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Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
In a dark cubicle, with no photos possible (or allowed), Panasonic demonstrated a prototype of a 4K flagship LCD/LED set planned for release later in 2014. Sited next to the now discontinued ZT60 plasma, it looked impressive. The LCD set had full-array LED backlighting, and appeared to have respectable off-center performance—as far as it was possible to tell in such a small space. One of the Panasonic reps said it had an IPS LCD panel—the LCD technology with the best off-axis performance.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
While Aerial Acoustics' speakers aren't candidates for the bargain basement, they do have a reputation for great sound and solid engineering. The new 6T ($6000) is a thinner and relatively more affordable sibling to the company's 7T (just under $10,000).
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Lexicon’s venerable MC-12 preamp-processor, which has been on the market for over ten years (with important upgrades alinbg the way to accommodate the changing times) is about to be replaced by the MC-14. The latter (April, $10,500) will offer a full complement of inputs and other ports, including HDMI, USB, 7.1-channel analog, Ethernet, RS-232, and a headphone output. It accepts all current consumer sources, and also has a selectable analog bypass for playback. Oddly, however, there is no provision for any form of manual or automatic room compensation.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 1 comments
Brent Butterworth covers the details on the new Infinity Reference Series below. Here’s a look at the three-way center ($499). Its vertical orientation for the midrange and tweeter is, in my opinion, the only proper way to design a center channel speaker —other than using a speaker identical to the left and right, which can only work if the screen is very high or acoustically transparent, or the system is used for music only with no images.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 1 comments
The bipolar dual tweeters on the opposing front faces of the Infinity Reference Series surround speaker are said to produce a very uniform front dispersion. The mid/bass driver is mounted on the back, where a metal bracket keeps it spaced out from the wall by a couple of inches.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Mark Levinson products sit at the top of the Harman Kardon Luxury Group’s totem pole. The new No.585 integrated amp $12,000, available summer 2014) offers 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 350 into 4, D/A conversion up 32 bits/192kHz, and a full complement of analog and digital inputs (including USB—but no HDMI, an unfortunate but almost universal omission in 2-channel integrated amps).

There is also a built-in subwoofer crossover and output for those wanting to set up a 2.1-channel system to accommodate both music and movies.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Instead of formally exhibiting at the CES this year, Harman International set up shop in a large ballroom at the Hard Rock hotel. When we were there, the place was jumping, despite the relatively remote vernue.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2014 0 comments
It's been suggested that the next manufacturers to break into the HDTV market will be Chinese. That's not surprising as many current sets branded by manufacturers from Japan and Korea are often subcontracted, in whole or in part, to Chinese factories.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2014 0 comments
Toshiba never really went anywhere, but they’ve kept a low profile for the past couple of years. No longer. The company’s Ultra HD 4K models, scheduled to roll out this summer, are a step back into the game.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2014 2 comments
Samsung’s new Auto Depth Enhancer, on its 9000 and S9 Ultra HD sets, analyzes different areas of the screen and adjusts their contrast separately to provide a greater illusion of depth with 2D sources. In a side-by-side comparison with one of Samsung’s 2013 sets, it definitely worked. There was a bit of the cardboard cutout 3D look, but since the depth enhancement, while appealing, was subtle, this wasn’t bothersome.

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