Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 06, 2018  |  3 comments
For 2019, Sony has further refined the VPL-VW285ES projector I reviewed last year and is now calling it the VPL-VW295ES. I was able to spend some time to spend with it before heading off to CEDIA.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 24, 2018  |  2 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Miguel, a feisty youngster in small town Mexico, loves music, particularly the work of his hero, the long dead guitar and singing star, Ernesto de la Cruz. But because his great-great grandfather abandoned his wife and daughter for a career in music, his family remains virulently opposed to music and forbids Miguel’s having anything to do with it.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 22, 2018  |  1 comments

Adante AS-61 Speakers
Performance
Build Quality
Value

SUB3070 Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $2,500/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Detailed, clean highs
Superb vocal reproduction
Bloat-free bass
Minus
Relatively low sensitivity
Limited bass extension

THE VERDICT
Elac's step-up AS-61 standmounter gets most everything right. Combined with the company's well-matched SUB3070 subwoofer, it makes for a highly appealing, high-performance speaker package.

Germany-based ELAC was well known in the 1960s and 1970s for its automatic (Miracord) turntables. The company disappeared from North America in the ensuing decades while transitioning into a major European loudspeaker brand. A few years ago, it decided that the time was right to return to the U.S. market. To produce new designs for that move they lured veteran speaker designer Andrew Jones away from his extended gig at TAD/Pioneer. The ELAC Debut line (now in its second generation) came first and seriously shook up the budget speaker sector. That was followed not long after by the pricier, but hardly pricey, Uni-Fi series.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 21, 2018  |  6 comments
Avengers: Infinity War was a more compelling experience at home in 4K and HDR than in my local IMAX theater.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 07, 2018  |  3 comments
Last week Sound & Vision editor Al Griffin wrote on this site about Sony’s recent New York event. The subject was the launching of the company’s new Master Series flagship televisions, the new A9F OLEDs (in 55- and 65-inch sizes) and Z9F LCDs (65- and 75-inches). The event was held in a venue that in its past life was an exclusive dinner theater from 1938 to 1951, fell into disrepair in the following decades, and was remodeled in 2013. Since then it has been contracted to Sony, renamed Sony Hall, and used for a variety of theatrical and business events.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 26, 2018  |  10 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Deep black levels
Extremely wide viewing angle
Supports Dolby Vision and HLG
Minus
Expensive compared to same-size LCD UHDTVs
Lower peak brightness than LCD UHDTVs

THE VERDICT
This new C8 series set exceeds the performance of LG’s previous OLED models, making it the best OLED TV from the company I’ve yet tested. Its price is also significantly lower than last year’s C7, which means more buyers can now bring home an LG OLED instead of dreaming about one.

The picture quality improvements in LG’s 2018 OLED Ultra HDTVs aren’t a dramatic upgrade over the company’s already superb 2017 sets, but they are accompanied by a new Alpha 9 processor, an autocalibration option, and a few new and updated features. LG has gathered all of these capabilities under the “LG ThinQ AI” rubric. While the AI (Artificial Intelligence) claim may be a bit overstated, that’s where the market is going and LG is not alone in it. I wonder if adding a blinding blizzard of do-everything geegaws makes the screen interface too complex for the average user who simply wants to turn on his or her TV and watch a movie.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 24, 2018  |  0 comments
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (that is, a sequel) opened in theaters this week. I didn’t realize that the first film, Mamma Mia! The Musical was a major hit when it was released in 2009, selling hundreds of billions of tickets to folks worldwide. I wasn’t of them, having a love/hate relationship with the Abba tunes featured in the film.

In fact I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with movie musicals. La La Land lost me after the first song and dance number from the otherwise appealing leads who could neither sing nor dance. And apart from that title and a few others (notably The Greatest Showman—a recent release now available on a spectacular UHD Blu-ray), the musical hasn’t received a lot of film love in recent years. But it was, for decades, a movie staple...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 19, 2018  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,300

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent shadow detail
Superb color and resolution
Punchy HDR
Minus
Mediocre off-axis performance
Some blooming

THE VERDICT
The new Sony XBR-65X900F is no OLED-killer, but it offers OLED-like benefits at a reasonable price.

OLED ULTRA HDTVS grab most of today’s headlines. And although prices for OLED sets have dropped dramatically over the last year, they still command a high premium. Even flagship LCD sets— Sony’s Z9D line, for example—remain beyond the price reach of many consumers. Sony’s new X900F LCD TVs, which are available in screen sizes all the way up to 85 inches, provide a more reasonable alternative. Choose the 65-inch X900F under review here and you’ll leave the store with a far smaller dent on your credit line than you would when buying an OLED or a flagship LCD.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 10, 2018  |  4 comments
No, you can’t yet buy an 8K set anywhere, nor is there any 8k programming being streamed, broadcast, or engraved on a physical disc that a consumer can buy. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t being seriously discussed in R&D circles.

In the last week in June a well-attended, two-day seminar on near-future UHDTV display technologies took place in Hollywood, CA. Conducted by Insight Media (www.insightmedia.info), a company that both consults with companies in the video display industry and conducts media-related tech conferences, and sponsored by Samsung, the conference dove heavily into subjects such as 8K, Quantum Dots, and micro LEDs...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 25, 2018  |  0 comments
We rarely discuss smartphones here at Sound & Vision, but I suspect that most readers, if forced to choose which device they’d choose to keep if they had to divest themselves of all but one, would choose their smartphone. But that wouldn’t include me. I don’t check my phone 20 times a day, and Facebook and Twitter are strangers to me. In the past I’ve used my phone mainly for e-mails, news, Listen-In radio, and phone calls.

But my recent experience with a new smartphone offers cautionary lessons also applicable to our more house-bound entertainment goodies: televisions, AVRs, speakers, home assistants, home automation, and more...

Pages

X