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  1. Latest Industry News
    2016 marked my third trip to the techno-carnival known as CES. Despite knowing what to expect this time around, I was still taken aback by the sheer immensity of the show. I spent the majority of my time hopping from suite to suite at The Venetian, where a lot of audio-centric exhibitors had...
  2. Latest Industry News
    I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion called "More Than Pixels" at CES this year, with Hanno Basse, CTO of 20th Century Fox Film and President and Chairman of the UHD Alliance; Joe Kane, Founder and President of Joe Kane Productions; Pat Griffis, Vice President, Office of the CTO...
  3. Latest Industry News
    It's difficult for me to believe that 2016 marks my 25th consecutive CES. Like the previous 24 shows I've attended, there was way too much for any one person to cover, even limiting that coverage to home audio and video news. So Mark Henninger and I split up—he concentrated on audio while I...
  4. 2-Channel Audio
    A bit over one year ago, I first heard about MQA—Master Quality Authenticated—at a press event in NYC. The audio format utilizes a novel lossless compression method for reducing the bandwidth required to deliver hi-res audio. MQA is the brainchild of Bob Stuart, who is the co-founder of Meridian...
  5. Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP
    With the alphabet soup of UHD, HDR, 4K, P3/DCI capturing people’s attention these days, it’s easy to forget the pleasures provided by a nice 1080p BT.709-capable front-projection system: low prices, great image quality, and a huge selection of content on Blu-ray. At CES 2016, I saw a new...
  6. 2-Channel Audio
    A couple of months ago, I took a trip to check out the new research and development facilities of Mark Levinson—the high-end audio brand— which are located in Connecticut. At the time, I was not able to report about the No. 519 Audio Player, but now the cat is out of the bag. If you have...
  7. Speakers
    Fans of MartinLogan electrostatic loudspeakers are justifiably enthralled with the way the huge, transparent transducers render midrange and treble. Unfortunately, getting deep and powerful bass out of an electrostatic speaker has traditionally been a sticky issue. The obvious solution is to use...
  8. Receivers, Amps, and Processors
    Among all the audio-related things I saw or heard at CES 2016, one of the most exciting was the forthcoming update to miniDSP’s DDRC-88A ($1000) Dirac Live processor. By merging the powerful hands-on tools and controls of miniDSP’s own DSP plug-in with Dirac Live’s automated room correction...
  9. Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers
    As a professed subwoofer addict, I find myself inexorably drawn to any box that promises to produce bountiful, beautiful bass. It is in that vein that I took a moment at CES 2016 to check out GoldenEar’s latest subwoofer, the $1250 SuperSub X. It is the second model in the SuperSub...
  10. AVS Forum® Podcasts
    Journalists Chris Boylan (BigPictureBigSound.com), Tom Norton (SoundandVision.com), Robert Heron (HeronFidelity.com), and I discuss what we saw and heard at CES 2016, including the UHD Alliance's Ultra HD Premium certification, HDR and quantum-dot LED-LCD displays that pervaded the show, LG's...
  11. Speakers
    In a show packed with pricey speakers, a true no-holds-barred statement in loudspeaker design is still hard to come by. Thankfully, Paradigm was at The Venetian with its Concept 4F, ready to knock the socks off of unsuspecting listeners. Before the audition, I enjoyed a brief demonstration on...
  12. Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR)
    Let’s chat about VR (virtual reality) and home entertainment for a minute. Oculus—the VR innovator Facebook bought a couple years back— is only four years old, and Samsung’s Gear VR—which falls under the Oculus umbrella—was only recently released. Although VR Goggles have been a feature at CES...
  13. Home Theater In A Box
    Normally, I would stay miles away from anything that could be described as a "home theater in a box," especially when it comes to speaker systems. Nevertheless, the Philips Fidelio E6 5.1 system somehow managed to win me over with its generous bag of neat tricks. It was the last hour of the...
  14. Headphones
    One of the true pleasures of attending CES is having opportunities to be among the first to try out esoteric gear. In the headphones category, one such system was the Shangri-La by HIFIMAN, which is the company’s new flagship. This combination of tube headphone amplifier and electrostatic...
  15. Speakers
    When it comes to implementing Dolby Atmos, there is an ongoing debate about whether the use of reflected sound modules can compete with in-ceiling or ceiling-mounted speakers. In my practical experience, both approaches yield a satisfying result, if implemented properly. When I visited PSB...
  16. LCD Flat Panel Displays
    Sony unveiled the next generation of its HDR-capable LED-LCD TVs.
  17. LCD Flat Panel Displays
    In its CES both, Sony demonstrated a remarkable FALD (full-array local-dimming) backlight technology for LCD TVs called Backlight Master Drive, which greatly increases the number of independent dimming zones and supports a peak brightness of 4000 nits!
  18. OLED Technology and Flat Panels General
    I chat with AVS Senior Writer Mark Henninger and member David Susilo about the new LG Signature OLED TVs, all of which have been granted Ultra HD Premium certification for high dynamic range and color gamut.
  19. Receivers, Amps, and Processors
    I love products that offer a high price/performance ratio, which is why I felt compelled to check out the Monolith 7 amplifier from Monoprice while I was at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. Priced at $1500, it appears to offer a lot of amp for the dollar. Monoprice has always been about providing...
  20. LCD Flat Panel Displays
    Samsung had a ginormous 170" SUHD TV in its booth, which consisted of many smaller panels stitched together with no intervening bezels.
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