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Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 24, 2016 6 comments

ISF's Joel Silver presenting at the 12th annual Value Electronics TV Shootout.

For the third consecutive year, LG's OLED technology has found itself atop the heap at the annual TV shootout held by Scarsdale, NY-based retailer Value Electronics.

Rob Sabin Posted: Jun 03, 2016 0 comments
Prior to a decade ago, having distributed music around your house usually meant calling a custom installer to put in hundreds of feet of cable, multiple pairs of in-ceiling or in-wall speakers, and racks of amplifiers. You’d get keypads on your walls that could control, just barely, your distant sources via IR. There was no metadata feedback to select a particular song; you might have been able to advance to the next track on your CD player or dial up a different preset station on your FM tuner, but not much more. The cost for this was, well, prohibitive. Multiroom audio, for a long time, was strictly a rich man’s game.
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Rob Sabin Posted: May 13, 2016 7 comments
The launch of Ultra HD Blu-ray reminds me of the trials and tribulations of a highly anticipated and far more complicated product launch 10 years ago that you may remember.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Apr 15, 2016 9 comments
More than Anything, Your Speakers Make the System

I’m sometimes amazed at what I learn, or am reminded of, as we put to bed each print issue of Sound & Vision. With the bird’s-eye view that comes with crossing t’s and dotting i’s on six to eight product reviews, written by staffers with their own eyes, ears, and perspectives, I get to see themes and patterns that might go unnoticed reading just any individual piece.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Apr 07, 2016 0 comments
The I.M. Pei–designed Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, with its soaring glass pyramid atrium, 162-foot tower, and haphazardly attached circular white column, sits at the edge of Lake Erie looking like the hard-won beachhead of some futuristic society risen from the depths. A crown jewel of Cleveland’s cultural scene, it entertains a half-million visitors a year who come to peruse the five levels and 55,000 square feet of exhibit space that house the instruments, personal effects, costumes, stage props, lyric sheets, recording gear, and still imagery that constitute an intricate, embroidered backdrop to countless American teenage lives.
Rob Sabin Posted: Apr 05, 2016 5 comments
PRICE $1,700

Excellent color
Great screen uniformity
Artifact-free 1080p-to-UHD scaling
Poor black level and contrast
Meager streaming platform

Though it delivers solid entry-level performance, Panasonic’s CX400 faces more fully featured competition at its price.

Panasonic pulled big crowds at its CES booth in January with their CZ950 OLED, a 65-inch Ultra HD television that adds advanced processing to an LG-supplied OLED panel, with quite stunning results. Unfortunately, that set is only sold overseas for now (priced at €10,000 or about $11,000, no less), and it remains unclear when or if Panasonic will release it in the States.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Mar 08, 2016 16 comments
Many people spend as much or more time listening to music in their cars as they do at home. Between a demanding job and a busy family life, the drive to and from work may be the easiest or even the only time to immerse yourself in music. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The best OEM (original equipment manufacturer) audio systems supplied with luxury automobiles these days are designed by well-respected home audio brands, and the car environment, despite a few caveats, allows engineers to factor in the known acoustics of the vehicle and the location of the listeners’ ears to create a highly controlled sonic experience.
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Rob Sabin Posted: Feb 01, 2016 5 comments
I’ve had almost a month to ponder CES 2016 and what strikes me most as I look back is how a show that was once strictly about audio/video has grown into an enormous and wild Mardi Gras of tech, encompassing everything from drones and hoverboards to smartphones and digital health wearables and much more.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Jan 06, 2016 1 comments
The introduction of a flagship Ultra HDTV and a smattering of lifestyle products were among the key video and audio announcements at Sony’s pre-show CES press conference, but the booth demonstration of a remarkable prototype backlight technology may prove to the be most significant news for Sound & Vision readers.

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Rob Sabin Posted: Jan 06, 2016 1 comments
The message from Chinese TV maker Hisense to its competition at CES on Tuesday was muted but still clear: Duck and cover, because we’re coming for you.

In a pre-show press conference that was short on product demos but refreshingly business-like and informative, the owners of the leading TV brand in China for the last 13 years running and the number 3 brand globally laid out their plans for conquering the U.S. market.