressed as moving sculptures, an urban artist-in-residence creating a canvas for the occasion, and a confetti canon being fired off, China’s largest TV maker Hisense ushered in its new generation ULED Ultra HDTVs this week.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 27, 2015 0 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Dolby Atmos
Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth
HDR support
Minus
No Ultra HD scaling

THE VERDICT
The Onkyo TX-NR545 is a wireless-triple-threat receiver with an intrinsically good-sounding amp.

Most A/V receivers have seven audio channels for reasons that date back to 1999 and are all but forgotten. The original rationale for adding two channels to surround sound’s basic 5.1 footprint was to accommodate back-surround speakers for THX Surround EX (later renamed Dolby Digital EX) and DTS-ES. While I mean no disrespect to the many readers who enjoy the back surrounds in their 7.1 systems, I’ve been against back surrounds from the beginning. My argument in one sentence is: Three channels in front, four in back—what’s wrong with this picture? I’ve always considered 5.1 the bedrock standard of surround sound, and I still do, even today.

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 27, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Most multichannel speaker configurations I see advertised have large L/R tower speakers combined with smaller center and surround speakers. It seems to me, however, that money invested in large (mostly full-range) L/R towers would be wasted if you care more about multichannel movie soundtracks than two-channel stereo music. Given the conventional wisdom that movie soundtracks rely heavily on the center channel for dialogue reproduction, shouldn’t you buy a higher-performing center speaker instead of big front towers? —Rick James Boettger / via e-mail

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SV Staff Posted: Aug 27, 2015 1 comments
Automakers are spending billions to put technology in their cars that’s being ignored by many of the owners of those vehicles, according to a new J.D. Power survey.
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SV Staff Posted: Aug 27, 2015 0 comments
Half of America’s Internet-connected homes now own a connected TV device that provides direct access to online entertainment from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, according to a new national survey from The NPD Group.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 26, 2015 0 comments
It’s hard to believe, but the eternally youthful blues maestro Robert Cray is celebrating five decades of plying his craft with the imminent release of 4 Nights of 40 Years Live. So, uh, Robert, do you mind if we call you an “elder statesman” at this point in your career? “Well, we’re doing what we do, and I’m having fun doing it. To me, that’s the most important thing,” says Cray. “It’s funny; whenever it’s mentioned that we’re ‘getting up there,’ I always revert back to my heroes — John Lee [Hooker], and B.B. [King] — and I just think about those guys as being ‘the guys.’ I never consider myself as being on the same ship.” Sorry to disagree with the man, but Cray is most definitely onboard with being on par with the masters of the blues art form. I called Cray, 62, at his hotel during a tour stop in the Pacific Northwest to discuss the sonics of 4 Nights, the ongoing merits of vinyl, and why live woodshedding is vital for bands who want to improve. “Oh yeah, there’s been a lot of change over the years,” Cray observes about his storied career. I guess he showed us.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Aug 26, 2015 1 comments
Bluesound, the high-performance, hi-res audio-centric multiroom audio system, introduced its Gen 2 model line in New York this week and included something budget-minded audiophiles can rally around: a $299 standalone speaker designed by PSB celebrity speaker designer Paul Barton.
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SV Staff Posted: Aug 26, 2015 0 comments
Neil Young is remarkably upbeat and remarkably candid in a recent Facebook post about the problems facing his Kickstarter-funded company, PonoMusic.
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SV Staff Posted: Aug 26, 2015 Published: Aug 25, 2015 4 comments
LG today announced that its first high-dynamic-range (HDR)-enabled OLED 4K television series will be available in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes when it arrives at retailers nationwide next month with respective prices of $5,500 and $7,000. The models have flat screens, making them the first non-curved 4K OLED models
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Aug 25, 2015 0 comments

Mini A Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Model A Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $4,785

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Coordinated on- and off-axis response
Custom drivers
Strong dual-10-inch sub
Minus
Center not fully timbre-matched
Not much to look at
Sub crossover limited to two settings

THE VERDICT
The Bryston Mini A offers refined performance and—though it’s not obvious to the naked eye—serious build quality at a moderate price.

So many audio products start as marketing necessities. But how many start as personal quests? When Bryston’s James Tanner wanted to design a one-off “ultimate loudspeaker” for his own reference system, the resulting Mini T floorstanding tower impressed his colleagues so much that it squirreled its way into the upper-echelon marketing channels usually reserved for Bryston’s formidable preamps and amps (which, incidentally, include surround-friendly three-, five-, and eight-channel models).

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