LATEST ADDITIONS

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Aug 19, 2014 4 comments
I am a huge fan of Dolby Atmos in commercial movie theaters. I routinely specifically choose to see movies in theaters that are Atmos-equipped, and will gladly pay a little extra if necessary. The immersion provided by Atmos playback, particularly from the array of ceiling speakers, is remarkable and in my opinion measurably improves the movie experience.

Thus I was overjoyed when the rumors of Atmos at home came true. The prospect of hearing Atmos soundtracks in my home theater suddenly made me excited about home-theater audio again. I could hardly wait for the specifications to be released, so I could install the necessary speakers, and buy whatever gear I would need. Now, comments from a Dolby heavyweight have made me a little nervous.

Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 19, 2014 3 comments
Editor's Note: Following Sound & Vision's initial print publication of this article, Neil Young took the post of PonoMusic CEO, replacing John Hamm. The company also named Rick Cohen, PonoMusic's general counsel, to be its COO, and accomplished producer Bruce Botnick to be its Head of Content Acquisition.

If there’s one thing we know about Neil Young, it’s that he’s deeply passionate about how his music gets heard. As an artist who’s long championed sound quality over final-mix compromise, Young has been on a lifelong quest to make sure listeners have the opportunity to hear his music the way he intended from both the studio and the stage, whether it be via high-grade 180-gram virgin vinyl or high-resolution stereo PCM on Blu-ray. “That’s all I do now—192/24,” he tells me. “Back when I started recording, we did everything we could so that our listeners could hear the music. The more we presented and the more you were able to hear, the happier you were. We lost touch with that.”

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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 19, 2014 15 comments
Does Pono deliver on its promise of providing high-res digital music that best reflects how the artist intended you to hear it? I listened to a number of FLAC files at 192/24, 176.4/24, and 96/24 on a yellow PonoPlayer through Sennheiser HD-650 headphones during an exclusive listening session in New York City, and—spoiler alert—the answer is a most emphatic yes.
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SV Staff Posted: Aug 19, 2014 0 comments
China-based TV brands Hisense and TCL (The Creative Life) today announced the availability of smart TVs based on an operating system designed by Roku, creator of the popular Roku Streaming Stick.

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SV Staff Posted: Aug 18, 2014 0 comments
The “David Bowie Is” exhibition will make its U.S. debut at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) on September 23, following recent visits to London, Berlin, São Paulo, and Toronto.
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Daniel Kumin Posted: Aug 14, 2014 7 comments

Audio Performance
Video Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Ready for UHD with HDMI 2.0
Refined amplifiers headline strong sonics
Outstanding multiroom abilities, including dual HD-on-HDMI programs
Dolby Atmos capability
Minus
Proprietary auto-EQ had much subtler effect than previous-gen’s Audyssey

THE VERDICT
Onkyo’s usual benchmark audio and video get incremental upgrades, plus new features that include future-proofing HDMI 2.0 and Dolby Atmos.

Onkyo may or may not be the actual market leader in audio/video receivers, measured by unit sales, dollars, or any other B-school metric you care to name. But I’m fairly certain that, year in, year out, they produce more new AVR models combining performance, value, and innovation than anyone else. The TX-NR838 is a suitable example. On the face of things, the receiver seems identical to last year’s TX-NR828, which it replaces: unchanged power ratings, same basic specs, nearly identical quantities of inputs and outputs (this year’s version drops the composite count by one and kicks S-video to the curb altogether), and largely untouched cosmetics and user interface. But look a bit closer, and distinctions begin to come to light.

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 14, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q: I have a Yamaha 7.1-channel AV receiver in my system that’s set up to power a 5.1 speaker system. Very seldom do I hear sound coming out of my surround speakers when watching movies on Blu-ray, though I do occasionally hear sounds like thunder. I have even boosted the output of the surround channels relative to the fronts, and it doesn’t make a difference. What’s going on?—Chuck Schumm / via e-mail

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 13, 2014 5 comments
Pioneer's speaker guru Andrew Jones conducting one of the first Dolby Atmos demos in Los Angeles.

Things are moving fast on the Dolby Atmos front. Here's an in-depth look at Dolby Atmos—what it is and how it works—as well as my first impressions of recent demos conducted by Pioneer and Dolby Labs.

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SV Staff Posted: Aug 13, 2014 8 comments
LG announced plans to launch its next-generation 55-inch OLED TV in late August.
Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 13, 2014 1 comments
Performance
Sound
“The best way to listen to Led Zeppelin is off of the analog tapes, but unfortunately, I can’t invite you around to listen to them.” That’s Jimmy Page, answering my question about whether vinyl is still the benchmark for experiencing Led Zeppelin music at a press conference following a listening event he hosted in New York City back in May. But now that Page has personally remastered all nine of Zep’s formidable studio albums in 96-kHz/24-bit, high-resolution digital audio appears to be the ideal format for hearing every detail and nuance put forth from the collective hammer of the gods.

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