Home Theater To Become Sound & Vision

Readers who follow developments in audio/video electronics might have heard back in May that Home Theater's parent company, Source Interlink Media, acquired its chief competitor Sound & Vision. These were the two largest print magazines serving the A/V enthusiast.

It was announced on Monday that, beginning with the October issue, Home Theater and Sound & Vision will be merged, and only one magazine will go forward under the Sound & Vision brand. I'm honored to have been asked to stay on and head up what will be a revitalized S&V, and I know a lot of passionate Home Theater readers will have serious concerns about the transition and where their magazine may be headed. I'm going to address some of those concerns right now, fill in some detail about our plans, and try to put you all at ease. I'll ask our most loyal readers to keep an open mind, put aside preconceived brand loyalties, and, if nothing else, know that I take my new responsibility and commitment to the enthusiast very seriously. I don't have all the answers, and we'll continue to evolve—as all magazines and Websites must do from time to time if they hope to stay relevant to a wide audience and continue to survive and prosper. I'm anxious to see your comments and respond as best I can to any additional questions you might have. I've also included the full text of the Source Interlink press release below this FAQ. — Rob

What is the editorial direction of the new Sound & Vision?
The new Sound & Vision will continue on the path of the old Sound & Vision and Home Theater as an enthusiast magazine dedicated to the pursuit of home theater and music reproduction. We will lean toward Home Theater’s general focus on core audio/video components—HDTV, front projectors and screens, A/V receivers, audio separates, multichannel speaker systems, and source components—across a wide spectrum of price points. And we will continue Home Theater and Sound & Vision’s already active expansions of coverage into some new, rapidly-growing ancillary audio categories, including soundbars, computer audio products like DACs and DAC/amp combinations, powered desktop and wireless streaming speakers, and high performance headphones. I do acknowledge that this mix includes products that are not enthusiast or home theater solutions, but marketplace demand for them today is high, and as experts in this realm with the golden ears and eyes, we remain dedicated to identifying the highest performing products at different price points in each of these categories. We have already started to cover them as an adjunct to our primary coverage, and will continue to do so—as an adjunct. Our choice of the Sound & Vision brand name will ensure that we can logically pursue any path our readers and Web audience take us down as they begin to consume their content in different, non-traditional ways.

Will you be “dumbing down” the editorial to appeal to a broader audience?
While we do want the magazine and Website to be an accessible buying tool for less technical shoppers, it’s my view that we can provide this kind of shopping advice without losing either the detail or technical depth/lingo of our reviews. Our reviews will remain around the same length as today’s typical Home Theater review, which is presently longer than the average Sound & Vision review, and will continue to fill four pages in the magazine. But we will include additional up-front information with each review to give all readers a bit more detail about our findings in advance of reading the full review, and we will carry over the 5-star/10-point rating system used in Home Theater. We will also steal from Home Theater the Top Pick designation for recommended products, essentially the equivalent of Sound & Vision’s Certified & Recommended designation today; going forward, products will be deemed a "Sound & Vision Top Pick." We will continue to measure the core audio and video products, and to include a bench test box and chart with each review—though to save valuable print real estate and make room for some of the new elements, we will compress or shorten that information for the magazine compared with the current Home Theater length, and adopt Sound & Vision’s practice of placing a more complete report of lab results on the Web.

Will the magazine look like the old Sound & Vision or Home Theater?
Neither, and both. Beginning with our October issue, we will relaunch Sound & Vision with a new logo (seen above) and a revised design that retains some recognizable elements of the existing Home Theater, including its slightly larger page size. We will carry over some of the current department names and departments from Sound & Vision, and introduce to Sound & Vision some of the most popular departments from Home Theater, such as our up-front Perfect Focus section populated by news and short reviews, and pictorial profiles of home theater and media room installations. Several of the popular Sound & Vision columns will be retained. Additionally, I expect to do more dedicated primer articles to equip newbies and everyday shoppers with the information they need to make sensible purchase decisions and to properly interpret the terminology in our reviews. I know from reader mail that these will be welcomed even by many of our most ardent enthusiast readers, who appreciate these up-to-date refreshers or enjoy deepening their knowledge.

