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SV Staff Posted: Apr 29, 2016 1 comments
Looking back over our Top Pick posts in April, we find a small, eclectic collection of AV gear that we can recommend without reservation. Most intriguing is a super compact projector that delivers shocking value—and brightness—for considerably less than a grand.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Apr 29, 2016 1 comments
When a government strike against the Mexican drug cartel on American soil proves fruitful but costly, a dedicated FBI field agent (Emily Blunt) joins an interagency task force to help bring the men responsible to justice. She quickly learns, however, that her new colleagues have a disturbing tendency to bend or break the rules, or even write their own. They’re an effective bunch, albeit mysteriously motivated. The dangerous transport of a high-value prisoner to the U.S. yields valuable information, including the whereabouts of a crucial cartel tunnel under the border.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Apr 29, 2016 2 comments
Ricki Randazzo’s dreams of rock stardom are shrinking in the rearview mirror. While her group, The Flash, is the house band at a dive bar, Ricki (Meryl Streep) struggles as a cashier at an upscale supermarket. It’s there that she receives a call from her ex-husband (Kevin Kline) asking her to come home to Indianapolis as her estranged daughter has attempted suicide. Ricki returns not only to an unstable daughter but also to one son fresh out of the closet and another about to be married… with no intention of inviting her to the wedding.
Steve Guttenberg Posted: Apr 29, 2016 1 comments
I met singer-songwriter Amber Rubarth when she was recording her first Chesky Records album, Sessions From the 17th Ward, back in 2012. I instantly fell in love with her music and the sound of her voice, but more than that, I was amazed by how relaxed she was making an entire album in just two days. Most of the tunes were hers, and they were consistently good, but her covers of Tom Waits’ “Hold On” and Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman” blew me away. No wonder legendary record producer Phil Ramone said Rubarth was “part of the new old-soul generation.”
Kris Deering Posted: Apr 28, 2016 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
PRICE $850

Fantastic portability
Super bright
High-end features at a low-end price
No lens shift
Focus uniformity less than stellar
A bit noisy

What it lacks in size, it makes up for in features. The Home Cinema 2045 packs a wallop for the dollar, delivering a bright and accurate image from a wonderfully portable unit.

I’ll be the first to admit it: I have become very jaded in my view of home theater projectors. Looking at my history with Sound & Vision (and previously Home Theater), I have always had the privilege of reviewing the upper crop of projectors; rarely do I get to evaluate more value-tier options. This wasn’t always the case, though. There was a time in my life when most of the projectors I used personally or reviewed for other publications were priced for a consumer on a much tighter budget. And so today, I’m intrigued to take a look at a more budget-conscious model. Enter the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2045, a three-LCD 1080p 3D projector that, while low in cost ($850), boasts a feature-rich spec sheet.

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SV Staff Posted: Apr 28, 2016 0 comments
Sony announced that it is bringing high dynamic range (HDR) capability to the $10,000 VPL-VW365ES home theater projector it introduced last fall. Current owners will be able to add the feature with a firmware update.
SV Staff Posted: Apr 28, 2016 0 comments
Yamaha today unveiled an entry-level stereo receiver that puts a new spin on a classic audio theme with the inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity.
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SV Staff Posted: Apr 28, 2016 2 comments
Original (left) and current iTunes logos.

Thirteen years ago today Apple launched the iTunes Music Store, allowing music lovers to buy and download music from top artists in digital form instead of having to copy MP3 files or ripping CDs into iTunes.

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 28, 2016 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q Are there any soundbars that I can use with a powered receiver and a TV? —Phil Beloma

A Yes. While new soundbars provide everything from HDMI switching to up to 9 amplified speaker channels for Dolby Atmos 7.1.2 configurations, there are still passive soundbars available from speaker manufacturers including companies such as Paradigm, GoldenEar Technology, Monitor Audio, Def Tech/Polk Audio, and PSB. Click here to see a list of S&V’s Top Picks for the category.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 27, 2016 0 comments
Turner Communications has announced FilmStruck, their over-the-top (“OTT” or online) streaming service that will include Criterion Collection films. The Criterion Collection has been available as part of a Hulu subscription but will soon be pulled and offered exclusively on the new Turner subscription service.