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Lawrence E. Ullman

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Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: May 30, 2012 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $350 At a Glance: Disappointing sound quality • Minimal feature set • Awkward wall-mounting provisions

AudioSource might not be a household name, but anyone who has been involved in the world of custom A/V installation for any length of time will be familiar with the Oregon-based manufacturer's extensive line of in-wall speakers and multi-room audio-distribution electronics. Given AudioSource's expertise with compact speakers and amplifiers, combining the two in the form of a soundbar seems like a smart move for the company.

The S3D60 under review here is a single-piece, 2-channel soundbar, which means it must rely on virtual surround technology to impart a surround-sound experience. In this case, AudioSource is using a third-party solution called Sonic Emotion Absolute 3D. Given the S3D60's relatively hefty 5-inch cabinet depth (6 inches if wall mounted) and width of 38 inches, this soundbar is scaled to match TVs measuring roughly 46 inches and up.

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Mar 08, 2012 4 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $320 At A Glance: 2.1 channels with effective virtual surround • Wireless subwoofer • HDMI 1.4a connectors • Easy to set up and install

If Star Trek's Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott was handed one of today's ultra-thin flat-panel HDTVs and warned, "You have eight minutes to get decent sound quality out this thing or the Enterprise is going to burn up in the atmosphere!," he might take one look at it and once again utter those immortal words: "I canna change the laws of physics!"

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Feb 24, 2012 6 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $500 At A Glance: Designed for use with stand-mounted TVs • Clean, powerful, well-balanced sound • Improved dialog intelligibility compared to TV speakers • Transparent operation via your TV or set-top box remote

One of the great things about the audio business is that it's still possible for new companies to appear seemingly out of nowhere and—thanks to a rare combination of creativity, skill, and luck—manage to carve out a comfortable niche for themselves. The rise of Zvox Audio is a case in point.

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Nov 17, 2008 0 comments

Samsung's LN55A950 seems destined to generate controversy among the videophile community. Some will insist that it's the best-looking LCD TV on the market; others will say, well, otherwise. Both arguments are likely to revolve around the LED-backlighting technology that differentiates this high-end model from nearly all other currently available LCD TVs.

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Jul 07, 2008 0 comments

The Samsung PN50A550 is my favorite kind of product. This 50-inch, 1080p plasma TV sits one notch below the company's flagship model (the PN50A650), which means it has all the most important high-end features without a high-end price tag.

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: May 21, 2008 0 comments

Introduced as LG's flagship line of 1080p LCD TVs just last summer, the Korean giant's LBX series began shipping to dealers in the forth quarter of 2007. The LBX TVs seemed promising, albeit relatively light in features compared to some similarly priced competitors.

Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Feb 05, 2006 0 comments

The Mitsubishi WD-52628 is one of the best-looking RPTVs I've seen, with a bright, detailed, three-dimensional picture, deep blacks, and vivid yet natural colors. It also happens to be one of a new crop DLP rear-projection TVs on the market that use TI's new 1080p DLP chip.

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Jan 15, 2006 0 comments

Remarkable. That's the word that best describes the THX Select2 approved Pioneer Elite VSX-74TXVi AV receiver ($1500). This gloss-black beauty is remarkably sophisticated, remarkably flexible, and remarkably easy to setup, thanks to an amazing auto calibration function called Advanced MCACC. The feature set is remarkably deep and includes HDMI switching/processing, a built-in XM satellite radio tuner, a dedicated iPod input with fully integrated controls, and a full suite of THX functions. Even the unit's designation is remarkably long, so I'm going to refer to the VSX-74TXVi as the "74" for the duration of this review.

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Oct 23, 2005 0 comments

Sony's new, $2000 STR-DA7100ES AV receiver carries forward the shiny silver hewn-from-solid-block look of previous ES-series receivers, such as the <A href="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/avreceivers/1204sony/">STR-DA9000ES</A> ($4500) recently reviewed by TJN. Although the front panel looks like solid aluminum, it is actually a 2mm-thick formed sheet. Most of the controls are hidden behind a drop-down panel, leaving a clean front panel with just volume and input-selector knobs, half a dozen little buttons, and the display. The various knobs and controls have great tactile appeal, operating with a solid, positive feel and silky smooth action.

Filed under
Lawrence E. Ullman Posted: Sep 18, 2005 0 comments

If you haven't shopped at Costco in a while, you might not know that the giant membership-warehouse chain now accounts for a sizeable chunk of U.S. retail HDTV sales. Most stores prominently display an assortment of HD-capable TVs, ranging from 32-inch direct-view TVs to 70-inch rear-projectors. But pride of place belongs to the sexy (and highly profitable) flat-panel LCD and PDP (plasma) displays, which are mounted up high and carefully positioned to be visible to shoppers from most of the sales floor. (The new industry buzzword for plasma displays, which you'll find in the remainder of this report, is PDP, for plasma display panel.&mdash;Ed.)

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