Sound + Image April - May 2018

SOUND + IMAGE magazine offers a comprehensive package focused on lifestyle home electronic entertainment. It provides easy-to-read information about audio and video equipment and how ordinary consumers can assemble extraordinary systems that look and sound fantastic.

Future Publishing Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

2 min
the hi–fi headlines

1 STAX, who we believe manufacture the finest headphones on the market, turns 80 this year. To celebrate they have released a very limited anniversary model based on the existing SRS-3100 system. They have upgraded the specifications of the SR-L300 Earspeaker (pictured) to approximate the performance of the SR-L700. The changes to the SRM-252S driver are mostly cosmetic. There are only 13 of these systems available for Australia, so if you have an interest it would be wise to act now. The system sells for $2,698. 2 MARANTZ have released a new amplifier (PM8006) and a matching CD/ Streamer (ND8006). The amplifier is an update of the very successful PM8005. It is still rated at 70 watts RMS/channel, and sells for $2,650. The ND8006 is an excellent solution for today’s market. It incorporates…

4 min
the cult of roon

When you’re reading the review of Meridian’s 251 Powered Zone Controller in this issue, you’ll notice I get a little distracted towards the end by the experience of using it as an ‘endpoint’ for the software music player Roon. And indeed several weeks after the review I was explaining to a friend what Roon does, and after my brief but enthusiastic monologue of an explanation, my friend raised his eyebrows and said, “Mmm — sounds like you’ve joined a cult.” Which was a keen observation, because I’ve had a similar impression in the past when reading other reports of Roon and its merits. Roon calls itself a music player but it might best be described as organisational software. It doesn’t give you access to any new music*; rather you point it…

6 min
does it scale? denon does

We mention in our review of the Trinnov Altitude (see p38) that Dolby Atmos and other immersive sound systems have been limited in their boundless scalability by the traditional channel count of AV receivers and their iterative evolution. But Denon has announced it’s up for lifting the channel count with its new AVC-X8500H (RRP $5999), claiming it as the industry’s first true 13.2-channel amplifier. The X8500H features Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D surround decoding, plus plenty of smarts — full HEOS multiroom compatibility, Apple AirPlay, and also Amazon Alexa’s Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices, a new feature set which will become available in Australia later in 2018. Of course the AVC-X8500H is fully prepared for UHD Blu-ray disc players and other ‘4K’ UHD sources, with onboard Dolby Vision and…

6 min
ask the expert chroma sub-sampling

When we find someone who clearly knows stuff, we like to ask them questions. And when we heard a talk by Jim Peterson, the President of Lumagen Inc., on the company’s Radiance Pro processor (pictured below), he mentioned in passing that they recommend 4:2:2 chroma subsampling over 4:4:4. So in addition to why that might be, we asked him to explain the whole idea of chroma subsampling, and why it happens. SOUND+IMAGE: What do the numbers in 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 actually mean? JIM PETERSON: All consumer video is encoded using 4:2:0 YCBCR, where Y is Luminance, CB is the ‘Chroma Blue’ channel and CR is the ‘Chroma Red’ channel. But note that CB is different to B, and CR is different to R in the red-green-blue (RGB) format. RGB is the colour…

6 min
great outdoors

Oscar A. Ciornei is the president and CEO of Soundcast. He was recently in Australia to launch the company’s latest range of indoor/ outdoor powered loudspeakers, which is being distributed in Australia by Advance Audio. Sound+Image caught up with him after the launch. SOUND+IMAGE: You’ve been with Soundcast for three years, but you have a long history in the audio business? OSCAR CIORNEI: Yes, I was recruited by Pioneer in 1971, but I went out on my own and founded the OAC Group in 1977, which I still own. It’s a strategic consulting and business development firm focused on launching and enabling products and services, and helping companies achieve fast-start growth for maximum success — mainly companies in the audio and music businesses. S+I: So in that time you must have worked with…

22 min

There being no World War intervening, June this year we will be seeing the 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcast from Russia. It’ll all be available for our delight courtesy of SBS TV. And the best news of all? It’ll be in HD, which is the way sport ought to be seen. That should have the thoughts of every red-blooded Australian TV viewer turning towards a TV upgrade. If you were planning on doing that sometime in the next few years anyway, why not now? Here we’ll guide you through the most important things to look for in a new TV, or maybe even something a little larger, both for watching sport, and for all your other entertainment options. The most obvious way to watch TV is... with a TV! So we’ll go…