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.
Rob Sabin  |  May 13, 2020  |  0 comments

PRICE $1,600

Easy, app-driven automatic setup
Good audio quality via hi-res wireless WiSA platform
Simple and intuitive control app
Lack of A/V switching may be an issue for some systems
No included remote control or learning feature
No decoding or full-resolution transmission of DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD bitstreams

Enclave's THX-certified wireless system delivers highly dynamic and enjoyable surround sound in an easy-to-install and use package...though it comes at a price.

When I was a trade reporter many years ago, I wrote an article about the skyrocketing sales of packaged home theater audio systems. Inside each box was a rudimentary A/V receiver, five or six speakers (typically compact satellites in plastic cabinets), color-coded speaker cables, and graphic instructions to get things hooked up. The article's big takeaway was that the brands selling these (Sony, Panasonic, et. al. ) had discovered that many buyers either left the rear surround speakers in the box or wired them up and placed them on top of the front left- and right-channel speakers.

Michael Antonoff  |  May 13, 2020  |  0 comments
Whether you’re using a TV, tablet or phone to shelter at home, your screen is becoming ever more crowded. Though TV news still relies on a traditional split screen when an anchor hands off a story to a correspondent, Lester Holt now regularly leads off NBC Nightly News by addressing a gaggle of bobbleheads (some masked) in which ten correspondents peer into cameras from locations as wide ranging as the other side of the world to the other side of Lester’s desk.
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.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  May 11, 2020  |  8 comments
I think something important is happening to movies right now. Not in their content or marketing, but in their distribution. Of course, what we're talking about is a shift, arguably a permanent shift, away from theatrical distribution, and toward home distribution.

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.
Josef Krebs  |  May 08, 2020  |  1 comments
Around 1890, two lighthouse keepers—isolated on a remote New England island with just gulls, each other, and a large supply of liquor for company—begin to gradually lose their sense of reality, civility, and eventually their sanity in an atmospheric concoction not conveyed this intensely since The Shining. It all makes for a great (if grueling) two-handed drama.
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.
Mike Mettler  |  May 07, 2020  |  40 comments
Okay, you got me. I freely admit before all my fellow music lovers and audiophiles alike that I had a very specific ulterior motive when I noted in a recent Remaster Class column that the title track to Yes' September 1972 magnum opus Close to the Edge was my "second-favorite 5.1 mix." Following my primary intention of encouraging listeners to marvel at the fully enveloping scope of that song's truly amazing surround sound mix, I figured the next thing anyone reading said comment might wonder would be along the lines of, "Yeah, cool cool cool, that's great and all—but what's No. 1?"
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.