LATEST ADDITIONS

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 08, 2014 0 comments
TV—specifically 4K/Ultra HD and OLED—top the holiday shopping lists of Sound & Vision readers who responded to last week’s poll question: “What’s Your Top AV Gift Pick for 2014?” Ultra HD netted 22 percent of the votes, followed by OLED TV (15 percent), AV receiver (14 percent), and headphones (9 percent). Regular old HDTV was a distant second to OLED, gaining only 4 percent of the votes, proving once again that the S&V crowd is all about the latest and greatest technology. Here are the full results:
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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 08, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I transferred video from a VHS tape to a DVR/DVD recorder a few years ago but did not finalize the disc and now no longer have the machine. My current DVD player, a Magnavox, won’t even recognize the disc, and my computer won’t either. Is there any way now that I can finalize that disc? —Joe Simone / via e-mail

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Dec 08, 2014 0 comments
Jabra has introduced a wireless Bluetooth headset designed to take workouts to a whole new level of efficiency. They’ve introduced the Jabra Sport Pulse, the world’s first Bluetooth earbuds with a built-in heart-rate monitor. Crazy? I think not. Anyone who’s at all interested in fitness knows that the most effective way to monitor your workout is to track your heart rate. Check out the Orange Theory craze if you don’t believe me, or just look at the treadmills and elliptical machines at most gyms. Heart rate monitoring is an essential part of a safe, effective workout, and Jabra has nailed it. The heart rate monitor is built right into the left earpiece of the Sport Pulse, so finally, you can toss that unsightly, sweaty, uncomfortable heart rate strap.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 07, 2014 0 comments
Once upon a time, space sims were huge. Freespace, X-Wing (and it’s offshoots), Wing Commander, and others dominated store shelves and playtime, the genre has shrunk to a tiny fraction of what it was. While there are some popular titles (Star Citizen being notable), there aren’t that many options.

Fewer still are the options for real-time combat with large ships. Independence War is largely forgotten, but most space combat sims these days focus either on fighter-sized craft, or the slow tactical-style combat of Eve.

Fractured Space is sort of a 3rd person shooter, but with huge capital ships. It’s currently on Steam Early Access, so I had a look.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 05, 2014 12 comments
Would you like to feed your audio system with signals equivalent to what the artist, producer, and mixing engineer heard in the studio? For most people, this is a no-brainer. Why would you not want to hear what the pros heard? And on that basis, a new generation of music players, USB DACs, and other high-resolution audio products is now on the market, seeking open ears and open minds. You'd think this would be cause for celebration. But a small cadre of rigid ideologues are not celebrating. They're insisting that there is no audible difference between CD-quality audio and high-res audio. They bought Perfect Sound Forever, the ancient Compact Disc marketing slogan, hook, line and sinker. Infinitely condescending, the Perfect Sound Foreverists claim to have science on their side and dismiss any other point of view. But the latest science flatly contradicts their long-held dogma.

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 04, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q How important is a TV’s video processing? Sound & Vision’s recent review of the Vizio P65ui-B2 UHDTV gave it a poor rating for that category. My Oppo Blu-ray player has excellent video processing. Can a disc player’s video processing overcome a TV’s shortcomings in that area? —David Hall

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Dec 03, 2014 2 comments
The Rocki WiFi adapter connects to any speaker or sound system that has a line-in or RCA connection. Find out if this funny-looking little device is the next gadget you'll need to add to your streaming arsenal.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 03, 2014 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $800 (updated 12/10/14)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
HDMI 2.0 and lossless surround decoding
7.1 channels of amplification
Fairly deep response
Upward-angled rubber feet
Minus
No HDCP 2.2 DRM

THE VERDICT
The Sony HT-ST5 provides up-to-date HDMI 2.0 connectivity along with great-for-a-bar sound, including excellent subwoofer integration.

OK, I admit it. When I signed up for audio-critic duty in the late 1980s, about a decade into my tech-journalism career, I envisioned a glamorous world of gleaming waxed wood-veneered speakers, precocious multitalented receivers, and dressed-to-kill home theaters designed by Theo Kalomirakis. Soundbars weren’t even on the horizon then. Even so, step by step, I have committed myself to the conceptual principles underlying soundbars: audio-for-video, compactness, minimal footprint, maybe a little surround magic, and user-friendliness, that last item being glaringly absent from AV receivers.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 02, 2014 2 comments
It is the patriotic duty of every American man, woman, and child to go shopping for a TV on Black Friday. After spending most of Thursday up-armoring me and my vehicle, I went to a Best Buy on Friday morning. Two observations: First, I lived to tell about it. Second, it takes about 20 minutes for the ambulance to drive from the Best Buy to the nearest ER.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Dec 02, 2014 0 comments
Americans love technology. So much so that four out of ten U.S. shoppers bought or planned to buy electronics goodies over the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. How about you? Did you hunker down on the sofa and scour the Web for the craziest deals or brave the malls? Either way, take a moment to select your top AV gift pick for the 2014 holiday season. And if your perfect gift isn’t on our list, post a comment to enlighten us. Happy shopping!
What’s Your Top AV Gift Pick for 2014?
AV receiver
14% (119 votes)
Blu-ray box set
4% (34 votes)
4K/Ultra HDTV
22% (193 votes)
Game console
7% (62 votes)
HDTV (1080p LCD/LED)
4% (38 votes)
Headphones
9% (80 votes)
Home theater speaker system
7% (56 votes)
Music box set
1% (7 votes)
OLED TV
15% (130 votes)
Portable wireless/Bluetooth speaker
3% (24 votes)
Soundbar
2% (20 votes)
Streaming media player (Roku, etc.)
5% (43 votes)
Turntable
6% (53 votes)
Total votes: 859

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