The AVS Forum Hands-On Review Process - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-07-2017, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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The AVS Forum Hands-On Review Process

Introducing the AVS Forum hands-on review process, a short and casual alternative to the classic magazine-style full length review.

Full-length reviews are like formal attire; they are appropriate for special events but cumbersome for daily use. For example, magazine-style reviews are filled with information that can otherwise be conveyed by following a link, or that a reader can Google for themselves. The solution? Go fast and casual.

The AVS Forum hands-on review is a process that allows order to emerge from chaos. The moment I receive new gear to review, it gets a new thread in the appropriate sub-forum. The forum thread will serve as a hands-on experience blog, and evolve in one of several ways:

- The thread results in a brief hands-on editorial review
- The thread feeds a full-length, in-depth system review w/multiple products
- The thread takes on a life of its own and effectively becomes the review
- Rarely, a lack of interest means the thread dies an ignominious death

My goal for future reviews is to make them as short and to the point as possible, yet full of photos, video clips, and links that readers find useful. I will not shy away from referring to the findings of other reviewers, or from using a link to a manufacturer's website explain a feature.

There are multiple benefits to this approach. For one, brand-new gear gets a dedicated thread as soon as it is available. Therefore, a discussion of the latest/greatest gear can begin immediately. Also, it leaves open the possibility of reviewing gear that I experience outside of my home, for example on a trip to a manufacturer demo.

Organized chaos turns out to be an effective approach to dealing with the wild world of AV consumer electronics. The popularity of any given hands-on thread will determine if a product makes the leap from blog to review. Plus, in many cases, individual components will get the hands-on treatment—with separate blog posts for each piece of gear—whereas combining those components into a working system will serve as the foundation for a full-length system review.

My goal is to massively increase the quantity of products that I blog about, and in the process allow the items of greatest interest to naturally emerge as candidates for an editorial review, which means it posts on the AVS Forum homepage.

AVS Forum is, above all else, a community, and this approach will give members a democratic voice in terms of what new products get highlighted. Furthermore, I welcome suggestions for products that you want to see go through the hands-on review process. With CEDIA 2017 just weeks away and CES 2018 close behind, it's crucial that we, as a community, maintain leadership in the AV space. I'm counting on you early adopters and tech enthusiasts to blaze the trail.

The switch to this two-tiered process is effective immediately. Below, you'll find a list of products that will receive the hands-on treatment: (UNDER CONSTRUCTION - I'm adding live links whenever I create the associated threads)


Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP


Sony VPL-VW365ES 4K HDR Projector Hands-On


Display Calibration

CalMan AutoCal for Samsung QLED HDR TVs Hands-On



Headphones

1More Quadruple-Driver IEM Headphones Hands-On

Bowers & Wilkins P7 Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones Hands-On

Cleer DU Wireless Dual-Driver Bluetooth Headphones Hands-On

Periodic Audio Be Beryllium Driver IEM Hands-On

Samsung Level-On Pro Bluetooth Noise Cancelling Headphones Hands-On

V-Moda Crossfade 2 Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones Hands-On


HTPC Gaming

Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1080 8G REV 2.0 Graphics Card for HDR Gaming Hands-On


Samsung CHG70 32" Quantum Dot HDR Curved Gaming Monitor Hands-On


LCD Flat Panel Displays

Sony 65" X930E HDR TV Hands-On

TCL 55" P-Series Roku TV for Gaming Hands-On



Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming

Amazon Echo Dot Networked Bluetooth Audio Player Hands-On

Bluesound Node 2 Music Streamer Hands-On



Receivers, Amps, and Processors

Denon AVR-X4300H 9.2-channel AV Receiver Hands-On

Emotiva BasX MC-700 7.1-Channel AV Pre/Pro and BasX A-700 7-Channel Amplifier Hands-On

NAD C 368 Stereo Integrated DAC/Amp with Bluesound Module Hands-On

StormAudio I.ISP 3D.16.12 Integrated AV Processor Hands-On


AC Infinity Aircom Series T8 and T9 Component Cooling Fans Hands-On



Soundbars


Bluesound Pulse Soundbar & Wireless Pulse Sub Hands-On

Fluance AB40 2.0 TV Sound Stand Hands-On

Samsung Sound+ HW-MS750 Soundbar & Wireless SWA-W700 Sub Hands-On

Vizio 45" 5.1 Soundbar System Hands-On

Yamaha YAS-207 Soundar with DTS Virtual:X Hands-On

Yamaha YAS-706 MusicCast Soundbar System Hands-On


Speakers

Definitive Technology A90 Atmos Elevation Module & 7.0.4 BP9000 System Hands-On

Definitive Technology BP9060 Bipolar Tower Speakers Hands-On

Emotiva Airmotiv & BasX 7.2-Channel Surround System Hands-On

Emotiva Airmotiv T1 3-Way Tower Speakers Hands-On

KEF Q350 2-Way Uni-Q Bookshelf Speakers Review

Klipsch The Sixes 2-Way Powered Speakers Hands-On

MarkAudio-SOTA Viotti One 2-Way Speakers Hands-On


Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers

Emotiva BasX S12 Sealed Subwoofer Review

JL Audio F112 V2 Sealed Subwoofer Hands-On



Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)

Samsung Gear 360 (2017) Camera Hands-On

Samsung Gear VR with Controller Hands-On


3D Displays

Avegant Video Headset 720p DLP 3D Display Hands-On


-----

Mark Henninger, Senior Editor at AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 09-19-2017 at 11:31 AM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-08-2017, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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(reserved for archived hands-on posts)

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post #3 of 17 Old 08-08-2017, 08:06 AM
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This is a great idea Mark. I'm looking forward to your blogs and reviews. The page is already bookmarked!
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-08-2017, 11:30 AM
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This sounds like a great way to use this type of forum to do product reviews. But I would think the effort involved would be considerable, especially the last part of creating the thread review with so much interaction into something more like a published review.

