LATEST ADDITIONS

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 21, 2015 15 comments
The difference between regular and high-definition video is something that most folks will immediately recognize when they see it. But what about high-resolution audio? Unlike HDTV, which caught on fairly quickly and enjoyed a broad base of support from program providers and hardware manufacturers, hi-res audio or HRA, (now an industry-sanctioned term) has struggled to move out of its audiophile niche since downloadable content first came online back in 2008.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 21, 2015 0 comments
The city government of Lincoln, Nebraska wants its citizens to enjoy the benefits of cable competition. So it is allowing a second cable operator onto the playing field. And guess what? The incumbent cable operator isn’t happy about it.
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Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 21, 2015 1 comments
2015 is shaping up to be a banner year for home entertainment as the promise of pristine 4K images from a new generation of Blu-ray players sparkles on the horizon. As a follow-up to Rob Sabin’s technical overview of the Ultra HD Blu-ray, we spoke with Ron Martin, vice chair of the Blu-ray Disc Association’s U.S. Promotions Committee and vice president/director of Panasonic Hollywood Lab to learn more about this highly anticipated product launch.
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Apr 21, 2015 1 comments
A quick look at the pie chart suggests that the music industry exists in a nice state of equilibrium. Sales appear to be evenly split among downloads, streaming, and physical media. If you were a financial planner, and your client's portfolio was as neatly balanced as that, you could sleep soundly. But of course, that equilibrium is only a snapshot of a very dynamic situation. In reality, the way we listen to music is changing fast.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 20, 2015 0 comments
Good news for audiophiles who like to take control of their music. A while back we reviewed a rather unique pair of in-ear monitors, the Torque t103z (MSRP $180). While they were a really good-sounding earphone, what made them stand out were the interchangeable passive filter valves—patented by Torque as PAVT, Passive Acoustic Valve Technology. When Sound&Vision initially reviewed the t103z, there were only three filter options. Now, we get a chance to listen to three new offerings from Torque Audio. For choosy music lovers (and who here isn’t?) this is great news.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Apr 20, 2015 0 comments
Sony has announced six new series of 4K Ultra HD TVs, four of which are available for pre-order with delivery set for May.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 18, 2015 2 comments
I’m a big fan of Death Cab. I’ve got all their albums, yadda yadda, and several of them are among my favorites of all time (Plans is masterful). So you’d think I’d have been impatiently awaiting the March 31st release of their new album.

Except… I didn’t buy it until last week.

Why? I’m a terrible music reviewer, and not paying attention to new releases isn’t even top 5 why.

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 17, 2015 4 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Thomas is disjointed and confused as he wakes up on a rising elevator not knowing who or where he is. When he finally regains his focus, he’s surrounded by a group of teenage boys and realizes he’s not in Kansas anymore. He’s in the Glade, an enclave surrounded by giant walls that hide a maze, a mostly off-limits area that’s protected by the Grievers—cybernetic organisms that come out at night and will kill anyone who has ventured into the maze and hasn’t exited when the sun goes down.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 17, 2015 0 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bright, punchy picture
Excellent color
Compact size
Minus
Mediocre blacks
High vertical offset with limited lens shift

THE VERDICT
You wouldn’t expect the type of performance this BenQ delivers for the price, but it will impress even a fussy videophile and blow away the newbie.

Flat-screen 1080p HDTVs have been dropping in price. Nonetheless, short of a blowout sale, a really big-screen set—say, 70 inches diagonal or larger, even in plain old 1080p, will probably set you back a minimum of $1,500. Compared with prices even two years ago, that’s cheap, but for most buyers it’s still significant cash.

What if you discovered that for less money you could get a picture that’s three or more times the size (by area) of that 70-inch flat-screen set? How does $1,200 sound?

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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Apr 17, 2015 Published: Apr 16, 2015 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Roku home screen accesses source inputs as well as streaming channels
Universal search results finds titles on most channels
Excellent value at under $500
Minus
TV picture can’t compare with high end models
No Ethernet port for wired network connection
Settings for closed captions and many other features require returning to home screen

THE VERDICT
TCL’s Roku TV may be the easiest TV to use for everyone in your family—a great second TV.

Roku is the king of streaming media players. Whether it’s the Roku 3 streaming box or an HDMI streaming dongle, no other streaming system can claim the same variety of channels or simple, intuitive graphic interface. TCL is one of several manufacturers that has integrated Roku into its TVs in some capacity, either with a Roku-friendly remote that can be mated with a Roku stick, or, in this case, a fully-integrated platform in the 48-inch model 48FS4610R ($500 list before discounting). While its picture quality can’t compare with high-end TV models, this is one TV that everyone in the house should be able use.

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