Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2011 0 comments
As with the Thiels, we mentioned these Sony speakers earlier in this report. But also like the Thiels, they deserve another mention. No other speakert impressed me as much as this one did at the show. I'm enough of a show veteran to realize just how much the room, associated components, and program material can effect the sound of a system, but under the conditions in the Sony room, in a 2-channel setup (four of the speakers were also being used in a surround system in a different room) they impressed me about as much as any speaker ever has at a trade show. The sound was punchy, dynamic, and full-bodied without being overblown. And they made both modern and classical music sound real—few speakers can do as well on both.

The SS-AR1's (I sense an homage in that name) have been on the market in Japan since 2006, but have recently been upgraded in the voicing and crossover department.

But will we ever see them for sale here in the states? Possibly, but this show appeared to be a trial run to judge dealer interest. That's been a problem with Sony speakers in the past, and there have been some very good ones. High-end dealers are reluctant to take on Sony speakers, and Sony dealers are reluctant to take on speakers this expensive—currently about $27,000/pair in Japan.

Associated equipment included Pass Laboratories monoblock solid state amps and an EMM Labs (Meitner) Reference SACD/CED player.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 21, 2006 0 comments

Sony's 2006 line show for dealers and press offered few surprises. Yes, there was the new BDP-S1 Blu-ray player, planned for release in July at $1000. But it must rankle Sony every time they announce that the first Blu-ray player to market, day-and-date with the first Blu-ray titles in late May, will be from Samsung (if you haven't already heard, the delay of the PlayStation3 gaming console/BD player until November has created that awkward situation.)

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments

The STR-DA9000ES is Sony's entry in what has become a new trend in home theater: receivers that seriously challenge separate components. That challenge is extended not only in features and performance, but in size as well. Many of these new behemoths equal the sheer bulk of more than a few preamplifier-processor and amplifier combinations.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 30, 2007 0 comments
Out with the Cineza. In with the BRAVIA.

Until recently, Sony's popular LCD video projectors carried the Cineza brand name. Apart from the fact that I always wanted to say, "bless you" whenever someone said Cineza, it was perfectly fine name. But Sony has now extended the "BRAVIA" moniker, once used to designate only its flat panel displays, across its line of displays.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 30, 2005 0 comments

Once upon a time, it was widely accepted that LCD projectors had two major weaknesses. First, in commonly available consumer models, the pixel structure could result in the infamous "screen door effect." That is, because the wiring driving each pixel had to be routed between the pixels, the pixel spacing, or pitch, was wide enough to make the pixel grid visible at close viewing distances.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 02, 2011 4 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,700 At A Glance: Deep blacks • Accurate 2D color • Outstanding brightness

Sony’s VPL-HW projectors go back a few years, with steady model-to-model refinements. Last year it was the VPL-HW20; this year it’s the VPL-HW30ES. Note that the HW30 now carries Sony’s premier ES designation. But there’s more than that to account for its price premium over the VLP-HW20. Not only does the new model build on its predecessor’s already excellent 2D performance, but it’s also 3D-ready, using active shutter glasses you can purchase separately along with an external 3D emitter. Or if you prefer your projector to be 3D-capable right out of the box, you can purchase it with two pair of model TDG-PJ1 glasses and the TMR-PJ1 emitter included as the VPL-HW30AES for $4,000.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 04, 2013 5 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $4,000 At A Glance: Superb detail resolution • Superior blacks and shadow detail • Solid color performance • Includes spare lamp

In Sony’s pantheon of projectors, the VPL-HW models are the company’s solid middle-class family. While a product selling for $4,000 or nearly so isn’t likely to be found at Target or Walmart, in the projector world it sits nicely between bargain basement and “if you have to ask” pricing.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 18, 2005 0 comments

<I>When our Photo Research PR-650 SpectraScan Colorimeter&mdash;the tool we use to calibrate most of the projectors we review&mdash;went into the shop for repair recently, not destined to emerge until mid January, a decision had to be made. The Sony VPL-VW100 is one of the hottest video products to hit the market this year. Do we wait until January to post our full review, or bring you what we have now&mdash;observations based on using the user controls, a test DVD or two, and experience with other well-calibrated displays&mdash;followed up later by additional details, including a full calibration. I decided on the latter, to bring you the information we have just as soon as possible, making this first-ever </I>Ultimate AV<I> two-part review that doesn't involve more than one product. Part two of this review can be found <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/206sony2/">here</A>.&mdash;TJN</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 19, 2006 0 comments

While my <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1205sony/">December 2005 review of this video projector</A> was complete in most respects, the absence of our Photo Research colorimeter (in the shop for repairs) did leave a few holes in the formal measurements. These were promised for this Part II.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 24, 2012 1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
(92-inch high-gain screen)
3D Performance
(118-inch standard screen)
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $25,000 At A Glance: Superb 4K resolution • Excellent blacks and shadow detail • High-gain screen recommended for 3D

Editor's note: This is an addendum to our earlier review of the Sony VPL-VW1000 4K 3D projector, covering only its 3D picture quality. Click here for the orignal review.

In our February 2012 issue, we published an exclusive first look at Sony’s new top-of-the-line projector. In addition to stunning performance with conventional, high-defintion, consumer material, the VPL-VW1000 employs 4K imaging chips, offering four times the resolution of standard high-definition video.

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