Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Dec 29, 2021  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m in the process of rebuilding my home theater with a 4K projector and flat-panel TV. Here’s my question: What kind of HDMI extenders can I use to pass a video signal with Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) from my receiver to both screens? I’m completely at a loss here. —F. Hudson Miller, Hollywood, CA

Al Griffin  |  Dec 10, 2021  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
The Green Knight, director David Lowery's film adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an anonymous 14th century poem, is a fantastical, visually intoxicating take on Arthurian legend. Following a night of drinking and carousing at the local brothel, carefree young Gawain of Camelot (Dev Patel) is summoned on Christmas morning to the Round Table, where he is invited to sit beside his uncle, the king. Gawain's feeling of unworthiness is only deepened by Arthur's graciousness, and by his request for the young man to share a story of himself so they may know each other better.
Al Griffin  |  Dec 08, 2021  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $599

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful, easy to use control app
Multiple input and output connections
Roon Ready and AirPlay 2-compatible
Affordable price
Minus
Hardware remote not included

THE VERDICT
Bluesound’s feature-packed DAC brings the world of high-res audio, including multiroom streaming, to existing systems at an affordable price.

Streaming DACs provide a quick and easy way to upgrade an existing hi-fi rig and make it compatible with all the advanced services available to a 21st century music enthusiast. Even someone owning a circa-1972 receiver could suddenly find themselves streaming 24-bit/192kHz high-res tracks from Qobuz, as well as "tuning in" an insane assortment of internet radio stations from around the globe. And while streaming DACs can be pricey—the Simaudio Moon 280D we recently reviewed, for example, lists for $3,000—there are also affordable options like Bluesound's $599 Node.

Al Griffin  |  Dec 03, 2021  |  2 comments
Fall 2021 was a period of intense highs and lows for streaming giant Netflix. At one extreme, it scored an international hit with Squid Game, a Korean production that quickly became the service’s most-watched show. At the other extreme, a Netflix original comedy special, Dave Chappelle’s The Closer, drew intense criticism from the transgender community over its targeted jokes. Adding to Netflix’s woes during this time was the imminent cancellation of the service by a longtime customer, Sound & Vision editor Al Griffin.
Al Griffin  |  Nov 17, 2021  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I read your response to a reader who asked about using dipolar speakers as surrounds in an Atmos system. You recommended “losing any side-mounted dipole surround speakers in the system and replacing them with properly positioned direct-radiating models.” Does that same advice hold for bipolar surrounds? —Darryl Brooks, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 29, 2021  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I tried to watch Cruella on Disney+ and was shocked by the poor video quality presented by my Roku streaming device. I was able to make the movie watchable by changing the color mode and lamp settings on my Epson HC 4010 projector, but still wonder exactly what happened. Have you noticed that some movies look notably darker than others? If so, does it have anything to do with high dynamic range (HDR)? —Gary Eickmeier, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 13, 2021  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clean, clear, powerful sound
Extensive format support
Compatible with a wide range of headphones
Minus
Requires extra-cost adapter for iOS devices

THE VERDICT
THX's portable DAC/amp delivers dynamic and spatially precise sound. Paired with the right headphones, it's a compelling option for portable high-res playback

Home theater enthusiasts know THX for its certification program, an initiative responsible for the familiar logo emblazoned on all manner of gear for nearly three decades, along with the Deep Note trailer heard in certified movie theaters and on home video releases. Surprisingly, the company never released its own "THX" product, a situation that now changes with the arrival of the THX Onyx portable DAC/headphone amplifier.

Al Griffin  |  Oct 11, 2021  |  0 comments
Veneto, a region in the North of Italy—the easternmost top of the boot—is most famous for its canal-lined capital city of Venice, but it’s also home base to Sonus faber, a speaker manufacturer known for unique, elegant designs that regularly incorporate natural materials such as wood, leather, and marble.
Al Griffin  |  Oct 08, 2021  |  1 comments
A regular complaint aired in Sound & Vision’s Letters section is that the 5.1 surround discs covered in our Remaster Class column are 1) out of print, and 2) too expensive to buy on e-commerce and collector sites like eBay and Discogs. And while I commiserate, the reality is that disc releases, be they LP, CD, SACD, Blu-ray, or whatever, don’t remain eternally in print. That’s why there’s a thriving market for vintage vinyl, and why albums and movies are regularly remastered and reissued on disc.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 29, 2021  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,699

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bright, detailed 4K image
Excellent auto-setup features
Potent built-in audio system
LED lamp provides 25,000 hours use
Minus
Limited contrast ratio
Non-backlit remote control
Picture adjustments reset to default after unplugging

THE VERDICT
XGMI's pricey portable delivers crisp, bright 4K images along with auto-setup features that make it incredibly easy to get up and running.

Even as TVs grow ever-larger, the projector category continues to be an active one, with more recent designs like ultra short throw models giving viewers an alternative to room-dominating hang- from-ceiling setups. And while we here at Sound & Vision typically advocate for high-performance, and accordingly high-priced, options, the reality is that much of the action in the global projector scene involves affordable lower- end models, many from brands you may have not heard of before.

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