A/V VETERAN

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2017 0 comments
Thiel Audio normally displays at the Venetian Hotel, the venue for specialty audio. But this year they elected to have a booth on the main floor of the Convention center. It was obviously not a spot for an effective, active demo, but the new, 4-way Thiel 40.3, at $35,000/pair, is a big step up in price for the company...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2017 0 comments
In case you haven’t already heard, some weeks back Samsung announced that it was buying Harman Industries...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2017 0 comments
Chinese HDTV manufacturer Hisense showed a range of new UHD HDTVs. The company claims that it can offer performance that equals or exceeds what you can get from more well-established brands, and at much more competitive prices. But their most interesting demos were of a pair of their “Laser Cast” short-throw projectors...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 04, 2017 1 comments
Amid the appliances and robots, LG unveils a flood of TVs, including five new OLED series, two impossibly thin models, and many new Super UHDTVs
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Tom Norton Posted: Dec 27, 2016 3 comments
In just a bit over a week Sound & Vision contributors will be traveling en masse to sleepy, laid-back Las Vegas for CES 2017, hoping to be wowed by all the new audio and video products headed our way in the coming year. Our show blogs will begin on Wednesday January 4th, the most significant (for us) of two days of formal press conferences before the show floor opens on January 5th.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 13, 2016 1 comments
“The press-heads were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of CES danced in their heads.”

It’s the same every year. With the festivities of the season keeping everyone furiously running around making preparations for holiday celebrations, those of us involved in the consumer electronics industry—manufacturers, public relations folks, distributors, dealers, trade press, and consumer press (note the hierarchy!)—have something else on our minds—the annual January CES. ...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 29, 2016 9 comments
Oppo has (finally) released details on its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Here's what we know...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 15, 2016 3 comments
While popular among readers, direct A/B tests comparing one audio or video component with a competing model are far more difficult to do properly than you might imagine. I’ve conducted or participated in numerous such tests over the years, going back to speaker shootouts when I wrote exclusively for Stereophile back in the ‘90s. I also set up or participated in several shootouts of video displays for Home Theater.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 25, 2016 13 comments
HDMI is a boon to videophiles. It can carry both audio and video using one cable, in contrast to the 9 (!) required for a totally analog A/V connection (R, G, B, and 5.1 audio). It can also pass all the features offered by current HD and Ultra HD formats.

HDMI is a nightmare. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it works but limits the information it transports from the source to the display. And sometimes it doesn’t work at all.

Take your pick, but the truth sits somewhere between these two statements.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 11, 2016 3 comments
I’m a huge fan of the movie Oblivion. But is it a Guilty Pleasure or a Hidden Treasure? It received a mixed critical reception when it hit theaters in 2013, and many sci-fi fans and film critics found it derivative.

But who is really surprised when a film borrows ideas and plot tropes from past films and literature...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 20, 2016 0 comments
CEDIA stands for the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association. Unlike CES in January, which covers virtually everything in consumer electronics from cameras, to flat screen televisions. to audio, and to wearables (body décor with chips in them!), CEDIA caters to the large group of professionals who custom install and service electronics, mostly for the home. If you want a high-end home theater like the one shown above, but haven’t a clue as to how to do it, they’re there for you...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 06, 2016 0 comments
We tend to forget that not all readers have been around the block when it comes to the language of video. Those that have know the tricks of the trade, and what all of the terminology means. True, even they’re sometimes mistaken, and we ourselves can get caught out from time to time with what’s being offered this year (or this week!) in the ever changing high definition (HD) and ultra high definition (UHD) world.

But manufacturers seldom offer much help in this, or even do their best to obfuscate. In their specs, descriptions, and promotional copy, one thing you won’t find clearly stated is what their products won’t do...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 30, 2016 1 comments
I like to think that have a broad taste in movie and television entertainment. I don’t much care for crime dramas, horror, gross-out comedies, or westerns (having lived through the era where westerns dominated evening television). I like historical films (either epics or straight dramas), science fiction, contemporary drama, and animation.

And there can be little doubt that the latter is on fire and in the midst of a new golden age. The first such era was centered almost exclusively on the early work of Walt Disney. It survived for about 25 years, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to The Jungle Book (1967). I’d argue, however, that there were only six true classics from that period...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 16, 2016 1 comments
Ever had the experience of surfing the web and finding a link to a site that you never knew existed? OK, there are a lot of sites most of us never knew existed. But if that site is endlessly fascinating and useful to you, that’s a different story. I can’t recall how I first came across bluraystats.com, but I’ve never seen anything quite like it before...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 02, 2016 4 comments
With a near constant steam of new Ultra HD sets cycling in and out of my system, I’ve been slow in mounting my two projection screens, a 96-inch-wide wide, Stewart Filmscren StudioTek 130 (gain 1.3) and an 87-inch-wide, 16:9, Elite Primevision PowerMaxTension (gain 1.1). Both are retractable, which serves several purposes...

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