Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 30, 2018  |  0 comments
IMAX and DTS stirred up a bit of a hurricane at September’s CEDIA Expo when they announced the launch of a new home theater certification program called “IMAX Enhanced.” Here’s what we know…
Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 17, 2018  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive HDR brightness
Excellent black level and shadow detail
Superior off-center viewing angle for LCD
Minus
Some backlight blooming artifacts
Unimpressive built-in sound

THE VERDICT
Sony’s Master Series Z9F LCD makes a strong claim for top-dog status in today’s Ultra HDTV market. It produces superb images, with enhanced off-center viewing so all guests will be happy at your next Super Bowl party.

In mid-2016, Sony launched a new flagship LCD design, the XBR-Z9D. The series incorporated Backlight Master Drive, a local dimming technology that was a big step forward in realizing the peak brightness potential of high dynamic range (HDR). The Z9D series has remained at the top of Sony’s TV lineup for two years—an eternity for UHDTV technology. But it now shares space with the new XBR-Z9F Master Series LCD models, which are available in 65- and 75-inch sizes, along with the company’s new A9F Master Series OLED TVs.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 16, 2018  |  8 comments
A recent product announcement from Amazon touted the launch of a “subwoofer” to supplement the response of Amazon’s popular Echo vocal assistant. Presumably it will work with the even smaller Echo Dot as well. But for me it raised a couple of eyebrows.

Given that the low frequency response of an Echo alone probably doesn’t reproduce any useful output much lower than 100 Hz (admittedly an educated guess), the Echo Sub certainly can't hurt. But given its size and its 6-inch driver, there's no way that such a product it can be considered a subwoofer...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 02, 2018  |  1 comments
While the movers behind the Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek franchises aren’t at risk of losing sleep over dinosaurs just yet, the Jurassic worlds and parks do threaten to chomp on more than a few toes over the coming years.

When Jurassic Park debuted in 1993 it could have been a boom or a bust. Computer generated effects (CGI) were just coming into their own, but with a few exceptions (notably Terminator 2) they still hadn’t eaten the film business alive. Though keenly aware of his problems with the anamatronic shark in 1975’s Jaws, director Steven Spielberg was also aware that CGI, while still in its infancy, had significantly advanced the possibilities for special effects since the (on-set) practical effects of 1975.

So Spielberg went ahead. Using a brilliant combination of anamatronics and CGI he crafted a classic movie with effects that still hold up today. Four other Jurassic films have followed, three of them directed by others...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 11, 2018  |  0 comments
The 2018 edition of CEDIA Expo is now history and, although it may not be as grand as CES, it still left us with plenty to chew on.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 09, 2018  |  1 comments
The mini-wave that’s 8K video might well become a tsunami, so Samsung means to get out in front of it. At CEDIA Samsung demo’ed its new Q900FN series of 8K sets. They’re also said to be capable of 4000 nits of peak brightness, which if achievable after calibration could be more significant than the 8K pixel count. Today’s 4K UHD source material is mastered at either 1000 nits or 4000 nits, and a set capable of 4000 nits (a level OLED will likely never achieve) will not need tone mapping for those sources.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 09, 2018  |  0 comments
The demo in the Anthem-Paradigm sound room was impressive, using a pair of the new Paradigm Prelude 800F tower speakers (under $2,000/pair) for a two-channel demo and Paradigm’s upscale in-wall (on-wall in this demo) speakers for the AV presentation... So why the picture here of Panamorph anamorphic lenses?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 09, 2018  |  0 comments
A 75Wpc, 2-channel amp (into 8 ohms) might seem a little anachronistic today, when home theater fans want as many high-powered channels as they can afford in their amps and AVRs.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Deeper into this blog thread you’ll read more about JVC’s impressive new lamp-based 4K projector lineup. I arrived late to the press event and had to take screenshots from the back. But I couldn’t resist bringing you an MST3000 moment.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Hisense brought its wide range of short throw 4K Laser TV projectors to the show. All of them use TI’s 4K imaging chip, and all of them come with dedicated screens...

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