Q I have a Denon A/V receiver hooked up to a 5.1-channel speaker system. The setup works fine for movies, but every now and then I want to listen to good ol’ stereo recordings ( I have a modest collection of CDs stored as Apple lossless audio files). I am tempted to purchase a high-end integrated amp for just this purpose. Which gets me to my question: Can I hook both my receiver and the integrated amp to my front L/R speakers? —Nick Gruin
When I picked up Pioneer’s SE-MASTER1 headphone at CEDIA Expo in October, I knew it was special. Substantial yet lightweight and exceptionally well crafted with scrupulous attention to detail, right down to the contoured ear cushions and engraved serial number. (Sorry, S/N 00001 is already spoken for.) If you were to crack open the ear cups, you’d find the same commitment to excellence in the form of a highly refined ceramic-coated aluminum diaphragm surrounded by a ribbed ring, designed to reduce distortion, all framed in a sturdy aluminum alloy to minimize resonance.
In a CES press release, one-time TV market leader RCA says it’s committed to delivering the latest technology. “Staying true to the RCA brand means staying on top of market trends, so HDR is a big focus, because it’s what consumers want this year,” said Patrick Deighan of Activeon, which sells RCA under license from Technicolor.
Spotify has made a name for itself as one of the leading streaming music services and this week will add video to its Android and iPhone apps. Officially, video will roll out on the Android app first, followed by an update to the iPhone app in the coming weeks.
We’re only a couple of months away from the scheduled introduction of Ultra HD Blu-ray players and the UHD discs to play on them. At CES both Samsung and Philips announced players due in March, and 17 titles are currently listed on Amazon for release March 1.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Full Ultra HD capability including HDR and wide color
Superb blacks and shadow detail
Integrated soundbar with subwoofer and surrounds
HDR limited to Dolby Vision
Ineffective color management system (CMS)
Most current 4K sets deliver only the 4K slice of Ultra HD’s full pie. The RS65-B2 goes all the way, including 4K resolution, advanced color, and high dynamic range.
In a recent review of Vizio’s relatively affordable M65-C1 Ultra HDTV (soundandvision.com), I reflected on that company’s vision in having “sale prices low enough to attract millions of buyers.” But reality has a way of intruding on a dream, and a state-of-the-art Ultra HD set isn’t cheap to produce. With its new, two-model Reference Series (the 120-inch, RS120B3, which sells for $130,000, and the 65-incher under review here), the company now challenges the thin-aired peaks of cost-no-object sets previously dominated by older, more established brands. In fact, only selected dealers and some custom installers even carry the Reference Series.
It won’t make international news (or national news, for that matter), nor will it overshadow coverage of the latest dazzling Kickstarter darling in most of the tech press outlets. But the three new home entertainment and automation controllers Control4 announced (and began shipping!) today are likely to be the most exciting and impactful smart home-related hardware that will actually make it into people’s homes in all of 2016—and I say that fully cognizant of the fact that we have 11 more months yet to go in the year.