The S&V Interview

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Bob Ankosko  |  May 19, 2022  |  0 comments
15 Minutes with Bill Mandel, Co-Manager at HDR10+ Technologies, LLC

Sound & Vision talks high dynamic range and the evolution of HDR10+ with Bill Mandel, head of the Visual Solutions Lab at Samsung Research America and co-manager of HDR10+ Technologies, LLC.

Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 24, 2022  |  0 comments

15 Minutes with Robert (Bob) O’Brien, Co-Founder, Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC)

Advances in TV technology are coming fast and from many directions these days, giving consumers — and home theater enthusiasts, in particular — more reasons than ever to consider upgrading to a new set. Whether we’re talking Mini-LED, MicroLED, or QD-OLED, a new take on OLED technology, there’s a lot to keep up with. We tracked down industry insider Robert (Bob) O’Brien to get his take on what has become a very dynamic space.

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 22, 2022  |  4 comments
"I'm just very grateful we're allowed to, by grace, manifest some really, really high-standard, quality music. We do not have to be victims of static."

That's rock legend Carlos Santana, succinctly summarizing two things at once: a) the fine art of making music worth listening to, and b) being able to hear that music as clearly as the artist intended. (To that end, Carlos and I wound up switching phone lines during the front end of our conversation in order to hear each other with a much better-sounding connection, but that's another story.)

Bob Ankosko  |  Feb 10, 2022  |  3 comments
When the original NTSC broadcast system gave way to high-definition television at the end of the 20th century it was the first major upgrade in almost 50 years, so it was a huge deal. A dozen or so years later, TV makers rolled out the first 4K Ultra HDTVs, which accounted for three-quarters of the 45 million TVs shipped in the U.S. last year, and, now, 8K beckons. But when will the next-gen TV format actually start to take off? To get a handle on how things are progressing in the world of 8K, we decided to check in with Chris Chinnock, executive director of the 8K Association (8KA).
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 04, 2022  |  1 comments
Ian Anderson has never taken his foot off the creative gas when it comes to both producing new music and harvesting the wealth of catalog material from Jethro Tull, the groundbreaking prog/folk hybrid band he co-founded in 1967.

That said, considering just how active an artist Anderson has been over the past six-plus decades, it might surprise you to learn the stalwart British collective's latest release, The Zealot Gene (InsideOut Music) is in fact the first new Tull studio album in more than 19 years.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jan 20, 2022  |  4 comments
A conversation with Jeff Clark, Director of Software Engineering, Audyssey Laboratories

Dealing with the effects of room acoustics is one of the biggest challenges in getting a movie or music system to sound “right.” Even the best speakers can sound awful — muted and boomy or bright and anemic — in an acoustically difficult environment. For the past 18 years, Audyssey Labs has shown a relentless dedication to delivering and continually refining technology that improves sound quality without the listener having to intervene. We sat down with Jeff Clark, director of software engineering, to discuss Audyssey’s past and present efforts to “push any listening scenario as close to a reference listening experience as possible.”

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 24, 2021  |  0 comments
Like many of the great bands from the classic rock era of the latter half of the 20th century, British hard-rock stalwarts Deep Purple cut their teeth with an uncanny ability to turn cover songs into original statements. If it pleases the aural court, may we present the Rod Evans/Ritchie Blackmore era of the band's trippy, deeply shaded 1968 bookend renditions of Joe South's "Hush" and Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman" as prime evidence? (Case closed.)
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 17, 2021  |  4 comments
"I heard a bunch of things in it I had never heard before."

That's Rob Baker, guitarist of Canada's still-favorite sons The Tragically Hip, recounting the feelings he experienced upon hearing the recent, fully completed Dolby Atmos mix of his band's seminal February 1991 release, Road Apples for the very first time.

Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 14, 2021  |  0 comments

A conversation with Tony Ostrom, president of the Wireless Speaker & Audio Association.

