LATEST ADDITIONS

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jun 09, 2014 Published: Jun 08, 2014 0 comments
In a new 416-page coffee-table book, part-time DJ and photographer Eilon Paz takes an intimate look at over 130 vinyl collections and collectors , exploring the beauty and passion behind each treasured trove. The book is a glorious celebration of vinyl records, and showcases the wide variety of collections along with the people and stories behind them.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jun 09, 2014 1 comments
The landscape of our entertainment systems and how we enjoy them has continued to evolve with changing technology. And the importance of different components has changed right along with it. Remember when a cassette player/recorder was the most important music playback device? And then it was a CD player. And then a CD changer. And then an iPod. Now you probably never use any of those devices any longer, rather relying on streaming music from a drive on your home’s network, some cloud-based service like Pandora or Spotify, or beaming it via Bluetooth or AirPlay.
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SV Staff Posted: Jun 08, 2014 0 comments
Having music on or around a patio or deck for barbecues, pool parties and just lounging around is important to S&V readers who responded to last week’s poll question: “What kind of outdoor music setup do you have?” It turns out more than a third of the respondents have hard-wired weatherproof speakers but beyond that it’s very much a mixed bag. Here’s the breakdown...
David Vaughn Posted: Jun 06, 2014 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $180

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Outstanding audio and video performance
Loaded with streaming options
Unique screen mirroring with Samsung smartphones and tablets
Minus
Suspect build quality
Controls are on top of the player, limiting placement options

THE VERDICT
A good budget player that makes up in performance and features what it lacks in build quality.

Last week I was playing poker with a bunch of guys and our topic of conversation turned to home theater. I was asked what I was currently reviewing, and when I mentioned the Samsung BD-H6500 Blu-ray player, one of my friends was shocked. “They’re still selling Blu-ray players! Why?” Needless to say, I was shocked, too. When I asked the table of nine other guys, only two said they had watched a Blu-ray movie in the past three months; the rest were getting their movies from PPV (pay per view) or streaming them from Netflix, Vudu, or Amazon VOD.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jun 06, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Interactivity
Patently rejecting the notion that brevity is the soul of wit, IaMMMMW is Hollywood’s first (and last?) “epic comedy,” clocking in at two hours and 24 minutes in its popular version. Just about every A-list comedy actor of the era is involved in this sprawling tale of some everyday folk who drop everything for an unplanned dash to find a deceased criminal’s buried loot.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 06, 2014 11 comments
The AV receiver is such a feature-rich beast that it's hard to believe designers would ever dispense with a single feature. As the category has grown, features have just piled up, and generally manufacturers prefer adding them to subtracting them. But slowly, stealthily, a few features are vanishing from the spec sheet and the back panel. It had to happen eventually. Every feature costs money for parts or licensing. Either prices have to go up, sound quality has to suffer, or some old features must go gentle into that good night. That last alternative seems like the least of all possible evils.

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Lauren Dragan Posted: Jun 05, 2014 0 comments
This week, I’m going to take a little break from obsessing/drooling over the latest tech in order to discuss something serious with you, and tell you what you can do to help. (It’s as easy as checking your electronics junk drawer, I promise!) I hope you’ll stay with me, but if do-goodery isn’t your thing, stop back next week, and I’m sure to have something new and electrical that makes un noises.
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SV Staff Posted: Jun 05, 2014 0 comments
Lutron Electronics has introduced a wireless lighting and shade-control system for do-it-yourself consumers. The system comprises the Lutron Smart Bridge wireless bridge, which connects the company’s Caséta Wireless dimmers, Pico remote controls, Serena remote-controlled shades, and other third-party devices, and an app for controlling lights and shades inside or outside the home from any iOS or Android-based smartphone or tablet.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jun 04, 2014 1 comments
With Vudu's Share My Movies you can share movies you "own" with up to five friends or family members without having to share your Vudu credentials.
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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 04, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I want to get better sound when watching movies on my new Panasonic ZT60 plasma TV. (I stream a lot of Netflix and Vudu via the Panasonic’s built-in apps.) To that end, I recently bought a small stereo setup: an NAD C326BEE integrated amp, a Musical Fidelity V90 DAC, and a pair of Monitor Audio Apex 10 speakers. The only way to connect the TV to my audio system is by using an optical digital output from the Panasonic to the DAC, which then connects to one of the NAD’s stereo RCA inputs. Here’s the problem I’ve been having: When I watch Netflix or Vudu, I hear nothing but static noise coming from the speakers, though the sound is fine when I watch DirecTV (I have my satellite receiver connected directly to the TV via HDMI). This noise went away when I switched from 5.1 to 2.0 audio in Netflix, but I don’t get the same option for Vudu. I’m kinda stumped at this point. Shouldn’t the Musical Fidelity DAC automatically dumb down 5.1 signals to stereo? Is there another possible configuration that can solve my problem? —Gilbert Solis / via e-mail

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