Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 12, 2019  |  1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
The village of Berk is now the overcrowded home not only of our favorite Viking clan, now led by a grown-up Hiccup, but also a huge and motley assortment of friendly dragons. After they encounter a revived gang of dragon-hunters led by the ruthless Grimmel, Hiccup decides that their only solution is to evacuate Berk, where they're an obvious target, and search for a new home where they'll be safe.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 02, 2019  |  3 comments
A selection of discs and streaming content to watch during those lazy days of summer.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 26, 2019  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $4,299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Powerful contrast with inky blacks
Wide viewing angle
HDR format support includes Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG
Minus
Pricey
So-so built-in audio
No HDR10+ support

THE VERDICT
LG's stunning E9 continues OLED's long streak in providing the highest-performance Ultra HDTV display option available.

Set makers may argue otherwise, but improvements to the two dominant TV technologies—OLED and LCD—come gradually. Each year, the new sets that get rolled out incorporate wrinkles that will result (it's hoped!) in a better picture and more advanced features. Following that pattern, LG for 2019 continues to build on its already impressive OLED TV credentials with the OLED65E9PUA.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 19, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Brightness to spare
Good off-center viewing
Superb HDR
Minus
Blooming
No Dolby Vision
Small, non-backlit remote

THE VERDICT
Samsung's new QN65Q80R may not be the company's flagship TV, but it offers an ample helping of that model's features, design, and performance.

It wasn't long ago that a buying a premium UHDTV demanded your first-born in exchange, or at least a sizeable portion of his or her college tuition. At $2,800 (and widely available for less), Samsung's new QN65Q80R "QLED" TV isn't exactly the lowest-priced entry in the growing category of affordable UHDTVs, but it's certainly a welcome one. Samsung also sells 55-, 75-, and 82-inch versions of the Q80R, the latter priced under $5,000.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 18, 2019  |  10 comments
The Society for Information Display (SID) presents an update on the many faces of next-gen TV technology.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 04, 2019  |  2 comments
We go behind the scenes at Sound United's annual dealer/rep get-together in New Orleans.
Thomas J. Norton  |  May 15, 2019  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $6,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Exceptional flexibility
First-rate build quality
Superb sound
Minus
Complex ergonomics
Inadequate owner's manual

THE VERDICT
This NAD preamp-processor can accommodate nearly every system requirement and then some. While pricey, it's hard to imagine a better-sounding hub for your home theater.

NAD (New Acoustic Dimensions) gained considerable attention soon after its founding in 1972 by offering impressive sound quality at fair prices. Today, most of NAD's more affordable products still proudly bear the unique, workpants cosmetics of its early days. But that definitely doesn't apply to the upscale Masters series, which includes the M17 V2 surround preamp-processor. As with all current NAD products, the M17 V2 is manufactured in China but designed in Canada, where the company is headquartered.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 09, 2019  |  6 comments
I’ve long been a fan of the Titanic saga, well before the 1997 film. I loved that one, but mainly for the stunning effects and James Horner’s magnificent score, not the badly written soap opera that took up over half of its running time. This week it returned to my attention, partly because in a few days the 107th anniversary of the disaster will arrive (April 15, though no one typically commemorates such an odd number) and partly because last week I re-watched a story of the Titanic on Blu-ray as one of the sources I used for a product review.

The latter however, wasn’t James Cameron’s flawed but still compelling epic. Instead, Titanic: Blood & Steel is a 12-part mini-series, released in 2012 (the 100th anniversary of the sinking, about the building of the ship. It doesn’t address the sinking at all. In fact, it ends just as the ship steams out of Belfast, where she was built (A ship is always a she, and as the narrative makes clear, she’s a ship, not a boat!)

But there’s a lot more here as well...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 26, 2019  |  7 comments
Shortly after sending out formal press releases for its 2019 television and audio lineups earlier this month (the products were first shown at the 2019 CES in January), LG held a March 20th press event in New York to expand on the details. LG began by noting that of the 36+ million sets sold in the U.S. market alone in 2018, only 2.4 million were priced above $1,000. Also notable is that 36% of the TVs sold in the U.S. for more than $2,000 were 70-inches or above. Globally, however, large sizes aren’t as popular.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 15, 2019  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Wreck It Ralph and his new BFF Vanellope have settled into a familiar routine—starring in their arcade games by day, playing other games after work, and hanging out later at Tapper's (root) beer joint. But Vanellope's Sugar Rush game breaks, and to find the part needed to fix it they sneak into a new WIFI portal at Game Central Station. It takes them to the totally unfamiliar world of the Internet, where chaos is inevitable given Ralph's natural talent for wrecking things.

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