LATEST ADDITIONS

Barb Gonzalez  |  Oct 14, 2020  |  0 comments
The Chromecast with Google TV is a complete 4K/Dolby Vision and Atmos-capable streaming player, and it's about to give Roku and Amazon Fire TV some stiff competition.
Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 13, 2020  |  0 comments
Entering the oak-paneled foyer of this Victorian manor in Toronto's prestigious Rosedale neighborhood is like stepping back into the early 20th century. Built in 1901, the expansive estate has been meticulously restored to evoke the grandeur of the period— with a fantastic secret. Hiding behind the magnificent historical façade is a fully automated state-of-the-art smart home created by Moonshot Automation (moonshotautomation.com, formerly Custom Sound and Vision) in nearby Mississauga.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 12, 2020  |  4 comments
“These companies copy other peoples' inventions, flood the market with chintzy products sold at bargain basement prices, and make consumers pay with their privacy.”

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 09, 2020  |  1 comments
Performance
Sound
"The Replacements are self-destructing right in front of me."

That's what I was thinking to myself as I watched these four Minneapolis-bred indie-rock stalwarts attempt to play through their rag-tag set while opening for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers on August 19, 1989, at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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.
Kris Deering  |  Oct 07, 2020  |  6 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $20,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
True 4K resolution
Laser light source
Excellent out-of-box color accuracy
Minus
Some limitations with HDR
Steep price for feature set

THE VERDICT
Sony's new projector is capable of delivering dazzling images, though it lacks some cutting-edge features and components expected at this price point.

Three years ago, Sony introduced the VPL-VW885ES, a 4K LCOS projector with a laser light engine. I found the 885ES to be capable of throwing high-quality images when I reviewed it, but in the end wasn't fully enamored with the new projector. Basically, I felt it had obvious shortcomings that were hard to ignore at the premium $25,000 price.

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.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 06, 2020  |  4 comments
Most sci-fi fans have their favorite genre films from each decade. The 1980s had more than their share of them. There would be plenty of votes for the second and third Star Wars releases: The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Star Trek TOS would also crash the party with perhaps the best sci-fi trilogy of all: The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, and The Voyage Home. There were one-shot candidates as well, including Aliens, Cocoon, Inner Space, War Games, Enemy Mine, and, of course, E.T.

Yes, the ‘80s were a good time for sci-fi. Even more amazing is the fact that most of these films used only physical (practical) effects; CGI was barely a buzzword. But two live-action films from the first half of the decade hinted at what was to come. Tron made an attempt at using computer generated images, though many of the effects were supplemented by animation. But it was another film from the ‘80s that more clearly pointed the way to the future: The Last Starfighter.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 05, 2020  |  1 comments
A few months ago, we considered the playlist used to tune the bespoke sound system in the Rolls Royce Phantom, a car that sells for a tidy $500,000. We discussed playlists generally and why they are so important. But is the Rolls Royce Phantom playlist a good one, and truly worthy of the marque?
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 02, 2020  |  2 comments
Performances
Sound
The Grateful Dead couldn't catch a break. Sure, they were the head-trip belles of San Francisco's 1960s psychedelic ball, but they were unable to get their recording act together enough to cut an album that best captured their true spirit—that is, until they struck prospector's gold with their fourth studio album, June 1970's Workingman's Dead. By dialing back on the overtly psychedelic-cum-outré experimental modes that dominated June 1968's Anthem of the Sun and June 1969's Aoxomoxoa and instead zeroing in on their folk-bred songcraft for Workingman's, the Dead had finally found their recording niche at last.

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