Thomas J. Norton

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 10, 2018  |  3 comments
No, you can’t yet buy an 8K set anywhere, nor is there any 8k programming being streamed, broadcast, or engraved on a physical disc that a consumer can buy. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t being seriously discussed in R&D circles.

In the last week in June a well-attended, two-day seminar on near-future UHDTV display technologies took place in Hollywood, CA. Conducted by Insight Media (www.insightmedia.info), a company that both consults with companies in the video display industry and conducts media-related tech conferences, and sponsored by Samsung, the conference dove heavily into subjects such as 8K, Quantum Dots, and micro LEDs...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 25, 2018  |  0 comments
We rarely discuss smartphones here at Sound & Vision, but I suspect that most readers, if forced to choose which device they’d choose to keep if they had to divest themselves of all but one, would choose their smartphone. But that wouldn’t include me. I don’t check my phone 20 times a day, and Facebook and Twitter are strangers to me. In the past I’ve used my phone mainly for e-mails, news, Listen-In radio, and phone calls.

But my recent experience with a new smartphone offers cautionary lessons also applicable to our more house-bound entertainment goodies: televisions, AVRs, speakers, home assistants, home automation, and more...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 12, 2018  |  2 comments
I covered the pros and cons of choosing a projector or a flat screen set in a blog late last year. But a new candidate makes it worth a second look. That technology is the short throw projector, currently being heavily promoted by several manufacturers. Many of these devices are still pricey, but a few models that are at least competitive with premium flat screen sets are now available, with more sure to come...
Thomas J. Norton  |  May 29, 2018  |  7 comments
Ah, summer movies. The summer blockbuster tradition is relatively new, but summer moviegoing likely became a big thing when air conditioning was new and “Air Conditioning” on a theater marque guaranteed an audience.

But as I sat in a nearly empty local theater last week watching Avengers: Infinity War (it was a weekday afternoon and the movie had been out for 2 weeks), I wondered if the now ubiquitous Marvel Universe has painted itself into a corner. There are now too many characters to squeeze into a single film, even if some of the lesser lights were sidelined in this one (on holiday, perhaps—after all, only the future of the universe was at stake). So you have a gaggle of actors, each one of which is expecting significant screen time by getting his or her own little slice of the pie. That means a few meaty and/or witty lines for each of them and then off to the next battle. And if there’s one thing this movie isn’t lacking, it’s a next battle. And the next. And the next...

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 16, 2018  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,995

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive blacks
Wide color gamut
Crisp, natural detail
Minus
Not native 4K
No automated lens cover

THE VERDICT
We’d like to see JVC offer a true 4K design, rather than a pixel-shifted one, at a consumer-friendly price. But you’ll forget about all of that after your first two minutes viewing this outstanding projector—with either a 2K or a 4K source.

True native 4K projectors (those that deliver full UHD resolution to the screen with no reliance on pixel-shifting) are thin on the ground when it comes to prices that most home theater fans are likely to consider. As I write this, only Sony offers one model for as little as $5,000, the VPL-VW285ES.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 15, 2018  |  8 comments
Every year there’s a major high-end audio show in Munich, Germany, held in a large convention-center type facility. By all reports it’s the biggest such event in the world, though it began as a modest hotel show in Frankfurt (also Germany, not Kentucky). I actually attended two of those 80s shows when I was stationed in Germany in the Air Force, an hour’s drive from Frankfurt.

But this isn’t about audio shows, though from what I’ve heard about the Munich event it’s more about viewing than serious auditioning. And since home theater isn’t nearly as significant in Europe as it is in the U.S., Munich is mainly about 2-channel audio. I have no issue with that; I’m a fan myself. But the high-end 2-channel market isn’t doing itself any favors with the current trend toward crazy pricing. While a new, $250,000 pair of monoblock amplifiers from an industry icon may be an outlier, it’s symptomatic...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 24, 2018  |  2 comments
Back in the Jurassic age movie theaters routinely offered double features. That practice has long since disappeared, but you can recreate it by seeing two movies on the same day. It takes some doing to get the schedule right, with perhaps a half hour between the end of the first film and the beginning of the second—just enough time to see a man about a dog. Of course it will cost you for separate tickets, and you’ll want to be sure you can get good seats for both films.

Then there’s the challenge of making a good pairing...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 10, 2018  |  27 comments
The recent departure of Oppo from the new disc player landscape* has produced a flurry of “packaged media is dead” vs. “I want my video discs” chatter on the Web. It has also prompted me to ponder once again both sides of the question.

I don’t believe that Oppo’s decision has much to do with any sign that packaged media is likely to imminently disappear. Check the release schedules shown on a number of disc review sites (such as thedigitalbits.com) and you’ll see that dozens of titles are released each week. Some are new, some are re-releases, and many are unreleased movie titles dumped directly to video...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 27, 2018  |  10 comments
Elsewhere on this site I discuss my experiences at the press events I attended in Los Angeles (LG) and New York (Sony). Between these two events I elected to spend a few extra days in Los Angeles to pay informal visits to two manufacturers and also to check out the latest movies in good movie theaters—including one of the best in the country.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 23, 2018  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Less than three weeks after the Germans invaded France in May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force found themselves backed up against the English Channel. The evacuation that followed sought to rescue over 300,000 British and French troops using a combination of British warships and hundreds of “little boats.”

Pages

X