LATEST ADDITIONS

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 22, 2014 Published: Oct 20, 2014 0 comments
Google's Nexus Player, the first Android TV, is available for pre-order with delivery set for early November. That is, of course, if it isn't sold out...
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SV Staff Posted: Oct 21, 2014 0 comments
Denon has announced that a fee-based firmware upgrade for the new Auro-3D surround-sound format will be available for its AVR-X5200W ($1,999) and the AVR-X4100W ($1,299) AV receivers in early December. Both receivers have built-in Dolby Atmos surround sound processing.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 21, 2014 4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Exceptional blacks and shadow detail
Excellent color and resolution
Impressive sound with optional subwoofer
Minus
Price
Small screen for 4K

THE VERDICT
Short of sitting very close, you’ll need a screen bigger than 55 inches to see the full benefits of 4K resolution. But the XBR-55X900B is, nevertheless, a champion in all respects, including one we didn’t anticipate: state-of-the-art edge-lit local dimming.

The XBR-55X900B is the smallest set in Sony’s X900B series, which also includes the 65-inch XBR-65X900B ($5,000) and the 79-inch XBR-79X900B ($9,000). Fifty-five inches is a relatively small size for achieving the maximum benefits of 4K resolution. But it’s also perhaps today’s most popular size for the principal home HDTV, so there’s no denying its market importance for Ultra HD as well.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Oct 21, 2014 2 comments
Congratulations! You, the president of a multinational audio technology company, are a man among boys. You are a captain of industry, a titan of corporate prowess. Under your command, your dozens of factories and thousands of employees toil to bring forth wondrous new products. And what wonders they are—your portable CD players are the best of the best. People line up to buy your cutting edge in-dash head units. In a few months, your keynote will blow away the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show. Then you wake up, alarm buzzing. It's 2014. Hitting the snooze button isn't an option.

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SV Staff Posted: Oct 20, 2014 1 comments
Published in The Boston Globe on October 19, 2014. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more on Guenther's legacy.

Godehard A. Guenther, of Concord, MA, and Reno, NV, physicist and home electronics entrepreneur, died on October 16, 2014, at the Miriam Boyd Parlin Hospice Residence in Wayland, MA...

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SV Staff Posted: Oct 19, 2014 0 comments
Sound & Vision readers who participated in last week’s poll are not exactly falling over themselves to smarten up their homes with the sort of automated amenities Darryl Wilkinson wrote about in his recent blog, “Affordable New Home Automation Systems Put the Smart in Your Home.” Four in ten respondents...
Tom Norton Posted: Oct 19, 2014 2 comments
Panasonic launched its new flagship 4K Ultra HD sets, the 65-inch TC-65AX900 and the 85-inch TC-85AX850, at a press event in Los Angeles last Thursday. The two models are similar in many ways, including their Ultra HD capabilities, THX certification, HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2connectivity, and H.265 (HEVC) decoding, which is planned for upcoming 4K source material, but not yet universally used in the limited consumer 4K material presently available) The TVs also incorporate Panasonic’s quad-core, Pro5 processor for their “Beyond Smart” feature set.
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Oct 17, 2014 0 comments
At the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, the west coast edition of the Luxury Tech Show was filled with gold phones, automated homes, and personal drones. Here’s a roundup of some of the more unusual offerings on display.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Oct 17, 2014 4 comments

Imagine XB Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value
SubSeries 125 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,846

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clarity and evenness
Compact, tuneful sub
Affordable price
Minus
Dynamic limits of small sub

THE VERDICT
PSB’s Imagine X series refreshes a popular speaker line with reliably excellent sound.

A small but growing number of my younger readers care more about headphones than loudspeakers—but might eventually want to own both. That’s why I’m about to use headphones as the starting point in a speaker review.

There are names that evoke loudspeakers: Bowers & Wilkins, GoldenEar, KEF, Klipsch, MartinLogan, Paradigm, Wilson, Definitive Technology. Then there are names that evoke headphones: AKG, Audeze, Beyer, Grado, Koss, Sennheiser, Stax. However, though several speaker manufacturers have dabbled in headphones, it’s hard to think of many brands known equally well in both categories.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Oct 16, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $90

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Well-designed remote app with mirroring mode
Uses phone’s accelerometer to control games
Multiple users can control same BiggiFi
Minus
Touchscreen remote mode takes practice
Slight lag time when using screenshot remote mode

THE VERDICT
A versatile streamer that’s fun for playing games.

Before the official Android TVs come on the market, several small companies have been making Android-streaming devices that connect to a TV. BiggiFi is the newest Android-on-a-dongle that connects to a TV’s HDMI port. Other than its strange name, and obvious English-as-a-second-language notifications, this smartphone-controlled device might be a good streaming stick choice for users who like to play smartphone apps on the big screen.

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