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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 05, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q The 4k content I see on UHDTVs in stores looks awesome. But when I ask the salesperson to flip the feed to regular HD (from Direct TV), the picture doesn’t look nearly as good. It looks worse, in fact, than the same content shown on the standard HDTVs, and certainly worse than on my 10 year-old Sony SXRD.  My question is, if I buy a new UHDTV, how can I make the picture look as good as what I’m used to seeing on my Sony? There isn’t much 4K content yet, so what I’d mainly be watching is regular HD.—Ben Soave

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 05, 2015 3 comments
One persistent criticism of audiophilia is that it can be expensive. Why this criticism is leveled at, say, Pono—but not at fine wine, high-end apparel, or fancy cars—is one of life's mysteries. I'd say the best signal sources, speakers, amps, headphones, and other products are worth the investment if you know what you're doing. But paying more for the good stuff isn't the only way to be an audiophile. You can get pretty good sound from, say, one of the $600 receivers on our Top Picks list. And, whatever you may have on your rack, there are other ways of improving your system for little or nothing. Longtime readers will find most of the following tips blindingly obvious. But they are intended for younger readers just getting their systems started.

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Mar 04, 2015 8 comments
With the new reclassification of broadband providers under Title II, the FCC can enforce net neutrality and we don't have to worry that our 4K streams will be slowed down. What are the new rules and what does it mean in the future?
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Mar 04, 2015 1 comments
A charmer of a film, deeper, even grittier than its Capra-corn romantic populism might suggest, It Happened One Night swept the 1934 Oscars—winning Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay, and Director—and if it hadn’t edged out The Thin Man in doing so, I’d say, Bravo, well deserved. The story is a classic class-crossing fable: A spoiled rich girl runs away from her father to join the king she wants to marry; a hardscrabble newspaperman finds her, blackmails her into letting him come along to write a story; they take to the road, by bus, foot, thumb, and jalopy, squabbling, scolding, and, of course, falling in love with each other.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Mar 04, 2015 0 comments
In 1999, Sports Illustrated voted Muhammad Ali its “Sportsman of the Century.” Ali unquestionably deserves this honor, but it doesn’t begin to convey his importance. Political martyr, civil rights activist, religious zealot, and all-around hero, Ali was one of the 20th century’s greatest figures and, during the ’70s, the most recognizable person on earth. Ali has been the subject of countless films including the brilliant When We Were Kings, 1997 Oscar-winner for Best Documentary.
Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 04, 2015 0 comments
Rejuvenate Your Wi-Fi Network

Build Quality


Cheap and easy to set up
Boosts Wi-Fi signal in far-flung areas
Approaches the cost of a new 802.11ac router

The DAP-1520 provides a simple and inexpensive way to improve spotty Wi-Fi coverage and set the stage for improved streaming.

Tell me you haven’t had to deal with Wi-Fi drop-outs when you move to the outermost regions of your humble abode with a laptop or tablet in tow? You know, the old 4-3-2-1-0 bar shuffle… I got so fed up with fighting to hold onto the signal from the sofa in my family room that I planned to move my router to a more central location. It sits in my basement office at one end of the house, admittedly, about as far away from central as you can get. But when I thought about having to snake wires across joists and up through the floor, I decided to find another solution—a quick fix, if one existed.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 03, 2015 0 comments
LG has announced pricing for a number of the 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) TVs it showed in January at CES. All models are promised for “spring” delivery. Whether that means later this month or late May/early June, we don’t know.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 02, 2015 0 comments
Steinway Lyngdorf P200 Surround Processor

At last September’s CEDIA Expo, Steinway Lyngdorf offered a sneak peek of the P200 surround processor it plans to start selling in early 2015 for $18,000. (No, that’s not a typo.) The P200 distinguished itself as the first processor to support both Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. Equipped to handle multiple speaker setups, it’s designed to switch between speakers positioned for either format at the touch of a button. To get the story behind this one-of-a-kind product, we spoke with CEO/CTO Thomas Birkelund.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Mar 02, 2015 1 comments
Sonos announced that a limited edition Blue Note version of the popular Play:1 wireless speaker will go on sale Thursday for $250 at
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Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 02, 2015 0 comments
Al Kooper has been a mastermind behind the board of many a storied session over his half-century career, but his prowess as a multichannel mixmaster has been largely unheard — until now. Audiophile circles have long been well aware that Kooper had turned in “interesting” 5.1 mixes to Sony for a pair of albums he personally had stakes in — Blood, Sweat & Tears’ trippy big-band-influenced debut, Child Is Father to the Man (originally released in February 1968) and Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and Steve Stills’ still influential jam amalgamation, Super Session (July 1968). Both mixes gathered multichannel dust on the corporate shelves until almost a full decade later, when Audio Fidelity released them from captivity by way of a pair of Hybrid Mulitchannel SACDs. Here, Kooper, 71, and I discuss his surround mixing philosophy for both of those classic releases, why he’s not a fan of mono or streaming, and his alternate, Bloomfield-centric mix of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” (on which Kooper played the infamous improvised organ riffs). There are no longer any 5.1 secrets to conceal.


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