LATEST ADDITIONS

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 18, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Wallace has not been lucky in love. He dumped his last girlfriend when he caught her cheating on him and was so dejected he ended up dropping out of medical school and moving in with his sister and her young son. Shut away from the world for almost a year, he decides to attend his ex-college roommate’s party where he meets the perfect girl and gets her phone number right before she drops the bombshell that her boyfriend is waiting for her at home—some guys can’t catch a break. After Wallace’s previous relationship, he doesn’t want to be “that kind of guy” and discards her number. As luck would have it, he runs into her a few weeks later at the movies and the pair decide to just be friends—but what if something more develops?
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 17, 2015 0 comments
Remote controls suck. Even the best remote controls, such as the Harmony Ultimate Home, suffer from issues that are inextricable parts of what make a remote control a remote control. For instance, there are buttons to press. They’ll either be too small for some people, or the layout won’t be ideal for others. Then there’s the fact that it’s easy to misplace a remote control. Some wind up in between the cushions on the couch. Others—and this happens more often than you would think—have been known to mysteriously make their way inside the kitchen refrigerator. Those are just two of the many problems associated with remote controls for the average person. Now think about that remote control from the standpoint of someone who is up in years and is perhaps suffering from arthritis and/or poor eyesight. For the elderly, remote controls don’t just suck, they’re often impossible to use...
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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 17, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a home theater system powered by an AV receiver for watching movies, but I also want to connect a turntable and separate stereo amp to the system’s front speakers for listening to music. If a speaker has biamp connections, can you connect two separate sources to it? I want to connect the stereo amp to the top jacks on my speakers and my AV receiver to the lower jacks. Will that work? Clint Yarborough / via e-mail

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Mar 16, 2015 1 comments
It’s Saturday night! And you know what that means! Once again, you can be the life of the party, creating killer mashups from your killer playlist. The problem, of course, is Ted, who delusionally thinks his killer mashups are more killer than yours. But now you can resolve that issue once and for all. You can whip out your Braven Fuse portable mixer and show him who’s da bomb.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 16, 2015 7 comments
Plasma may be dead but it’s not buried. In response to last week’s poll question—What kind of TV do you plan to buy next?—just over a third of the respondents indicated that they plan to hold onto currently owned plasma TVs for the foreseeable future.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 15, 2015 3 comments
It is rare that a successful company, and a publicly traded one at that, can miss the mark so epically, so blindly, like NVIDIA just did with the Shield Console (also called the Shield TV).

Ridiculous isn’t even an adequate word for something so mind-bogglingly useless.

Behold, the awfulness.

John Sciacca Posted: Mar 13, 2015 0 comments

W Studio Soundbar System
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
W9 Wireless Speaker
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
W7 Wireless Speaker
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
W Amp Amplifier
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,295 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Stellar audio quality
Sleek-looking components

Minus
Android app is pretty basic
iOS app very limited
Doesn’t currently support true high-res listening

THE VERDICT
The speakers sound amazing and the W Studio soundbar is a home run even without its multiroom capabilities, but the limited Play-Fi app for streaming leaves Def Tech’s W system lagging behind the best multiroom systems.

For a while, audio manufacturers seemed resigned to give it the ol’ “lie back and think of England” routine when it came to accepting Sonos as the dominant force in the wireless audio world. Sure, they might not have liked it, but they weren’t offering any compelling alternatives of their own. And while there had been some challengers in the past, most fell well short of the Sonos benchmark and quickly faded.

This tide has changed lately, however, and the war for wireless audio is heating up. Multiple systems are now offering their spin on wireless music distribution and hoping to take a bite out of the Wi-Fi audio pie. And unlike past attempts, several of these new solutions are not only good, they’re great. Darryl Wilkinson recently reviewed two top rivals for Sonos’ throne, Bluesound (S&V, June 2014) and Denon’s HEOS (S&V, January 2015). Now, well-regarded speaker manufacturer Definitive Technology is throwing its hat into the ring by embracing Play-Fi in its new Wireless Collection.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 12, 2015 0 comments
The good news is that DirecTV is becoming the first pay-TV operator to offer Ultra HD programming. The bad news is that so far, the effort is limited to Samsung TVs, and programming to live events and 30 movies from Paramount and K2 Communications. You’ll also need a Genie HD DVR with broadband connection. The recently launched Ariane 5 satellite is the key to DirecTV’s UHD operation, along with a new slice of satellite spectrum. The satellite also provides additional local HD programming. DirecTV will soon have company, with Comcast preparing a UHD launch.
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Mar 12, 2015 3 comments
Remember radio? You turned it on, tuned it in, and got music, for free. (Well, free-ish; of course there were ads.)
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Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 12, 2015 1 comments
To modify a phrase, fingerpicking guitar maestro Jorma Kaukonen just keeps on innovatin’. For over a half-century, Kaukonen has followed his own path and applied his folk roots to variations on psychedelia with Jefferson Airplane and free-form blues with Hot Tuna, not to mention his own solo rock and unplugged outings. On his acoustic-driven new disc, Ain’t In No Hurry (Red House), Kaukonen continues to push forward on tasty, intense tracks like the hopeful timelessness of “In My Dreams,” the traditional riches-to-rags lament of “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” and the down-home grit of “The Terrible Operation.” Observes Kaukonen, “One of the cool things about the way the album is mixed is that there’s this magnificent, transparent presence of all the instruments, no matter who’s playing and where they are. You can hear them all; they’re there.” Kaukonen, 74, and I got on the phone recently to discuss his recording techniques, his mastery of Drop D tuning on an iconic song, and the hi-fi gear that’s served to enhance listening experiences all throughout his life. The man may not be in a hurry, but he sure is getting somewhere.

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