Editor's Eye

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Rob Sabin  |  Aug 29, 2013  |  1 comments
I recently enjoyed an early press tour of Panasonic’s soon-to-open Innovation Center in Newark, NJ, an open-windowed retail-like space off the lobby of the company’s new headquarters building. I’m not usually much for these types of dog-and-pony shows, and little of what the company shared that day was directly related to the consumer electronics audio/video segment that’s of prime interest to our readers. But I’ve covered the firm’s CE technology for decades now, and this move from their old Secaucus, NJ campus...
Rob Sabin  |  Apr 24, 2013  |  3 comments
Hold your index finger up to the air for a moment. Can you feel that? It’s the fresh breeze of good sound wafting ever so gently across the horizon.

After years of living in a desert of low-res MP3s, crappy white ear buds, wafer-thin flat-panel TV speakers pointed away from the listener (come on!), and increasingly anemic AVRs, there is a revolution afoot.

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 08, 2015  |  2 comments
Shanghai, for me, is literally halfway ‘round the world. Some 20 hours flying time from New York, it is 12 hours ahead in time zones and across the International Dateline: the very definition of “Tomorrowland.” The post-modern, sci-fi landscape of the Pudong section of China’s biggest trade center and most cosmopolitan city does little to deter that notion. Bound on one side by the 128-story Shanghai Tower and on the other by the Oriental Pearl, a futuristic, 1,500 foot broadcast tower, it looks like a bold experiment in animation made concrete, a slice of society that has, to date, only been imagined for amusement parks. On first sight I could only gasp at both the scale and shape of it, then grew silent with respect for not just the accomplishment, but the gutsy vision it must have took to start it.

Rob Sabin  |  Oct 12, 2015  |  5 comments
As we reported last week, Vizio was in New York City on October 6 to formally introduce its much anticipated Reference Series Ultra HDTVs. Editor-in-chief Rob Sabin and video tech editor Tom Norton got a hands-on session with the big 120-inch RS120. Here's what they found.

Rob Sabin  |  Aug 12, 2013  |  0 comments
At any given moment, we’re usually working on six to eight test reports among various staffers. Of those, perhaps two or three products might be the “latest and greatest” while the rest falls more into the bread-and-butter category—another $600 or $1,000 receiver, maybe another bookshelf speaker system. As I looked over our recent slate of reviews, I was indeed struck by how conventional the mix appears to be. And yet, as I dug a bit deeper, I came to see how well it represents technology trends that have come to define the audio/video space, circa 2013.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 27, 2019  |  1 comments
A persistent theme I’ve observed in recent articles from several long-time Sound & Vision contributors is a sense of unease over the encroachment of AI (Artificial Intelligence) into the traditional consumer electronics space.
Rob Sabin  |  Nov 30, 2016  |  1 comments
If you’re a regular reader then you know we reviewed the Kaleidescape Strato 4K movie player and also reported on the company’s closure and subsequent rebirth.
Rob Sabin  |  Oct 14, 2016  |  1 comments
In last year's annual AV receiver issue, I pondered the future of the AVR and whether it might just become a relic; a big black box rusting in the heap at the Ol’ Tech landfill, its unruly interconnects and speaker cables still clinging on for dear life and aimlessly seeking terra firma, yet another reminder of those days when the good stuff still had wires attached to it.
Rob Sabin  |  Apr 27, 2018  |  2 comments
The Technology changes, but the goal remains the same.

In prepping for the May print issue’s focus on front projection, I found myself philosophizing on the value of having a big image for viewing movies, TV serials, and sports. Not just big, but really big.

Rob Sabin  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  4 comments
More than Anything, Your Speakers Make the System

I’m sometimes amazed at what I learn, or am reminded of, as we put to bed each print issue of Sound & Vision. With the bird’s-eye view that comes with crossing t’s and dotting i’s on six to eight product reviews, written by staffers with their own eyes, ears, and perspectives, I get to see themes and patterns that might go unnoticed reading just any individual piece.

Rob Sabin  |  Apr 21, 2017  |  10 comments
Being first used to mean being special, with all the attendant risk. Now, everybody’s screwed.
Rob Sabin  |  Dec 15, 2012  |  9 comments
I made it a point this weekend to be among the first to view Peter Jackson’s latest epic, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure, in its native 48 frames-per-second frame rate. If you’ve not been keeping up with the news surrounding this movie, Jackson made the decision early on to shoot it digitally at twice the 24 fps rate used for the last 80 years or so. The 24 fps rate is closely associated with the look of film as we’ve come to know it. Increasing that rate can greatly reduce blurring and judder on fast motion and camera pans, allowing for extra detail that would otherwise be lost when shooting either film or video at 24 fps. Fast frame rates also improve the 3D experience, making viewing easier on the eyes and reducing the instance of crosstalk or “ghosting” artifacts. But it imparts a sheen that most of us would more closely associate with native video rather than film. If you’ve looked at film-based content on any LCD television that has its 120 Hz or 240 Hz motion enhancement features turned on, you know what I’m talking about. Such circuits cause content originally shot at 24 fps to look like video — the so-called “soap opera” effect. Some folks like the look and some don’t. Whichever side you fall on, there’s no arguing that the look these circuits impart to 24 fps native content is an artifice—it’s clearly not what the director was watching when he composed the film or what he intended for your viewing.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 07, 2019  |  0 comments
Last year — oh, around the same time that I’m sitting down to write this — I penned an editorial lamenting changes to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that made it inhospitable to writers covering the high-end audio and home theater categories. The gist of my article was that for us CES had become mostly irrelevant, and that I would sit the 2018 show out and quite possibly future ones as well.
Rob Sabin  |  Jul 08, 2014  |  2 comments
Tom Nousaine Loved Audio, the Bass Most of All

As we went to press for the upcoming September print issue, word began circulating about the passing of Tom Nousaine, long-time former contributor to Sound & Vision, its predecessor Stereo Review, and several other home and car audio magazines. He was 69 years old.

Tom was a one-of-a-kind character, a business manager by day for Ameritech (one of the Baby Bells) prior to his retirement, and a tireless audio enthusiast and writer in the rest of his waking hours. He was a contrarian...

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 12, 2011  |  0 comments

I took the invitation a while back to visit the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory in Los Angeles, where the company introduced its 3D Innovation Center to members of the press. PHL is a research and mastering center where Panasonic works with filmmakers on new camera, editing, encoding and playback technologies.

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