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Best Buys – Audio & AV

Best Buys – Audio & AV

Issue 1 - 2021
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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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Future Publishing Ltd
2 Issues

in this issue

8 min.
how to watch 4k on your 4k display

Your new TV is almost definitely 4K, right? Unless it’s 8K (but see opposite). So if you want to see what that screen can really do, you’ll want to watch some 4K content. Yet this isn’t as easy as you might think — even though the first 4K TV went on sale way back in 2012. Indeed as with 8K TVs, manufacturers started selling 4K TVs far in advance of 4K material being available to watch, simply because TV manufacturers constantly need to have a ‘next big thing’ to sell. But the good news is that today there is no shortage of 4K content available — you just have to know where to get it, and then do the right things to make sure it’s actually working. Here’s our guide to doing…

10 min.
benq gs2

In the vast majority of Australian homes, the television delivers entertainment — be it broadcast, recorded, streaming or gaming — to the lounge. And televisions are getting ever larger, with 75-inchers currently being touted as “the new normal”. In this they are eating slowly into the realm of the home AV projector, hitherto the solution if you wanted real big-screen entertainment. But projectors are fighting back. A key development is the addition of smart interfaces, so that instead of being dumb display devices, projectors can be used more like TVs, streaming via their own connection to the internet, even having a built-in TV tuner onboard. Increasing numbers of projectors now have their own sound system as well, often of a fairly basic quality, but certainly handy to have as an emergency…

9 min.
epson epiqvision eh-ls300b

Want an affordable giant-screen TV? We mean something in the region of 100 inches (2.54 metres), but not costing north of $10k? There is a new category of ‘TV’ available now which mates an ultra-short-throw projector with smart TV internals, and often with projection screens available. The Epson EpiqVision EH-LS300B does that and tosses in a little extra: ultra-long-life operation. Equipment Ultra-short-throw projectors use a combination of lenses and mirrors to cast the picture up onto a screen almost immediately above them. The Epson EpiqVision EH-LS300B is a fairly compact specimen at only 467mm wide and 400mm deep. Inside there are three 15.5mm LCD projector panels using Epson’s C2 Fine technology, and a laser diode. That kind of light engine works by firing the laser into some phosphor, which then produces a…

10 min.
hisense 65sx

While we’ve been promoting the merits of OLED since the very first OLED TVs arrived, LCD technology has evolved more dramatically than OLED in the years since, closing the performance gap. Does Hisense’s Dual Cell technology, which aims to deliver OLED-level blacks, now level the playing field? Equipment How does Hisense attempt to do this? The Dual Cell technology used in this 65SX incorporates a remarkable two million individual dimming zones of control for the backlight. The panel itself has the 8.3 megapixels expected of Ultra-HD resolution. The backlight has close to 2.1 megapixels of control. Note we say that it has 2.1 mexapixels of ‘control’, while the backlight itself has rather less — fewer than 100 zones, we’re told. The trick is the placement of a Full-HD LCD panel between the…

8 min.
sony vpl-vw790es

This is a bit weird. We are going to briefly laud the maximum resolution of the new Sony VPL-VW790ES home theatre projector. And then we’re going to ignore it. What we’re really going to focus on is how well the Sony VW790ES projector works with content of slightly less than its full resolution. Equipment First, an oddity about the home projection market. While we live in a UHD world, where 4K Blu-rays, Netflix, Disney+ et al can deliver a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels, there are presently, to our knowledge, no projectors on the market which have a native resolution actually matching that. Most UHD projectors use a chip of 1920 × 1080 pixels, shifting these to create additional pixels… with various degrees of success. Whereas this Sony VPL-790ES is even…

9 min.
marantz nr1711

When you’re onto a good thing, stick to it! Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Marantz NR1711 (the first and smaller of two Marantz receivers reviewed this issue) is that the other major brands haven’t copied its form factor — it’s the size of a normal stereo hi-fiamplifier, rather than having the double-height hulk of a chassis more common to AV receivers. Not that Marantz can’t hulk with the best of them — see the next review. But here we have what the company calls a ‘slimline’ receiver: a nice compromise for those who want the proper quality for a surround sound experience, but don’t want the bulk of most receivers. Equipment And, yes, this is a proper home theatre receiver, with seven channels able to be configured in all the…