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    DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

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    Hardware Reviews


    Equipment Reviews Archives

    Definitive Technology Mythos ST-L SuperTower Review

    Dec 26 2014 08:02 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    As I was walking the halls of CEDIA Expo 2013, I chanced upon Definitive Technology’s booth, where they had a pretty long line of folks waiting to hear their new flagship loudspeaker. At the time I had no idea that this was the Mythos ST-L, and had no interest in hearing it because I’d generally been rather unawed by Definitive Technology products in the past. It wasn’t that Definitive Tech speakers I had heard in the past sounded bad, but rather that they either weren’t set up properly or the particular model wasn’t well suited to my listening tastes.

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    Read story →    2 comments    -----    Hardware, Hardware Review and 3 more...

    Power Sound Audio MT-110 Loudspeaker Review

    Dec 23 2014 06:19 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    What happens when a couple of subwoofer luminaries try to design speakers? That was my first question when Tom & Jim of Power Sound Audio launched their new MT series loudspeakers. Given the unique components and pricing, I gave them a call and asked if they could send over some MT-110’s for me to review prior to the holidays.

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    Read story →    0 comments    -----    Ztagtest, Speaker

    Sony VPL-VW600ES 4K Projector Review

    Dec 04 2014 04:47 PM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    If you’re anything like me, the 4K displays on the horizon are a promising sign of a future we enthusiasts eagerly await. A future that offers increased resolution and contrast, sharper images and hopefully an extended color gamut. Sony is among the first manufacturers to offer a “true” 4K projector on the consumer market that is relatively affordable with their new VPL-VW600ES.

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    Read story →    7 comments    -----    Hardware, Hardware Review and 3 more...

    Feature: PC Gaming in the Home Theater – ASUS STRIX GTX 780 OC Review

    Oct 23 2014 03:10 PM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    PC Gaming in the Home Theater – ASUS STRIX GTX 780 OC Review


    Some of us have reluctantly admitted that gaming in the home theater is something best done on consoles, and despite the best efforts of Sony and Microsoft to bring state of the art visuals to the new generation PS4 and Xbox One respectively, the quality and native resolution of games leaves much to be desired in the home theater. For a price, PC gamers have always been able to enjoy an advantage in visual quality over consoles, but until now gaming in the home theater has been difficult if not impossible to achieve.

    ASUS STRIX GTX 780 OC



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    Read story →    14 comments    -----    Hardware Review, PC, Gaming and 1 more...

    BenQ W7500 DLP 3D Projector Review

    Aug 09 2014 09:54 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    Overview

    As a current owner of BenQ’s W6000 projector I was eager to see what has changed in BenQ’s DLP lineup for the home theater two generations after my projector was introduced. Following 2013’s W7000, the W7500 includes the same 3D functionality but ships without any included 3D glasses. The W7500 utilizes a single chip implementation of the DarkChip 3 DLP engine from Texas Instruments and advertises a claimed 60,000:1 contrast ratio and 2000 lumens of light output. At a retail price of $2799, this all sounds pretty good, lining up relatively well with the similarly priced competitors from Epson and Panasonic.

    For those not familiar with single chip DLP implementations, it should suffice for me to say that they are extremely sharp (no convergence issues) and the W7500 lives up to this reputation. I found the review sample of the W7500 approximately 10-15% sharper than my W6000 which is a fairly substantial improvement in a few short years. Likewise, black levels were also noticeably deeper than my W6000, particularly once dialed in with calibrated settings.
    While I don’t suffer from the dreaded “rainbow effect”, the 6x color wheel in the W7500 should prevent this issue for all but the most unlucky home theater enthusiast.

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    Read story →    7 comments    -----    TV Reviews, Hardware Review and 2 more...

    Oppo PM-1 Headphone Review - Planar Magnetic Perfection

    Jun 05 2014 06:04 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    When long time HTF sponsor Oppo announced they were getting into the headphone market, I was very excited for a multitude of reasons. First, and probably most obvious to those members who own an Oppo player, is that Oppo doesn’t build any mediocre products. Since their first foray into the DVD player market and all the way up to their most recent BDP-105, Oppo’s products have always been high quality, functional and reliable. Second, Oppo knows how to design attractive electronics. From their new audio products to their optical disc players, Oppo’s design language is an appealing one. This is even more important with a device like headphones because they are worn by the owner, not simply sitting on a shelf.

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    Read story →    4 comments    -----    2-Channel, Hardware Review

    Paradigm Sound Track 2 Sound Bar Review

    Jun 01 2014 06:45 PM | Sam Posten in Equipment Reviews

    I admit to being a bit of a 5.1 snob but have recently had a chance to spread my wings a bit and look at a few 2 channel options that have made me give some consideration to that format and come away more impressed than I expected.

    The first was in checking out a set of near audiophile quality headphones. I was pretty blown away with the immersive-ness and comfort on those. Look for the name of that product and other details in a (hopefully) upcoming review soon.

