Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 19, 2020  |  4 comments
As we march into the third month in this Days of Our Lives lockdown, it appears that the jail doors are starting to inch open, if ever so cautiously. Before long we might be back to some semblance of normal. The long term effects of our response to the Covid-19 virus might be worse than the virus itself, but that story won’t fully hit the presses for a few months—or years. In the meantime, here are a few, pithy thoughts on some perennial home theater topics.

TV Shopping Takes a Hit… Unless you’re Amazon, this virus has been a serious blow to the consumer electronics market.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 06, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Rich, accurate color
Wide viewing angle
Outstanding HDR performance
Minus
Remote control difficult to use
Table-mount legs an optional accessory

THE VERDICT
LG’s design-savvy 65GXPUA OLED offers up a mix of features and performance that’s guaranteed to grab your attention.

LG's GX series for 2020 sits in the middle of the company's OLED TV range, just above the CX series, and right below the WX (for Wallpaper—ultra thin and designed for, you guessed it, wall mounting). But at 20mm, GX series sets are also very thin, and while they come with a wall-mounting bracket, it doesn't include legs for a table-top mount, though that option is available at a modest extra cost. The GX series has built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control, and it also adds a Gallery feature that can display stationary artwork surrounded by a faux frame inside its otherwise nearly invisible bezel.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 05, 2020  |  0 comments
We have no confirmed data to show how the current coronavirus pandemic might affect the consumer electronics market. Even experts paid to research such things can only guess, but there’s little doubt it’s effect will be significant.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 21, 2020  |  21 comments
Ah, the good old days. Happy crowds coming together in joyful celebration, shopping together for a new TV on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Seems like only yesterday. Oh, wait, it was. But in the greater scheme of things, how the current Wuhan Virus pandemic will affect our small world of consumer audio-video isn’t a big topic on the nightly news. Nevertheless, that’s our gig here, and it’s important to consider the possible consequences. Will this be the end of the A/V world as we know it?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 07, 2020  |  5 comments
Subwoofers are like the magic beans of audio, expanding a playback system's dynamic range in a way that dramatically enhances the listening experience. There's an attitude among some audiophiles that subwoofers represent, if not the spawn of the devil (there are numerous such spawns in audio lore), a bad compromise at minimum. But the truth is that adding a modest but well-designed subwoofer to speakers, even compact bookshelf models, can result in better performance than what you'd get from full-range towers that cost considerably more.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 07, 2020  |  5 comments
A month or so ago, my local AMC theater sent out a notice that they were only selling seats separated by a few feet to minimize close contact. A few days earlier I had gone to the Dolby Cinema screen in the same complex to see Onward, but it was a weekday afternoon and there were only about a half dozen of us spread out across the theater’s 250 seats. Today, thanks to the corona virus, that theater is closed for the duration. That’s true throughout the world...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 24, 2020  |  9 comments
As you settle into a new routine during these unprecedented times, here are few things you can in your (mandated) free time.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 10, 2020  |  3 comments
Every year as LG gets ready to release new TVs into the market, the company invites reviewers from all over the country to its Los Angeles facility to introduce the new lineup. Just this week I was scheduled to travel to that annual event for an up-close look at LG’s 2020 TV lineup. I thought seriously for days about whether or not to attend as coronavirus (COVID-19) slowly spreads across the country...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 26, 2020  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,200

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Solid performance
Flexible 4-, 2-, or 3-channel setup
Five-year warranty
Minus
Intrusive rear-panel lighting

THE VERDICT
The Avalon G4 may be designed for upgrading systems to the new immersive audio formats, but it's also a fine performer that's flexible enough to satisfy other configurations.

Four may be an even number, but a four-channel amplifier like AudioControl's Avalon G4 might seem like an odd duck to some. With Dolby Atmos and other immersive audio formats becoming more common in the custom install market (where AudioControl, which manufactures products at its Seattle facility, has a heavy presence), however, upgrade-anxious customers will obviously need four additional amp channels to complement the company's existing 5- and 7-channel designs.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 25, 2020  |  16 comments
When I was a lad I served a turn as a Hi-Fi looker with no bucks to burn…

With apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan, I’d venture that more than a few veteran audiophiles began that way. Back in the day every city of medium to large size had at least one hi-fi shop. Big cities had dozens....I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but by the mid ‘90s there were far fewer shops than before...

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