WIDE ANGLE

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Al Griffin Posted: May 29, 2013 1 comments

The 2002 film version of Spider-Man was a success on many levels, but most of its magic can be attributed to director Sam Raimi (he of Evil Dead fame), who put his distinctive visual stamp on the production. Spider-Man is also perfectly cast, with Tobey Maguire playing a wide-eyed Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, and Willem Dafoe chewing up the screen as Spider-Man nemesis Green Goblin.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 02, 2013 0 comments

Samsung is about to make good on a promise to make Smart TVs even smarter.

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 06, 2012 0 comments

It's summertime, and that means outdoor concerts. Here in the far other end of New York state, we typically get to lay out our blankets and take in a predictable bunch of touring acts from the '70s and '80s. Peter Frampton? Check. Huey Lewis and the News? Check. Yes? Yes. The Jesus and Mary Chain. Um, did you say "The Jesus And Mary Chain?"

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Al Griffin Posted: May 24, 2012 0 comments

Ever wonder why there are so many great Canadian speaker companies? Here’s one reason: government intervention. Canada’s government-sponsored National Research Council, which, among other things, facilitates research in the fields of speaker measurement, signal processing, and noise control, has proven to be a breeding ground for speaker design.

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Al Griffin Posted: May 16, 2012 0 comments

SRS, a company best known for audio processing used to improve the sound of on-board TV speakers — and one that was recently acquired by movie sound bigwig DTS — has been steadily promoting its Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) concept over the past two years, demoing the audio creation/distribution platform to movie studios, music labels, and journalists alike. This spring saw the establishment of version 1.0 of the MDA spec, along with the release of MDA Creator, a plug-in designed for a range of popular audio workstations that enables sound mixers to store audio in the MDA format. Now, the company has added the MDA Director app to its list of new things for 2012.

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Al Griffin Posted: May 11, 2012 0 comments

You hear plenty about Sony in the news these days. Reports usually cite the company’s latest staggering financial loss, followed by something on its most recent vow to get its house in order by cutting business interests it no longer deems profitable.

One biz that’s apparently dragging Sony down is LCD TV. In an effort to turn things around, the company recently sold its stake in a LCD panel manufacturing venture it owned jointly with Samsung. But even though Sony is no longer involved in manufacturing raw LCD panel components, it is still very much involved in selling TVs. The company also claims significant performance advantages over other LCD TV brands — and it isn’t afraid to demonstrate those advantages in a side-by-side shoot-out.

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Al Griffin Posted: May 04, 2012 0 comments

I met Adam Yauch back in 2000 when he and bandmate Mike D. spent an afternoon hanging out at the old Sound+Vision testing facility in NYC.

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 19, 2012 0 comments

Back before the development of 33 1/3-rpm vinyl records (those things that DJ types and a few of us here at Sound+Vision collect) and CDs, people used to listen to music using something called the 78, a 10-inch disc format that spun at 78 revolutions per minute and was made from a variety of materials during its lifespan, including rubber, shellac, and, ultimately, vin

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 09, 2012 0 comments

Though we got a good peek at them at the recent CES, Samsung’s 3/6 event in NYC gave Sound+Vision a chance to get even more up close and personal with the company’s new LCD and plasma Smart TVs.

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 02, 2011 0 comments

It’s that time of year again when the undead walk the earth. But along with ghosts, vampires, and zombies, another partially animated entity haunts us: Blu-ray players in need of a firmware update.

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 27, 2011 0 comments

As an A/V connection standard, HDMI has its downsides: limited cable length, glitches, slow switching, and version upgrades that make new gear incompatible with old stuff — the list goes on. But a major upside is that one interconnect can handle the jobs previously carried out by a thick wad of cables. In its most current version, HDMI 1.4, a single link will convey high-def video/multichannel audio, link devices to a local network (HDMI Ethernet Channel), and route audio signals from a TV back out to an A/V receiver  (Audio Return Channel). Sweet!

But any TV making the hook-up also needs to be plugged into a power socket. That means an additional wire, plus the logistical problem of locating a TV near an AC outlet — or, for a wall-mounted installation, of embedding one within the wall (a task that generally requires the services of an electrician). Wouldn’t it be great if HDMI also carried power?

HDMI can’t. But HDBaseT can.

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 01, 2011 0 comments

Collecting records is an activity linked in most folks’ minds with combing through dusty stacks in cramped storefronts or at garage sales. But there’s an alternative way to check out vintage vinyl, and I don’t mean record fairs (though those are cool, too). I’m talking about YouTube.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 19, 2011 0 comments

Sometimes the mere fact of something being inaccessible can enhance its value — a lot. Take Spotify, for example. For years we’ve wondered when music labels would finally allow the European online music service to make its supposed 15 million-track library available here. That day has finally arrived.

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