What happens to my favorite writers and reviewers?
We are creating a combined editorial staff that will now include most of the best known and respected writers in the A/V industry. Our goal and approach with this merger has been not to cast any great talent from either staff to the wind or to force ourselves to cherry pick from among an all-star cast of players. So we're making the investments required to ramp up our test program to make use of everyone and create a magazine and Website that I hope will be unparalleled as a resource for enthusiasts and shoppers. We should noticeably increase the number of test reports we can deliver in any category over a given time period compared with what either brand was able to do independently before; I would particularly expect to see a bump in the number of video display and A/V receiver reviews we generate. Existing Sound & Vision readers will be introduced to Home Theater’s expert reviewers and personalities, while former Home Theater readers will be exposed to all the great Sound & Vision contributors. So the result here is additive. That said, our total print magazine space will, for the moment, continue to remain a limiting factor, and will by necessity have to be divvied up among our talented staff. This means that readers of either print magazine may find fewer contributions from any single reviewer in a given issue of the print magazine than they might be used to seeing. The overflow will go to the Web, which will feature many more exclusive Web-only reviews.

What happens to the SoundandVisionmag.com and HomeTheater.com Websites?
We are finalizing our web strategy for the merger and an announcement will be made in the next few weeks. For now, both Websites will remain active with the same contributors and content you’ve come to expect.

What happens to my Sound & Vision or Home Theater subscription?
All issues paid for with a subscription to either Sound & Vision or Home Theater will be fulfilled with future Sound & Vision issues. Home Theater subscribers who do not currently subscribe to Sound & Vision will see their remaining issues converted to Sound & Vision. Home Theater subscribers who already subscribe to Sound & Vision will see their Sound & Vision subscriptions extended by the number of Home Theater issues owed to them.

Below is the press release issued by Source Interlink Media regarding the merger of Sound & Vision and Home Theater.

Source Interlink Media merges Sound & Vision and Home Theater
Combining two leading brands to form an electronic entertainment powerhouse

EL SEGUNDO, California (July 19, 2013) – Source Interlink Media (SIM) today announced it will combine the two most powerful print/online media brands in the home technology space, Home Theater and Sound & Vision, to create one powerhouse consumer brand dedicated to the full universe of electronic entertainment equipment.

The new combined print magazine will retain the auspicious Sound & Vision name, and will be published ten times a year, following the original publication schedule for Home Theater. In explaining the decision behind joining the brands under the Sound & Vision banner, SIM Executives cited the recent evolution of the home and portable electronics categories in which sales of non-traditional audio/video products, including soundbars, wireless streaming speakers, high performance headphones, and computer audio gear have exploded and joined traditional A/V components in a vibrant, new marketplace. “Utilizing the all-encompassing Sound & Vision name allows us to more easily address the new ways in which people are consuming their entertainment” stated Keith Pray, Publisher, Sound & Vision.

Additionally, Pray noted that advertisers will enjoy benefits as a result of the combined brand, among them a strong print circulation and a growing digital, interactive version of the magazine.

Rob Sabin, currently Editor-In-Chief of Home Theater, and a former Sound & Vision Executive Editor, will guide the revamped Sound & Vision starting with the October 2013 issue. The issue will boast an exciting, modern redesign; new features; and a line-up that preserves the best elements of both magazines. “Bringing these two entities together now has the effect of putting virtually all of the industry’s most noted experts in one place,” Sabin said. “We will be ramping up our product review program to cover more gear across a wider range of categories, and under the Sound & Vision name we can broaden our audience while we continue to support the serious audio/video enthusiast with the depth of coverage they’ve come to expect from Home Theater.”

# # # About Source Interlink Media:
Source Interlink Media, LLC is the premier source of special interest media in the United States. With more than 75 publications, 100 Web sites, 800 branded products, 50+ events, and TV and radio programs, SIM is the largest provider of content to enthusiast communities interested in automotive, action sports, home theater and other niche activities. The division’s strategy is to wholly focus on targeted audiences by leveraging and expanding upon its core market-leading brands through a multiplatform media approach.

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COMMENTS
thrillcat's picture

So, about 4 months ago I renewed my subscription to HT, yet haven't received an issue in the last 3 months. Has it been on hiatus?

Billy's picture

For thirty plus years I have subscribed to so very many AV magazines just to see them drop away, one by one. I don't think I need to name them, we all know the names. I guess the internet has changed the landscape but I also believe that the oligopolies that now own media are an even bigger cause. It is a sad story that has repeated itself in so many industries in our nation. The companies see no reason to duplicate content. I will agree that sometimes there might have been not enough new material to cover for many magazines but often I enjoyed the take multiple writers had on different new gear. The consumer enthusiast suffers here. Many will say that internet blogs can take over but I disagree, knowledgeable professional writers will always steer me in the proper directions. I will continue to read S&W because I will have no other choice but it is sad that there are no other AV magazines to compare and contrast gear now. At least the take over of AV magazines is over, because now there are no more to take over. It is a brave new world, I guess.

