Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Nov 25, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bright, living room-friendly image
Packaged with easy to assemble screen
Plentiful picture adjustment options
Minus
Limited contrast and color space coverage
High fan noise in Normal Light Output mode
Basic remote control

THE VERDICT
With its powerful brightness and impressive overall picture, Epson's LS500 offers a compelling alternative to pricey oversize flat-panel TVs.

Remember the rear-projection TV (RPTV)? RPTVs were big, boxy contraptions housing a projector that beamed an image at the rear of a screen mounted on the set's front surface. While necessarily inelegant compared with the sleek flat-panel TVs that eventually replaced them, the RPTV in its heyday solved the problem of getting a big image—screen sizes topped out around 80-inches—without having to resort to a room-dominating two-piece system with a ceiling-mounted projector and separate screen.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 18, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $3,800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive looks and build quality
Plays loud effortlessly
Wide imaging capability
Minus
Requires careful amp-matching
Fussy about setup and placement

THE VERDICT
JBL's upscale-looking HDI-3600 tower speaker delivers effortless, fatigue-free sound.

When I first ran across JBL's HDI series loudspeakers at the 2019 CEDIA Expo, I was struck by the line's upscale looks and substantial build quality. The brand's new speakers seemed more akin to the Revel models also being shown in parent-company Harman's sprawling booth than the budget-priced JBL Stage series towers Sound & Vision had reviewed earlier that year.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 05, 2020  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve always been interested in streaming high-resolution audio through my Denon AVR-4300H receiver, but don’t know if that’s possible. Although I mainly listen to music on Spotify and Pandora, I tried Tidal and Amazon Music HD but couldn’t figure out how to stream the tracks in high resolution. What options do I have, if any? —Mark Levesque, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 28, 2020  |  0 comments

Speakers
Performance
Build Quality
Value
Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $8,360 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great overall sound with movies and music
Integrated Atmos Elevation speakers
Impressive clarity from center speaker
Minus
Pricey sub with limited features
Boxy design for Focal speakers

THE VERDICT
Focal's 5.1.4 Chora system delivers impressive performance for the price and is equally adept at movies and music.

Some may see France's Focal as a maker of $100,000-plus speakers and $4,000 headphones. But while the company does maintain a high profile in the high-end through products like its Utopia towers, the reality is that Focal makes speakers—and headphones—that cover a wide range of price points. It's been nearly ten years since Sound & Vision reviewed a full-scale Focal home theater speaker system—a $25,000 rig with beryllium tweeters. This time out we're looking at the company's affordable new Chora series, a lineup that notably includes speakers with upfiring drivers to handle Dolby Atmos and other immersive audio formats.

Al Griffin  |  Oct 22, 2020  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My new Denon A/V receiver has an eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) HDMI connection, and my TV has a regular HDMI ARC connection. Here’s my question: Will the Denon A/V receiver be able to decode both Dolby Atmos/Dolby True HD and DTS:X/DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks that are routed to it from the TV’s HDMI ARC port, or do I need to connect sources such as an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and streaming box directly to the AVR to make that happen? —Andrew Last, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 01, 2020  |  7 comments
It seemed like a miracle when Christopher Nolan’s new film Tenet was released in theaters a few weeks ago. But there was a dilemma. I live in New York State, and the governor hadn’t yet cleared movie theaters for reopening. And that’s still the case.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 29, 2020  |  1 comments
Canada’s Bluesound, maker of multiroom wireless streamers, amps, speakers, and soundbars, has added a new subwoofer to its product lineup. With a larger 8-inch driver and 150-watt Smart DSP amplifier, The Pulse Sub+ ($749) appears to be a significant improvement over the company’s previous offering, the Pulse Sub. The new model can also be set up and adjusted via the company’s BluOS Controller app—a feature the earlier Pulse Sub lacked.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 17, 2020  |  0 comments
One highlight of LG’s CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020 booth is the GX 3.1 soundbar, a model that the company rolled out in July to accompany its GX Gallery Series TVs such as the 65-inch 65GXPUA that Sound & Vision recently reviewed.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 16, 2020  |  0 comments
The centerpiece of Monitor Audio’s packed CEDIA Expo Virtual 2020 booth is its new Bronze speaker lineup, which we had previously reported on in early July. These handsome speakers, now in their sixth generation, have been designed to deliver dynamic, attention-grabbing performance, and feature an 8-ohm nominal impedance to allow pairing with a wide range of A/V receivers and electronics.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 16, 2020  |  0 comments
Back in 2019 at in-person (not virtual) CEDIA, we reported on Epson’s new LS500 Laser Projection TV. It’s taken a while, but that model is officially available as of today.

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