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Lauren Dragan Posted: Apr 24, 2015 0 comments
If you felt a disturbance in the force last week, it was likely due to fans everywhere emotionally geeking out at the newly released Star Wars trailer. In case you were trapped in a Sarlacc pit, last week Anaheim played host to the annual Star Wars Celebration, a gathering for fans of all things Star Wars. Attendees from around the world were treated to panels, demonstrations, and the very first look at the trailer for The Force Awakens. Couldn’t make it? Want to know what you missed? Read on, Padawan.
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Michael Trei Posted: Apr 24, 2015 0 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
PRICE $1,700

Rich, powerful sound with gobs of detail
Dolby Atmos capable
UHD-ready with 4K scaling and HDMI 2.0
No HDCP 2.2 DRM to handle future UHD content
Basic remote isn’t backlit

Yamaha’s one-step-down AVR delivers top-notch performance and features at a somewhat less than flagship price.

Choosing the perfect A/V receiver for your home theater can be as tough as it was for Goldilocks to find the perfect bowl of porridge. Of course, we all want lots of features and plenty of power, but not if that means wasting money on bells and whistles we’ll never use or power we don’t really need. I find that in a single brand’s receiver lineup, it’s often the model just below the flagship that represents the best balance between price and performance. At that level, you still get just about every feature and most of the power available from the top model but with a substantial cost savings to sweeten the deal. Yamaha’s Aventage RX-A2040 appears to fall right into that type of sweet spot. At $1,700, it’s $500 less than the RX-A3040 flagship, but it still comes with most of that model’s features and can deliver more than 93 percent of its claimed two-channel power spec.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Apr 24, 2015 0 comments
Like a big, wet, dumb, dopey dog jumping all over you, The Equalizer hits with home theater power that thumps you in the chest if not the heart. An ex-CIA operative has taken on a new identity, living in obscurity, working in a Home Depot, helping people with their self-esteem issues whenever he can, whether they need to lose weight, get an education, or stop being a corrupt cop. However, when faced with a teenager’s plight of enslavement by brutal sex traffickers, he’s forced back into using his main skillset—terminating roomfuls of bad guys with extreme swiftness and minimal prejudice.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 24, 2015 1 comments
Sony this week announced pricing and availability of two new budget AV receivers and four soundbars, including the high-end HT-ST9 that will list for $1,500 when it hits stores in July.

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 23, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The head unit on my new Lexus has a USB input. This feature inspired me to purchase a 32GB flash drive and rip my CD collection using Windows Media Player. I used the WMA setting with the bitrate maxed out to 192Kbps for the first few discs I ripped, and those files played back in the car without issue. For the next batch I tried both the WMA Lossless and WAV formats. Although the files played back in Windows Media Player on my PC, they wouldn't play when I plugged the drive into the head unit’s USB port. Can you explain why? —Buck CornHauler

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 22, 2015 0 comments
On April 18th, Quirky Wink HUB owners got an up-close and a little too personal look at the perils of putting control of your smart home into even the most well-intentioned hands over the internet. According to Wink:
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SV Staff Posted: Apr 22, 2015 0 comments
LG today announced a $1,000 retail price cut for the 55-inch 55EC9300 OLED TV, Sound & Vision’s overall Top Pick of the Year for 2014.

The 1080p TV, which had been selling for $3,500, is now available for $2,500 at Best Buy, regional retailers, and e-tailers such as Amazon. The set features a curved screen and LG’s webOS smart TV platform.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Apr 22, 2015 0 comments
How high is high-resolution? How stereo is stereo? How many bits are really dancing around inside your DAC?
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John Sciacca Posted: Apr 22, 2015 3 comments
While video manufacturers were busy demonstrating their takes on the technologies best suited for UHDTV, espousing the relative merits of High Dynamic Range and wider color gamuts, and discussing the all-important question of 4K content delivery methods at the International Consumer Electronics Show back in January, everyone else seemed concerned with making sure practically every device imaginable will be connected to the Internet in some form or fashion.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 21, 2015 6 comments
Moving is never fun, and my move from southern California to northwest Florida was particularly challenging. The packing and unpacking were chores I don’t wish on anyone, though the actual transportation from point A to (a distant) point B was, thankfully, relatively uneventful. Some of you may be faced with a similar situation, as spring is invariably the busiest moving season. For the AV fan, with a likely collection of valued components and program software, it can be particularly traumatic.


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