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post #5 of 17 Old 08-08-2017, 02:07 PM
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What happened to the Digital Projectors < $3,000?

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post #6 of 17 Old 08-08-2017, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB View Post
What happened to the Digital Projectors < $3,000?
When I have a projector in for review that belongs in that section, I'll add it to this list. But, the 365ES belongs in the >$3000 section and it's the only projector I currently have in for review.

There should be some options populating the under $3000 section now that there are DLP projectors doing UHD and HDR. I'll know more about what to expect for 2018 once CEDIA gets going.

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post #7 of 17 Old 08-08-2017, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goksucats View Post
This sounds like a great way to use this type of forum to do product reviews. But I would think the effort involved would be considerable, especially the last part of creating the thread review with so much interaction into something more like a published review.
Which is why not all hands-on threads will result in formal, published reviews.

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post #8 of 17 Old 08-09-2017, 01:52 AM
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Nice! Great idea. Hope you don't get overwhelmed with brief hands-on editorial reviews.

I think box opening videos or photos (videos are popular, photos can tell the story more quickly imo, I like photos) are important. With mail order being the thing now days I find box opening videos informational . Shots of any shipping damage even if the outer box looks fine is good info. Broken packing foam, dislodged accessories, even torn loose tape can give clues to how the gear was handled and how well it was protected by the shipping box and how good the shipping box design is. Unfortunately I think manufactures design shipping boxes to be bundled together on a pallet and shipped but retailers actually reship in those same boxes without added protection. This is why I prefer buying local but that's not the way things work now.

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post #9 of 17 Old 08-09-2017, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
the 365ES belongs in the >$3000 section and it's the only projector I currently have in for review.
I'd be more interested in a review of the 675ES. Maybe Sony will let you do a side-by-side comparison? And even more interested in a new Sony PJ that would handle Dolby Vision!
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-09-2017, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd be more interested in a review of the 675ES. Maybe Sony will let you do a side-by-side comparison? And even more interested in a new Sony PJ that would handle Dolby Vision!
So would I. I'll let Sony know and see if I can get it swapped out. Well, let's see what CEDIA brings first, actually.

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post #11 of 17 Old 08-09-2017, 09:03 PM
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i like it. kind of like an owner's thread so we can learn about the product as you are.

should also make the reviews that much better, having input from curious minds along the way. i look forward to it
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-10-2017, 08:04 AM
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Mark, suggest that you ask the suppliers to allow avsforum to give the product away to its members once the testing is complete. This would increase engagement (though not necessarily for the better). You'd have to come up with some manageable criteria for who to give it to - most prolific poster (ick), most insightful (??), random, whatevs ....
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-10-2017, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill View Post
Mark, suggest that you ask the suppliers to allow avsforum to give the product away to its members once the testing is complete. This would increase engagement (though not necessarily for the better). You'd have to come up with some manageable criteria for who to give it to - most prolific poster (ick), most insightful (??), random, whatevs ....
I think you will find that AVS Forum will continue to offer giveaways, but it's not gonna be of review gear. Most companies only have a limited supply of samples for reviewers, and sometimes the same sample will wind up going out to several reviewers.

Generally speaking, companies would rather give away a separate, unopened version of the same product, as was the case with the recent TCL P-Series TV giveaway. That's better for various reasons, including the warranty coverage for the winner.

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post #14 of 17 Old 08-10-2017, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I think you will find that AVS Forum will continue to offer giveaways, but it's not gonna be of review gear. Most companies only have a limited supply of samples for reviewers, and sometimes the same sample will wind up going out to several reviewers.

Generally speaking, companies would rather give away a separate, unopened version of the same product, as was the case with the recent TCL P-Series TV giveaway. That's better for various reasons, including the warranty coverage for the winner.
Nothing I'd like more than a gently reviewed set of speakers or subwoofers.
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post #15 of 17 Old 08-10-2017, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Nothing I'd like more than a gently reviewed set of speakers or subwoofers.
Lol. Gentle is not the word my neighbors would use as pertains to my listening habits! I bet you'll see some subs and speakers in future contests/giveaways.
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-10-2017, 11:47 AM
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Since you mentioned in the frontpage article that you're taking requests, I'd like to see the HSU CCB-8 reviewed, as well as the Chane A2.4.

Just a touch of devil's advocacy: I hope your metric for determining a product's relevancy for an article takes into account saliency of posts. For example, a product's thread that has 300 posts talking about peripheral topics isn't more pressing than one that has less posts that are all people begging for a review.

I know you're smarter than that, but I just had to throw it out there anyway. I'm excited for this new direction!
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post #17 of 17 Old 08-10-2017, 06:32 PM
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@thrill Samsung 65" Q8C giveaway happening now and SVS PB-1000 giveaway coming September.

Fill your boots
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