LATEST ADDITIONS

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 29, 2015 0 comments
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After the apparent suicide of a key player at a major investment firm, up-and-coming financier Jane Porter (Sarah Butler, 2010’s remake of I Spit on Your Grave) is racked by grief but also struck by the strange behavior of her bosses. They seem to be increasingly interested in some recent high-level investments, but also in who might know about them. Were more sinister forces at work? And if so, will she be the next employee to meet a sudden end? Tensions mount with the after-hours arrival of the company crisis manager (D.B. Sweeney, looking like Chris Cooper), whose friendly interrogation grows more insistent. The building is locked down for the night with almost no one else inside; Sarah finds herself on the run for her life but is soon trapped inside the elevator, and a twisty game of cat-and-mouse ensues.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 29, 2015 0 comments
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Has the iconic villainess of Sleeping Beauty gotten a bum rap all these years? In this grand live-action reimagining of the classic tale, we learn of the longstanding hatred between a human kingdom and a nearby realm of magical beings. Maleficent, the most powerful fairy and their de facto leader, begins life full of wonder, but after she is bitterly betrayed by the only human she ever cared for, she becomes the angry, formidable opponent we thought we knew.
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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 29, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have owned receivers from Onkyo, Pioneer and Yamaha. With each one, the sound always seemed muddy after I used the auto-calibration function for speaker setup. In my experience, I get much better sound when setting all speaker crossovers to 200 Hz, or the highest available setting. Expert opinions I’ve read on the subject say this is wrong, though I’ve adjusted two friends’ systems in this way and they agree with me that the sound is better. Am I correct? —David Bone

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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 28, 2015 0 comments
“I’ve always been a fan of records that tastefully use effects to enhance the listening experience,” says Sam Llanas, former vocalist/guitarist for roots-rock pioneers BoDeans, now ensconced in a full-time solo career. Llanas’ distinct vocal tone — which resides somewhere between gravel and grace — has touched the soul of indelible songs like “Closer to Free,” “Feed the Fire,” and “Rickshaw Riding,” and on The Whole Night Thru (Llanas Music), Llanas opens up his palette on deeply personal tracks like “Deja Vu” and “I’m Still Alive” to achieve an even more honest aural identity. “We did decide early on that we would like to make a record that would be engaging on headphones,” he reports. Here, Llanas, 53, and I discuss the importance of equipment choices and microphone placement, how to make a record that hits “hard and fast,” and his favorite BoDeans album. The man is very much still alive and kicking.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 28, 2015 1 comments
Dish is issuing invitations to try out the new Sling Television streaming service that launches in February. It's worth checking out.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 28, 2015 1 comments
I’m not a terribly big fan of Nest, but I don’t hate them, either. I own a Nest Thermostat, and I like it—for the most part. What I don’t understand is the gushing amount of praise a lot of writers give it, both as a standalone thermostat and a major smart home device/controller. You get the feeling that if God needed a thermostat, the Nest would be the one He’d buy. Despite what you might read, the NEST thermostat has its flaws, two of which are its inability to detect occupancy in other areas of the home and its requirement for an always-on Internet connection when used with other smart home systems.

But I have to give the Nest folks a great deal of credit for doing a very honorable thing recently...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 27, 2015 1 comments
The 2015 International CES is over, but the melody lingers on. The big news in video, of course, is that Ultra HD is coming to us like a great singer who is pushed out on stage knowing the tune but not the lyrics. The result might be a stirring vocalization of “Over the Rainbow,” but the only words the singer can think of are the lyrics to “Does Your Chewing Gum Loose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight.”

In short, most (but not all) of the sets launched at the show still feature only one of the important features of Ultra HD: 4K resolution...

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 27, 2015 4 comments
Do you know what Tizen is? Tizen might be in your home right now. You might even be looking at it this very moment. Do you know why Samsung dearly wants to put Tizen in your home theater, and even, if possible, in your pocket? Hmm, my fellow citizens of Troy, maybe we should take a look at that big wooden horse sitting outside our city gates.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Jan 26, 2015 1 comments
LG must have made quite an impression when it unveiled its new line of 4K OLED TVs at CES. Last week we asked Sound & Vision readers to pick the “top TV/video story” from CES 2015 and four in 10 chose 4K OLED. High Dynamic Range (HDR) TV technology was a distant second with 21 percent of the vote...
Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 26, 2015 0 comments
Ever since I left the world of car stereos, Pyle Audio has fallen off my radar. When offered an opportunity to listen to their latest soundbar, the PSBV600BT ($300), I have to admit that I was intrigued. I knew this company had a long history of making good speakers for the automotive world, but haven’t heard any of their home products. This was going to be interesting.

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