Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Sep 02, 2021  |  0 comments
JVC’s projector line is getting a refresh, with three new models ranging in price from $9,999.95 to $24,999.95. All models employ the company's BLU-Escent laser diode light source—a feature previously available only in the flagship DLA-RS4500—along with its proprietary 8K/e-shift technology. They are also outfitted with 8K60p/4K120p-capable HDMI inputs (48Gbps)—a first for a home theater projector, according to JVC.
Al Griffin  |  Aug 30, 2021  |  0 comments
The highly-anticipated 2021 “reunion” edition of CEDIA Expo has been hit hard by worries over the rapid-rise of the Covid-19 Delta variant.
Al Griffin  |  Aug 18, 2021  |  5 comments
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Q Way back when surround sound at home was the new big thing, installing dipole surround speakers at either side of the main listening position was recommended. Are dipoles still the optimal surround speaker choice now that technology has transitioned to object-based audio formats like Dolby Atmos? —Steve Benoff, Beaumont, CA

Al Griffin  |  Aug 11, 2021  |  0 comments

PRICE $2,799

Highly immersive image from 123-inch screen
Easy assembly
Five-year warranty
Very good value
Requires high brightness projector for best performance

If you're looking for an ultra-large screen to pair with your ultra short throw projector, the DarkStar UST 2 Efinity offers impressive performance and value.

With ultra short throw (UST) projectors available from a growing list of companies including Epson, LG, Hisense, Optoma, Vava, and now Samsung, it's clear that the category has become firmly established. That's no surprise given the ergonomic and screen real estate- per-dollar benefits such models offer, but getting the best picture quality from a UST setup requires a specific screen pairing. We've frequently discussed ambient light rejecting (ALR) screens in Sound & Vision and have reviewed a fair number of them. But a UST projector requires a specialized type of ALR screen—one like the DarkStar UST 2 Efinity from EPV Screens.

Al Griffin  |  Jul 29, 2021  |  0 comments
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Q I own a Marantz SR6013 A/V receiver and use it for both video switching and audio amplification. For video, I mostly watch Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. For music, I mostly stream from the Tidal service using the Marantz receiver’s built-in HEOS app. I would like to buy an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that supports MQA but am confused about the connections and the control app. After checking out my Marantz AVR’s back panel, I see two coaxial and optical digital inputs, but no digital outputs to connect the DAC, so maybe using an external DAC with the AVR is not possible. Am I missing something? —Rod McClaskey, via email

Al Griffin  |  Jun 22, 2021  |  3 comments
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Q My partner and I want to get set up for high-resolution audio and are hoping to use the Tidal service for better-than-CD-quality streaming. We have a Sherwood stereo integrated amplifier from the 1980s, along with big, beautiful, fantastic-sounding speakers and we don’t want to give those up. I’ve tried researching the huge range of available tech options but just don’t know how to make it work. We use Android devices and own a Fosi Audio DAC-Q4 [digital-to-analog converter/headphone amp]. We also have a spare computer that can be used to run Tidal. —Victoria Baker, via email

Al Griffin  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  1 comments
As the first film to launch the MonsterVerse, a "cinematic universe" featuring enduring monster movie icons, this 2014 reboot of the Godzilla franchise set the template for several movies to come, including Kong: Skull Island and the late-pandemic sensation, Godzilla vs. Kong. Here's the deal: After escaping a nuclear weapons assault (cloaked by authorities as a "nuclear test") in the 1950s, Godzilla went deep underground.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 10, 2021  |  0 comments
Yes, it had to be done. Consider it a form of spring cleaning. The “it” is in this case is a streaming service — HBO Max to be specific — that I decided to drop. My video streaming plate had become over-filled during the pandemic as I spent much of my free time at home, and now that I was vaxxed up and ready to re-engage (as much as possible) with the world, I made the decision to dump at least one service. It’s not that I wanted to lose it — in the final days of my active subscription, I of course happened upon a new original series, Mare of Easttown, that was right up my alley — but something had to give, and it was going to be HBO Max.
Al Griffin  |  May 26, 2021  |  2 comments

PRICE $2,999

Ample brightness and good contrast
Flexible zoom and lens shift range
Built-in streaming apps
Requires calibration for best performance
Smart features may be overkill for some

LG's 4K laser DLP projector is packed with smart features and offers impressive all-around performance at a reasonable price.

As the "Smart TV" has become the norm, projectors in contrast have remained steadfastly dumb. For many home theater enthusiasts, that arrangement has worked out just fine, with streaming, voice control, and other forms of internet-connected interaction handled by front-end components on the A/V rack and the projector serving as little more than a means to display an image.

Al Griffin  |  May 25, 2021  |  0 comments
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Q What’s the best way to connect a subwoofer used mainly for music listening? I’ve been trying both the stereo RCA and mono LFE input connections on my Klipsch R 120SW subwoofer, but am not sure which works best, and also where I should set the low-pass/LFE filter on my Onkyo TX-NR717 receiver. My front speakers are Klipsch R-28F towers. I would appreciate any recommendations on crossover settings for the receiver and the subwoofer itself. —Ken Zarubi, via email