Audio Video News

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Al Griffin  |  Jun 01, 2020  |  2 comments
When we reported on the launch of HBO Max last Wednesday, one shortcoming of the new service that we noted was spotty streaming hardware support. Smart TVs, in particular, had been left behind, with only one set manufacturer, Samsung, included in the list of supported devices on the HBO Max FAQ at launch. The day following our post, Sony reached out to share an announcement that the HBO Max app is now available on all Sony Android TVs released after 2015, upping the number of supported TV lines to two. But what about the other brands?
Al Griffin  |  May 29, 2020  |  6 comments
The presence of music in Dolby Atmos format on Tidal has been something of a well-kept secret since the streaming service started adding it in December 2019. Why? I suspect it’s because Atmos support so far has been limited to select Android smartphones and tablets—not exactly a premium method to experience immersive music. But things changed big time this week with Dolby and Tidal’s joint announcement that Tidal Hi-Fi subscribers can now stream Atmos music to home theater systems via an Apple TV 4K, Fire TV Stick, NVIDIA Shield TV, or other compatible device.
Al Griffin  |  May 28, 2020  |  0 comments
Emerald (formerly Emerald Expositions) announced today that CEDIA Expo 2020, scheduled to take place September 8-12 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO, has been canceled. The event, which draws custom A/V and smart home technology integrators from the U.S. and beyond and also serves as a key launch platform for new products, follows a series of 2020 show cancellations, including High End Munich, AXPONA, and Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 28, 2020  |  0 comments
Who know Ground Hog Day could last so long? Though not gone, the fear-inducing COVID-19 virus is loosening its grip on society, allowing Americans to finally start getting back to (or at least anticipate) something resembling normal life. For many of us, the return to normalcy means revisiting home entertainment aspirations with renewed vigor. To help with that quest, we present the latest round of Sound & Vision Top Picks — an eclectic ensemble that runs the gamut from a forward-looking AV receiver to an ingenious accessory that makes mounting a TV over your fireplace practical.
Al Griffin  |  May 27, 2020  |  4 comments
Back in early January we reported that The Quest Group, California-based owner of AudioQuest, had purchased speaker maker GoldenEar Technology. The following week, I met with GoldenEar co-founder Sandy Gross in the AudioQuest suite at CES and was happy to learn he would be continuing in his old role at the new company for the time being. Well, that time is now up: Gross has announced he is leaving The Quest Group in order to pursue his “many interests.”
Bob Ankosko  |  May 21, 2020  |  0 comments
The inimitable Robin Williams once said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying let’s party.” Living in the Northeast, I couldn’t agree more. Summer’s just around the corner and lockdown rules are finally being loosened to allow parks, beaches, and businesses to open. But the thing is, your backyard never closed. And what better time to take the music and other entertainment you enjoy inside your home to the great outdoors.
Al Griffin  |  May 15, 2020  |  10 comments
Back in fall 2019, Yamaha took a page from the Technics playbook and introduced a series of upscale components aimed squarely at audiophiles. The 5000 series it rolled out consisted of speakers, a preamp/amp, and a belt-drive turntable, each sporting a design that referenced the golden age of hi-fi and a price tag typical of much high-end gear. Yamaha has now added a trio of integrated amplifiers, the A-S series, to its Hi-Fi component lineup, providing audiophiles with a somewhat less pricey, though no less premium, system-building option.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 14, 2020  |  0 comments
Home entertainment in all of its many forms has remained a constant during this time of great uncertainty, providing a welcome distraction from a pandemic that continues to command attention around the world. In the spirit of providing an escape from the unrelenting parade of COVID-19 statistics and prognostications, we offer a summary of Top Pick-worthy products we have reviewed so far in 2020 — any of which could be a valuable addition to your AV setup. It’s an eclectic mix for sure, running the gamut from $300 earbuds made of wood and a like-priced vacuum-based record cleaning system to an assortment of speakers, ranging from a $1,000 soundbar to an $8,000 home theater speaker system with several great options in-between. Enjoy, and drop us a line to let us know how you’re coping.
Al Griffin  |  May 12, 2020  |  0 comments
Denmark’s Lyngdorf Audio has announced the MP-40, a new, entry-level addition to its surround sound processor lineup. Designed for use in smaller installations, the MP-40 is said to “offer all the sonic qualities and performance” of Lyngdorf Audio’s flagship MP-60 processor, but in a more compact and streamlined package.
Al Griffin  |  May 11, 2020  |  4 comments
It’s not at all surprising that self-isolating citizens in the U.S. have been flocking to video streaming services in large numbers since the pandemic arrived. For example, a press release issued last week by the NPD Group, an organization that tracks consumer data, cited a “72 percent increase in the number of Netflix subscriber profiles that were used to stream video each week” following orders from states around the country telling residents to shelter at home. What is surprising is the increase we’re also seeing now in sales of Blu-ray Disc players, a product category in sharp decline after hitting its peak back in 2015.
Al Griffin  |  May 08, 2020  |  0 comments
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), IMAX, and DTS announced this week that SPE will release “hundreds of new titles in the IMAX format over the next two years, including all upcoming SPE and IMAX theatrical releases.” The announcement follows the expansion of IMAX Enhanced content onto multiple streaming services worldwide, including FandangoNOW here in the U.S.
Bob Ankosko  |  May 07, 2020  |  0 comments
When the owner of a magnificent mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota took on a remodeling project, he had something special in mind for his office — one that brought history and modern technology together in a most impressive way.
Al Griffin  |  May 06, 2020  |  0 comments
Wireless multiroom speaker maker Sonos today announced Arc, a new soundbar that brings support for Dolby Atmos soundtracks. The $799 Arc slots in above the $399 Sonos Beam in the company’s soundbar lineup and will serve as a replacement for its current Playbar and Playbase offerings.

Al Griffin  |  May 04, 2020  |  7 comments
Viewing fantasy epics turns out, unsurprisingly, to be a fine way to pass time while social distancing. Over the past few weeks I’ve binged both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies and am now working my way once again through Game of Thrones. What to view next? Some good news today for Star Wars fans seeking to ingest the full suite of films based on George Lucas’ original space opera: Disney+ has added 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the latest entry in the series, to the list of titles available to stream on the service in 4K with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound. May the Fourth be with you!
Bob Ankosko  |  Apr 30, 2020  |  0 comments
To help make the best of at-home entertainment, we offer up a handful of very different Sound & Vision-vetted products for your consideration: from a unique set of earphones made of wood to a reference-caliber screen that promises to propel video projection to new heights. As usual, all are recipients of our Top Pick rating.

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