Avi Greengart  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  1 comments
Valerian is director Luc Besson’s passion project: He wrote and directed it based on a French comic book he loved as a child. It’s also the most expensive independent film ever, with a budget of around $180 million. It’s quite the spectacle, and the plot—involving displaced aliens amidst a multi-species space station—could be a reasonable foundation for a sci-fi adventure or sci-noir procedural. Unfortunately, the acting, character development, and dialogue are simply terrible. Ironically, the only believable character is a shape-shifting burlesque dancer played by Rihanna.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  0 comments
With the death of Mark E. Smith, The Fall are no more. Britain's longest-running postpunk band burned through 66 members and recorded 31 studio albums over a four-decade span. The defining element was always Smith, who poured torrents of vituperation, fragments of wit, wry observations, and occasional startling insights into a microphone, mesmerizing multiple generations of Fall obsessives.

SV Staff  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  0 comments
Elac, the 92-year-old German audio company, has announced a new line of home speakers and subwoofers that line builds on its first-generation Debut series.
SV Staff  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  0 comments
Vizio was recognized for customer service excellence at the 12th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service ceremony held in Las Vegas on February 23.
SV Staff  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Sixty-four years ago this week, Westinghouse unveiled the world’s first color TV in 60 stores throughout New York. The Westinghouse H840CK15 had a tiny 15-inch screen and sold for $1,295 — the equivalent of almost 12 grand in 2018 dollars!
SV Staff  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Bluesound, sister company of audio stalwarts NAD and PSB, today announced a price cut for its Pulse Soundbar, one of only three soundbars to make Sound & Vision’s prestigious 2017 Top Picks of the Year list.
Michael Antonoff  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  5 comments

PRICE $200-$500 plus service plan

Voice-assisted search and channel changes
Skip button for vaulting commercials
QuickView feature
Voice control adds little to program navigation
New Experience interface is sometimes cluttered and confusing

Finding cable, streamed, and recorded content through the voice remote is much faster and more fun than using an onscreen keyboard. But the joined-at-the-hip New Experience interface may frustrate TiVo veterans until they get the hang of it.

With folks chatting up their smart speakers and smart TVs, TiVo owners may have felt like they were living in the silent era of cinema. Being behind the tech ball was especially galling for the TiVo community, which, not unlike the Apple fanbase, is willing to pay more for superior technology. In late 2017, TiVo, a name synonymous with the DVR, finally responded with a new remote and interface that recognize the value of voice recognition—especially when a viewer is searching for something to watch from among innumerable over-the-air, cable, streaming, and recorded-program options.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q My Windows-based Music Server (MediaMonkey) recently died and I want to replace it with one that supports music streaming services and will let me control playback with a tablet. I spent many hours ripping FLAC versions of my CD collection. Those files were stored on my PC’s hard drive, and I had them backed up offsite using iCloud. Here’s my question: If I buy a standalone music server like the Elac Discovery or Bluesound Vault 2, how can I restore access to my music collection that’s now sitting in the cloud? Also, can you backup data directly from the Elac or Bluesound servers to storage services like iCloud? —Jacques Simard

Barb Gonzalez  |  Feb 28, 2018  |  6 comments
The Tablo Dual OTA (over-the-air) DVR can record local broadcasts and stream local TV to devices both in your home and while you're on the road. In my hands-on testing I was pleasantly surprised.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 28, 2018  |  0 comments
Ah, the ’70s—the literal age of excess, as documented by the “everything, all the time” lifestyle credo personified by pop-music superstars like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. And yet, amidst all that glamour, glitz, and high drama also resided some damn fine music, too. Listen closely, and you’ll clue into a good bit of prescient social commentating by artists very much aware of the pitfalls of their experimentations, even while they basked in the afterglow.