Schweich12's picture

Like thrillcat, I too have experienced issues with my subscription. I do receive my mags in the mail, however they have usually been on the newsstands for several weeks before I finally get my copy in the mail. What is the point of subscribing if all of the reviews are posted online and the magazine is available for free at the local library BEFORE I receive the magazine in the mail. I tried calling customer service but the excuse I get is that the magazine is only guaranteed to be delivered within the calendar month printed on the cover (ie, if it is the August 2013 issue, I am only assured of getting the magazine by August 31st.) Maybe posting here will help kick start a renewed sense of customer service for Thrillcat and myself....

For the new website, I don't mind that the two are combined into one, it saves me from going to multiple sites. But please, for the love of everything holy, do not use the current hosting service for the S&V site. That website is by far one of the slowest loading sites around. Love how hometheater.com is always fast to load. S&V's website is a constant test of patience...

ekane's picture

I have subscribed to Home Theater for years and really enjoy the magazine. I have to agree with Schweich12 the Sound and Vision website is slow and it locks up on iPads making the site unusable. I also prefer the look and feel of Home Theater along with the subject matter covered. But I hope this merger is successful as we are running out of enthusiast magazines.

Ellefty's picture

That sounds like a good merger, for some reason the sound and vision website server is quite slow using my mobile device. It always freezes. I never have that problem on this site nor others BTW. Hope the merge doesn't linger that problem

C.WYATT507's picture

I sure hope they put more effort into it.i subscribe to both and both have been getting thinner with less articles.they were both great reads back in the 90's early 2000's and have been going down hill since.if they can combine and bring back the great articles i'm all for it.but if it keeps getting thinner with less reviews i will cancel the subscription.time will tell.also hope they go back to 12 issues instead of the 8 to 10 issues.bring back the 150 pages they use to be.

mvision7m1's picture

I check Home Theater’s website almost every day to keep up on what’s happening in the A/V world etc. I NEVER go to the Sound and Vision website for two major reasons. The first, as the others have already said, it’s achingly slow to load and locks up my mobile browser every time so therefore I can’t stand it and have ignored it completely since experiencing it. The second reason (and I know this one is subjective) is that I can’t stand the layout of the website once the site finally loads and the same goes for the printed edition of the magazine. I don’t like the color scheme, the layout or the flow of that site at all. Problems I’ve never had with this site or mag. I even like “Home Theater” much more than “Sound & Vision”. I also know you can’t please everyone but I sincerely hope the Home Theater experience dominates the new magazine/website much more than Sound & VIsion’s. Here’s hoping…

DS-21's picture

Best of luck with the combined magazine! A few things I hope you guys think about:

1) I hope you keep S&V's practice of doing CEA-2010A bass SPL measurements, for both subs and mains. That's one thing about their reviews that's a cut above what's currently done at HT.

2) Speaking of measurements, to make the combined mag more attractive to sophisticated listeners, could you include proper polar maps of loudspeakers to allow one to better weed out the incompetently-designed ones, and test amps and AVRs into something like the Kantor simulated speaker load used at Stereophile. The simulated load would be especially useful with Class D amps (either separate or built into AVRs), because they often actually do sound different from solid-state amps due to FR errors caused by the interaction of their output filters and the loudspeakers' impedance. May I suggest the Lexicon DD-8 as the first amp to put though a simulated load? :)

3) I hope you hire someone to fix all of the back links on S&V's website in the unified mag. It's a real train-wreck. Often one has to google bench test results, because the link in the article is dead, for instance.

4) How about a multichannel music column? Prof. Kal Rubinson at Stereophile is both a wonderful writer and a fount of knowledge, and Dr. David Rich often writes interesting things about multichannel music reproduction at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, but it would be nice to see music get a higher priority in the whole industry.

K.Reid's picture

First let me thank John Atkinson, editor of Stereophile, for providing some initial commentary/answers to my and other reader's concerns regarding the merger.

