ZINIO logo
Sound & Vision

Sound & Vision May 2016

Sound & Vision is at the forefront of the ever-changing, always dynamic world of electronic entertainment. Authoritative and accessible, written with insight and humor, Sound & Vision is the preeminent source for consumers of home theater, audio, video, and multimedia products.

Read More
United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
10 Issues

in this issue

1 min
malware targets smart tvs

Your PC isn’t the only connected device to be targeted by malware malefactors. Symantec security researcher Candid Wueest experimented on her smart TV, running the Android OS, and found it easy to infect with ransomware. Smart TVs running Tizen, WebOS, or Firefox OS may be no safer. Your TV is most likely to get an infection through a USB port, browsing an infected Website, or downloading an infected app. An attacker on the same network path might get the Wi-Fi password or hijack DNS requests. Not all smart TVs use SSL encryption, and some of those that do use it don’t exactingly verify the certificate— so something as seemingly safe as a software update may infect the TV. For more details see Wueest’s blog post at symantec.com/connect/blogs/how-my-tv-got-infectedransomware-and-what-you-can-learnit.…

1 min
sony ultra hd blu-ray is nigh

The eagerly awaited debut of Ultra HD on Blu-ray is accelerating with releases from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Among the first titles are The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hancock, Pineapple Express, Salt, and The Smurfs 2. Back catalog will include Bad Boys, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Da Vinci Code, Fury, The Fifth Element, Ghostbusters, The Guns of Navarone, Leon: The Professional, Lawrence of Arabia, Men in Black, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Taxi Driver. More titles are expected from Twentieth Century Fox, which announced before Sony, and from other studios. The packaging will include the 4K Ultra HD logo on the header and the Ultra HD Blu-ray logo on the spine, back, and disc. UHD BD players are…

4 min

Center Suggestions I’m wondering if my Klipsch RC-7 center speaker is damaged. When I watch movies with 5.1 soundtracks, voices sometimes sound strange, as if the actor is speaking with a lisp. I seem to hear it most with movies streamed from Netflix, and occasionally on cable movie channels like HBO. Do you know of any test DVDs or other material I can use to evaluate my system and speaker setup? Craig A. Childress / Lake Charles, LA You can find a few calibration DVDs with audio tests for under $10 at Amazon.com, including Disney Wow: World of Wonder and Digital Video Essentials. If you own a Blu-ray player, you can find Blu-ray versions, along with the AIX Audio Calibration Blu-ray ($24.99 at oppodigital.com). Each of these discs provides test tones to ID…

3 min

Cassettes. Really? I am sorry. Only certain people will be allowed to read this column. To ensure that you are qualified, you must first correctly answer this question: What is the relationship between cassettes and pencils? If you can answer that, feel free to read on. If you can’t, please turn the page. Pencils, of course, are used to take up the slack in the tape inside a cassette. You know that because, as a former cassette user, you performed that small chore countless times. Alternatively, you jammed your little finger into one of the reel sockets. Among other cassette chores: endlessly pushing the fast-forward and rewind buttons until you found the start of a song; struggling to hear the music over the roar of the tape hiss; getting a queasy feeling…

3 min
what’s your favorite color?

I’m sometimes amazed at what I learn, or am reminded of, as we put to bed each issue of Sound & Vision. With the bird’s-eye view that comes with crossing t’s and dotting i’s on six to eight product reviews, written by staffers with their own eyes, ears, and perspectives, I get to see themes and patterns that might go unnoticed reading just any individual piece. One such revelation came as I went to finalize our review of the XTZ Cinema speaker system. Normally, our reviewers submit their raw copy with the Plus, Minus, and Verdict comments in place, and with their suggestions for star ratings and whether to award or deny Top Pick status. In the case of the XTZs, a well-built monitor system out of Sweden, our contributing technical…

11 min
finding hi-res music

HEARD OF HI-RES AUDIO? WHILE most folks argue the merits of Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Pandora, enlightened music lovers busily seek out other online sources for their music fix. These destinations are generally small Websites that specialize in selling albums and individual song downloads in Hi-Res Audio formats. But just what is Hi-Res Audio? Hi-Res Audio (HRA) is a term used to generally describe both audio equipment and digital music files that deliver the best possible sound quality from studio master recordings. Hi-Res Audio is defined by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® as “lossless audio that is capable of reproducing the full range of sound from recordings that have been mastered from better-than-CDquality music sources.” A key takeaway here is that Hi-Res Audio is “lossless” audio. The majority of streaming music…