Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 20, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $2,000/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clean, uncolored sound with solid bass
Cool vintage looks
Three-way switch to modify mid- and high-frequency output
Minus
Best sound with grilles off

THE VERDICT
The new, re-imagined KLH Model Five represents an exceptional update to an iconic speaker design.

KLH was originally founded in 1957 as the KLH Research and Development Corporation by three partners: Henry Kloss, Malcolm S. Low, and Josef Anton Hofmann. Today, the best-known of that trio is the late Henry Kloss. A true A/V renaissance man, Kloss was instrumental in establishing four loudspeaker companies: Acoustic Research, KLH, Advent, and Cambridge SoundWorks. In the mid-1970s, he also founded a short-lived company to market his then-revolutionary Advent VideoBeam projection system. Kloss further worked to improve FM radio and brought Dolby B noise-reduction to the consumer audio cassette.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 12, 2021  |  0 comments
A reader recently responded to a loudspeaker review complaining that, as set up for the review, the speakers were positioned 4-feet out from the wall behind them. Impractical, the poster commented, as he didn't have the space in his room to do that. But I always position speakers that way and suspect that most reviewers do so as well—though not all of them specifically state it. But I can't help myself; I cut my teeth writing for our sister publication Stereophile. While dubious "truths" abound in audiophilia, this one has a real basis in "the science."
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 28, 2021  |  2 comments
If your TV is 7-10 years old and free of built-in streaming services, or you haven't yet used an outboard streaming device, your life is simple. But if your set is anywhere near new, and you're using its on-board, so-called Smart TV opening screen, it's a very different experience that starts with a cluttered home screen. Ever wonder why that home screen is packed with a dizzying array of apps?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 14, 2021  |  0 comments
As any serious photographer can tell you, color is a complex subject. There are researchers devoting their careers to it. It's also central to properly setting up a television in a process we call calibration.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 08, 2021  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,600

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Standard-setting HDR performance
Wide viewing angle for LCD
Deep blacks and strong shadow detail
Minus
Lacks Dolby Vision
Occasional blooming artifacts

THE VERDICT
The price for Samsung's latest sets may be up from last year's equivalent models, but if you're in the market for a new TV, the improvements to be found in the new QN90A series make it worth serious consideration.

In 2020, Sound & Vision tested Samsung's 65-inch Q90T series TV, an LCD model that lacked some of the features and refinements found in the company's flagship sets from the previous year. But at $1,900, it also struck us as a solid deal given the overall price-performance ratio and received a Top Pick. Samsung's new Neo QLED QN90A series LCDs, available in 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch screen sizes, are pricier than the Q90T models they replace, though the higher prices in this case come with marked performance upgrades.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 31, 2021  |  3 comments
A strangely vivid dream reminds Tom Norton of another time, long ago, when movie theaters were in trouble.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 17, 2021  |  3 comments
In case you haven't noticed, big screen TVs are becoming almost affordable. And by big screen, I mean BIG, as in over 80-inches diagonal. I was browsing in Sam's Club the other day where rows of TVs in that size were on sale. If an 85-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum X at $2,900 isn't surprising enough, how about an 82-inch Samsung Crystal UHD 7-Series TU700D for $1,396?

Granted, both sets were 2020 models on closeout and not the latest 2021s. The Vizio was that company's best, or next to best, model for 2020, but the Samsung was in a 2020 budget range. But still, about $17 per diagonal inch for the Vizio and $34 per inch for the Samsung?

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion premiered in London back in 1913. Loosely based on an ancient Greek myth, its plot involves a linguistics professor, Henry Higgins, teaching a bedraggled flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to speak proper English—not only well enough to pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball, but to "get her a job as a lady's maid or a shop assistant, which requires better English!"
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 04, 2021  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp resolution from Cognitive Processor XR
Ultra-wide viewing angle
Impressive shadow detail
Minus
Picture setup menu limitations
Minor black level issues with HDR

THE VERDICT
Sony's 65A80J delivers top-shelf video performance, HDMI 2.1 connectivity, along with many of the same features found in the company's flagship A90J OLED models at a significantly lower price.

Sony's new XR-65A80J OLED TV isn't a member of the company's Master Series—that designation belongs to its XR-A90J OLED models, which are spec'd to deliver higher brightness than the XR-A80J sets. And while we haven't yet tested those pricier Sony OLEDs, the XR-65A80J is far from being a second-class citizen.

The A80J's physical design is solid and well-executed. If you opt for a conventional installation instead of a wall-mount, its feet can be installed either 40 inches or 27.3 inches apart to accommodate a wide range of TV stands or cabinets, and they can also be slightly elevated to make space for a soundbar.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 21, 2021  |  1 comments
Today's projection screen scene is far more complex and competitive than it was even a short 10 years ago, with numerous companies now offering a wide range of screen types at various shapes, sizes, and prices. Narrowing the options requires research, together with careful consideration of your specific needs and viewing environment. How tightly can room lighting be controlled? How big does the image need to be? What is the preferred aspect ratio? Should the screen's frame be fixed or retractable? Finally, how do today's high dynamic range (HDR) requirements—unknown a decade ago—figure into the choice?

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