Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
Sony brought along part of an airplane interior to the show. Well, not really, but they used this mock up to demonstrate the effectiveness of their MDR-1000X noise canceling headphones...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
Chinese manufacturer Changhong has appeared at recent CESs without making much of a dent in the U.S. market. But give them credit for trying...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
In case you haven’t already heard, some weeks back Samsung announced that it was buying Harman Industries...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 04, 2017  |  1 comments
Amid the appliances and robots, LG unveils a flood of TVs, including five new OLED series, two impossibly thin models, and many new Super UHDTVs
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 23, 2016  |  0 comments
I’d heard of Angry Birds but completely missed their first flight of fame in an immensely popular game for smartphones. Subsequently, they went bird-flu viral with follow-up games, an animated TV series, and more. A movie launch was inevitable. It features hotheaded Red and other (non-flighted!) feathered citizens of Bird Island. Sentenced to take an anger management course, Red meets a few similarly explosive (sometimes literally!) souls.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 13, 2016  |  1 comments
“The press-heads were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of CES danced in their heads.”

It’s the same every year. With the festivities of the season keeping everyone furiously running around making preparations for holiday celebrations, those of us involved in the consumer electronics industry—manufacturers, public relations folks, distributors, dealers, trade press, and consumer press (note the hierarchy!)—have something else on our minds—the annual January CES. ...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 29, 2016  |  9 comments
Oppo has (finally) released details on its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Here's what we know...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 23, 2016  |  0 comments
PRICE $350

Excellent UHD performance
Solid build quality
Good value
Limited streaming apps
Less-than-perfect 4K upconversion

It’s not without minor flaws, but the second UHD Blu-ray player on the U.S. market delivers a stellar picture from UHD discs at an attractive price.

The launch of Ultra HD Blu-ray players has now progressed from a slow drip to a trickle. Samsung was first with the UBD-K8500 (reviewed in our June issue and also available at At CEDIA, Sony showed its upscale UBP-X1000ES but won’t have it out till next spring and hasn’t announced pricing. Oppo’s new player is expected sometime this fall. And Panasonic’s own high-end DMP-UB900, at $700, became available in late September as we were going to press (watch for a future review).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 15, 2016  |  3 comments
While popular among readers, direct A/B tests comparing one audio or video component with a competing model are far more difficult to do properly than you might imagine. I’ve conducted or participated in numerous such tests over the years, going back to speaker shootouts when I wrote exclusively for Stereophile back in the ‘90s. I also set up or participated in several shootouts of video displays for Home Theater.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 15, 2016  |  9 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
PRICE $5,500

State-of-the-art local dimming
Class-leading HDR brightness
Above average off-center viewing

With the top manufacturers jostling for a view from the top of the Ultra HD pyramid, Sony has taken an express elevator and is racing fast for the checkered flag. But enough with the mixed metaphors. If this TV isn’t today’s best LCD UHD/HDR set (and perhaps the best of any type), it’s not for lack of trying. Sony has given us their best technology here, and it shows.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2016, Sony demonstrated a prototype of a future LCD TV design incorporating what the company called Backlight Master Drive. We found it dazzling, as did most of the show-goers with whom we spoke. Nevertheless, we all looked at it as a “show car”—something that might appear in a store near you in a couple of years, if ever.