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Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 17, 2015 2 comments
Emotiva, the popular Web-only supplier of “affordable high-end” audio gear, will be Web-only no more.

Company founder Dan Laufman has announced that, after 11 years online, the brand will move into select brick-and-mortar specialty retailers, with somewhere between 30 and 50 dealers signed before the end of this year.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 08, 2015 0 comments
Shanghai, for me, is literally halfway ‘round the world. Some 20 hours flying time from New York, it is 12 hours ahead in time zones and across the International Dateline: the very definition of “Tomorrowland.” The post-modern, sci-fi landscape of the Pudong section of China’s biggest trade center and most cosmopolitan city does little to deter that notion. Bound on one side by the 128-story Shanghai Tower and on the other by the Oriental Pearl, a futuristic, 1,500 foot broadcast tower, it looks like a bold experiment in animation made concrete, a slice of society that has, to date, only been imagined for amusement parks. On first sight I could only gasp at both the scale and shape of it, then grew silent with respect for not just the accomplishment, but the gutsy vision it must have took to start it.

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Rob Sabin Posted: May 21, 2015 8 comments
I received an e-mail recently from reader Francesco Tenti in Huntington, NY, politely complaining about the speed with which AV technology seems to be progressing...
Rob Sabin Posted: May 08, 2015 2 comments
Ready for a nice, new set of gleaming tower speakers? Here’s our Top 10 list of models costing between $1,400 and $3,000 a pair, complete with rationales for why each model made the cut.
Rob Sabin Posted: May 06, 2015 0 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $7,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Stunning color
Gorgeously detailed 4K playback
A boatload of picture tweaks
Minus
Not quite plasma-like blacks and shadow detail
3D ghosting
The price

THE VERDICT
Panasonic’s statement Ultra HDTV sucks you in with its alluring image and doesn’t let go, but its high price is a deterrent.

When Panasonic left the plasma market in late 2013 to the whimpers of videophiles worldwide, the company committed to delivering an LED-backlit LCD that would rival the image of their best-ever TV—the ZT60 that was their plasma swan song. The first Panny Ultra HD LCD to follow, the edge-lit TC-65AX800U, was a fine TV, though hardly a breakout set. But in late 2014, Panasonic rolled out their flagship AX900U series at 55 and 65 inches, the latter of which we now review here.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Apr 29, 2015 2 comments
We’ve recently spent time covering two very different audio/video technologies. One is long-established but in some ways breaking new ground. The other—well, I suppose that’s also long-established and breaking new ground, though with a fresh spin.
Rob Sabin Posted: Apr 09, 2015 2 comments
‘Tis that time of the year when all the big TV makers start shipping their new lines to retail, which means members of the press get to see them up close for what amounts to the second time, the first being January’s CES. No surprise that the star of the show at LG Electronic’s New York press conference this week was the 65EG9600, the company’s new 65-inch Ultra HD-resolution OLED.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Feb 23, 2015 8 comments
UHD Blu-ray and HDR on the Horizon

As I reflect back on our annual pilgrimage to CES last month in LasVegas, the most exciting news for home theater buffs was around Ultra HD (UHD), both the launch of the first HDR (high dynamic range) UHD televisions and the announcement of details on forthcoming UHD Blu-ray Discs.

Rob Sabin Posted: Jan 30, 2015 0 comments
2014 was an interesting year for AV enthusiasts. On the video side, plasma went away, while LCD technology, particularly the edge-lit models, took a leap forward, and OLED grew its presence. In audio, a slew of new competitors went chasing after Sonos in the app-based multiroom audio genre, high-res audio began to emerge from its audiophile obscurity, vinyl continued on its comeback path, Atmos came to the home theater market, and the best soundbars kept on getting better. Read on for our list of the crème de la crème...
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Rob Sabin Posted: Jan 30, 2015 0 comments
And Some Personal Faves…

We’ve just posted our annual Top Picks of the Year list of the best products from among all those we tested in 2014, culled from all the Top Picks named throughout the year in consultation with our staff of reviewers. Even from among this list, though, there are a few that really stand out for me, not just because of their performance but because of what I think they represent in the evolution of our hobby and the AV marketplace. Here are some of my personal highlights...

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