We’ve tracked the progress of the Wireless Speaker & Audio Association (WiSA) since its humble beginnings many years ago. A lot has changed since those early days when the Association showed up in a CES hotel room to demonstrate a home theater system devoid of speaker cables. It was a remarkable demo, not just because it worked, but because the enabling technology made it possible to send uncompressed 24-bit/96-kHz audio signals through the air from an AV receiver to seven speakers and a subwoofer. Today, wireless music is everywhere and better than ever but in those days transmitting hi-res audio wirelessly was a daunting task. It’s been a few years since we checked in with the Association so we caught up with WiSA president Tony Ostrom to get an update on the technology and the products it enables.

Mike Mettler  |  Jul 02, 2021  |  0 comments
Bob Clearmountain knows how to move mountains with his mixes. Ok, ok, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit here—but the fact is, Clearmountain has been a go-to mixer/engineer/producer for A-list musicians for decades, having shepherded the sound of landmark albums by artists like Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Simple Minds, Bryan Adams, and Roxy Music. (And that barely scratches the surface of his top-shelf mixing C.V., btw.)
Bob Ankosko  |  Jul 01, 2021  |  0 comments

15 Minutes with Jon Kiachian, VP, Hearing Health Technologies at Knowles Corp.

Jon Kiachian has spent the past 16 years working with the likes of National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments in technology-management positions. Today he is a vice president and general manager at Knowles, the global company responsible for developing the tiny microphones that allowed us to hear sound from the surface of Mars earlier this year. Kiachian oversees the business unit that develops technology to improve sound quality in a variety of electronics devices — a pursuit that’s more important than ever as high-resolution (hi-res) music reaches the masses through the likes of Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, and other streaming services. In his role at Knowles, Kiachian has become a hi-res evangelist of sorts who believes audiophiles are “duty bound” to convince the millions of listeners who settle for bad sound that there’s a better option — a way to make the music they love really come alive.

Mike Mettler  |  Jun 04, 2021  |  0 comments
Whenever we talk about artists who changed the course of rock history who aren't The Beatles, one group with perhaps the most unassuming yet wholly appropriate name tops the bill: The Band. Their homespun July 1968 debut Music From Big Pink literally turned the rock world on its collective ear to such a degree that contemporaries like Eric Clapton instantly renounced their virtuosic "look at me" playing styles and adjusted their thinking toward creating more organic and more authentic music truer to their essential selves.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 13, 2021  |  1 comments
Since CEDIA sold the rights to the annual CEDIA Expo trade show a few years ago, the organization has been busy honing and expanding the world-class educational programs it produces for professional integrators who design and install A/V entertainment and smart-home systems. The Indiana-based association also plays a key role in developing industry standards with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). We recently caught up with Walt Zerbe, CEDIA’s senior director of technology and standards, to learn why industry standards and recommended practices are important and what they mean for enthusiasts.
Mike Mettler  |  May 07, 2021  |  1 comments
"Audio is my thing," declares Peter Frampton. "And the thing is, I could go on about it for days! I am a big audio freak."

It's not hard to see (and hear) why, considering how Frampton has been most meticulous about getting the exact sound he wants on record, thanks in no small part to his fruitful, decades-spanning collaborations with ace producer/engineer Chuck Ainlay. For sonic evidence of their work together, check out the tone, breadth, and character of this-century Frampton albums like August 2003's , September 2006's Fingerprints, and June 2019's All Blues, for starters.

Bob Ankosko  |  Mar 18, 2021  |  0 comments
Few companies in the home entertainment electronics industry have as storied a history as THX, the company born out of George Lucas’ desire to bring the movie-going experience as close as possible to how he envisioned his theatrical creations on the big screen. Disappointed by the sonic limitations of movie theaters when the original Star Wars film was released in 1977, the celebrated screenwriter/director engaged a team of audio engineers to define a series of technical parameters theater owners could follow to achieve what we would call today an immersive experience. The theatrical program was a huge success, eventually finding its way into the home, and the rest is history. We caught up with Peter Vasay, general manager and senior VP for home products at THX Ltd., to get an update on what the iconic brand has been up to lately and where it’s headed.

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