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LATEST ADDITIONS

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 13, 2014 3 comments
Ultra HD has been around for a couple of years now, but prices have now dropped to the point that acquiring an Ultra HD set can be a serious consideration for folks in the market for a new TV, particularly early-adopters. TV makers hope that the next Big Thing in video will be Ultra HD, or as it is widely (and imprecisely) called, 4K. They also hope that Ultra HD has the legs that home 3D (now in its, “Hello, I must be going” phase) lacked.

Ultra HD can be much more than simply 4K resolution (more precisely, 3840 x 2160 in the consumer arena—4K in the pro world , including digital cinema projection, is 4096 x 2160). It also has the potential to offer a wider color gamut, an increased color bit depth, and less aggressive color subsampling. If that string of technobabble sounds intimidating, it simply means that in addition to more pixels, Ultra HD could provide a wider and richer color palette than does our current HD standard.

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SV Staff Posted: May 13, 2014 3 comments
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: May 13, 2014 2 comments
Unabashedly, I admire the power of the individual to accomplish great things. Nothing fascinates me more than extraordinary individuals who start with an idea, build an enabling means (such as a corporation), and then use that resource to change the world. Consider individuals like Bill Gates (Microsoft ), Steve Jobs (Apple), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and let’s not forget Thomas Edison (General Electric). These are men and women possessing genius (defined by Edison as 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration) who can profoundly rattle the status quo.
Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 12, 2014 3 comments
Any second now, confirmation is expected on Apple’s buyout of Beats Music for a reported $3.2 billion. That’s billion with a “b”. There’s no doubt that Beats is a valuable commodity. They did for headphones what Nike’s Air Jordans did for sneakers: No one cares if they’re the best product, they just care if it’s got the right logo. Is this a smart business move for Apple? Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

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Al Griffin Posted: May 12, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I was thinking of buying a Sony XBR-65HX950 3D LCD HDTV based on Sound & Vision ’s positive review of that set. [Editor’s note: We actually reviewed the smaller XBR-55HX950.] However, I see plenty of ticked-off people on Amazon complaining about banding issues with that model. Do you consider banding a factory defect or just a quirk that has to be accepted with LCD technology? —Mike Cahan / via e-mail

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 11, 2014 3 comments
GODZILLA!!!! I’m going to admit something here: I’ve never seen a Godzilla movie. Not all the way through. My knowledge (or lack thereof) has only ever existed as what I absorbed through the zeitgeist.

The pieces I saw of the most recent American incarnation seemed right terrible, and best avoided. How dare you do that to Jean Reno. He was Leon FFS.

But the trailer for this one looked really cool, and a friend who is into Godzilla seemed excited. Lucky me, then, I got invited to the premiere.

Don’t worry, no spoilers, I promise.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 09, 2014 2 comments

SVS SB-2000 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

SVS PB-2000 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $699, $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Room-friendly form factor (SB-2000)
Outstanding build quality
45-day in-home trial period
Minus
No built-in parametric equalizer
Best for moderately sized rooms

THE VERDICT
For rooms smaller than 3,000 cubic feet, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better bass value than what either of these subwoofers offers.

I've loved movies since I was a kid and have been interested in home theater for more than 20 years now. There are many reasons I prefer watching movies at home versus the local cinema: There's no texting or talking, for example, and I can pause the movie if I need a potty break. But the biggest reason I love watching at home is the sound. Don't get me wrong. It's not that the local theater sounds bad; it's just that my home theater sounds better overall, especially when it comes to bass.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: May 09, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Super-svelte dimensions
Natural voicing and excellent subwoofer blend
Surprising volume ability
Minus
Limited stereo image width
Mediocre remote-control range

THE VERDICT
Solid tonal balance, unusually good soundbar/subwoofer integration, and substantial volume for so slim a design make the SoloCinema Studio a fine performer in its category.

Love them or hate them, soundbars are a big part of what’s keeping audio manufacturers afloat these days—those, at least, that haven’t already repaired to Davy Jones’ Locker. Baltimore’s Definitive Technology, a firm whose “real” loudspeakers have for two decades and more set high standards of performance and value, is no newcomer to the bar scene. Its latest effort is the SoloCinema Studio, a two-piece job, and the bar half is tiny, quite literally a bar: just 3-plus inches square by 42-plus wide.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 08, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Interactivity
High on the list of stars needing a good movie under their belt we would find the beleaguered Mr. Schwarzenegger. His box office clout was waning, then he spent many years away from show business to run California. At one point his most promising comeback vehicle seemed to be a bizarre "Governator" cartoon, and then it all came crashing down amid a horrible public scandal. But could he still hold his own on the big screen if he wanted to?
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Al Griffin Posted: May 08, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I plan to buy a Pioneer BDR-XU03 Blu-ray burner for my iMac. I'd also like to connect it to the HDTV in my family room for watching movies. Is there such a thing as a USB to HDMI converter? If not, do you have any other suggestions? —Kendall Knights via email

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