The S&V Interview

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Bob Ankosko  |  Apr 19, 2017  |  6 comments
15 Minutes with HDMI Forum Chairman Chris Pasqualino

When HDMI hit the scene in 2003 it was welcomed as a godsend, enabling enthusiasts to replace a rat’s nest of audio and video cables with a single connection. The specification has evolved steadily over the years to keep pace with the ever-changing AV landscape and encountered a few bumps along the way. In January, the HDMI Forum announced Version 2.1, a forward-looking upgrade of the current HDMI 2.0b spec. We recently caught up with HDMI Forum Chairman Chris Pasqualino to learn about the implications of HDMI 2.1 now and in the future.

Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 28, 2005  |  First Published: Jul 28, 2005  |  0 comments
The always-expressive entrepreneur speaks out on a doubling HD audience and idiots who shoot in NTSC.

For a great many guys, to know Mark Cuban is to envy him: The outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks is also the founder of the all-high-definition TV network, HDNet, which has since added his latest success, HDNet Movies, as well. Mark recently spoke to Home Theater about his newest offerings, the challenges and benefits of high-def, and an unusual prediction for the impending next-generation DVD format war.

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 29, 2014  |  8 comments
“I want to hear what the band heard during playback in the studio. And I want to respect the sound that the engineers and producers tried so hard to capture.” It’s a mantra engineer Steve Hoffman follows whenever he remasters classic, iconic albums, and perhaps those words should be etched between the monitors perched above the mixing consoles in every mastering studio across the globe. One recent labor of reissued love is near and dear to Hoffman's audiophile heart – namely, The Audio Fidelity Collection limited-edition box set that houses four classic Deep Purple albums he remastered: In Rock (1970), Fireball (1971), Machine Head (1972), and Who Do We Think We Are (1973).
Mike Mettler  |  Dec 23, 2015  |  0 comments
Restless creativity, thy name is Todd Rundgren. The always adventurous singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer found time in 2015 to not only release two albums of new music — the electro-melodic Global (Esoteric Antenna) and the even-more EDM-driven Runddans (Smalltown Supersound) — as well as embark on a few legs of a solo tour, but he also managed to write some material for and play on Ringo Starr's Postcards From Paradise (UMe) and be a part of the current touring incarnation of Ringo's All-Starr Band to boot. During a tour break, I called Rundgren, 67, at his Hawaiian homestead to discuss the differences between audience and artist expectations, the merits and demerits of vinyl, and his Beatles listening preferences. He saw the light, alright.
Mike Mettler  |  Jan 06, 2016  |  2 comments
"We're the young generation, and we've got something to say." With that provocative, catchy invocation in the perpetually shimmery hit "(Theme From) The Monkees," four lads who were also "too busy singing to put anybody else down" captured the minds and hearts of millions of viewers and listeners when The Monkees TV show debuted in September 1966. And the synergistic connection between TV and music hasn't been the same since.

As an early golden anniversary celebration of sorts, the show and the band will be major topics during the kickoff of the "Peter Noone in Conversation With Micky Dolenz" series that commences with a three-appearance block beginning tomorrow, January 7, at The Space at Westbury in Westbury, New York. Before heading east to sit down to jaw with Noone, Dolenz, 70, and I got on the phone to discuss The Monkees' ongoing impact, what he listens to at home, and the song he wrote whose name could not be said in England.

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 22, 2017  |  0 comments
15 Minutes with Origin Acoustics CEO Jeremy Burkhardt

Spend a few minutes on Jeremy Burkhardt’s LinkedIn page and you quickly gain an appreciation of his passion for custom installation and desire to create products that simplify installation and push the boundaries of performance — to “innovate,” as he would say. You also find an executive who is anything but your typical corporate CEO — a man who talks about breaking “all the corporate rules” in describing his work history as CEO for SpeakerCraft, the pioneering custom-installation company he helped build before leaving in 2012. Today, Burkhardt is at the helm of Origin Acoustics, the architectural speaker company he founded in 2014, and his desire for innovation is as strong as ever. Origin was the talk of CEDIA 2017 with the launch of its Valet amplifier, which provides an ingenious way to integrate voice control into a whole-house music system. We caught up with Burkhardt to learn more about the system and get his take on the future of voice control.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jul 05, 2006  |  0 comments
Producer/Engineer Elliot Scheiner is a driving force for 5.1-channel music.

After working with some of the biggest names in music, producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner—also a pioneer in and champion for multichannel music—wanted to take us for a ride. Working closely with Acura and Panasonic, Scheiner developed his namesake ELS 5.1 sound system, first for the Acura TL and now for Acura's new luxury SUV, the RDX.One of Panasonic's finest recently chaufferred me in a DVD-Audio-blasting Acura TL to Scheiner's secluded home studio to discuss the artistry, technology, and business of music.

Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 10, 2007  |  First Published: Aug 10, 2007  |  0 comments
At a time when the quality of feature animation was rapidly diminishing in Hollywood, Don Bluth did more than any filmmaker to keep the art form not just alive but healthy. In 1982, he directed his first full-length movie, The Secret of NIMH (now in a new Family Fun Edition DVD from MGM). That same year, Rick Dyer developed a revolutionary idea for an interactive laserdisc arcade game, which he pitched to Bluth and partner Gary Goldman. They would eventually cocreate the animation for what would become a video-game landmark, Dragon's Lair, the sumptuously realized quest of a hapless knight who—if we're quick with the stick—survives all manner of adversity to rescue a comely maiden from the clutches of a fire-breathing nasty. Before he struck out on his own, Bluth was a Disney veteran with decades of experience. He has given life to everything from the brood-friendly An American Tail, to Fox's ambitious Titan A.E., to the animated sequences in the Olivia Newton-John cult hit Xanadu. Yet a ravenous fan base continues to snap up Dragon's Lair on every new format, most recently the better-than-ever special-edition Blu-ray disc from Digital Leisure. I got to speak with Don Bluth, as well as Paul Gold from Digital Leisure.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 25, 2006  |  0 comments
Straight Shooter Director Doug Liman hits the mark every time.

In less than a decade, Doug Liman has established himself as one of Hollywood's most versatile—and successful—directors. He has nimbly moved from comedy to thriller to a unique hybrid of the two in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, soon to be re-released in a new, unrated DVD edition from Fox Home Entertainment. Here he talks about the challenges of making quality movies in a demanding business.

Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 16, 2007  |  First Published: Sep 17, 2007  |  0 comments
The man who made October 31st scary again continues to carve new ground.

Coming off a pair of low-budget, high-concept films (Assault on Precinct 13 and Dark Star), John Carpenter forever changed the world of horror cinema with his landmark Halloween. He's been pushing the genre envelope ever since, with fan favorites such as Escape from New York and the truly original They Live, along with unexpected turns such as Starman and TV's Elvis starring frequent go-to guy Kurt Russell. He's also given fans the occasional sequel, as well as his remakes of horror classics The Thing and Village of the Damned, even as Hollywood has begun remaking his signature works, including The Fog and Rob Zombie's upcoming Halloween. Carpenter knows monsters and how to portray a tense siege, and his experience with both benefit his second installment of Showtime's Masters of Horror anthology series, "Pro-Life." Ron Perlman stars as a gun-toting conservative dad out to retrieve his young, pregnant runaway daughter—at any cost—from the abortion clinic where she seeks refuge, even though the "baby" was conceived in the underworld and really, really needs killin'. "Pro-Life" is out on a fully loaded special-edition DVD from Anchor Bay/Starz Home Entertainment, and it boasts the only audio commentary I've ever heard where the director exits in the middle of recording to catch a quick smoke.

Steve Guttenberg  |  Mar 08, 2007  |  First Published: Mar 09, 2007  |  0 comments
Scott Weber, Tom de Gorter, and Frank Morrone talk with HT about mixing ABC TV's Hit series, Lost.

ABC TV's Lost is a phenomenon recalling the best of The X-Files or Twin Peaks' mind-warping weirdness as it slips between edgy drama and scintillating sci-fi. The show's creators, J.J. Abrams (Alias) and Damon Lindelof (Crossing Jordan), set Lost on a mysterious tropical island in the Pacific Ocean, populated it with an ever-expanding cast of survivors, and pepper the episodes with flashback scenes that add depth and complexity to the show's epic story arc. The episodes are shot on location in Hawaii, but they're edited and mixed at Buena Vista Sound at Disney Studios in Burbank, California. To learn more about how Lost's incredible soundtrack shapes up every week, I spoke with the show's supervising sound editor Tom de Gorter and rerecording mixers Frank Morrone and Scott Weber. Lost is currently in its third season; seasons one and two are available on DVD from Buena Vista.

Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 16, 2006  |  0 comments
Multitalented, Modest, and unassuming: The Lost City's Andy Garcia.

Whether he plays the hero or the heavy, the always-intense Andy Garcia is impossible to ignore on screen. With The Lost City (on DVD August 8 from Magnolia Home Entertainment), G. Cabrera Infante's bittersweet tale of the Cuban Revolution, the Havana-born actor/director has crafted a profound cinematic work and one of his most powerful performances. Just don't call him a sex symbol.

Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 30, 2006  |  First Published: Dec 03, 2006  |  0 comments
Special Effects Guru Dennis Muren talks to HT about computer graphics, the equinox, and owning his own tux.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 17, 2007  |  0 comments
The modern horror maestro loves DVD, hates "torture porn."

Spend some time with the extensive bonus materials on any Eli Roth DVD, and you get his number pretty quickly. An aspiring filmmaker since the age of eight, he's now thoroughly enjoying his professional success. Off a total investment of less than $16 million, he's produced and directed a trio of gruesome, surprisingly funny horror hits, namely Cabin Fever, Hostel, and, most recently, Hostel Part II. Perhaps more DVD-savvy than any filmmaker I've talked to, he's now going Blu-ray with a new Director's Cut of the original Hostel, plus the home video debut of his killer sequel.

Aimee Giron  |  Dec 06, 2005  |  First Published: Dec 07, 2005  |  0 comments
Tune in to afternoon TV, and you're bound to run into a slew of children's programming. You may notice a tremendous presence of shows that look very similar to those native to Japan. Anime sagas such as Cowboy Bebop and Sailor Moon, as well as films by anime gurus such as Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds), have been around for several decades in the East; however, the genre is still relatively new to the American audience. There is no doubt that the influence of Japanese anime is on the rise. We had the opportunity to speak to one of the most innovative Japanese filmmakers, Satoshi Kon, a man known for his extraordinary vision and ability to take his audience by surprise.

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