LATEST ADDITIONS

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Rob Sabin Posted: Feb 23, 2015 7 comments
UHD Blu-ray and HDR on the Horizon

As I reflect back on our annual pilgrimage to CES last month in LasVegas, the most exciting news for home theater buffs was around Ultra HD (UHD), both the launch of the first HDR (high dynamic range) UHD televisions and the announcement of details on forthcoming UHD Blu-ray Discs.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Feb 20, 2015 0 comments
Brand new to the US market, the Audio Technica ATH-MSR7 are closed-backed, over ear monitors that are designed to be high-resolution headphones for listening on the go. With 45mm True Motion drivers and a claimed frequency response of 5-40,000 Hz, the MSR7 want to pack all the detail and depth of professional headphones into wearable cans that even offer a removable cable with a single-button remote and mic. They sounded pretty good (from what I could tell, anyway) on the CES show floor, but how did they hold up under scrutiny in a decidedly better listening environment?
Al Griffin Posted: Feb 20, 2015 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Accurate color
Crisp, noise-free images
Eco-friendly Wallpaper mode
Minus
Below average contrast
Poor picture uniformity
Unimpressive Smart GUI and streaming options

THE VERDICT
Sharp’s 4K THX Certified UHDTV gets many things right but some key things wrong.

The only TV-tech buzzword with any legs to it in 2014 was 4K, aka Ultra HDTV. So a TV manufacturer without new 4K-resolution product had better start thinking about packing it in. Sharp previewed a pair of UD27 series Ultra HDTVs last June, and the company finally squeezed out those models just in time for the holiday shopping season. What do the new 60- and 70-inch Sharps have to recommend them over other, similarly priced offerings? Let’s check things out.

Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 19, 2015 0 comments
Performance
Sound
“Exciting new sounds in the folk tradition.” So went the saying on the sleeve of the 1964 debut album by Simon & Garfunkel, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. And how telling that seemingly innocent but steadfast declaration was, as over the course of five studio albums and one soundtrack released during those heady days of 1964-70, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel forged a singular sound that mixed the core tenets of folk with the then-burgeoning pulse of rock. The duo were masters of blending their pitch-perfect harmonies on a cornucopia of intimate tales that concerned matters of both the heart and the state. Not bad for a pair of schoolboys from Queens originally known as Tom & Jerry.
Corey Gunnestad Posted: Feb 19, 2015 0 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
Life isn’t easy when you’re the bastard child of Zeus, father of all Gods, and your name happens to be Hercules. In ancient Greece, it was commonplace for the Gods to descend from Mount Olympus to fornicate with humans and leave mortal offspring in their wake. But Zeus’ infidelity incurred the vengeful wrath of his wife, Hera, who wanted to destroy his illegitimate progeny. When killing Hercules proved problematic, she instead did the next best thing and drove him to madness and the murder of his own wife and children. Remorse then prompted him to undertake his twelve impossible labors to purge himself of his crime.
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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 19, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just signed up for Tidal music streaming and want to make sure I am getting the best sound quality from that service. My laptop is connected to my router with an Ethernet cable and then to my Onkyo pre/pro via an HDMI cable. I have the Tidal app’s settings set to HiFi.

My question is, as music streams from Tidal, does it pass through the laptop’s sound card first and then to the HDMI cable, or straight from the HDMI cable to the Onkyo pre/pro? I don’t know what sound card is equipped with the computer, and want to make sure that if streamed music does pass through, that the card isn’t detracting from the sound quality. —Andre Spits / Atlanta,GA

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Feb 18, 2015 2 comments
Now you can stream the best clips from 40 years of Saturday Night Live
Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 18, 2015 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $997 as reviewed (three speaker models plus accessories)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Robust sound from small, medium, and large speakers
Excellent fit and finish
Portable design
Minus
A little pricey
Connection process can be finicky
Tiny transmitter “batons” easy to misplace

THE VERDICT
The Korus wireless speaker system requires almost no setup and delivers excellent sound quality from three different size speakers.

I first learned of Korus last summer at the CE Week press event in New York City. Big sound emanating from small wireless speakers prompted me to stop at the booth for a closer look—and listen. I was impressed. So much so that a couple months later, I found myself doing a hands-on evaluation away from the hustle and bustle of the noisy trade-show floor.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 18, 2015 0 comments
I can’t claim that I haven’t been guilty of the same practice in the past, but sometimes I get very, very tired of reading article after article in the tech press about the latest thingamabob that promises to revolutionize the way we do something—even to the point of changing our lives forever. Of course, as journalists and writers, we need readers; and, unfortunately in most cases, sensationalism gets the eyeballs we crave. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been a boon for us. We get to report on lots of crazy ideas that’ll never make it to market but sound awesome. “New HDMI cable promises to cure cancer and is Dolby Atmos-ready!”

So I’m a bit jaded. As a result, it’s probably unfair to a company whose people have worked very diligently to come up with a new slant on a device category that’s been problematic from the early days of the consumer electronics industry, but I’m a bit underwhelmed by

Bob Ankosko Posted: Feb 17, 2015 1 comments
One thing you want to get absolutely right when assembling a home theater rig is the speakers. Pick the wrong ones and music will sound dull and movie soundtracks will lack dimension and excitement. Sure, you can fiddle with crossover and EQ settings and move speakers around but it’s not going to help. A bad speaker is a bad speaker.

At Sound & Vision, we’re constantly on the lookout for speakers that rise above the pack and possess that magical quality of bringing music and movies to life. If space is at a premium, here are 10 compact speaker systems you can’t go wrong with, broken into three price categories: $1,000 or Less, $1,000 to $2,000, and $2,000 and up.

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