LATEST ADDITIONS

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Mar 10, 2015 2 comments
Meridian Audio Ltd. does some pretty cool stuff. Its hardware products are well known in audio circles, but it is their innovation at the further reaches of audio frontiers that really catches my eye. The latest example of Meridian's creativity, via Bob Stuart, is Master Quality Authenticated (MQA). MQA is an infrastructure of technologies designed to promote a high-quality signal path from the master recording to playback loudspeaker. More specifically, MQA is designed to stream hi-res files more efficiently than a brute-force transfer, and Meridian claims that it can improve the playback quality of the original file.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 09, 2015 13 comments
When it comes to TV, we’ve never had it so good. So many options and so many picture-enhancing technologies to choose from in screen sizes from medium to mondo (small is not in the S&V lexicon) at prices that can satisfy any budget. From 1080p to 4K/Ultra to OLED, there’s no shortage of models to mull with screens that are flat, curved, and/or super thin. All of which brings us to our poll question: When it’s time to upgrade, what kind of TV do you plan to buy? Leave a comment and tell us about your next TV.
What Kind of TV Do You Plan to Buy Next?
Ultra HD LED/LCD TV with a flat screen
28% (592 votes)
Ultra HD LED/LCD TV with a curved screen
3% (60 votes)
1080p OLED TV (curved screen)
4% (73 votes)
Ultra HD OLED (curved screen)
19% (395 votes)
1080p LED/LCD TV is good enough for me
10% (217 votes)
I love my plasma TV and plan to stick with it for the foreseeable future
36% (747 votes)
Total votes: 2084
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Lauren Dragan Posted: Mar 06, 2015 0 comments
There’s a new member of the Sennheiser Momentum family. The Sennheiser Momentum Wireless are Sennheiser’s answer to the Parrot Zik and Samsung Level Over; they’re Bluetooth, have active noise cancelling, and are looking to appeal to fans of higher-end audio. They also come with a higher-end price tag: nearly $500. So what, exactly, does your money get you?
Daniel Kumin Posted: Mar 06, 2015 0 comments
Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
State-of-the-art wireless (WiSA) audio performance
Includes full WiHD Wireless-HDMI link
Substantial, very high- quality design
High-res audio compatible—wirelessly
Minus
File-streaming feature not fully baked
No mixed wired/wireless multichannel output
No video processing on HDMI inputs
Limited system control features

THE VERDICT
The SD-WH1000U is beautifully built and an outstanding A/V performer wired or wireless, but it’s not quite up to service as a full-system hub controller.

Trundle down to your local big-box store, and you will find quite literally dozens of Blu-ray Disc players on offer, starting well under $50. Big ones, little ones, skinny ones, flat ones, cheap ones, and cheaper ones.

None of these will be Sharp’s new SD-WH1000U, a Blu-ray player with a difference. Two differences, in fact: First, it has a jaw-slackening price tag of $5,000; second, Sharp’s design is wireless-centric, being the first WiSA-compatible player to appear, and one of the very first WiSA sources of any description.

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 05, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The 4k content I see on UHDTVs in stores looks awesome. But when I ask the salesperson to flip the feed to regular HD (from Direct TV), the picture doesn’t look nearly as good. It looks worse, in fact, than the same content shown on the standard HDTVs, and certainly worse than on my 10 year-old Sony SXRD.  My question is, if I buy a new UHDTV, how can I make the picture look as good as what I’m used to seeing on my Sony? There isn’t much 4K content yet, so what I’d mainly be watching is regular HD.—Ben Soave

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 05, 2015 3 comments
One persistent criticism of audiophilia is that it can be expensive. Why this criticism is leveled at, say, Pono—but not at fine wine, high-end apparel, or fancy cars—is one of life's mysteries. I'd say the best signal sources, speakers, amps, headphones, and other products are worth the investment if you know what you're doing. But paying more for the good stuff isn't the only way to be an audiophile. You can get pretty good sound from, say, one of the $600 receivers on our Top Picks list. And, whatever you may have on your rack, there are other ways of improving your system for little or nothing. Longtime readers will find most of the following tips blindingly obvious. But they are intended for younger readers just getting their systems started.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Mar 04, 2015 8 comments
With the new reclassification of broadband providers under Title II, the FCC can enforce net neutrality and we don't have to worry that our 4K streams will be slowed down. What are the new rules and what does it mean in the future?
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Mar 04, 2015 1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
A charmer of a film, deeper, even grittier than its Capra-corn romantic populism might suggest, It Happened One Night swept the 1934 Oscars—winning Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay, and Director—and if it hadn’t edged out The Thin Man in doing so, I’d say, Bravo, well deserved. The story is a classic class-crossing fable: A spoiled rich girl runs away from her father to join the king she wants to marry; a hardscrabble newspaperman finds her, blackmails her into letting him come along to write a story; they take to the road, by bus, foot, thumb, and jalopy, squabbling, scolding, and, of course, falling in love with each other.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Mar 04, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
In 1999, Sports Illustrated voted Muhammad Ali its “Sportsman of the Century.” Ali unquestionably deserves this honor, but it doesn’t begin to convey his importance. Political martyr, civil rights activist, religious zealot, and all-around hero, Ali was one of the 20th century’s greatest figures and, during the ’70s, the most recognizable person on earth. Ali has been the subject of countless films including the brilliant When We Were Kings, 1997 Oscar-winner for Best Documentary.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 04, 2015 0 comments
Rejuvenate Your Wi-Fi Network

Performance
Build Quality
Value

PRICE $70

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Cheap and easy to set up
Boosts Wi-Fi signal in far-flung areas
Minus
Approaches the cost of a new 802.11ac router

THE VERDICT
The DAP-1520 provides a simple and inexpensive way to improve spotty Wi-Fi coverage and set the stage for improved streaming.

Tell me you haven’t had to deal with Wi-Fi drop-outs when you move to the outermost regions of your humble abode with a laptop or tablet in tow? You know, the old 4-3-2-1-0 bar shuffle… I got so fed up with fighting to hold onto the signal from the sofa in my family room that I planned to move my router to a more central location. It sits in my basement office at one end of the house, admittedly, about as far away from central as you can get. But when I thought about having to snake wires across joists and up through the floor, I decided to find another solution—a quick fix, if one existed.

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