LATEST ADDITIONS

David Vaughn  |  Jun 05, 2020  |  5 comments
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Sound
Extras
One of my favorite movies from the 1980s, Top Gun stars Tom Cruise as Lt. Peter Mitchell, call sign "Maverick," a young hot-shot pilot picked to attend the prestigious "Top Gun" flight school and hone his air-to-air combat skills. Also appearing are Val Kilmer as "Iceman," Anthony Edwards as Maverick's RIO (radar intercept officer) "Goose," and Tim Robbins as "Merlin." Rounding out the cast is Kelly McGillis as Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood, a civilian instructor who is an expert on Russian aviation.
Bob Ankosko  |  Jun 04, 2020  |  0 comments

Mainstream audio came into its own in the 1960s-70s. At the heart of every “stereo” was an indispensable predecessor to the modern day AVR — the receiver. Simple by today’s standards, the receiver of 40 years ago combined two channels of solid-state power, a preamp section with switching for a turntable and tape deck, and an AM/FM tuner in an impressive looking component with a gleaming faceplate featuring a prominent tuner display and a row of knobs, switches, and buttons.

Al Griffin  |  Jun 04, 2020  |  3 comments
A return to regular? While there are always aspects of “regular life” that could benefit from change, getting back to our routines is something some of us could use right now, and what could be more routine—and reassuring—than an A/V receiver manufacturer updating its lineup with the latest tech? To that end, Denon has announced four additions to its X-Series A/V receiver family. Touted by the company as “the industry’s first 8K-ready A/V receivers,” the new models join the company’s AVR-X8500H, which lives on as the flagship X-Series receiver.
Daniel Kumin  |  Jun 03, 2020  |  3 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $5,056 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Highly accurate sound
Impressive stereo image breadth
Solid center-channel reproduction
Well-controlled and moderately extended low end
Minus
Towers are sensitive to placement

THE VERDICT
A handsome system that sounds very good with just about everything, and with enough bass extension to satisfy most needs.

Tall, slim speakers are certainly in fashion, and it's hard to imagine many slimmer than Definitive Technology's new Demand Series D15 towers. Despite housing three 5.25-inch drivers (two carbon fiber woofers and a polypropylene midrange), a 1-inch aluminum dome tweeter, and not one but two 8-inch side-firing passive radiators, the D15 measures just 6.5 inches wide and thus indeed requires its bolt-on aluminum bottom plinth to achieve stability.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 02, 2020  |  11 comments
It’s only been two months since I last opined on this topic, but things are never static in these interesting times. The subject of the survival of movie theaters, important not only to the movie industry but to the home video market as well, continues to evolve. Both industries, for better or worse, are dependent on the on the health of the film industry.

Some folks believe that the market for streamed movies will compensate for any permanent closing of theaters.

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?
David Vaughn  |  May 29, 2020  |  0 comments
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Def Leppard got its start back in 1977 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England when Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis formed a band called Atomic Mass. Joe Elliott joined the band a short time later and became the lead singer and proposed a new name for the band, "Deaf Leopard," which was ultimately adopted with some modified spelling. Kenning ended up leaving the shortly before their first recording session and was replaced by a fifteen-year-old drummer by the name of Rick Allen.
Al Griffin  |  May 29, 2020  |  7 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.

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