Filed under
SV Staff Posted: Apr 06, 2016 5 comments
If you can’t make it to Augusta for the 2016 Masters Tournament, no worries. AT&T and DirecTV are putting golf fans “on the green” by broadcasting the event live in 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) starting tomorrow, Thursday, April 7.
Filed under
John Sciacca Posted: Apr 06, 2016 10 comments
Last summer NPR posted a story entitled ”How Well Can You Hear Audio Quality?” that let users “blindly” compare six different tracks recorded at identical volume levels at three different qualities: MP3 at 128 Kbps, MP3 at 320 Kbps, and uncompressed WAV. The goal was to see if listeners could discern the quality difference and then correctly pick which version was WAV.

After thousands of results it turns out that people can tell the difference. But just barely.

David Vaughn Posted: Apr 06, 2016 31 comments
With the announcement in January of Samsung's pending Ultra HD Blu-ray player, I got excited to jump right into a new disc-based format offering high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut (WCG), and 4K resolution (3840x2160). It took about five weeks, but on February 11 I was able to purchase a Samsung UBD-K8500 at a local Fry’s Electronics. Sadly, UHD Blu-ray software wouldn't be available until March 1. But I figured I could at least get the player installed in my rack and await the first UHD discs to arrive.
Rob Sabin Posted: Apr 05, 2016 14 comments
PRICE $1,700

Excellent color
Great screen uniformity
Artifact-free 1080p-to-UHD scaling
Poor black level and contrast
Meager streaming platform

Though it delivers solid entry-level performance, Panasonic’s CX400 faces more fully featured competition at its price.

Panasonic pulled big crowds at its CES booth in January with their CZ950 OLED, a 65-inch Ultra HD television that adds advanced processing to an LG-supplied OLED panel, with quite stunning results. Unfortunately, that set is only sold overseas for now (priced at €10,000 or about $11,000, no less), and it remains unclear when or if Panasonic will release it in the States.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 05, 2016 1 comments
Yes, I do have an odd taste in movies. But there must be others who can equally enjoy science fiction and action films, animated features, and well-done historical dramas. Only recently I revisited the DVDs of Zulu (the 1964 film with a very young Michael Caine in his first major role), and the first episodes of Shaka Zulu (a late ‘80s mini-series with a riveting performance by Henry Cele as Shaka). The technical quality on Zulu was very good for a DVD (there is a Blu-ray release that has received mixed reports, but I haven’t seen it). The picture quality on Shaka Zulu (1.33:1) is poor, but watchable. Both have mediocre audio at best, but despite their technical limitations are superb.

Anonymous is a much more recent effort (2011)...

Filed under
Michael Antonoff Posted: Apr 05, 2016 1 comments
To cut commercial clutter from a diet rich in streamed entertainment, I agreed to pay Google $9.99 a month for its YouTube Red service across all my devices. Unlike free YouTube, there are no pre-roll commercials to fidget through. The countdown taunting viewers to put their lives on hold until the Skip Ad button appears is nowhere in sight. Intermercials that played between videos or regularly interrupted a full-length movie are gone.
Filed under
SV Staff Posted: Apr 05, 2016 0 comments
Game of Thrones: The Complete 5th Season and Sisters were the top selling Blu-ray and digital titles, respectively, as of mid-March, according to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), while Daredevil and The Walking Dead grabbed the top spots in this week’s Top 10 Digital Originals and Top 10 All Shows lists...
Filed under
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 04, 2016 2 comments
Summer’s almost here and the time is right for dancing in the streets. Yup. I went there. While there are plenty of great-sounding Bluetooth speakers, sometimes you need one that you can really take anywhere and subject it to rigors you wouldn’t dream of with other speakers. The Hercules WAE Outdoor Rush ($129) is a water-proof, dust-proof speaker that is so rugged it will even float. Best part—it also has a built-in FM tuner. Bring on the beach party!

Filed under
Daniel Kumin Posted: Apr 04, 2016 7 comments
You too can join the thrilling world of free-lance journalism! Ask me how!!
SV Staff Posted: Apr 04, 2016 0 comments
Fluance has announced that its first line of turntables is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter.