A/V Veteran

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 17, 2019  |  1 comments
The old Blue Bear kept trying to break in but was forever doomed to be on the outside looking in. But the rest of us were more successful, and for three days last week the Denver Convention Center was full of all sorts of goodies needed by custom installers.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 03, 2019  |  1 comments
An in-depth look at Blu-ray parameters that can be sorted and studied in a variety of ways.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 20, 2019  |  1 comments
In TV Tech Explained: Mind Your Gamma I covered gamma and its importance for playback of standard dynamic range (SDR) video. But high dynamic range (HDR) is a new and very different animal.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 30, 2019  |  4 comments
Unless you're accustomed to turning on your new set and never touching any of the controls beyond volume (and if you're reading this that's probably not you) Gamma is a control and a subject worth knowing more about.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 16, 2019  |  2 comments
We've all encountered the problem: Guests who haven't yet seen or heard your home theater setup are coming over for a movie night. But which movie to choose? If you know the guests' tastes the choice should be easy. But that isn't always the case.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 02, 2019  |  3 comments
A selection of discs and streaming content to watch during those lazy days of summer.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 18, 2019  |  10 comments
The Society for Information Display (SID) presents an update on the many faces of next-gen TV technology.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 04, 2019  |  2 comments
We go behind the scenes at Sound United's annual dealer/rep get-together in New Orleans.
Tom Norton  |  May 23, 2019  |  0 comments
If you don’t understand the pun above, don’t be confused. Even though 30 million viewers in the U.S., and untold millions more around the world, watched every one of the over 70 episodes of HBO’s remarkable series Game of Thrones, most of the world remains oblivious to this noteworthy achievement — or perhaps actively avoiding it…
Tom Norton  |  May 07, 2019  |  2 comments
Sony recently invited journalists to its New York City facilities to brief us on the company’s 2019 TV product strategy, along with comparative demonstrations against the best offerings of its key competitors.
Tom Norton  |  Apr 23, 2019  |  1 comments
The annual Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) show in Chicago has exploded into the biggest audio show in North America. 2019 was my first experience there, and it lived up to its reputation. The only show that’s now bigger, based on the number of exhibitors (though I understand it’s heavy on static displays), is May’s Munich show in Germany.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 09, 2019  |  6 comments
I’ve long been a fan of the Titanic saga, well before the 1997 film. I loved that one, but mainly for the stunning effects and James Horner’s magnificent score, not the badly written soap opera that took up over half of its running time. This week it returned to my attention, partly because in a few days the 107th anniversary of the disaster will arrive (April 15, though no one typically commemorates such an odd number) and partly because last week I re-watched a story of the Titanic on Blu-ray as one of the sources I used for a product review.

The latter however, wasn’t James Cameron’s flawed but still compelling epic. Instead, Titanic: Blood & Steel is a 12-part mini-series, released in 2012 (the 100th anniversary of the sinking, about the building of the ship. It doesn’t address the sinking at all. In fact, it ends just as the ship steams out of Belfast, where she was built (A ship is always a she, and as the narrative makes clear, she’s a ship, not a boat!)

But there’s a lot more here as well...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 26, 2019  |  7 comments
Shortly after sending out formal press releases for its 2019 television and audio lineups earlier this month (the products were first shown at the 2019 CES in January), LG held a March 20th press event in New York to expand on the details. LG began by noting that of the 36+ million sets sold in the U.S. market alone in 2018, only 2.4 million were priced above $1,000. Also notable is that 36% of the TVs sold in the U.S. for more than $2,000 were 70-inches or above. Globally, however, large sizes aren’t as popular.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 12, 2019  |  4 comments
Maybe I’m just in a bad mood from having dental surgery yesterday, or maybe there’s something odd happening at Disney these days. But what, exactly, is going on with some of their Ultra HD Blu-ray soundtracks?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 26, 2019  |  13 comments
The recent decision by Samsung to cease selling Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray players (at least in the U.S.), reported elsewhere on this site, has been taken by many as foreshadowing the death of video on physical media. Add in Oppo’s cessation of player manufacturing last year, and the statistically significant falloff in disc sales (confirmed locally by a recent, dramatic reduction in the shelf space devoted to video discs at my nearest Best Buy), and, the news certainly isn’t encouraging.

But the imminent death of the disc isn’t yet in sight. The disc market is still profitable, and the studios haven’t yet slowed down churning out both new and older titles. Check out The Digital Bits website for their weekly lists of releases and then tell me that video discs are on life support. They may be limping, but as a wise man once said, “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.”