Audio Video News

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Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 18, 2020  |  0 comments
Speakers are the single most important link in the audio chain — one that defines the sonic character of your system, whether it’s a straight up stereo rig or a surround-sound movie setup. Great speakers put you in the front row of an intimate musical performance or draw you into a scene in an emotional (and sometimes harrowing) way. Here we spotlight 16 of Sound & Vision’s Top Picks, running the gamut from inexpensive wireless speakers to a selection of home theater systems featuring a suite of wireless speakers at one end and a stately six-piece setup at the other. The mix also highlights a couple stand-out subwoofers and soundbars as well as a handful of all-in-one wireless speakers, including one you can take outside.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 12, 2020  |  0 comments
Let’s hear it for dad! When I was a kid, mine smoked in the car while driving my brothers and I to and from Little League baseball, cursed a blue streak, and would whap us upside the head if we dared cuss in his presence. But we knew he loved us unconditionally, and we loved him unconditionally back.

Haven’t sorted out your Father’s Day gift plans? We’ve got two great deals you should hear about.

Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 11, 2020  |  4 comments
Life is good. You’re digging your big-screen Ultra HD TV, especially since you upgraded to a high dynamic range (HDR)-capable model that takes an already awesome picture and makes it even better. Add to that the expanding roster of 4K movies and TV shows you can stream or watch on disc and you’re all set. Which brings us to 8K, the next-generation TV format you’ve been hearing about — the one that delivers images four times more detailed than 4K.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 01, 2020  |  2 comments
When we reported on the launch of HBO Max last Wednesday, one shortcoming of the new service that we noted was spotty streaming hardware support. Smart TVs, in particular, had been left behind, with only one set manufacturer, Samsung, included in the list of supported devices on the HBO Max FAQ at launch. The day following our post, Sony reached out to share an announcement that the HBO Max app is now available on all Sony Android TVs released after 2015, upping the number of supported TV lines to two. But what about the other brands?
Al Griffin  |  May 29, 2020  |  7 comments
The presence of music in Dolby Atmos format on Tidal has been something of a well-kept secret since the streaming service started adding it in December 2019. Why? I suspect it’s because Atmos support so far has been limited to select Android smartphones and tablets—not exactly a premium method to experience immersive music. But things changed big time this week with Dolby and Tidal’s joint announcement that Tidal Hi-Fi subscribers can now stream Atmos music to home theater systems via an Apple TV 4K, Fire TV Stick, NVIDIA Shield TV, or other compatible device.
Al Griffin  |  May 28, 2020  |  0 comments
Emerald (formerly Emerald Expositions) announced today that CEDIA Expo 2020, scheduled to take place September 8-12 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO, has been canceled. The event, which draws custom A/V and smart home technology integrators from the U.S. and beyond and also serves as a key launch platform for new products, follows a series of 2020 show cancellations, including High End Munich, AXPONA, and Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 28, 2020  |  0 comments
Who know Ground Hog Day could last so long? Though not gone, the fear-inducing COVID-19 virus is loosening its grip on society, allowing Americans to finally start getting back to (or at least anticipate) something resembling normal life. For many of us, the return to normalcy means revisiting home entertainment aspirations with renewed vigor. To help with that quest, we present the latest round of Sound & Vision Top Picks — an eclectic ensemble that runs the gamut from a forward-looking AV receiver to an ingenious accessory that makes mounting a TV over your fireplace practical.
Al Griffin  |  May 27, 2020  |  2 comments
Back in early January we reported that The Quest Group, California-based owner of AudioQuest, had purchased speaker maker GoldenEar Technology. The following week, I met with GoldenEar co-founder Sandy Gross in the AudioQuest suite at CES and was happy to learn he would be continuing in his old role at the new company for the time being. Well, that time is now up: Gross has announced he is leaving The Quest Group in order to pursue his “many interests.”
Bob Ankosko  |  May 21, 2020  |  0 comments
The inimitable Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party.” Living in the Northeast, I couldn’t agree more. Summer’s just around the corner and lockdown rules are finally being loosened to allow parks, beaches, and businesses to open. But the thing is, your backyard never closed. And what better time to take the music and other entertainment you enjoy inside your home to the great outdoors.
Al Griffin  |  May 15, 2020  |  10 comments
Back in fall 2019, Yamaha took a page from the Technics playbook and introduced a series of upscale components aimed squarely at audiophiles. The 5000 series it rolled out consisted of speakers, a preamp/amp, and a belt-drive turntable, each sporting a design that referenced the golden age of hi-fi and a price tag typical of much high-end gear. Yamaha has now added a trio of integrated amplifiers, the A-S series, to its Hi-Fi component lineup, providing audiophiles with a somewhat less pricey, though no less premium, system-building option.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 14, 2020  |  0 comments
Home entertainment in all of its many forms has remained a constant during this time of great uncertainty, providing a welcome distraction from a pandemic that continues to command attention around the world. In the spirit of providing an escape from the unrelenting parade of COVID-19 statistics and prognostications, we offer a summary of Top Pick-worthy products we have reviewed so far in 2020 — any of which could be a valuable addition to your AV setup. It’s an eclectic mix for sure, running the gamut from $300 earbuds made of wood and a like-priced vacuum-based record cleaning system to an assortment of speakers, ranging from a $1,000 soundbar to an $8,000 home theater speaker system with several great options in-between. Enjoy, and drop us a line to let us know how you’re coping.
Al Griffin  |  May 12, 2020  |  0 comments
Denmark’s Lyngdorf Audio has announced the MP-40, a new, entry-level addition to its surround sound processor lineup. Designed for use in smaller installations, the MP-40 is said to “offer all the sonic qualities and performance” of Lyngdorf Audio’s flagship MP-60 processor, but in a more compact and streamlined package.
Al Griffin  |  May 11, 2020  |  4 comments
It’s not at all surprising that self-isolating citizens in the U.S. have been flocking to video streaming services in large numbers since the pandemic arrived. For example, a press release issued last week by the NPD Group, an organization that tracks consumer data, cited a “72 percent increase in the number of Netflix subscriber profiles that were used to stream video each week” following orders from states around the country telling residents to shelter at home. What is surprising is the increase we’re also seeing now in sales of Blu-ray Disc players, a product category in sharp decline after hitting its peak back in 2015.
Al Griffin  |  May 08, 2020  |  0 comments
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), IMAX, and DTS announced this week that SPE will release “hundreds of new titles in the IMAX format over the next two years, including all upcoming SPE and IMAX theatrical releases.” The announcement follows the expansion of IMAX Enhanced content onto multiple streaming services worldwide, including FandangoNOW here in the U.S.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 07, 2020  |  0 comments
When the owner of a magnificent mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota took on a remodeling project, he had something special in mind for his office — one that brought history and modern technology together in a most impressive way.

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