While I still approach this merger is substantial trepidation and concern, we subscribers and home theater video/audiophiles should opt to really support Rob Sabin and his staff's efforts to make this revamped magazine a success. This is really the last great magazine that provides video/audiophiles with expert coverage of the products and gear we all love and salivate over. If this magazine fails, we are out of luck, ladies and gentleman. We would have no more established, respected A/V print magazines. Reader's recourse would be to go to other online sites such as HomeTheaterReview and Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity. Of course Adrianne Maxwell, formerly of HT Mag, runs the show now at HTR and Scott Wilkinson, formerly of HT Mag, contributes to SHTHF and has regular podcasts.

I do not envy Mr. Sabin and the task that was mandated to him by his superiors at Source Interlink Media LLC. I recall having a conversation with former HT Editor-in-Chief Shane Buettner (now a HT Mag contributor)at AXPONA in Atlanta, GA a couple years ago regarding his experience at the helm of the magazine. The words "high pressure" come to my recollection.

This said, I am hoping Rob will reply to us regarding who will be senior video and audio editors. With Rob's above comments that reviews will be ramped up, the concern then becomes will the senior reviewers be satisfied with these new arrangements given that it is likely each reviewer will have potentially fewer reviews in one publication. Further, Rob's comments do not suggest whether there will be a hierarchy (e.g. Senior Editor - video, Technical Editor - video, Assistant Editor - Video, etc.). Without a clear organizational structure - would reviewers have an incentive to stay and not migrate over to competitors. Most readers will know of whom I speak - namely, Tom Norton, Brent Butterworth and Geoffrey Morrison, the latter two were formerly with HT Mag. All three have demonstrated substantial audio, video and technical expertise over many years. I am wondering whether all will remain under one roof. Rob, clarification is needed here. If you are at liberty to disclose such information, it would be appreciated. Ditto for audio reviewers.

It may be a good idea to introduce your readers over successive months to the all of the reviewers in the new combined magazine complete with short bios and which S&V reviewers had worked for/contributed to HT Mag in the past.

I am glad to hear that the magazine will have more of a focus on the home theater side of the equation. The retention of the ratings system and Top Picks designation is welcome as well. It my opinion that it's the gear reviews, insight of the reviewers and quality of the writing that retains subscribers. As long as this core focus is retained, I cannot see too many subscription nonrenewals.

ChaseTheHTGuy's picture

S&V's website is virtually unusable on my iPad and Android, freezes every time on Chrome and Safari. I hope the new company keeps HT's user friendly site.

I've subscribed to both magazines in print in the past, now I get them both in digital editions via Zinio. I love Fleishmann's speaker reviews on HT but and prefer S&V's measurement and charts section, particularly for subwoofer measurements, with detailed CEA-2010 numbers. I generally compare reviews of similar products but hard to get to web reviews and extras that aren't in the digital/print edition. Mobile is the way of the future guys, sitting on the sofa or under a tree in the backyard with a laptop reading S&V.com is so last century:-)

I love the way HT's reviews are categorized and the reviewers, please keep Fleishmann and Tom Norton writing great product reviews.

kent harrison's picture

I Don't like it all I drop sound and vision years ago

moosefan's picture

I am also having a magazine subscription problem well its for Sound and Vision haven't received an issue in awhile but from what it looks like the two are merging. Does this mean the lone magazine will have more content? because I find myself reading the one magazine and wanting more to read I am already done my magazine. It would be nice to see a thicker magazine well that's me. Not a big fan of the online subscription you get on you tablet or Ipad I like having the magazine.

kent harrison's picture

If it going to be a merger it should be Home theater first,then sound and vision

Jarod's picture

So I am a subscriber to both magazines and just a few months a go I renewed both subscriptions. So did I just have to pay double the money for just one magazine then???? Don't you think you should have warned us? I knew something was up when Home Theater magazine started incorporating more and more about DACs and Headphones and other non-Home Theater related gear. Ya they reproduce music but so do kazoos. I really hope you keep dedicated to home theater gear and don't just make this a "lets try to cover whatever is popular in the electronics marketplace" type of magazine. I may be coming off as rude and Im sorry but Im a little upset as what i feared would happen kinda is.

