SV Staff Posted: Sep 09, 2016 0 comments
It’s impossible to escape headphones. New product announcements turn up in our inboxes every few days and some are even launched via crowdfunding campaigns—like Sharkk’s Bravo electrostatic headphone.

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SV Posted: Sep 08, 2016 1 comments
Ambient light allows us to see the world. From the moment of our first breath to our final sigh, the waking hours of our lives are bathed in ambient light. Think of your best days under the sun; the warm rustic glow of candles and firesides, or the countless light bulbs that have illuminated your path through all these years. Of all the phenomena in this great universe, it has contributed so much to the quality of our lives. That is, unless you are trying to get a good picture on any large video display—then it is just too darn bright. Once again, the old adage proves correct that “you can have too much of a good thing.”
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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 08, 2016 5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q I have dozens of concerts and other programs that I recorded using JVC’s HRD-470U, one of the best VHS tape machines ever made. Here’s my problem: even high-quality VHS tapes look terrible when played on a high-definition digital TV. Is there some sort of “widget” I can buy that will make VHS recordings look better on my HDTV? —Jay Daley / Wickenburg, AZ

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 08, 2016 1 comments
The Netflix Binge Scale measures series likely to be consumed in a single week. At the top end are thrillers like Breaking Bad and Dexter, while political dramas like House of Cards and The West Wing are watched over a longer period.

UltraFlix brings UHD and HD streaming to partnering smart TVs (from Hisense, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Vizio) and media players (Roku 4). It offers more than 1,000 hours of movies, shows, sports, concerts, and documentaries...

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SV Staff Posted: Sep 08, 2016 1 comments
A new report from IBM and the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation—a public, national foundation with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives—reveals that meeting the needs of a growing aging population will require new technologies, partnerships, ideas, and business models. The report also discusses how technology such as cognitive computing will empower seniors to live longer, healthier, and more independently by preventing fraud and abuse, providing greater social connectivity, and improving access to vital information and services.
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SV Staff Posted: Sep 08, 2016 0 comments
Eleven years ago this week, Apple introduced the ultra sleek iPod Nano. The Nano was a replacement for the hugely popular iPod Mini, which drove the number of iPods sold from 2 million to 10 million by the end of 2004, just 12 months after it was introduced.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 07, 2016 8 comments

PRICE $4,500

Excellent blacks and shadow detail
First-rate resolution
Compelling high dynamic range
HDR limited to HDR10
No 3D

In some important respects, Samsung’s new top-of-the-line TV improves upon the company’s previous flagship, and at a lower price.

When we last reviewed one of Samsung’s so-called SUHD sets, Ultra HD with high dynamic range (HDR) was not yet available on Blu-ray. But the arrival of such discs—together with UHD Bluray players like Samsung’s own UBD-K8500—has changed the game.

The 4K resolution of Ultra HD sets is all well and good, but HDR is the most eye-popping feature of UHD. Not all 4K sets, however, incorporate HDR, and those that do don’t necessarily perform at the same level. HDR still can’t be done well cheaply; at present, the displays that do it best are their respective makers’ premier offerings. The Samsung KS9800 series definitely belongs in that company—and among the three models within that family, the 65-incher we’re discussing here is the smallest.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Sep 07, 2016 0 comments
Emerson, Lake & Palmer were always at the forefront of progressive music, and being original has been a hallmark of ELP ever since their adventurous self-titled 1970 debut. Now, the band’s sonic legacy has been distilled into a nice three-disc collection, The Anthology (Manticore/BMG), which also serves as a 39-track sampler of a full-bore catalog reissue series, which recently commenced with three two-discs sets, each complete with outtakes and bonus cuts, for 1970’s Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1971’s Tarkus, and 1971’s Pictures From an Exhibition. I Skyped with ELP vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Greg Lake, 68, across The Pond to discuss how effectively ELP utilized the stereo soundfield, why he prefers the analog format, and what the ultimate key is to making good records. Ooh, what a Lucky Man he still is.
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Sep 07, 2016 0 comments
A collector who refuses to collect is left with seller's remorse.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 07, 2016 2 comments
It seems like a dream come true. After decades of sabotaging efforts to create a cable-ready standard for television sets, the cable industry appears to have come to its senses. The NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) has proposed a “ditch the box” initiative that embraces several necessary components of a scheme to replace the ailing 14-year-old CableCARD standard.