Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 22, 2015  |  1 comments
‘Tis the Season—for last minute, desperation shopping. But what could be easier than one or a few Blu-ray discs for that stocking by the fireplace. So here are a few recommendations...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 14, 2015  |  1 comments

PRICE $2,600

Impressive resolution—in both 4K and 1080p
Natural-looking color—even before calibration
Appealing price
Mediocre blacks
Image fades off-center

For a rewarding experience in watching that big game or a favorite movie, Samsung’s UN60JS7000 should please all but the fussy video perfectionist prepared to pay a lot more for his or her new Ultra HD set.

Samsung’s new 60-inch UN60JS7000FXZA joins the majority of 4K Ultra HDTVs on the market offering 4K as their main UHD calling card. But according to Samsung, it will also respond to the metadata for high dynamic range sources and display it—though not to the same brightness level as will, for example, the company’s higher-end sets, including the so-called “SUHD” UN65JS9500FXZA (Sound & Vision, September 2015 and The JS7000 is also claimed to respond to the wide color offered in some UHD material, in the same way as other Samsung SUHD sets, but it downconverts any 10-bit color source to 8 bits (which corresponds to fewer gradations of color being available for display).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 08, 2015  |  4 comments
On September 19, 2015, SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) published a Study Group Report titled “High Dynamic Range (HDR) Imaging Ecosystem.” The emphasis is on the production side, but the bottom line appears to be this: The industry is still engaged in a protracted study of HDR, with no current standards for the production and display of content in that format.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 25, 2015  |  0 comments
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful, warm-hearted girl named Ella, whose happiness is shattered when her mother dies. Her father later remarries to a stern widow, who moves in with her two cruel daughters and…

Unless you lived a deprived childhood, you already know the Cinderella story. The story goes back centuries, but to most of us today, it’s the 1950 Disney animated version that comes to mind when we think of it. Gone was the truly grim Brothers Grimm version, where the stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to try to fit into that glass slipper! Disney’s animated Cinderella was fiercely kid-friendly and certainly well done, though it suffered a bit in comparison to the genuine Disney masterpieces that preceded it: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 24, 2015  |  4 comments
So you’ve got plans to go over the river and through the woods for that sleep-inducing turkey dinner. But the day won’t be complete without you later getting as bloated on football as on the banquet stuffing. After the feast everyone will sit down to see the MaciNacs of Mackenna Tech take on the Okidokes of Northwest Virginia A&T.

But as soon as you sit down in front of the TV you see something amiss. The Nacs and Dokes, normally the smallest players in the Little 7 Conference, look like wide-bodied extras from Lord of the Dwarfs: The Return of Gimli (I hope I’m not giving Peter Jackson any ideas).

You, our hawkeyed video purist, spots the problem immediately...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 10, 2015  |  2 comments
As we’ve taken pains to point out previously here at Sound & Vision, there’s more to Ultra HD than just 4K resolution. The latter merely offers eight times as many pixels as 1080p HD. That’s unlikely to make much difference on any but the very largest sets viewed from 6-8 feet from the screen. Advanced color and high dynamic range (HDR), are also a part of the specs for Ultra HD (or UHD for short), and will definitely up the ante in the eye-candy department even on a small set viewed from across the room.

While advanced color and HDR remain, for now, small players in the psychodrama that most folks still refer to as simply 4K, they’re definitely on their way...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 27, 2015  |  0 comments
My first CEDIA was in Dallas in 1995, and it was held there for the next year or two. But unless my memory deceives me, 2015 was its first time back in the Big D. As I rode the Super Shuttle into the city from the airport, the building that housed that 1995 event was clearly visible next to the expressway. I went to a boatload of classes and seminars that year. There was plenty of time for them. You could cover the main exhibit floor in less than an hour—if you lingered. Calling them exhibits that year was a little grandiose; they were simply tables occupied by many new, unknown manufacturers hoping to grab a foothold in the growing but still small home theater custom installation market.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 18, 2015  |  Published: Oct 17, 2015  |  1 comments
Behind this innocuous photo is one of the most exciting demonstrations I had at this show, a demo of a technology and not a specific product. For several years now DLP has faded a bit from its glory days in home theater projectors (it continues to be big for business and theatrical presentations). LCOS and LCD have ruled the roost, particularly from the trio of Epson, JVC, and Sony.

The chip at the right in the photo is TI's big 4K DLP chip, widely used in 3-chip theater projectors. On the left is a new, smaller "4K" chip...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 17, 2015  |  1 comments
Vivitek launched three new projectors at CEDIA 2015.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 17, 2015  |  0 comments
The Trinnov preamp-processor definitely falls into the "if you have to ask" category. But as long as you're asking, $17,000 will get you a version with 8 outputs and $21,000 will give you 16...