    The second was in the availability of this unit up for review: The Paradigm Sound Track 2 Sound Bar, Paradigm’s follow up to their successful and well reviewed Sound Track

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    Reviewed By: Sam Posten
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    Read story →    9 comments    -----    Hardware, Subwoofer, Speaker

    Marantz AV8801 Processor Review

    Apr 28 2014 05:05 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    Marantz is a well respected name in the A/V industry. Founded by Saul Marantz in 1953 in Kew Gardens, New York, the company subsisted by licensing its products to other companies. Acquired by several other companies over the years, Marantz has been owned by Superscope, Philips Electronics, and now finally by D&M Holdings, a merger between Marantz Japan and Denon. Through all this change, the company has remained consistent in its mission, producing electronics for the discriminating audio video enthusiast.

    When it comes to R&D and product development, Marantz does not move at the same breakneck pace as its sister company Denon nor midmarket competitors like Onkyo and Pioneer. In fact, Marantz is the sort of company that would rather release something truly special less frequently, than release a good product on a regular basis.

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    Read story →    5 comments    -----    Hardware, Hardware Review and 4 more...

    Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS USB DAC Review

    Apr 08 2014 02:45 PM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    In the world of high fidelity audio, Cambridge Audio is a venerable name with many awards and accolades spanning a company history of over 40 years. In the last few years. CA has begun to produce entry level offerings targeted at the PC audio market where quality DAC’s are hard to find. Enter the DacMagic XS – a matchbook sized DAC that offers USB 1.0 and 2.0 functionality and supports bit depths and sample rates as high as 24 bit / 192 kHz.

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    Read story →    0 comments    -----    Hardware Review, Hardware

    Epson 8345 Projector Review

    Mar 14 2014 07:47 PM | Kevin Collins in Equipment Reviews

    Projector Review: Epson 8345



    When we met up with Epson at CEDIA last year, we spoke with Jason about the new line-up of Epson PJ’s and some of the existing PJ’s that have been in the Epson line-up. While Epson has a vast array of PJ’s from entry level 2D and 3D all the way up to PJ’s specifically for the CEDIA channel, Epson always focuses on price to value performance.

    Many enthusiasts are looking to move to something significantly larger than a rear panel LCD can offer and they want to do that within a budget. Previously “within a budget” meant being satisfied with a 720P projector and one that had poor performance characteristics. The Epson 8345 is changing what performance an enthusiast can get for a very reasonable price.

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    Reviewed By: Kevin Collins
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    Read story →    16 comments    -----    Hardware Review, Hardware, LCD

    XTZ 99.26 MKII Reference Bookshelf Review

    Jan 10 2014 01:16 PM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    XTZ is a Swedish manufacturer and seller of audio gear that is manufactured as affordably as possible, at the highest quality possible with top of the line components from vendors such as SEAS and Peerless, then sent to the consumer at internet direct prices. Due to the unique quality, value and styling of XTZ products, they are extremely popular in Europe, enjoying a cult following and an excellent reputation. XTZ has only recently broken into the US market, but is looking forward to showing US consumers why they are so popular in Europe.

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    Read story →    8 comments    -----    2-Channel, Speaker

    KEF E-305 5.1 Surround Sound Review

    Nov 21 2013 01:40 PM | Sam Posten in Equipment Reviews

    I was first introduced to KEF Speakers at the dawn of the release of DVD by a neighbor who was both a huge audiophile and a laserdisk fan. At the time I had just gotten my first 'real' job and was intent on building a home theater that would be capable enough to make the new format sing. His set of KEFs was certainly drool worthy but clearly out of my league price wise, and auditioning their lower end speakers was a bit problematic in my area, ultimately I went with another brand but the experience left a lasting impression.

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    Read story →    21 comments    ***--    Hardware Review, Speaker and 2 more...

    Boston Acoustics TVee One Speaker Base Review

    Nov 14 2013 09:41 AM | Type A in Equipment Reviews

    Introduction
    Being a satisfied Boston Acoustics Receptor Radio owner for many years, its been my trusty alarm clock radio for over a decade, I was intrigued to hear the performance of the Boston Acoustics TVee One Speaker Base. Will it impress me in the ways my little Boston clock radio has? Would it have the same unusually good bass response? Is it a very simple and intuitive design just like my radio? And is it well worth the price of admission and yet beyond your standard run-of-the-mill sound bar? High expectations, and comical since they're based on a clock radio, but lets a take a look and see if Boston can make that $300 a worthy investment and a considerable improvement to your lame TV speakers you're currently enjoying...

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    Read story →    0 comments    ***--    Hardware, Hardware Review and 1 more...

    Power Sound Audio XS30 Subwoofer Review

    Oct 18 2013 08:12 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    If you haven’t heard the name of our newest forum sponsor Power Sound Audio yet, don’t worry; it’s only a matter of time before the brand goes completely viral. Co-founded by Tom Vodhanel and Jim Farina and headquartered in Mineral Ridge, Ohio; Power Sound Audio is an American audio company to its core. Both the co-founders have a long history in the industry and are known for designing killer products that deliver impressive bang for the buck. This same philosophy has become the core of what Power Sound Audio does today, producing high quality subwoofers at affordable prices while never compromising on performance.

