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Sound & Vision

Sound & Vision May 2017

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.

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United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
10 Issues

in this issue

3 min
perfect focus signals ken c.pohlmann

Home Audio Comes Roaring Back In the Golden Age of Audio, a good playback system, along with a good music collection, was truly an aspirational goal. Your home, and maybe even your life, just wasn’t complete until there was a stereo in the living room and a shelf of recorded music. Enthusiasts had the tallest speakers and the most discs, but from the ’50s to the ’80s, the paradigm was well rooted in the mind of every American consumer. Then, as paradigms always do, it shifted Maybe it was the Sony Walkman, maybe it was portable CD players, maybe it was the ever-fiercer competition for consumer dollars posed by everbigger TVs, but the bloom slowly came off the home audio rose. Then when MP3 players, iPods, and smartphones came along, the slow…

3 min
perfect focus apptitude

The Download on Netflix The latest upgrade from the always-evolving Netflix—the ability to download content for offline viewing—is restricted to users of its mobile apps. Unlike streaming, this means you’ll be able to watch specific movies and TV shows on a phone or tablet without being connected to the internet and incurring pesky data charges. To get a sense of how the download experience differs from streaming or playing a disc, I pulled out my iPad and Android phone and made sure the latest Netflix app was installed as well as iOS 8.0 (or later) or Android 4.4.2 (or above). When deciding what to watch from the app, you’ll see “Available for Download” listed on the menu. You won’t see the option by accessing Netflix from a smart TV, Bluray Disc player,…

2 min
test bench

FULL-ON/FULL-OFF Contrast Ratio: 5,650:1 FOR the picture settings used in this review, go to soundandvision.com. MEASUREMENTS were made using CalMAN software from SpectraCal, together with Photo Research PR-650 and Klein K-10A color meters, and an AV Foundry VideoForge pattern generator. All calibrations and measurements were performed in 2D. IN the Reference Calibrated Preset with the Brightness setting at 53, the Contrast at 96, the Lamp Control on Low, and the Gamma Correction at 2.4, the measured peak white level was 22.6 ft-L and the black level 0.004 ft-L, resulting in the contrast ratio shown above. I also measured the full-on/full-off contrast ratio for different combinations of the Brightness (53 and 54) and Gamma Correction (2.4 and 2.2) controls, and in both the High and Low Lamp Control settings. I used these settings in…

4 min
perfect focus q&a al griffin

TV Troubles I own a 720p-resolution Pioneer plasma TV. Every time I use my old plasma—now relegated to my photography studio after being replaced with a Full HD LCD model in the living room—I am blown away by the rich blacks and crisp color. It just looks better than LCD. With the arrival of 4K and HDR (finally, TV tech that can match the color gamut of the computer monitors I use for photography), I’m thinking it may be time for another upgrade. Are there any HDR-compatible UHDTVs that perform well enough to finally end my love affair with my plasma? Ed Nazarko / via e-mail In my opinion, yes. Like plasma, OLED is an emissive display technology: The pixels are selfilluminating. That, and the speed with which those pixels can be shut…

11 min
martinlogan electromotion esl x speaker system

PRICE $11,395 as reviewed AS A MEMBER OF GENERATION X, I sometimes get paranoid about being target-marketed when I see a product name appended with an “X”—for instance, MartinLogan’s new ElectroMotion ESL X speaker. I, for one, would be an easy target: An eX-MartinLogan owner, I’m very familiar with the detailed, almost eerily present sound that the company’s hybrid electrostatic speakers deliver. Consider me a fan Why did I move on from my Martin- Logans? Adaptation to change, mostly. The big A/V console I had custom-built to accommodate my oversize MartinLogan center-channel speaker suddenly felt like it was overwhelming my space. I also thought that dynamic speakers might be a better fit for the mostly rockmusic diet I was consuming. After I made the switch, however, I would often become wistful when…

13 min
sony vpl-hw45es 3d sxrd projector

Projection for All? PRICE $2,000 I’VE BEEN PROJECTOR-LESS FOR a good two years. It began with a 2015 move across the country from California to Florida. Then came a steady stream of flat-screen TVs as that technology progressed from the 2K era to the age of Ultra HD with 4K resolution, advanced color, and high dynamic range (HDR). Still, it’s not like I’ve been exiled to the proverbial desert island. Those top-of-the-line TVs have been a treat, and there’ll be more to come. I’ve missed having a big screen, however, with the sense of image immersion that only a frontprojection setup can provide The arrival of a not exactly cheap but still surprisingly affordable projector from Sony forced my hand, so I finally installed my two retractable projection screens, a 96-inch-wide, 2.35:1 Stewart…