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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 25, 2017 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The HDMI cables I’ve been using with my current TV are now eight years old. I plan to buy a new OLED TV. Will I need new HDMI cables for it? —Jim Stafford / via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 20, 2017 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own a 720p-resolution Pioneer plasma TV. Every time I use my old plasma—now relegated to my photography studio after being replaced with a Full HD LCD model in the living room—I am blown away by the rich blacks and crisp color. It just looks better than LCD. With the arrival of 4K and HDR (finally, TV tech that can match the color gamut of the computer monitors I use for photography), I’m thinking it may be time for another upgrade. Are there any HDR-compatible UHDTVs that perform well enough to finally end my love affair with my plasma? — Ed Nazarko / via email

Al Griffin Posted: Apr 20, 2017 1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $699

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Calibrates well for accurate color
Better-than-average contrast ratio
Backlit remote control
Minus
Limited installation features
High fan noise in Normal Lamp mode
Not as bright as competition

THE VERDICT
The better-than-average contrast and accurate color potential offered by BenQ’s low-cost projector make it a great option for a budget home theater.

Budget 1080p projectors targeted at sports fans are a staple of many manufacturers’ lineups. These usually come with a promise to “transport you to the stadium” by projecting a bright, 100-inchdiagonal picture from just a few feet out from a wall or screen, and they include a Sports picture mode to give Astroturf that hyper-real, greener-than-green look. In some cases, however, such projectors can deliver surprisingly accurate images. Pair one of them with an equally affordable screen, and you’ll get a satisfying big-screen movie-viewing experience for under $1,000.

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 13, 2017 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently watched a video labeled “4K” using my Panasonic Ultra HDTV’s built-in YouTube app. When I paused the video, I noticed an icon next to the playback controls that said "Stats for Nerds." Clicking on the icon, I discovered that, while the video was originally shot in 4K, it wasn’t playing back at that resolution. Why does YouTube claim to have 4K content when their system doesn’t play the videos in 4K? —Wayne Mathews, Stone Mountain, GA

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 12, 2017 1 comments

ElectroMotion ESL X Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Dynamo 1500X Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $11,395 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent performance with music and movies
Perfect Bass Kit for sub eases setup
Compact electrostatic center speaker
Minus
Some timbral shift between center channel and towers
Towers and center require AC power

THE VERDICT
MartinLogan’s ESL X tower speakers deliver delicacy and detail—along with serious dynamics when paired with the Dynamo 1500X subwoofer. A new, more compact electrostatic center speaker sweetens the deal.

As a member of Generation X, I sometimes get paranoid about being target-marketed when I see a product name appended with an “X”—for instance, MartinLogan’s new ElectroMotion ESL X speaker. I, for one, would be an easy target: An eX-MartinLogan owner, I’m very familiar with the detailed, almost eerily present sound that the company’s hybrid electrostatic speakers deliver. Consider me a fan.

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 06, 2017 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q After reading soundbar reviews in Sound & Vision, one thing seems clear: to get the best sound, you need to combine a soundbar with a subwoofer. My problem is that I will soon be moving from a house to an apartment. As I’m sure you’re aware, the tenant with a subwoofer in an apartment building is usually the least favorite neighbor.  

My current 5.1 setup includes Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800s, a ProCenter 1000 and ProSub 1000. Everything is hooked up to a Marantz 7701 preamp/processor and matching amp. Do you have any suggestions for replacing my system with a standalone soundbar that won't compromise on bass? I would ideally like to continue using the Marantz amp and preamp. —Brian Morgan

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 04, 2017 5 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $8,498/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful, full-range sound
Great looks
Easily driven by modest-power amps
Minus
Price may seem high to non-audiophile civilians Large, space-dominating size

THE VERDICT
With the Triton Reference, GoldenEar Technology has delivered their finest loudspeaker yet. It looks great, sounds great, and represents an exceptional value in high-end audio.

When I reviewed GoldenEar Technology’s debut loudspeaker, the Triton Two, shortly after the company launched in 2010, co-founder/president/polymath Sandy Gross indicated that it would be the first of many to come. He wasn’t exaggerating. New entries arrived thereafter in quick succession, including powered towers, passive towers, soundbars, subwoofers, bookshelf models, and in-ceiling speakers. And in 2014, the company introduced the Triton One. Priced at $2,500 each or $5,000 for the pair, it represented the pinnacle of GoldenEar’s mission to combine high performance with high value.

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 30, 2017 10 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My Sony Blu-ray player can play DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks with up to 192-kilohertz/24-bit resolution. However, my receiver’s specified bandwidth is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and my Polk 330T speakers only cover a frequency range of 33 Hz to 25 kHz. Am I losing sound quality because the receiver and the speakers aren’t spec’d to handle frequencies up to 192 kHz? — Javier Feliciano / via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 23, 2017 8 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are any of the new Ultra HDTVs coming out 3D-compatible? I don’t want my 3D Blu-ray disc collection to become an unusable relic. —Don Fowler

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 16, 2017 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I know that subwoofers are recommended for use with small bookshelf or satellite speakers, but are they also needed with floorstanding tower speakers such as the GoldenEar Technology Tritons? — Frank Hendricksen / via email

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