LATEST ADDITIONS

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 28, 2014 0 comments
There’s something your phone can do (probably) that can not only save you money, but make vacations more enjoyable (maybe).

They’re called SIM cards, and they’re not much discussed in the States, but are commonplace pretty much everywhere else.

To find out why you should care (potentially), read on.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 28, 2014 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $15,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Smooth, clean detail
Excellent color
Rich, dark blacks
Minus
Occasional iris pumping
Pricey

THE VERDICT
With its compelling reproduction of smooth detail, fine color, and impressive brightness with 2D content, the VPL-VW600ES offers a tantalizing taste of 4K.

In case you haven’t noticed—or have just returned from an extended spring break in Antarctica—the newest thing in home video is Ultra HD, or 4K. 3D is so 2010. 4K is now.

But 4K home projectors are still a rarity, and so far, there haven’t been any true 4K consumer projectors even remotely approaching the price of a good 1080p model. Until now, that is. Sony’s new VPL-VW600ES comes in at an MSRP of $15,000, or just over half the price of the company’s VPL-VW1100ES, a recent update of the VPL-VW1000ES (Sony’s first consumer 4K model). That’s not exactly chicken feed, but it’s a move in the right direction.

Kris Deering Posted: Mar 28, 2014 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $399

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Full 3D and UHD support
Blazing fast switching
Options for legacy device support
Minus
USB location may be tricky for some

THE VERDICT
DVDO redefines what to expect from an HDMI switcher and lets your older gear play nice with the new stuff.

When I think of a video switcher, my mind’s eye typically sees a boring little box (with some buttons on the front) that does nothing more than link one of its inputs to a common output. DVDO’s Quick6 is entirely different. Not only is it the fastest HDMI switching device I’ve ever come across, but it also has a ton of useful features that can help both new and old systems alike with today’s cutting-edge gear.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 27, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,547

AT A GLANCE
Plus
A 55-inch horizontal soundbar that can be installed without modifying the wall studs
Can learn volume and mute IR codes from your TV’s remote
Excellent simulated
surround and music
processing
Minus
Really needs a subwoofer
Only one HDMI input

THE VERDICT
The Niles CSF55A is more expensive than a similarly performing active soundbar, but it’s well worth it for the person who wants the gear to disappear without giving up any sound quality.

It’s either the craziest flippin’ idea ever, or it’s absolutely brilliant. I mean, in-wall speakers are one thing. Soundbars, though, especially active soundbars, are completely different creatures. But somebody at Niles—whether inspired by an offhanded joke, an improbable Frankenstein-like engineering experiment, or an alcohol-infused haze after a tedious sales meeting—decided that what the world needs is an active, in-wall soundbar system to complement wall-mounted flat-panel TVs.

Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 27, 2014 0 comments
Performance
Sound
Neil Finn is a restless soul. Though the New Zealand–bred singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist has long mastered the craft of concocting melodic gems—Split Enz’s “I Got You,” Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” his solo single “She Will Have Her Way”—he continues to search for ways to shake up song arrangements and their ensuing sonic character while still managing to keep everything eminently hummable. By teaming up with longtime Flaming Lips sonic alchemist/producer Dave Fridmann to co-turn the knobs for his third solo album, Dizzy Heights, Finn plants a stylistic flag that whips together a heady mixture of stark minimalism and ethereally dramatic effects.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 27, 2014 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
The idea of great, aging actors running around, dropping their elegant theatrical gravitas, and letting their hair down to play goofy action heroes was an inspired one that produced plenty of humor and charm in Reds. Though the concept doesn’t work quite as well the second time around, it still offers a lot of fun.
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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 27, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q If I download 24-bit high-res music from an online source such as HDtracks.com, can I then burn it to a blank DVD and play it on the DVD-Audio player in my home theater system? It sucks that you can no longer buy DVD-Audio discs, but I was hoping to get DVD-Audio-like performance using this method. —Rick Cooper

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Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 26, 2014 Published: Mar 25, 2014 2 comments
“I don’t want to stop anyone from getting the CD, but vinyl is the truest way to hear this record,” says Benmont Tench about his new solo album, You Should Be So Lucky (Blue Note). “When you have Glyn Johns [The Rolling Stones, Eagles, The Who] recording something to tape, you really want to hear it on vinyl.”
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Rob Sabin Posted: Mar 26, 2014 0 comments
Why a Projector—in a Pitch-Black Room‐Is Still the Home Theater to Aspire To

I’ve gone on record, more than once, saying that you need not have a screen of a particular size, nor a minimum number of speakers, to have a home theater. Indeed, here’s a definition I developed a while back for an article in our sister publication, Geek...

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Mar 26, 2014 0 comments
The team that brought us TiVo, now release a new way to stream online video with the Qplay. Check out how it compares to other streaming devices including the Chromecast and whether it is as revolutionary as the TiVo duo claim.

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