Editor's Eye

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Al Griffin  |  Jan 07, 2019  |  0 comments
Last year — oh, around the same time that I’m sitting down to write this — I penned an editorial lamenting changes to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that made it inhospitable to writers covering the high-end audio and home theater categories. The gist of my article was that for us CES had become mostly irrelevant, and that I would sit the 2018 show out and quite possibly future ones as well.
Rob Sabin  |  Jul 08, 2014  |  2 comments
Tom Nousaine Loved Audio, the Bass Most of All

As we went to press for the upcoming September print issue, word began circulating about the passing of Tom Nousaine, long-time former contributor to Sound & Vision, its predecessor Stereo Review, and several other home and car audio magazines. He was 69 years old.

Tom was a one-of-a-kind character, a business manager by day for Ameritech (one of the Baby Bells) prior to his retirement, and a tireless audio enthusiast and writer in the rest of his waking hours. He was a contrarian...

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 12, 2011  |  0 comments

I took the invitation a while back to visit the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory in Los Angeles, where the company introduced its 3D Innovation Center to members of the press. PHL is a research and mastering center where Panasonic works with filmmakers on new camera, editing, encoding and playback technologies.

Rob Sabin  |  Jan 30, 2015  |  0 comments
And Some Personal Faves…

We’ve just posted our annual Top Picks of the Year list of the best products from among all those we tested in 2014, culled from all the Top Picks named throughout the year in consultation with our staff of reviewers. Even from among this list, though, there are a few that really stand out for me, not just because of their performance but because of what I think they represent in the evolution of our hobby and the AV marketplace. Here are some of my personal highlights...

Rob Sabin  |  Jul 16, 2013  |  7 comments
For the last several years, our annual January pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show has been all about someone else’s toys. Handheld smartphones and tablets, wearable technology (now, what is that about?), fashion earphones, smart appliances, electric car-charging stations, streaming pocket-sized speakers, you name it. It’s been awfully quiet on the A/V front…until now.
Rob Sabin  |  Jan 29, 2013  |  3 comments
At Home Theater, we’ve long been fans of set-up DVDs and Blu-ray discs that allow you to tune your television or projector for the optimum image. Now, just in time for the Super Bowl, THX has launched a mobile app designed to help sports fans and movie lovers do just that.

“THX tune-up” is an iOS app for iPad (2 and higher), iPad mini, iPhone (4 and higher), and iPod touch (Gen 4 and higher). To commemorate the Big Game and assist as many as possible of the 7.5 million people expected to purchase a new set just for the occasion, THX is offering the app as a free download from the iTunes store through Monday, February 4th. After that, it’ll cost $1.99. An Android version is expected to be released next spring.

Before your inner geek gets too worked up, neither the THX tune-up app nor any set-up disc...

Rob Sabin  |  Feb 01, 2017  |  2 comments
A look back at our product of the year picks for the past three years, and a few 2016 runners-up that deserve special mention.
Rob Sabin  |  Sep 25, 2012  |  2 comments
With great gear, it's all about the "something special."

Reviewers at Home Theater have a near-impossible task. Their job is to communicate, with words on a page accompanied by a few photographs, an experience with an audio or video component that can only be rightly conveyed viscerally. That is to say, in real life we don’t just listen to or view components, we react to them: physically, emotionally, intuitively.

Rob Sabin  |  Oct 27, 2017  |  2 comments
Courtesy of Imaging Science Foundtion

If you ever wonder what the geeks at Sound & Vision do when we’re not listening to new speakers or tuning up video displays, well, we’re probably debating some arcane technical detail that most non-enthusiast mortals would neither understand nor care about. And so it was that a rather fired-up exchange of e-mails occurred recently between myself, video technical editor Tom Norton, and our contributing technical editor Kris Deering.

Rob Sabin  |  Sep 09, 2016  |  2 comments
We recently reviewed a TV and a projector boasting HDR, or high dynamic range playback. In his review of Samsung’s latest flagship flat panel, Tom Norton raves about his HDR experience. Al Griffin specifically discussing HDR in his review of Epson’s excellent new 4K-compatible projector, in essence says, “Umm...it’s OK.”
Rob Sabin  |  Apr 12, 2013  |  0 comments
You may have heard that sales of soundbars are skyrocketing today. I’m excited about that. The best of the new premium soundbars sound pretty great, and with their unassuming presence, lack of speaker wires, and relatively simple installation, they stand to introduce legions of new ears to the joys of a high-quality home theater experience.
Rob Sabin  |  May 13, 2016  |  3 comments
The launch of Ultra HD Blu-ray reminds me of the trials and tribulations of a highly anticipated and far more complicated product launch 10 years ago that you may remember.
Rob Sabin  |  Feb 13, 2017  |  6 comments
Ultra HD is fast becoming our TV of choice, which bodes well for both UHD Blu-ray and high dynamic range technology.
Rob Sabin  |  May 21, 2015  |  8 comments
I received an e-mail recently from reader Francesco Tenti in Huntington, NY, politely complaining about the speed with which AV technology seems to be progressing...
Rob Sabin  |  May 17, 2013  |  17 comments
Last weekend I attended the annual Flat-Panel HDTV Shootout held each year by Value Electronics, a small independent retailer in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale. This was the 9th year for the event, one that proprietor Robert Zohn started way back when as a marketing tool, but also out of obvious sheer love for the technology. In recent years it’s grown into quite the industry event. Zohn brings in arguably the most skilled and respected calibrators in the world to tune each of the sets to its absolute optimum image, a team which this year included Kevin Miller of ISFTV and Tweak TV, DeWayne “D-Nice” Davis of A/V Fidelity, and David Mackenzie of the U.K. website HDTVtest. The two-day affair was attended by a mix of industry types and press (including the renown Dr. Larry Weber, a brilliant and gregarious leprechaun of a man who many regard as the father of plasma TV), along with Value’s most passionate customers. For those who can’t be in attendance, it’s simulcast on the web and available for later viewing so videophiles everywhere can live vicariously through the attendees.

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