Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Jan 03, 2019  |  0 comments
The AV universe in 2018 saw a steady expansion of high-performance technologies into a wider range of products. Support for Ultra HD and high dynamic range formats in TVs and projectors has now become mainstream. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive sound can be found not just in high-end processors and receivers, but in entry-level receivers and soundbars as well. In response to this development, Sound & Vision in 2018 added a new Top Value category to supplement the Top Picks awards we regularly hand out at this time to outstanding products reviewed in the magazine during the previous year.
Al Griffin  |  Dec 28, 2018  |  0 comments
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Director Stanley Kubrick's seminal sci-fi epic, co-written with author Arthur C. Clarke, takes the whole of human history as its subject—from the initial flicker of intelligent thought in hominids, to the present day where humans live with the assistance of computer-generated artificial intelligence. The film literally works as a space opera: long stretches pass dialogue-free with just classical music serving to enhance the hyper-realistic images of ships and passengers aloft in the cosmos. (2001: A Space Odyssey won an Oscar for best visual effects, the only one it managed to take home from the 1969 ceremony.)
Al Griffin  |  Dec 20, 2018  |  1 comments
Q I own a Denon AVR-S920W AV receiver and am wondering if it’s possible to hook it up to my Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar to use in place of regular speakers. The sources I plan to connect to the receiver include a CD player, Blu-ray player, TV (via HDMI ARC) and the analog output of turntable with a built-in phono preamp. Is there a way to do this, or do I need to use separate speakers with the receiver? —Deborah Marlowe

A Given the wide range of analog and digital sources you plan to use in your system, I’d definitely recommend buying a separate multichannel speaker system or a passive soundbar with surround speakers and a powered subwoofer to connect to the Denon receiver.

Al Griffin  |  Dec 19, 2018  |  9 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $5,998/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful, full-range sound
Reasonably compact form factor
Excellent value 
Minus
Nothing major

THE VERDICT
GoldenEar Technology’s scaled-down version of its Triton Reference delivers similar full-range performance as the company’s flagship speaker but does so at an even more reasonable price.

GoldenEar Technology’s Triton Reference, a model that I reviewed in the June 2017 issue of Sound & Vision, was the result of a value-oriented audio brand throwing caution to the wind to produce a cost-no-object loudspeaker. Even so, since we’re dealing with GoldenEar Tech here, the Triton Reference ended up priced at $8,498/pair—not exactly cheap, but well below what you’d pay for the flagship efforts of other speaker brands.

Al Griffin  |  Dec 12, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Extended color
Good brightness and contrast
Great value
Minus
Blacks could be better
High fan noise with picture optimized for HDR

THE VERDICT
he Epson 4010’s near-perfect color, good contrast, and wide array of setup features make it a strong under-$2,000 projector option.

Affordable, 4K-capable projectors are very much a reality — Sound & Vision has reviewed several such models plucked from the DLP, LCD, and LCOS camps. And in some cases, “affordable” can equate to $2,000 or less. One drawback you have to contend with when considering such projectors is their dependence on pixel-shifting technology to display a full Ultra HD image onscreen. But given the crisp pictures we’ve seen when viewing with pixel-shifting models from JVC, Optoma, Epson, and others, the lack of true 4K-resolution imaging chips ultimately isn’t much of a drawback at all.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 29, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am planning to buy two TVs, a 65-inch LG OLED and a 49-inch Samsung LCD, both of which will be wall-mounted. I also want the option to play Blu-ray discs and DVDs with both TVs. My initial plan was to buy disc players and hide them behind the wall-mounted sets, but I can’t find a player with a vertical orientation. My goal is to see nothing but the TV on the wall. The one option I’m contemplating at this point is sticking a PlayStation 3 Super Slim game console behind the TV. Do you have any other suggestions? —Steve Knot, via email

Al Griffin  |  Nov 16, 2018  |  0 comments
Even though streaming long ago supplanted playing discs as my go-to method for listening to music, physical media is still relevant.
Al Griffin  |  Nov 15, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Effective, easily configured room correction
Flexible bass-management
Powerful stereo amplifier
Extensive phono input settings
Minus
No built-in network streaming capability

THE VERDICT
ARC room correction on Anthem’s STR integrated amp makes it a must-audition option for anyone putting together a high-performance stereo system.

Anthem AVM series preamplifier/processors have been part of my home theater toolkit going back as long as I can remember. Though they perform A/V switching, audio processing, and video upscaling as well as anything else on the market, the main feature I’ve come to depend on is the company’s proprietary ARC (Anthem Room Correction), a Windows and iOS/Android app that lets you measure the effect of your listening environment on your speakers using either a calibrated microphone or the one built into your phone or tablet.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m upgrading my home theater for Dolby Atmos and have noted that various speakers are now being specifically marketed for this purpose. For example, I’ve seen compact speakers with sloped, downward-pointing baffles that are designed to be wall-mounted near the ceiling. Are these as effective in delivering overhead effects as an in-ceiling or Atmos Enabled speaker? Also, could an Atmos Enabled speaker be mounted in the same manner near the ceiling? —R. Hatton, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 26, 2018  |  0 comments
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Like its sci-fi counterpart, the horror film genre is packed with “cult classics.” But there are only a few horror titles that can lay claim to “classic” film status. Universal Monsters films from the 1920s through the 1950s notwithstanding (see Boxes of Joy on page 28), my list is limited to The Shining, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, Halloween, and Carrie.

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