Bob Ankosko's picture
For Jarod and others who subscribe to both magazines, your subscription to the new Sound & Vision will be extended to ensure that you receive every issue you paid for. Here's the relevant text from the Rob's FAQ:

What happens to my Sound & Vision or Home Theater subscription?
All issues paid for with a subscription to either Sound & Vision or Home Theater will be fulfilled with future Sound & Vision issues. Home Theater subscribers who do not currently subscribe to Sound & Vision will see their remaining issues converted to Sound & Vision. Home Theater subscribers who already subscribe to Sound & Vision will see their Sound & Vision subscriptions extended by the number of Home Theater issues owed to them.

Schweich12's picture

Bob:

I am going on 6+ weeks without a new print edition and my subscription is not due for renewal until November. Is this a result of the changeover to the S & V print edition or is this something I should try (again) to address with customer service?

Bob Ankosko's picture
This is almost certainly not related to the changeover to Sound & Vision. I would try customer service one more time and let us know how you make out. You might also want to check with your local Post Office to make sure there's not a delivery issue. It's not out of the realm of possibility for mail to go missing due to problems at the US Postal Service.
RevolutioN64's picture

To whom it may concern:

This may be old news by now, but I literally just found out about the merger of Home Theater Magazine and Sound & Vision. I have been a long time subscriber of the Home Theater Magazine ( I just renewed my subscription for two years) and I couldn't be any more upset with this decision. I read Home Theater Magazine for a reason, because my hobby/passion is exactly that-- HOME THEATER! I barely listen to the crap they call music nowadays so therefore I could care less about $400+ Headphones and wanna be audio desktop speakers/docks. Home Theater was always for the niche market of HT enthusiasts out there and should have been left that way. Its kinda like making a golfer read ESPN magazine after years of just reading Golf Magazine. I felt very proud to carry around a magazine that said “Home Theater” because it truly showed others what I really care about. “Sound and Vision” is so blah in every way both in name and content (water downed articles for the mainstream). I currently subscribe to only two magazines - Home Theater and Game Informer - and after this announcement, Ill sadly be down to one and I promise you it wont be “Sound and Vision”. Im calling Home Theater Customer Service Monday Morning to cancel my subscription.

RevolutioN64's picture

This is a follow up to my last post. I just got off the phone with Home Theater Magazine Customer Service (1-800-264-9872) to cancel my Subscription and THEY CONFIRMED THAT SOUND & VISION IS GOING ALL DIGITAL AFTER THE TRANSITION. Glad I'm getting a Full Refund! Just thought I would pass this along to all my fellow HT Enthusiasts.

Rob Sabin's picture
RevN64, this is erroneous info you've posted here. Not sure who told you this at customer service but if you indeed heard it, it's totally and completely false. Sound & Vision will go on as a 10 time a year print magazine that follows exactly the same schedule as the present day Home Theater. Under my aegis, it will not be the magazine you've seen to date under the Sound & Vision banner, and will continue to have the core focus on home theater technology and products that Home Theater had. I'm glad you and other readers have been proud to carry the Home Theater banner, as I have been as well. I'm sorry that the name change is upsetting to you and possibly other readers, or that the notion that we may pay more attention to ancillary categories that are of interest to a large number of readers automatically communicates a watering down or lessening of our passions for home theater as a category. You and other readers will simply have to wait and see how the overall balance falls and decide after looking at our issues going forward if they represent a satisfying read for you. But I can tell you that if you're interested in reviews of cutting edge home theater products like 4K and OLED HDTVs, high end AVRs, budget prepros, new speaker packages, et. al., there is not going be a better place to find these expert reviews than Sound & Vision print and what will eventually be a revised Sound & Vision website. We now have a truly all-star reviewing staff, including all of our HT experts along with some very gifted voices from the old S&V, most of whom I've worked with before and couldn't be more excited about working with again. This merger has the potential to create a stronger, better magazine for home theater enthusiasts than either of the two books could be on its own, and that's what we're striving for.
RevolutioN64's picture

I do apologize but I called the number (1-800-264-9872) this morning at 10:24am EST to at least cancel my two year renewal because my current subscription was not up until November 2013, and I told the representative that I would wait and see what the new Sound & Vision actually would encompass since I was never a fan with what Sound and Vision magazine was before. She told me that I would receive my last print magazine with the october issue and if I decided to renew after that I could receive the digital copy ONLY. I asked 3 or 4 times if there was a going to be a print version of S&V and she confirmed several times that it was going forward only as a Digital Magazine. I even told her that I can guarantee that I wont be coming back because I absolutely HATE Digital Magazines and she responded by basically saying sorry. Mr. Sabin, I really am sorry because I was misled by customers service and Im ecstatic that there will still be a print version (I will give it a shot, but Im not committing to anything) and if we can delete this post somehow I would be fine with it. I could send you my name and ex subscription # if that would help to correct the misleading information I received from customer service. But I do disagree with you on one small matter, if you once use to pride yourself as being an dedicated enthusiast source material and gained the trust of its readers then It should have stayed that way. I would have even paid more for a subscription to keep it that way. Come on, even Source Interlink Media still has dedicated magazines for Surfing, Transworld Snowboarding, and Transworld Skateboarding. If they are still getting individual treatment, why cant we?????

