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SV Staff Posted: Jul 22, 2015 0 comments
Microsoft Will Use DRM on UHD streaming with PlayReady 3.0. This might embolden studios to stream UHD through Windows 10...
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 22, 2015 1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
PRICE $6,499

First-rate blacks and shadow detail
Superb resolution—in both 4K and 1080p Full HD
Impressive sense of image depth—even in 2D
Best 3D seen anywhere
Image degrades significantly off center
Annoying remote control
Glitchy voice- and gesture-control features

This is the first consumer Ultra HDTV out of the gate offering more than just four times the resolution of 1080p HD. While it will require more UHD program material to fully judge its ability to provide 10-bit color, a wider color gamut, and higher dynamic range than today’s content, this Samsung is still a strong candidate for the best LCD set launched to date.

Ultra HD remains very much a work in progress. Source material is still scarce, and while some is available through various forms of downloading and streaming, the promised delivery of Ultra HD on Blu-ray (the route most likely to offer the best UHD quality) is still months away. Furthermore, the UHD sets that have appeared to date offer little more than enhanced resolution—resolution that isn’t really significant unless you see it on the biggest screen you can afford and sit closer than some folks prefer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a UHD set isn’t desirable...

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SV Staff Posted: Jul 22, 2015 2 comments
Emotiva Audio announced that its new Airmotiv 3b Bluetooth speaker is now available on and authorized dealers for $199 a pair.
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SV Staff Posted: Jul 22, 2015 0 comments
Netflix streaming is projected to double and then some in the next three years, increasing from 8.6 billion hours in the first quarter of 2015 to between 14.3 billion and 21.8 billion hours by 2019, according to a report by MediaPost. This would catapult the popular streaming service from its current 6 percent share of “linear TV viewing” in the U.S. to between 12 and 22 percent based on estimates by MoffettNathanson Research.
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SV Staff Posted: Jul 22, 2015 0 comments
To celebrate the bond between technology and music, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has launched a competition to find original music that will be featured in the opening video for the keynote address at CES 2016. In addition to getting recognition, the winner will receive $5,000.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 21, 2015 10 comments
While many of you can’t recall when the VCR shook up the TV landscape, I remember the transition to color television. It was an exciting time, but those new sets were very expensive relative to the average middle class income. They were also seldom larger than 21-inches—about the size of many of today’s computer monitors.

Understandably, many consumers waited years for color television to come down in price. I still remember relatives and family friends claiming that they were waiting for them to be perfected. If by “perfected” they meant that they wanted to see the technology stabilize, they’re waiting!

Technology is never stable. While the Ian Malcolm character in Jurassic Park may have said, “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should,” (truly an odd statement coming from a scientist—oh wait, it came from a screenwriter) there’s always something new and enticing just over the next hill.

John Sciacca Posted: Jul 21, 2015 1 comments
Custom Theater and Audio's Atmos-equipped demo room.

A lot has been written over the past few months about Dolby’s new home theater surround format, Atmos. Virtually every receiver manufacturer and many speaker companies have embraced Atmos-capable systems, both with in-ceiling and Atmos-enabled module speakers.

One of the perks of working at a custom installation firm with a showroom is having a playground to install and experience the latest technologies firsthand before installing them into someone’s home...

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SV Staff Posted: Jul 21, 2015 0 comments
John Sciacca and Leslie Shapiro have both written about the Pronto Peel, an IR (infrared) hub/app that turns your iPhone into a personalized smart remote control. Pronto announced that the device/app is now available at Best Buy and for $50.
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SV Staff Posted: Jul 21, 2015 0 comments
A limited edition Tone version of Sonos’ popular Play:1 wireless speaker goes on sale today for $250 at The company built 5,000 black and 5,000 white units for distribution globally; shipping is free and there’s a limit of two per household.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 20, 2015 0 comments
Over the years, I’ve written a lot about outdoor audio and video. Today, most of the people I talk with know about outdoor speakers, especially the portable Bluetooth type—although it’s generally the small, water-resistant models that they think of. (They’d be so much better off with the Soundcast Melody. It’s $399, but I have yet to find a portable, outdoor speaker with Bluetooth that sounds and looks anywhere near as good. Two years after it was introduced, it’s still the best of the portable outdoor bunch.) A smaller number of people know about outdoor speakers that can be permanently installed under the eaves of your home, on a back patio, or around a pool. Some have even heard about outdoor speakers that look like flower pots, rocks, landscape lights, or, sometimes, lifesize dogs, slightly larger-than-life-size frogs, and even angry Tiki heads. But when I mention outdoor, weatherproof TVs—if they’re still talking to me—people either blankly look at me like I’ve just said something in broken Klingon or they say, “Really? They make those? That’s cool.”


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