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Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 03, 2020  |  3 comments

New gear to brighten the New Year — and maybe Christmas if you hurry.

With Christmas only three weeks away, the 2020 Holiday Season is in full swing as A/V makers fill the pipeline with new gear and performance updates in hopes of bringing holiday cheer to a pandemic-weary public that’s embracing home entertainment like never before. Thank goodness for big-screen TVs, home theater setups, and the plentiful selection of music and TV/movie streaming services. From a $100 amp/DAC to a unique and nostalgic take on the classic hi-fi console, we review the latest A/V news.

Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 02, 2020  |  0 comments
A dozen-plus gifts to give...and get.

With a year of historic turbulence and divisive presidential politics almost behind us, it's time to count our blessings as we look toward the holiday season with hope for peace, prosperity, and a return to normalcy for all. Here we present a dozen or so gifts guaranteed to delight family and friends—and maybe even make your own personal wish list. Our goal was to go easy on the wallet so prices start at $50 and top out at around $300. With any luck, you'll be able to fill in a couple blanks on your shopping list and, ultimately, bring cheer to those you care about as we say good riddance to 2020.

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 26, 2020  |  0 comments
As pandemic panic sweeps across the nation, we look for inspiration from the approaching Winter Solstice and ever-resilient holiday spirit. In recent weeks we found some in a handful of exemplary A/V products, including one that puts your father’s video projection system on a bold new path. All are certified Sound & Vision Top Picks and all are ready to ignite your imagination. Here’s to making the best of a trying situation with hopes for smaller yet meaningful gatherings with family and friends on this national holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!
SV Staff  |  Nov 23, 2020  |  0 comments
Here's your chance to get a seismic deal on a serious sub. Subwoofer and speaker-maker SVS is having a Black Friday sale on its 2000 Series subs, discounting its SB-2000 sealed cabinet model to $500 from $700, and its PB-2000 model to $600 from $800. According to SVS, supplies of both models are limited and the deal will continue until all inventory is sold out.
Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 19, 2020  |  0 comments
15 Minutes with HDMI Forum President David Glen

Three years ago the HDMI Forum released the highly anticipated Version 2.1 of the HDMI specification, which paved the way for a major boost in A/V performance with support for higher video resolutions, high-dynamic range (HDR), and increased bandwidth plus important features like variable refresh rates (VRR) for gaming and eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) for simplifying system setup. We recently caught up with Forum president David Glen to get an update on where HDMI stands today and where it’s going in the future.

SV Staff  |  Nov 18, 2020  |  0 comments
Definitive Technology and Polk Audio parent company Sound United has announced that several speaker models from both brands are the first to become IMAX Enhanced certified. The newly certified speakers include the Definitive Technology Demand D17, D15, and D5c, and Polk Audio Legend L800, L600, and L400.
Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 12, 2020  |  0 comments
With Thanksgiving only two weeks away, the 2020 Holiday Season is well underway as pandemic-wary shoppers scramble to place online orders to ensure gifts are delivered before Christmas. Whether you plan to shop online, mask up and hit the stores, or opt for “contactless delivery” or curbside pickup, there are plenty of new A/V products to consider. From a newly ISF-certified projection screen to a hi-res music streamer that can be had for $129 to a unique speaker that finds a crazy new application for the tried-and-true acoustic diffuser, we take a look at some of the new gear A/V makers have introduced in recent weeks with high hopes of making your holiday list.
Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 05, 2020  |  1 comments
A first-of-its-kind 8K video replay system debuts at Levi Stadium tonight where the San Francisco 49ers meet the Green Bay Packers. We go behind the scenes to learn about a new five-camera system that promises "incomparable digital zoom without pixilation" and full-field coverage with clear views of all goal lines and sidelines.
Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 29, 2020  |  0 comments
As we get ready to close out October and look forward to a (hopefully) scary good time of trick-or-treating with a little malevolent merry-making thrown in for good measure, we pause to consider eight product that have made Sound & Vision Top Pick status in as many weeks. Our mid-fall additions reveal an interesting split between everyday audio such as the impressive entry-level speaker from Magnepan and upscale gear like Kaleidescape’s state-of-the-art movie server and Sony’s latest 4K laser projector. And then there’s the surprise $4,000 preamp/surround processor from Monoprice (of all brands), which delivers a level of performance and flexibility usually reserved for cost-no-object pre/pros. Read on to see which of these remarkable products capture your imagination.
Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 22, 2020  |  2 comments
15 Minutes with ATSC President Madeleine Noland

Most Americans don’t know it yet but NextGen TV is already on the air in many markets across the country with dozens more gearing up to launch the service in the coming year. NextGen TV, also known by the technical name ATSC 3.0, greatly expands on the capabilities of the ATSC 1.0 standard that put HDTV on the air 20 years ago. In addition to enabling broadcasters to deliver free, over-the-air access to 4K Ultra HD programming with high-dynamic range (HDR), enhanced color, and immersive surround sound, NextGen TV also allows them to stream local content such as news, weather, and sports updates as well as offer features that enable viewers to personalize and customize that content. A lot has happened since we spoke with Mark Richer, president of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), back in 2017, so we sat down with his successor Madeleine Noland to get an update on how things are progressing with the new TV broadcasting system and what we can expect in the near future.

Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 15, 2020  |  0 comments
It’s pretty simple: If you don’t have good speakers, you don’t have a good sound system. Sorry to be so blunt, but speakers — more than any other component in the audio chain — play a crucial role in shaping the tonal character of the music they’re reproducing. If you decide it’s time to upgrade, here are 17 of the best speaker systems Sound & Vision has reviewed so far in 2020.
Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 08, 2020  |  1 comments
With Halloween just weeks away A/V makers have dropped some scary good gear in recent weeks, including a high-performance surround processor from a stalwart audio company and a unique audio product that practically defies description. We have no doubt that at least one of the products featured here will capture your imagination.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 07, 2020  |  0 comments
It only took Eddie Van Halen 102 seconds to change the face, sound, and scope of rock guitar forever.

The first time any of us dropped the needle on “Eruption,” the onomatopoeic 1:42 instrumental that served as the literally explosive second track on Van Halen’s self-titled February 1978 debut album, we knew instantly that rock & roll had turned yet another corner. During the pop-music malaise of the late-1970s, wherein the razor-edge ethos of punk and seemingly endless days/nights of disco had already upset the bloated rock applecart, Eddie Van Halen shifted the narrative back to the value of the virtuoso musician in ways not seen in almost a decade.

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 24, 2020  |  0 comments
Pandemic and all that ails 2020 be damned. The cool, crisp air of autumn has arrived and A/V makers are upping the frequency of new product releases in anticipation of what we all hope will be a joyous (and financially rewarding) holiday season. Here's a look at some of the new tech goodies headed your way.
Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 03, 2020  |  0 comments
New products keep the world of home entertainment moving forward. Though the pace of introductions slowed to a trickle this spring as America was forced into pandemic lockdown, A/V makers are regaining their footing as supply chains slowly return to normal. The last full month of summer saw introductions from the likes of Rotel, Marantz, and many other familiar brands. Here’s the skinny on a dozen recently announced products — from headphones and AV furniture to more cool gear from McIntosh, NAD, and Bowers & Wilkins.

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