Grhafer30's picture

I hope I'm wrong, but I've seen this move before. (Who hasn't?) Do you remember. STEREOPHILE GUIDE TO HOME THEATER, PERFECT VISION, HOME THEATER BUILDER, A/V INTERIORS? With each merger, there's a dilution. The loss of the HOME THEATER name is not good. I'm not canceling my subscription but I'm not renewing until I see the direction. Combining by October issue is certainly a rush to bring together two staffs, minus a few. The headline is incorrect: HOME THEATER =\ SOUND AND VISION.

Jonasandezekiel's picture

I think what concerns me the most is the feeling that I get that the magazine is going to be dumbed down. I don't want shorter reviews, and I do not want to have to access the full reviews on the website. For people that don't understand the lingo or how tests are run they need to get up to speed as far as I'm concerned. I'm a long-time subscriber, And now I feel that the reviews are going to suffer because we're trying to appeal to everyone. We cannot be everything to everyone. We are specialized market and we should continue to approach it that way. I'm afraid that this magazine is heading down the wrong road.

zoetmb's picture

@jonasandezekiel: ALL magazines are getting dumbed down because in a Twitter and texting world, no one has the patience to read more than 140 characters and most people have a stunning lack of knowledge of science and physics. That's why such magazines post star ratings in big blocks. That's all most people want to read. And that's also why you'll find an incredible number of audio "fans" who think an amplifier will have a great sound if it weighs more. No one wants the details. They just want to know if it "goes to 11". That's why you have consumers posting on audio web sites questions like, "I have $500 to spend. Tell me what receiver to buy."

Compare Scientific American today to SA 30 years ago. While still a very worth magazine, today, only advanced academics could read the version from 30 years ago. Back then, it was one of the most popular magazines sold. Look at the difference in Rolling Stone from the 1970s-80s when they used to publish long articles about politics, like those of Hunter Thompson ("Fear and Loathing...") or Tom Wolfe with the Rolling Stone of today, which is mostly photographs of "starlets" and gangsta rappers with captions.

Magazines are dying because most people get their info from the web and advertisers spend far more money on Google Ad services and banner advertising than they do on print ad pages (just look to the right-hand side of this screen). There was a time when advertisers spent "six deep" in any genre of magazine. That money doesn't exist any more. Frankly, it's amazing that these magazines can exist at all in print form. If a merger is the only thing that can help them survive, so be it. I'm sure they're going to do the best they can, but if they make it too esoteric, that reduces the audience and there are already magazines serving that market, which also struggle to survive.

Back in the day, aside from the professional journals like AES and SMPTE, the quality of consumer audio magazines was largely an inverse relationship to how large the circulation was. So Audio magazine was probably the most refined technically, but it had the smallest circulation. Then came High Fidelity, which was very classy and had tons of classical music reviews. Then came Hi-Fi Stereo Review, which was probably the least sophisticated, but had the largest circulation (although High Fidelity tended to have larger issues). Obviously, none of those magazines are around today.

Ted Willis's picture

I have really enjoyed Home Theater through the years and I am sure that it will continue to be a great magazine post changes. I have also read S and V through the years though less often and have enjoyed it as well. However I always felt that Home Theater was the better publication. I have to admit that there was something psychological about carrying and being seen reading a publication displaying the name Home Theater as it is my passion. For this reason I believe some of the mystique will be missing in a subtle way.
However, I will continue to be a subscriber to the new HT/S and V.

Wotan's picture

When Stereo Review and Video Review were merged to form Sound & Vision, it soon became evident that the new whole was much, much less than the sum of its superior parts.

When the excellent columnist David Ranada disappeared from S & V (whatever the reason), it became even more apparent that much had been lost in the transition.