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    Read story →    26 comments    *****    Hardware, Subwoofer, Ztagtest

    Salk Signature Sound HT2-TL & HT2C Review

    Aug 19 2013 04:44 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    If you happen to be a follower of the online AV community, chances are that at some point you have seen the name Salk mentioned. Mentions of Jim Salk’s name and his products have grown more frequent over the past few years, and for good reason. Jim Salk and his company Salk Signature Sound manufactures speakers that have taken the Internet direct audio world by storm.

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    Read story →    0 comments    *****    Ztagtest, Hardware

    Orb Audio People's Choice System Review

    Aug 15 2013 04:57 AM | Eben Atwater in Equipment Reviews

    What Orb sells is designed, manufactured and assembled here in the US: I don't know about you, but that sure does make a difference to me.

    Orb is employee-owned and dedicated purely to making great speakers. Contact the company and you'll talk to real employees who know what they're talking about and speaks with genuine passion for their craft. Everybody from owners to designers share duties answering phones and emails.

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    Read story →    5 comments    -----    Ztagtest, Hardware, Subwoofer

    SVS Ultra 5.0 speaker review.

    May 22 2013 07:53 PM | schan1269 in Equipment Reviews

    Read Sam Chandler's review of the new SVS Ultra series speakers. Whether you're into music, movies or some combination inbetween, you'll want to read this write up on what promises to be one of the hottest home theater products of the year. -Ed.

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    Read story →    2 comments    *****    Subwoofer, SVS, Hardware and 1 more...

    Axiom Audio Epic 80 5.1 Channel Home Theater System Review

    May 15 2013 07:16 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    In the small but innovative world of Internet direct audio manufacturers, Canadian manufacturer Axiom Audio has been steady and consistent presence in a rather tumultuous industry. In 1980 Axiom Audio was born and by 1981 had released its first product. Founder Ian Colquhoun joined Canada’s National Research Council project with the iconic Dr. Floyd Toole, their focus on research aiming to standardize loudspeaker measurement – methodologies that are widely used today. By 1986 Axiom had released its second speaker and had garnered its first award. Since then, Axiom has grown and evolved but maintains the same focus on quality, customer service and audio purity that it has since its inception.

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    Read story →    1 comments    -----    Subwoofer, Hardware

    Ceton InfiniTV6-ETH Network Cable Card Adapter Review

    May 14 2013 10:46 AM | mattCR in Equipment Reviews

    From the beginning, I've followed Ceton. I received one of the very first InfiniTV4, in the first batch, as soon as they had them. I participated in the Echo and App Betas. And from the beginning, I loved the direction that Ceton was taking. Ceton was bringing real life to the cable card in Windows Media Center, and allowing us to do things that just we always wanted.. but Microsoft and others never pushed. ATI had their 2-Tuner external USB Cable Card device, but outside of being clunky it was nearly ungettable; you had to acquire it through specific sources and it's tuning capabilities were rather poor.

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    Read story →    6 comments    -----    Hardware

    Panasonic TC-P55ST60 3D Plasma HTF Equipment Review

    May 13 2013 07:19 AM | mattCR in Equipment Reviews

    I’ve spent a lot of time this year focusing on our new theater room. In putting together that room, I wanted the best that I could get.. within reason, and I wanted to be able to have a theater that really brought the movie experience home. As we worked to build that room, I realized – with a little prodding – that I spend more than my fair share of time watching TV in our bedroom, and the 4+ year old Samsung 46” LCD we were using could use a refresh too.

    One of the decisions to make really revolves around how much money you really want to spend for what kind of quality. There is no doubt that cheap LCD big screens are available everywhere – no name brands with mixed quality. I wanted to get the highest quality possible at the best bang for the buck.

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    Read story →    23 comments    -----    Hardware

    Yamaha RX-V375 Home Theater Receiver Review

    May 11 2013 08:08 AM | Todd Erwin in Equipment Reviews

    Yamaha’s entry-level receiver in their 2013 line, the RX-V375, is a simple, non-networked, 5.1 model featuring lossless audio decoding, 70 watts per channel, 4K and 3D pass-through, and Yamaha’s YPAO sound optimizer. Home Theater Forum received a sample from Yamaha to review, and we put it through the paces.

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    Read story →    47 comments    -----    Hardware

    Anthem AVM 50v 3D Processor Review

    Apr 11 2013 06:54 AM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews

    Anthem AV – a sister company of Paradigm is well known for their high-end AV receivers, amplifiers and processors. Having not reviewed a high-end dedicated AV processor solution in the recent past, I was eager to see what the $6,499 MSRP AVM 50v 3D could do. Despite not being a major player in the mainstream A/V receiver market Anthem has a reputation for quality and innovation

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    Reviewed By: Dave Upton
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    Read story →    4 comments    -----    Ztagtest, Hardware