Future Publishing Ltd

Tech & Gaming
Best Buys – Audio & AV

Best Buys – Audio & AV Issue 1 - 2018

Best Buys Audio & AV is loaded to the gills with authoritative reviews on all types of hi-fi and home theatre products, from wireless speakers to valve amplifiers, AV projectors and streaming computer audio – it’s a must-read for those looking to assemble or upgrade their home entertainment systems. By publishing easy-to-read, well researched reviews, Best Buys Audio & AV provides at-a-glance summaries together with detailed reviews by Australia’s most experienced hi-fi and AV teams from Sound+Image and Australian Hi-Fi magazines.

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2 Issues

in this issue

6 min.
benq gs1

Bigscreen projection still rules the home cinema roost. Even in these days of ever-larger televisions, there’s nothing like a projected image to turn that TV movie into a real cinema-like experience. If you can fit a full-sized projector in a permanent position, that’s the way to go for the ultimate results... but how much more versatile to have a much smaller projector that can be brought out for special occasions, and not just in the lounge, but anywhere! Movies, Netflix, YouTube — a moveable feast of bigscreen entertainment even where there’s no mains power available. That’s the remarkable offering of BenQ’s little GS1, a portable projector which can even operate on battery power. EQUIPMENT This is a 720p projector — its resolution is 1280 by 720 pixels, and it has a fixed focal…

7 min.
epson eh-tw5600

We just love the sheer fact that the Epson EH-TW5600 AV projector exists. This is a device that can provide the visual component of a real home theatre system to a level beyond that of even a forty-thousand-dollar projector of a decade ago. And it costs just under $1150. It’s great to be buying in this space today. EQUIPMENT So, yes, the EH-TW5600 is a full high definition (1920 by 1080 pixel) entry-level home theatre projector. It does not support Ultra-HD Blu-ray signals — not just the resolution, it doesn’t support the HDCP 2.2 copy protection they require. So this is a Blu-ray (and lower) system only, as you might reasonably expect at this price. It manages to pull off the twin trick of providing a high output — 2500 lumens rating —…

5 min.
stewart filmscreen phantom halr

The pictures shown on these pages are undoctored images of a demonstration projection screen put together by Visual Fidelity, the Australian distributor of Stewart Filmscreen. As you can see, it is made of two different projection surfaces spliced together in the middle, illuminated by the same projector. So what do you think? Which image would you prefer to see in your home? The left side is colour-rich with respectable blacks, while the right side is washed out and in some cases barely visible. We’d all pick the screen surface on the left. Right? NIGHT AND DAY In fact, the surface on the right is the choice of professionals — it is Stewart’s premium matte white surface, SnoMatte 100. This is the material used as a de facto standard by most Hollywood studios, post-production…

8 min.
toshiba 65u7750a

Toshiba is back in the Australian TV market, in the hands of Australian distributor Powermove, and while its first models are shooting for the relatively value end of their categories, they nevertheless include impressively-priced 55 and 65-inch Ultra-HD (4K) models which offer the attractive and versatile Android television interface. We spent some time with the larger one, the Toshiba 65U7750 Ultra-HD Android TV. EQUIPMENT The Android part of the name points to this being a smart TV running Google Android as its operating system. And despite the value-for-money pricing, it delivers pretty good smart stuff, not least thanks to support for voice interaction, with Google’s assistant being one of the best in the business. We shall return to that. This TV is also impressively stylish at the price. It rests on two sturdy…

7 min.
vivitek hk2288

Things are in flux with 4K at the moment. New 4K projectors at quite startling prices are appearing relatively regularly these days, but as always, not all 4K is the same. The Vivitek HK2288 projector is one of the models that does in fact generate real Ultra High Definition images, achieving this by using a four-megapixel Digital Micromirror Device along with Texas Instruments’ XPR pixel-shifting technology. EQUIPMENT Of course, Ultra High Definition actually requires 8.3 megapixels. And for a couple of years there have been projectors around using some form of pixel-shifting technology to, they say, generate Ultra-HD images. But some of these have been based on 1080p technology. To quadruple that resolution you need two things. The first is the ability to shift the pixels slightly to four different positions. That…

4 min.
vogel’s soundmount

For many of our readers Vogel’s, from the Netherlands, will need no introduction as a manufacturer of high-quality mounts for TVs (and a great many other solutions besides). In particular the company is adept at delivering motion mounts which allow easy swivel and tilting of TVs to match your ideal viewing angles, or indeed several viewing angles, so the same TV might turn to service the lounge in the evening and the kitchen during the day. The various Vogel’s options include both manual operations and full mechanisation, and the latter are certainly mighty swish to behold. Being fully automated, these ‘motionmount’ designs return to be flat against the wall when your TV is turned off, but as soon as you turn the TV on, the mount glides back out to its…