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Daniel Kumin Posted: Dec 24, 2014 Published: Dec 23, 2014 0 comments

Prime Satellite 5.1 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

SB-1000 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Honest, subjectively accurate, full-range sound
Painless sub/sat blending
Cheap!
Minus
Won’t match ultimate volume level of larger, more costly systems

THE VERDICT
If your criterion is un-hyped reproduction, SVS’s Prime Satellite 5.1 system is as good as it gets for $1,000.

Good-sounding small speakers no longer impress me. After all, these days, pretty much anybody with a laptop and an Internet connection can design a small two-way that’s reasonably neutral. The tools are all online (many of them share/freeware), fine-performing drivers ranging from cheap ’n’ cheerful to exotic ’n’ expensive are readily available with complete Thiele-Small parameters, and MDF and veneer are plentiful down at Lowe’s. You don’t even need to know Ohm’s law; fluency in Windows or OSX and some basic woodworking skills are probably more useful.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Dec 23, 2014 0 comments
“I don’t know why these songs all came out so long. I think we’re going to have to blame Steven Wilson,” laughs Dave Kilminster. The ace guitarist is discussing the impetus behind the extended track lengths on his self-described “prog-tastic” solo record, …and THE TRUTH will set you free… (Killer Guitar Records). Kilminster is known for his six-string pyrotechnics and prowess as an instructor, but you may also recognize him as being the featured lead guitarist in former Pink Floyd bassist/vocalist Roger Waters’ touring band for the past decade. For THE TRUTH, Kilminster believes getting a live feel is key: “It’s so cool to really get into the mood of a track,” he says. “There’s no sampling, there’s no Auto-Tune — just a couple of guys recording together in a room, the way it’s supposed to be.” Here, Kilminster, 53, and I discuss vintage sounds, live quad, and what it’s like to contend with immense pillows of wind while soloing atop a massive wall. That’ll keep you going through the show.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 23, 2014 0 comments
It’s been a while since I last talked about Star Citizen, and there have been many, many interesting changes and improvements, not least the Arena Commander, version 1.0.

The addition of several newly flyable ships and variants is cool, but it’s the ongoing changes and tweaks to the flight model that are most impressive.

So here’s a look at SC now, and where it’s headed…

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 23, 2014 3 comments
(Mildly revised)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Papa was puzzled, but he didn’t grouse.

The toys weren’t assembled, the hour was late And Ma was exhausted, her patience not great.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds While visions of video games danced in their heads.
And with Ma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap We were far from enjoying a long winter's nap.

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Kris Deering Posted: Dec 23, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Supports all SD, HD, UHD, and 4K Resolutions
Over 100 custom test patterns
Unique Color Checker function
Minus
Professional instrument pricing
Bandwidth limit may prevent some future tests

THE VERDICT
The DVDO AVLab TPG is one of the only pattern generators out there for video calibrators and evaluators that supports both UHD and 4K resolutions. This small package packs a lot of patterns and can also be used for large 3D LUT calibrations that require thousands of color combinations.

One of the most essential tools for a video reviewer is a test pattern generator. Without a confirmed and reliably accurate source for signals it is difficult to evaluate a display properly. Some people just stick to everyday viewing content like Blu-rays or DVDs, but if those sources don’t look right how are you going to figure out what’s causing the issue? A reference generator gives you the ability to evaluate a display’s capabilities with tried and true patterns that show exactly what a display’s limits are. But with 4K just making its big break-thru into the market, only a small number of generators today provide options for evaluating 4K flat panels and projectors. The DVDO AVLab Test Pattern Generator (TPG) we’re reviewing here is a super compact reference pattern generator that not only supports the majority of all common resolutions today, but also Ultra HD and full 4K.

Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 23, 2014 1 comments
LG 65EC9700 65-Inch Ultra HD OLED TV

LG made headlines this past summer with the announcement that its 55-inch OLED TV would sell for $3,500. Not cheap, but a whopping 75 percent less than what its predecessor sold for. Then along came the 65EC9700, a TV capable of delivering lush OLED images in 4K resolution that sells for $10,000. LG made headlines again—this time for making television’s holy grail a reality. We spoke with Tim Alessi, director of new product development, for the story behind this inspiring 65-inch hybrid.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 22, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $600

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Horn-loaded tweeters
Bluetooth with aptX
Wireless sub
Minus
No HDMI
Membrane remote

THE VERDICT
The Klipsch R-10B is a great-sounding 2.1-channel bar with a good-sounding sub, legacy connectivity, and Bluetooth.

After all this time, it still amazes me, as a speaker and receiver guy, that setup of an audio-for-video product can be as painless as it was with the Klipsch R-10B soundbar. I connected one optical digital cable and two power cables. The bar established diplomatic relations with its wireless subwoofer without any intervention on my part. Bluetooth pairing was just a matter of selecting the Klipsch as playback device in iTunes. This is the setup routine for people who hate setup routines.

David Vaughn Posted: Dec 22, 2014 1 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
In the 1940s and ’50s, the South Pacific was the testing ground for nuclear weapons as the Cold War was beginning to heat up. But were there actually tests, or was there another reason? Could the super powers actually have been waging battle with some creature of unknown origin? What would Nature’s reaction be to all of the nuclear fallout in the region?
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 22, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Yes, it’s been 30 years since the original Ghostbusters, the first movie to strike upon that irresistible balance of big laughs and big scares. The story is built around the ridiculously fun idea of professional trackers/capturers of wayward spirits, brought to life by the undeniable comedic talents of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis. The Oscar-nominated special effects also helped Ghostbusters become the biggest box-office hit in a year full of blockbusters. Although young Mr. Murray’s effusive wiseassery dates the movie somewhat (much like the remarkable amount of smoking on display), watching it anew reminds us of his consummate ability to find often subtle ways to make every moment his own—and so many of his lines worth quoting.
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 22, 2014 0 comments
It’s getting down to the wire—stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and Santa’s helpers are desperate for an idea for that last-minute gift. The Nyrius Songo is just what Rudolph ordered for that grumpy Scrooge who hasn’t bought all the latest and greatest electronics. The Songo ($25) and Songo HiFi ($50) turn any receiver or dock into a wireless Bluetooth system. Scrooge can even use an iOS dock with an Android phone via Bluetooth, as long as the dock has an AUX input.

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