Sound + Image June - July 2016

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

4 min
the sounds of silence...

I did a pretty stupid thing back in the 1990s. (Quite a few stupid things, actually, and I’m delighted that Facebook wasn’t around then to indelibly record them all forever.) This related to my travel plans at the time — the first portable DAT recorder had just been released, the Aiwa HD-S1, a nice little unit, and I decided to take one with me around the world, trying to record silence. Or at least, to record places that were as silent as possible. In the tumbled houses of Pompeii, on the temple platforms of Olympia, down wadis in Jordan and up mountains in India, I erected my little stereo microphone and had a doze or read a book while recording half an hour of nothing, or as little as possible. My…

2 min
firefx ‘battle-ready’ media system

Wavetrain has introduced FireFX media systems to its Australian /NZ distribution portfolio, a versatile media server system which seems to deliver many of the features of costlier storage-player systems at lower cost. It includes some interesting smart features, notably allowing a ‘wishlist’ for movies and TV shows to be automatically downloaded via encrypted Usenet services if the end user desires. Built-in support for both Kodi and Plex enables playback from iOS devices and the latest Apple TV. Also key among FireFX’s attractions are a beautiful and extremely fast interface, and the “rock-solid” performance of both the playback and serving/storage units. The FireFX team stresses their experience in the US military, and describes their equipment as “battle-ready” While the system can do one heck of a lot, the hardware is fairly easy to…

1 min
australian hifi-av show 16

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! The Australian HiFi & AV Show will run from 21-23 October in the tried-and-tested upmarket venue of the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto Hotel. Tickets are already on sale, and out-of-state visitors are advised to book accommodation early in what is always a busy time for Melbourne’s CBD. Confirmed exhibitors include major distributors Absolute Hi End, Advance Audio Australia, Audio Dynamics, Audio Magic, Audio Marketing, Avation, BusiSoft AV, Convoy International, Kedcorp, Network AV, Pure Music Group, QualiFi, Synergy Audio-Visual, Syntec, Telos Audio and Westan, with additional brands including Audio Note, Dali, Focal, Kyron Audio, Naim, Osborn, Redgum — and ‘Quality Records... Plus’ who will run a vinyl store in the foyer! Here at NextMedia we are again media partners for the Show, which is organised by The Chester…

3 min
panasonic uhd blu-ray, vieras & more multiroom

There has been a long gap between the arrival of 4K TVs and the launch of real 4K sources. Samsung has finally put its 4K Blu-ray player out in the Australian market (review next issue), but the first confirmed announcement of a 4K disc source came shortly before that, when among its range of new and upgraded home entertainment gadgets, Panasonic announced and demonstrated its DMP-UB900 ‘native’ UHD Blu-ray player. ‘Native’ is the word Panasonic is using to make clear that this is the real thing, not just a regular Blu-ray player which can upscale to UHD output. It’s not here just yet, though — launch is September 2016, and pricing in Australia has yet to be decided. Nonetheless, the engineering sample running at the launch was spinning the UHD version…

1 min
ce china — ifa tests the chinese waters with new consumer show

Messe Berlin, organisers of Europe’s leading consumer show IFA, faced many challenges in transferring their expertise through the red tape required to mount a similar show in China. But the resulting ‘CE China’ event held in Shenzen at the end of April filled one sizeable exhibition hall, attracted a full floor of trade visitors and consumers, and is, as Messe Berlin emphasised, “just a beginning — we are in this for the long haul”. Highlights included the world debut of the most compact VR glasses yet, the dlodlo Glass V1 (below, in prototype), something of an improvement on current bulky solutions — “Oculus, HTC, Samsung and Sony ‘helmets’ are only for geeks!”, says Thomas Lee of Dlodlo. It was an education to see the range of products offered by Chinese e-commerce company…

3 min
dab+ in a phone can double your battery life

LG has launched the Stylus DAB+, a new mid-priced smartphone that incorporates a DAB+ tuner — the first mobile phone ever to include that feature, says LG. Tempted to say ‘Meh, I can stream just about everything anyway’? Well, yes, you can, but you’ll be eating up your data allowance and draining your battery. Streaming over the network is power-sucking at the best of times, and more so if your connection isn’t optimal. The DAB+ module is a receiver only, and receives its data from the public airways so there’s no 3G/4G data involved. Officially LG talks about the unit simply having better battery life. Unofficially, Dr Les Sabel, consulting engineer to Commercial Radio Australia, shared with Sound+Image that their unofficial tests suggested a run time of 38 hours, or double…