When a new editor took over S & V and was as unkempt in his editorial decisions as in his appearance, it was time to leave the barely discernible remnants of Julian Hirsch, Stereo Review and Video Review. Along with the gadget reviews and extended (aka "interminable") interviews with music groups, there was the screamingly obvious vacuum of anything resembling home theater.

What pleasure it was to find the superb Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and its excellent columnists and reviewers (Are you listening, Tom Norton?). Of course, that pleasure was relatively short-lived--until Home Theater magazine replaced (well, sort of)
it.

I must say that the transition from SGHT to Home Theater has been a very fine one, continuing with some very fine editors (Are you listening, Rob Sabin?). The focus has always been on home theater.

One is tempted to add, "Of course, the topic is home theater," but then one need only remember what happened with Sound & (virtually no) Vision.

Please, do not let this happen again with a new Sound & Vision. We're counting on you, Rob!

damain56's picture

This is a disaster. I first subscribed to Stereophile Guide To Home Theater/ltimate AV and saw how the quality dropped when it became Home Theater. Aside from Tom Norton, the writers were never of the same quality in the new magazine (which was actually an old magazine). Despite the inferior quality I continued to subscribe. The fact is that Home Theater covers the entire spectrum of HT products and does a good job at it. Now I'm being told that Home Theater will become Sound and Vision? The awful legacy of Julian Hirsch and Stereo Review? There is no way in hell I will continue with this magazine. While Home Theater lacks the depth of SGTHT/Ultimate AV, the writers still listen critically and manage to give us a good idea of what things sound and look like. I am certain that Sound and Vision will continue its policy of recommending everything regardless of how good or bad the component is. I remember a review of a JVC cassette player in the early 80s. It had poor tracking,skewed frequency response, audible wow and flutter. Julian Hirsch gave the piece of crap a thumbs up. This is what we will be subjected to. I don't doubt it for a second. As soon as my current subscription runs out I will be subscribing to Perfect Vision and their arrogant, better than thou reviews. At least I won't have to worry whether the publication responds to its readers or its advertisers.

Wotan's picture

When damain56 refers to "the awful legacy of Julian Hirsch and Stereo Review," I have to wonder to just what part of that legacy (s)he is referring. As for Julian Hirsch, he certainly needs no defense, although Brent Butterworth offered an interesting sketch of Hirsch's work at Stereo Review. It might be interesting (on an extremely slow day) to go back and read Hirsch's JVC review and compare it with the (review) source of damain56's comments.

As for other writers in Stereo Review, damain56's remark about an "awful legacy" are puzzling, to be sure. (Dr.) Craig Stark was outstanding in his knowledge and ability to offer presentations for those of us interested in the field of audio tape recording. Another name that comes to mind--again--is David Ranada. When we turn to Stereo Review's coverage of classical music, we find such eminent scholar-critics as George Jellinek, James Goodfriend, Richard Freed, Eric Salzman.... Enough! Yes, puzzling, to be sure.

I do want to thank damain56 for reminding me about Perfect Vision magazine, which I had followed in years past. When it was "merged" (that horrible word again) with whatever it was, I cancelled my subscription. Is the magazine available once again in its former quality?

boulderskies's picture

First to Mr. Sabin: I can appreciate the effort and stress involved in this merger both from above and below you. And now apparently from us :). So, at least from one of us, you have my support (and continued subscriptions), for what its worth.

One question to you though - for those of us with subscriptions to both magazines (making two), isnt this a net reduction of one? Regardless of extending one subscription or the other, I will now get one magazine. So why not just say that?

Now to those of my compatriots on here, how about we give these guys a break and wait and see what they come up with? How can some of you possibly know what the result is going to be? Can you see into the future? If so, your time is probably better spent playing the lottery or fortune telling.

The fact is, the resulting product of this merger could actually be a good thing, right?

Second, there are two other what I call "high-brow" magazines: Absolute Sound and Stereophile. Granted they are not "home theatre" targeted but why not supplement your new Sound&Vision subscription to at least one of them? You might learn something about one of the facets of the hobby you love.

And finally back to Mr. Sabin and SIM Management: One of your prime focuses seems to consistently be print space in the magazine. It seems to be a rigidly controlled thing like bandwidth for TV or radio. Or airspace of D.C. Except its not. It can be expanded by 2 pages or 10 pages. So, if your goal is to create a better magazine from two comparitively lesser magazines, expand the space once in awhile.

boulderskies's picture

Sorry but the new logo sucks. Just call the magazine by its name.

Scott

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