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Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 25, 2013 0 comments

When I reviewed Oppo’s BDP-93 — the company’s first universal player to support Blu-ray 3D and high-rez FLAC audio playback — I wrapped things up by saying it could be the last disc player you’ll ever need. Turns out I spoke too soon, because Oppo keeps finding new ways to make the whole disc-player concept relevant.  Its most recent offerings include the BDP-103 ($499) and the BDP-105 under review here, a $1,199 version that has been hot-rodded for two-channel-audio enthusiasts.

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 21, 2013 0 comments

Samsung’s product preview event, held on Wednesday 3/20 at NYC’s American Museum of Finance (who knew such a place existed?) was notable on two counts. First, the company announced a price for its 85-inch UN85S9 Ultra HD TV — the cover star of Sound&Vision’s April/May print issue. Second, it had another cover star, SI swimsuit model Kate Upton (fully clothed), along with Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning on hand to say how much they dig the company’s 2013 Smart Hub interface.

Al Griffin Posted: Mar 07, 2013 0 comments

To hear Sony tell it, the future will be in 4K. This stance comes as no surprise: The company’s 4K-rez digital cinema projectors have been installed in over 13,000 theaters, and at least 75 Sony-produced titles have either been shot with 4K digital cameras, or transferred to the higher-rez format from film. And Sony isn’t just pushing 4K for theaters — it wants viewers to experience it at home. 

Al Griffin Posted: Feb 11, 2013 0 comments

Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving, and the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s a day when hordes of Americans head out to the local mall or Walmart, ready to fill their carts and, if necessary, take you out should you stand in the way between them and a good deal. TV maker Vizio has traditionally released a new model or two just in time for Black Friday — often at prices well below the norm for sets in their category/screen size. The E601i-A3, a 60-inch edge-lit LED LCD, was one such special, having reportedly sold for $699 on that day — a price that is, well, insane. But now that the E601i has bobbed back to a more real-world, though still very affordable, $999, it’s time to check out how it stacks up against the competition.

Al Griffin Posted: Feb 09, 2013 0 comments

Need a good reason to buy a projector? How about this: Of all the video-display types, projectors provide the biggest image for your buck. Rear-projection TVs, which were once available in screen sizes up to 92 inches, used to be an even more affordable big-screen option, but the last manufacturer with a stake in rear-projector manufacturing, Mitsubishi, recently closed up on that biz.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 23, 2013 0 comments

Our main take-away from the 2013 CES was that this is going to be the year when OLED and 4K-rez “Ultra HD” TVs finally arrive. And by “arrive” I mean sitting in the store, waiting for you to buy ‘em. While this development is no doubt promising, you can also count on the advanced sets scheduled to hit stores later this year being expensive.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 14, 2013 0 comments

If one thing was clear at CES 2013, it was that Smart features on top-of-the line TVs had advanced substantially over those found on last year’s models.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 07, 2013 0 comments

Breaking with tradition, Sony’s press event at CES was a celeb-free affair. No Will Smith, no Taylor Swift, no that guy who acted in the most recent Spider-Man movie. The star of the show was clearly the company’s new Xperia Z smartphone, but I’m not going to talk about that. What I am going to discuss is 4K, aka “Ultra HD,” as the rest of the industry seems to be calling it. 

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 07, 2013 0 comments

For me, LG’s CES press conference was an anti-climax: The company had already announced its 2013 TV and Blu-ray/audio offerings in a conference call a few weeks prior to the event. The upside was I didn’t have to take many notes —something that’s not always easy to do at 8 a.m. when you’re jet-lagged. Here are the highlights.

Smart TV

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 02, 2013 0 comments

Samsung is about to make good on a promise to make Smart TVs even smarter.

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