Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 16, 2021  |  4 comments
I wrote about moving cross country back in 2015, but there's always more to say on the subject, particularly as it applies to home theater fans with expensive gear to transport safely. No, I'm not moving again, but what with Covid and other incentives, more folks are moving today than ever — particularly out of a few big and management-challenged states such as New York and California.

Moving from the wilds of Glendale California to the (different) wilds of western Florida in 2015 presented me with a number of challenges. But that was nearly seven years ago. Those challenges are somewhat different now, but the basics haven't changed. Moving remains one of life's more disorienting experiences.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 10, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Good image contrast
Crisp picture detail
Affordable price
Minus
Limited off-center viewing angle
Limited HDR brightness
Cluttered screen interface

THE VERDICT
When it comes to TVs, Vizio has always been serious about keeping the quality high and the prices low. That program continues with the company’s new M-Series Quantum, making this set worthy of serious consideration.

Veteran videophiles will recall the days when flat-panel TVs were almost impossibly expensive. But bigscreen set prices have dropped dramatically in recent years. We might "blame" Vizio for that, as it was among the first companies to challenge the status quo. Today it's not the only one offering affordable TVs, but its newest M-Series Quantum models make a strong case for the company's continued design and marketing savvy.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 26, 2021  |  2 comments
There have been several past attempts to adapt Frank Herbert's iconic science fiction novel to film or television. In the mid-1970s, cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky scripted an ambitious version that would have run 14 hours!! The enormous planning effort for this version never made it onto film, due not only to this running length but also to the enormous anticipated costs. (At the time it was never considered for television—this was long before episodic event TV.) But Jodorowsky's work was so ambitious that it inspired a well-received 2013 documentary on the project, Jodorowsky's Dune, currently available both via streaming and on Blu-ray. Nevertheless, the novel itself, and Jodorowsky's aborted version, are said to have inspired other space operas, such as Star Wars, with elements from Dune but clearly different story lines...
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?

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