Al Griffin Posted: Nov 12, 2014 3 comments
PRICE $2,200

Impressive black depth and uniformity
Excellent color
Good set of streaming options
Low-glare screen

Picture processing adds edge-enhancement, noise
Poor handling of images with film grain
Washed-out-looking highlights

Vizio’s P-Series comes with a full-array LED backlight and 4K Netflix streaming, but its performance is marred by overly aggressive video processing.

Editor’s Note: This review has been updated following a recent firmware revision. Please see postscript at the end of the review.

Vizio is known for making TVs that consistently beat the competition on price—often by a significant margin. In some cases the performance of Vizio’s sets also ends up being equal to or better than the competition, though the company’s track record on that count isn’t as consistent. The last two Vizio HDTVs Sound&Vision tested, the 2014 entry-level E- and step-up M-series models, delivered very good performance at an affordable price. Now the company’s P Series, its first UHDTVs for 2014, have hit the street. It should come as no surprise that the price here is nice: the 65-inch P652ui-B2 model I tested lists for $2,200. But does Vizio’s budget bigscreen UHDTV continue the company’s streak of high performance/low cost? Let’s take a look.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 12, 2014 0 comments
Last Thursday Sharp Electronics introduced its latest Ultra HDTVs, along with a Wireless High Resolution Audio Player, at the Video & Audio Center in Santa Monica, CA.

The new AQUOS 4K UD27 lineup, available now, consists of two LCD models: the 70-inch LC-70UD27U ($3,600) and the 60-inch LC-60UD27U ($3,200)...

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Mike Mettler Posted: Nov 12, 2014 0 comments
Bruce Hornsby could never be accused of being an artist who rests on his laurels. "I’m such a different musician in every way than I was 20 years ago," he admits. Prime evidence of the master pianist's ongoing creative evolution can be found all over the double-disc Solo Concerts (Vanguard), where Hornsby explores a variety of styles from behind the keyboard: everything from blues ’n’ boogie to New Orleans funk to the tenets of modern classical music. He also recasts the character of some of his best-known songs, such as turning "The Valley Road" into a blues vamp and giving "Mandolin Rain" an indelible bluegrass stamp. Here, Hornsby, 59, and I discuss how he "makes friends" with new pianos, when and when not to use reverb, and his philosophy of A/B'ing to find the proper live SQ baseline. Pushing the creative envelope — that's just the way it is with Bruce Hornsby, and we hope it's something that never changes.
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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 12, 2014 0 comments
Set sometime in the future in a world devastated by war, a group of human survivors has fortified the city of Chicago as their home base, and in order to keep the peace, they have separated the populace into five distinct groups based upon their personality traits. Candor is for those who seek the truth, Erudite is the intellectuals, Amity is for peace, Abnegation is for the selfless, and Dauntless is filled with thrill seekers who also serve as the security for the community. When Tris comes of age and must choose her “career,” her aptitude test shows her not fitting into one group. She is a Divergent (think square peg going into the round hole), and in the supposed utopian society, this causes problems—and all hell is going to break loose.
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John Sciacca Posted: Nov 12, 2014 1 comments
A fairly common complaint I hear in my custom showroom is the inability to hear dialog while watching TV or movies. The scenario plays out almost identically every single time. A couple will come in, usually older, and the husband will stand there sheepishly while his wife explains that her husband’s hearing has deteriorated and now it’s to the point where he can’t hear the TV unless he blasts the volume which is then too loud for her to tolerate. The husband will then usually chime in that his hearing is fine, and that he just has a hard time with the dialog. But do we have anything that would help so they could both enjoy TV together?

So, first off, guys! I’m not sure what it is that we’re doing in our younger years, but, dammit! It is causing us all to go slowly deaf as we get older! We need to pull it together!

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 11, 2014 2 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
PRICE $3,500 (4 pair 3D glasses included)

Blacks, contrast, and shadow detail to die for
Not 4K
Cinema mode soft in default settings

This new LG is the OLED that videophiles have been waiting for, and an improvement over the 55EA9800 we reviewed last spring—with equal or better performance and, not least of all, a dramatically lower price.

Now that we’re about to turn the page into 2015, OLED HDTVs, so promising a year ago, appear to be at risk. The limited yield for OLED panels, resulting in a high retail cost, has driven most HDTV makers to the sidelines.

But not LG. They continue to vigorously support the technology. And with a current price of $3,500 for the new 55EC9300, they’re clearly tossing a Hail Mary into a market crowded with cookie-cutter LCD sets. At 55 inches (diagonal), this may be a relatively small set for the price, and it’s still just “Full HD” (the industry buzzphrase for 1080p sets). Whether LG scores a touchdown or gets intercepted remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that buyers will be the winners.

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Daniel Kumin Posted: Nov 11, 2014 2 comments
This week, I'm going off on something that really gets me going: drummers.
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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Nov 11, 2014 4 comments
Spinal Tap band member Nigel Tufnel is showing his equipment to director Marty DiBergi and points out that the volume controls on his Marshall guitar amp go to 11. “It’s one louder,” he helpfully explains. DiBergi asks why not just make a “10” setting louder. A confused Tufnel replies, “These go to 11.”

The scene is renowned and has entered the popular culture as a way to point out needless excess, and particularly excess that demonstrates confusion, or otherwise serves no purpose. It’s my opinion that some audio technology now has knobs that go to 11.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Nov 10, 2014 5 comments
A few months ago, we reported that Tidal High Fidelity music streaming was going to be launched in the US. It’s now up and running, and we had a chance to check it out. It’s the first full-resolution music streaming service available to US consumers. (Deezer is also full resolution, but only available for Sonos users.) Blah, blah, yet another music streaming service. Is it really that much better than Beats, Spotify, Slacker, or Pandora? Is it worth the $19.99 monthly fee? After some intensive listening, I say without hesitation, enthusiastically “YES” on all accounts.

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Bob Ankosko Posted: Nov 10, 2014 0 comments
An ultra-quiet motorized projection screen, six-way Roku-ready HDMI switcher, audiophile CD player/music streamer, and more.


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