Archive for category Review

Samsung Q950TS QLED 8K TV Review

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“The Samsung Q950TS has the latest menu system, and this year Samsung has made some sensible changes to the Expert Settings. The first control you see is Brightness, and this now actually adjusts the brightness of the TV. It’s basically what was previously called the backlight control, and the traditional ‘brightness’ control, which actually adjusts the black level, is now called Shadow Detail. This latter control is now found further down the menu system beneath the gamma control, and will hopefully avoid a situation where unfamiliar users end up destroying their TV’s black levels in a misguided attempt to increase the overall brightness.

The motion controls are now in a sub-menu called Picture Clarity and here you can turn the frame interpolation on or off. You can also customise the Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction settings, as well as turn the LED Clear Motion (black frame insertion) control on and off. This sub-menu is where you’ll also now find the Noise Reduction control.”

 

 

 

 

 

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SVS PB-3000 subwoofer review

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Around the back you’ll find a stereo/LFE phono input and stereo phono output, 12V trigger port and connection for SVS’s SoundPath wireless adapter. There’s also an Intelligent Control Interface (ICI), which gives access to low-pass filter, volume and phase settings, signified by some flashy LED lights.

Old-fashioned dials would arguably be better, if the sub wasn’t also compatible with SVS’s Bluetooth control app, which is quick to get up and running, and makes tweaking simple. The app also introduces a three-band parametric EQ tool for frequency fine-tuning, plus Movie, Music and Custom presets.”

 

 

 

 

 

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JVC DLA-NX9 4K Projector Review

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The DLA-NX9 is designed to be used in a pitch-black Batcave cinema room, like our testing room and this is where you will get the absolute best from its performance. It doesn’t have the same incredibly deep blacks of the X-series models, the black floor is slightly raised with the new native 4K chips, but only slightly. While I didn’t have them side-by-side I would say the black floor is about the same as the native 4K Sony models (without the dynamic iris shutting down). If you use the two DI modes then the projector will, on encountering a full fade to black, dim the light output, but the black floor within the image is slightly lighter than the 1080p e-shift 4K models. This is not a deal-breaker or, in my opinion, an issue for end-users and enthusiasts. It, however, needs to be mentioned and explained within a review, as it is obvious on first viewing of the NX9 if you are coming from a previous e-shift 4K JVC.

I also need to mention that if you are using a 2.39:1 scope screen without masking, there is an issue with black level banding and light spillage beyond the 16:9 image raster. This will not be seen using a 16:9 screen or a scope screen with a masking system and is only seen on our screen, which is unmasked, within very dark scenes in 16:9 ratio content at the very far sides of the image, and again I only mention it to be complete in our assessment.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Yamaha YAS-209 soundbar review

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A strength of the YAS-209’s performance is its skilful blending of soundbar and subwoofer, with the latter sounding punchy, powerful and not afraid to dig quite deep (there’s a Bass Extension mode to instigate if it want it to push harder, but this can make it overbearing at times). With the cartoonish antics of The Grinch (Sky Cinema), it adds bouncy, bassy enjoyment to all the onscreen bangs and bumps, and fills out the bottom end of Danny Elfman’s score. Above it, the soundbar’s sextet of drivers work to create a warm-sounding midrange and clear (although not necessarily attacking) HF. You can go loud with confidence.

With none of the beam-steering/reflective tech from Yamaha’s YSP models, the YAS-209’s soundstage never approaches the sides of your listening position, remaining resolutely in front of you. Yet its stereo spread is appealingly broad, and even without a physical centre channel, dialogue is well-projected.”

 

 

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Hisense R50B7120 Television

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Another brilliant advantage of Roku’s platform is how easy it is to run. The Hisense R50B7120 is about as far from a high-end TV as you can get, yet the Roku UI is slick, with no apparent bugs, and never slows down any other aspect of the TV’s menus.

Roku also lets you control the R50B7120 from your smartphone or tablet via its tidy and effective iOS or Android app, which also makes it easy to share photos, music and video from your phone/tablet to the TV. The app also supports ‘private listening’, letting you shunt the TV’s sound to your smart device headphones while the Hisense remains silent – potentially a very useful feature for some.

 

 

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DALI KATCH ONE Soundbar Review

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Given the Katch One performs as essentially two devices – it’s a music system that doubles as a soundbar – it can only fairly be described by separating the two tasks. So first, as a music player, the DALI performs admirably. The company’s audiophile pedigree is immediately apparent from the moment you start listening, with its bright and clear tone being the first characteristic that strikes you. With the omission of any real adjustable EQ function, the company’s intention is clearly a transparent listening experience, and this is undoubdly the case with the Katch One. It shows an exceptional level of detail, especially in the mid to higher frequencies.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Focal 100IW6 In-Wall Speaker Review

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“Admittedly, I’m starting to regret the fact that I never tinkered with tweeter pivoting when the speakers were simply employed as part of my Atmos setup. I figured a forward position was appropriate. But repositioning them is so easy, I can see now that some fine-tuning, even as surround back channels, may improve performance depending on the room and location of the speakers.

At one point during my stereo listening, I disengaged the subwoofers to see how the 100IW6 would handle the deeper end of the sound spectrum on their own. Surprisingly, they hold their own, far more than what their specs might suggest. Needless to say, though, the overall tonal balance improved greatly by setting the crossover point to 80 Hz and adding some sub support.  ”

 

 

 

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