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SV Staff Posted: Nov 30, 2015 0 comments
Norman C. Pickering, an audio pioneer who refined the phonograph cartridge and founded Pickering & Company in the 1940s, died on November 18 at his home in East Hampton, New York. He was 99.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Nov 27, 2015 0 comments
When it came to the final edit of D.A. Pennebaker's groundbreaking 1967 documentary Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back, everything was destined to fit exactly how it fit. "It wanted to happen," says Pennebaker. "When you think about films, some of them want to happen, and some of them aren’t too sure." Dont Look Back is as sure as it gets, as the 90-year-old director and I discussed in Part I of our extensive interview. Here in Part II, Pennebaker shares his thoughts on surround sound when it comes to film soundtracks, that missing apostrophe, and the origin of the film’s legendary opening cue-card sequence.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 27, 2015 3 comments
There is no studio in the history of cinema that has a track record like Pixar. Nearly every one of their movies is at least great, most are awesome, and very few are below average (ahem, Cars 2).

I got to see a sneak preview early this week at the gorgeous El Capitan in Hollywood. Here are some thoughts on both those things.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Nov 25, 2015 0 comments
As iconic as it remains a full half-century later, when Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back (apostrophe very deliberately missing) was being shot by director D.A. Pennebaker during the Bard’s whirlwind tour of England in May 1965, there were literally no rules to follow. “It’s the idea of the home movie, the kind of movie that was always made by one person,” says Pennebaker, still as sharp as ever at age 90. “I had gotten the notion in my head not to make a pure music film. I decided to make it about him, right at the time he was he was trying to figure out who he was.” Here in Part I of our exclusive interview, D.A. and I discuss how he gained Dylan’s trust, the way he predicted the selfie culture, and why he had to get on his back to shoot certain live performances.
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SV Staff Posted: Nov 25, 2015 1 comments
Whether you hit the stores 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day or wait a few hours (or days, if not weeks…), we've revisited our Top Pick selections over the past year and come up with a tidy 10 for your consideration...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 25, 2015 0 comments
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful, warm-hearted girl named Ella, whose happiness is shattered when her mother dies. Her father later remarries to a stern widow, who moves in with her two cruel daughters and…

Unless you lived a deprived childhood, you already know the Cinderella story. The story goes back centuries, but to most of us today, it’s the 1950 Disney animated version that comes to mind when we think of it. Gone was the truly grim Brothers Grimm version, where the stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to try to fit into that glass slipper! Disney’s animated Cinderella was fiercely kid-friendly and certainly well done, though it suffered a bit in comparison to the genuine Disney masterpieces that preceded it: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi.

Al Griffin Posted: Nov 25, 2015 0 comments

PRICE $1,000

Accurate color
Good contrast
So-so shadow detail

Vizio’s E65-C3 is a very good HDTV that delivers considerable bang for the buck.

Let’s hear it for the good, old-fashioned HDTV. You know, the sort that once wowed us with its ability to display crisp, highdefinition broadcasts, Blu-ray Discs, and other next-gen sources of home entertainment. In recent years, however, HDTVs have been upstaged by Ultra HDTVs— fancy-pants upstarts that promise compatibility with all manner of future innovations, from UHD Blu-ray to High Dynamic Range (HDR) video. It should come as no surprise, then, that such sets cost on average 50 percent more than their regular HDTV brethren.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 24, 2015 2 comments
So you’ve got plans to go over the river and through the woods for that sleep-inducing turkey dinner. But the day won’t be complete without you later getting as bloated on football as on the banquet stuffing. After the feast everyone will sit down to see the MaciNacs of Mackenna Tech take on the Okidokes of Northwest Virginia A&T.

But as soon as you sit down in front of the TV you see something amiss. The Nacs and Dokes, normally the smallest players in the Little 7 Conference, look like wide-bodied extras from Lord of the Dwarfs: The Return of Gimli (I hope I’m not giving Peter Jackson any ideas).

You, our hawkeyed video purist, spots the problem immediately...

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SV Staff Posted: Nov 24, 2015 0 comments
Here’s an awesome piece of Beatles memorabilia that any record collector or fan of the Fab Four would love to own: the first mono pressing of 1968’s The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album). Even better: It’s Ringo’s personal copy.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Nov 24, 2015 0 comments
The latest addition to Comcast’s X1 IP-video platform is an Auto Extend feature that adds 30-minute increments to DVR recordings so you won’t miss events that run past their scheduled air times. The option works only with certain sporting events—NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA men’s football and basketball, and NASCAR—but Comcast promises to expand that.


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