Archive for category Review

Panasonic DP-UB820 4K Blu-ray player Review

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While the specification appears to ape the brand’s flagship, the cosmetics borrow from Panasonic’s budget model. It’s nearly, but not quite, an update on the well regarded 2016-era DMP-UB900. Build quality is unapologetically mass market, but for all that, the model looks entirely passable. The plastic cabinet is gloss black, while a bevelled frontage drops down to reveal the offset disc tray. There’s also a USB port for media playback. Manual buttons sit up top to handle power and disc loading.

Rear connectivity includes twin HDMIs (one an audio only output, for those using a pre-4K AV receiver who need to route UHD video directly to a screen); Ethernet; another USB (a speedy 3.0 connection); and an optical digital audio output. Wi-Fi comes as standard if you don’t want to stay tethered.

 

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VANKYO LEISURE 420 DLP PROJECTOR REVIEW

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The user color temp offers a single-point adjustment but there isn’t enough control range to achieve a 6500K average. By turning red to the max and zeroing out blue, I was able to reduce the average from 12,000K to around 8,000K. The change in DeltaE isn’t significant but the image looks far more natural. I also adjusted brightness and contrast to maximize dynamic range. That change improves gamma in the darker steps which lowers black levels and brings out more shadow detail.”

 

 

 

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SVS SB16-Ultra subwoofer $1,999 Review

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“Now let’s get serious about guilty pleasures when it comes to music — the kind of stuff we’re loathe to admit is on our playlists. I reckon what harm could come of this, so I start playing music that should not benefit from a subwoofer, only to discover that these tracks actually have low-octave content. Hot damn, there are bass lines to be plumbed in and at depth. Not what I expected and I am being forced, in a very good way, to re-listen to a number of recordings all over again.

The Dayton Audio subwoofer is indeed serviceable, with its 120 watts of amplification and downward flared ported design it comes in at the princely sum of $148.00. Is this model the last word in subwoofers? No, it is not. Is this model a great entry point for the novice? Indeed it is, and more. For someone as cynical and skeptical as myself it is not in me to jump in with both feet. So here I am, already searching out the upgrade path. I’ve got SVS squarely in my sites. Gary Yacoubian, SVS President, was so helpful in pointing me in the direction of Ed over there, so it is down to two models of theirs, both sealed box variants: the new SB-4000 or the SB16-Ultra. Either one would take me to a whole new level and, now that I am more at ease with the subwoofer as more than a concept, I am prepared to take that next step. I went with the SB-16 Ultra because size does indeed matter, and if I was going to risk physical injury with a component that size, I reckon I’d go all-in.”

 

 

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PSB Alpha T20 Speaker System Review

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After breaking the system in by using it to watch TV for a few days, I began my critical listening with two-channel music played full-range through the T20s without a sub. Right out of the gate, familiar PSB hallmarks such as an articulate and detailed midrange and powerful, dynamic bass were easy to hear. With its punchy, articulate bass line and a soundstage depth that placed the drum kit well behind, yet tightly focused between, the speakers, “Last Plane Out” by Toy Matinee showed me what was possible with the PSB towers. Lower-cost speakers are often be voiced in a way that attempts to make them sound bigger than they are, but the neutrality of the T20’s response let me savor the midrange detail in the music. To be honest, switching between the T20s used straight-up by themselves and a 2.1 setup supplemented by the subwoofer didn’t bring much benefit with most recordings, and I often found myself preferring the sonic coherency of the un-augmented T20s. Comparing them with my eight-times-as-expensive Synchrony One tower speakers might sound pretty unfair, but doing so served to highlight the T20’s similarities rather than its deficiencies. Sure, the T20 tower can’t go as deep in the bass, nor does it have the same level of clarity and articulation in the midrange and highs that its bigger brother provides, but it was clear to me that both speakers come from the same gene pool.”

 

 


 

 

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JVC DLA-NX9 D-ILA Projector $18,000 Review


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The NX9’s lens is flanked by two air vents that exhaust hot air from the chassis, while the back panel has a filter for intake. I was hoping the new, larger chassis would mean cooling refinements to reduce fan noise when the lamp is placed in High mode. (Typically, a larger chassis allows for larger fans that can run slower, resulting in less noise.) Fan noise is nearly undetectable in Low lamp mode, but this new design actually has a slightly higher noise level compared with previous JVC models when in High lamp mode. It’s low enough that the noise remains nearly undetectable when watching movies, although it can be heard during quieter passages. I definitely noticed it more than I did with the last two high-end Sony models I tested when running full light output. ”

 

 

 

 

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SONY XBR-65Z9F ULTRA HD TV REVIEW

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Viewing 1080p material upconverted to Ultra HD exhibited more detail as there are now four times as many pixels reproducing the video. The result is reduced stepping on diagonals, and the X1 Processor likely contributes to a virtually artifact-free upconversion. Previous Sony 4K models always introduced a little bit of ringing to contrasting edges of 1080p material, evident on test patterns and less so with real 1080p content. Now upconversion looks flawless! Watching the same films above in their respective HD versions is solid. This is a very fine 1080p television that follows the rules to make good looking video once calibrated. While 100nit HD material doesn’t wow as much as UHD-HDR content, and even though there are fewer local dimming zones than the previous 65Z9D, Picture Processor X1 Ultimate ensures that the Sony 65Z9F does a remarkable job delivering the 1080p goods.”

 

 

 

 

 

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VIZIO SB46514-F6 SOUND BAR REVIEW

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The subwoofer has its own detachable IEC power cord and four RCA outputs for the surround speakers along with a power switch and a pairing button. The four RCA outputs accommodate separate wiring for the surround and rear Atmos channels. To keep things simple, VIZIO combined the two separate wires for the surround and rear Atmos channels into a single cable, which keeps installation easy. Each cable is 20 feet long which should be adequate for just about any installation. The subwoofer is paired to the sound bar when you take the unit out of the box, which speeds up the initial setup time. As I was swapping the SB36512 out for the SB46514, setup was incredibly easy. The 46” sound bar went on my corner TV cabinet in front of my 50” Fujitsu plasma and the surround speakers sat on top of two end tables flanking my primary listening position. I made sure that the up-firing speakers in the surrounds had an unobstructed bounce path to my ceiling by moving my two lamps further back on the tables”

 

 

 

 

 

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