Have you ever looked at one of our speaker test reports and wondered what that funny-looking graph with the squiggly lines is for? Or have you ever thought about how the information conveyed by that graph relates to what a reviewer hears? Given the many, many new speaker systems that get produced each year, maybe you've wondered what methods we use to differentiate between them.
Newcomers to Sound & Vision's HDTV test reports are likely to come across some tech talk that might seem confusing or arcane at first. The truth is, video technology has become much more complex since TV started to go digital and high-def nearly a decade ago, and a side effect of all that increased picture resolution and clarity has been mounds of strange new jargon.
Anthem's AVM-series home theater audio preamp/processors are considered among the best - if not the best - for the money. An enthusiastic review in these pages back in November 2004 made much of the AVM 30's THX Ultra2 certification, multichannel analog input with full bass management, and extensive list of surround modes.
Apple's computers have always been audio- and video-friendly, but the company has mostly left the home entertainment part of the equation up to third-party developers. Although an Apple hard-disk video recorder or music server has seemed like an obvious thing for Steve Jobs to trot out, year after year there's been nothing but new (and very welcome) takes on the iPod.
When Apple introduced its lower-priced line of iMacs in 1998, it made a big step toward its goal of getting Macintosh computers in the hands of a wider range of users. The line has undergone a number of changes since then, with new iMacs sporting everything from psychedelic candy-color cases to powerful built-in video editing capabilities.
Q It looks like the high data rate (up to 48Gbps) of the forthcoming HDMI 2.1 standard will create headaches for the consumer electronics industry, especially the cable manufacturers. Here’s my question: Why does decompression of video data happen in the disc player or streaming box instead of the TV? If the situation were reversed, then there would be no need for new, 48G HDMI cables. —Dave Ings / Toronto, Canada
Q There are two-dozen or so Ultra HD Blu-rays available for purchase, with many more hopefully to come. However, none of the UHD Blu-ray releases are available in 3D, even if the theatrical version was in 3D. Do you know if there are future plans for 3D Ultra HD Blu-rays, or has the home video industry decided to kill off 3D for good?
Q Are there any soundbars that I can use with a powered receiver and a TV? —Phil Beloma
A Yes. While new soundbars provide everything from HDMI switching to up to 9 amplified speaker channels for Dolby Atmos 7.1.2 configurations, there are still passive soundbars available from speaker manufacturers including companies such as Paradigm, GoldenEar Technology, Monitor Audio, Def Tech/Polk Audio, and PSB. Click here to see a list of S&V’s Top Picks for the category.