Al Griffin

Al Griffin  |  Jan 23, 2020  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just bought Polk Audio Monitor 40 Series II speakers and want to know how to install them using bi-wiring. Do I connect two separate wires from the positive and negative outputs on the receiver and run them to the separate positive and negative input sets on the speaker? What benefits will that provide? —Kris Green, via email

Al Griffin  |  Jan 17, 2020  |  0 comments
CES over the past few years has become more about vision than sound, with statement TVs in booths lining the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall vying aggressively for the attention of show attendees. CES 2020 was no different, and in some ways was even more TV-centric due to the wide range of new products and prototypes on view from both established brands like LG, Samsung, and Sony, and relative newcomers such as Hisense, Konka, and TCL. Yes, LG once again had motorized rolling OLED TVs at the show — a product promised for 2019 that never materialized here — along with new OLED prototypes that roll down from the ceiling. But what most interested me was the sets that are likely to arrive in 2020, especially the innovative ones that will actually be affordable.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 16, 2020  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a new Sony UBP-X1100ES Ultra HD Blu-ray player and Denon receiver. I know I can use a coaxial digital connection between the player and receiver for playback of regular CDs. Can I use the same connection to pass high-res audio formats like SACD and DVD-Audio to the receiver, or do I need an HDMI cable for that? —John Huxhold, Manchester, MO

Al Griffin  |  Jan 15, 2020  |  4 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,499

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Extended color
Good brightness
Great value
Minus
Contrast could be better
Difficult to access HDR adjustment

THE VERDICT
BenQ's budget 4K DLP projector delivers solid overall video performance at a very affordable price.

[Editor's note: BenQ raised the price of the HT3550 to $1,699 after this review was originally written. According to the company, the price increase is due to "tariffs."]

As you might expect, low-cost projectors are much more common than premium models. Survey the market, and you'll find loads of options in the under-$3,000 range, while projectors priced above $10,000 are rare birds, indeed. Even so, affordable models are by no means basic: a look at the under-$1,500 range will turn up plenty of projectors with features such as 4K and HDR10 support—BenQ's CinePrime $1,499 HT3550, for example.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 11, 2020  |  5 comments
GoldenEar Technology’s Sandy Gross is no stranger to change, having started, and then eventually moved on from, two major speaker brands, Polk Audio and Definitive Technology. As we reported last week , GoldenEar was recently acquired by The Quest Group, owner of the AudioQuest brand of cables, Niagara power products, and DragonFly DACs. With change, of course, comes uncertainty, which is why it was reassuring to walk into the company’s CES suite and see the man himself conducting demos of GoldenEar’s latest speaker, the Bookshelf Reference X.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 10, 2020  |  1 comments
When Sound & Vision reviewed DALI’s Callisto wireless speakers, we were impressed by their rich, dynamic sound and robust wireless performance courtesy of BluOS high-res multiroom audio streaming. What impressed us less about the Callisto was its somewhat bland, utilitarian design. Enter the new DALI Rubicon C line.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 10, 2020  |  0 comments
Like several other TV makers at CES, Vizio plans to introduce its first-ever OLED models in 2020. The company was displaying the new sets, which will be available in 65- and 55-inch screen sizes, at its usual offsite digs along with its new V-, M-, and P-Series Quantum and Quantum X sets that are also scheduled to ship in 2020.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  3 comments
I met up at CES with Dan Mackta, Managing Director of Qobuz USA, for an update on how things have been coming along for the high-resolution music streaming service since it officially launched in the U.S. market last February. Here’s what Dan had to say.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  0 comments
Chinese manufacturer Konka has been a regular exhibitor at CES for years. What’s different about the company’s presence at this particular CES is they are showing a number of new TVs destined for sale in the U.S. and Canada in 2020.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 09, 2020  |  0 comments
A highlight of Thomas J. Norton’s recent review of TCL’s 75-inch 8-Series LCD UHDTV was that set’s “class-leading local dimming.” The deep blacks and punchy HDR performance delivered by the 8-Series model was made possible by its mini-LED backlight, a feature found only in the company’s 8-Series TVs for 2019. In 2020, TCL plans to expand mini-LED backlights to its 6-Series, a more valued-oriented line that also features the same built-in Roku streaming platform found in the 8-Series.

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