AVForums Weekly Round-up

Here comes summer...

by hodg100 Jul 30, 2016 at 8:38 AM

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    AVForums Weekly Round-up
    Normal service has been resumed, with regards to the British summer weather, and we got to take our minds off our current political goings-on by looking in on the USA with a morbid interest. All of which means, the temptation to go out and catch some rays was nullified and we were able to get on with the serious business of AV.


    This week’s major TV review was the Panasonic DX802 which is an interesting looking set with its easel style stand and built-in soundbar but can the designer looks be matched by its picture performance.

    If you’re in the market for a projector and you’re still waiting for the Ultra HD and HDR dust to settle then the Sony VPL-HW45ES proves you definitely don’t need to spend a great deal of money to get an outstanding projector; this one has Best Buy written all over it!

    From a company better known for its turntables, the Rega RX1 standmount speakers prove they’re not a one trick pony with their performance described as joyous by our man, Ed Selley.

    The school summer holidays are upon us and so, therefore, are the blockbuster cinema releases. First up was The BFG based upon the Roald Dahl book of the same name but while it’s not a Whizzpopper – to quote the big man, himself – it’s not a Whizzflopper either.

    More of a resounding success, according to Steve, is Star Trek Beyond which is giving the impression that the odd numbered films are the ones to watch this time around thanks to a combination of action and humour that makes this sci-fi romp feel like a big budget episode of the original series – although not everyone shares that opinion.

    This weekend's big releases are Jason Bourne and Finding Dory.

    A blockbuster from school holidays past has now turned up on Blu-ray and Zootropolis is as wonderful on disc as it was at the cinema so, if you haven’t seen it – or even if you have – this is a title well worth picking up. It’s fun for all the family and I’ll personally vouch for this one.

    That rare post-Millennial western which knows its place in America’s defining genre, Forsaken, makes classic tropes its forte, and genre conventions its backbone, hitting Blu-ray with a solid release.

    Innovatively dissecting relationship and personality woes, Charlie Kaufman’s latest, Anomalisa remains as distinctive as his best, and gets a very decent Blu-ray release.

    Reminiscent of the days when sequels were not just mere re-treads of the original’s plot supplanted by bigger budgets, 10 Cloverfield Lane offers a different slant, hitting UK Blu-ray with a solid presentation and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

    Finally Kubrick's biting satire on the Cold War, Dr Strangelove, comes to UK Criterion Blu-ray with their customary attention to detail and it’s still an absolute classic.


    The OLED TV sector has another entrant as German high-end brand, Loewe, announced the Bild 7 series, taking LG panels and adding their own processing and audio twists. They aren’t cheap, of course, but they look very promising indeed.

    It’s not all about Pokemon Go for Nintendo with their latest console expected to be unveiled in September but, of course, the internet rumour mill is in full swing ahead of the official announcement. Will the Nintendo NX be a handheld with detachable controllers and the ability to be docked to the TV? We don’t know for sure but it’s looking that way and we say it would all add up if it were to be so.

    To mark its 30th year of trading, British audio manufacturer Ruark have launched a special edition of its iconic R1 portable radio and speaker in a rather fetching Swiss Red design and if it sounds anything like their Bluetooth enabled speakers of a similar ilk, it should be great.

    As ever, Sky have been providing plenty of news and their flavour of the month Sky Q system has just got an update. It adds new auto-download, auto-play and top picks features, plus some behind-the-scenes improvements and a few bug fixes.

    Another British audio outfit has a new product as Roth introduced their new budget Sub Zero III soundbar. It’s woofer-free and designed to fit in to even the smallest of spaces and is priced very competitively.

    Finally, news wise, LG has been extolling the virtues of its OLED TV technology with a series of events out in Iceland depicting the Northern Lights in all their glory. To be fair, OLED should be the ideal vehicle for the Aurora Borealis and it sounds as if it was all good clean fun.

    Don’t forget you can get an hour long audible snapshot of the week’s events in news, reviews and opinion by listening to our weekly Podcast. The last two have been extremely on message but, don’t worry, normal service will be resumed shortl.

    Forum Discussion

    The less clement weather has meant the forums have been a hive of activity these last seven days and these are just a snippet of the more interesting topics, discussed, debated and answered by our super-knowledgeable members:

    Understanding speaker specs

    HDMI Booster for cable run over 20 metres

    What's the best way to play PC games on my TV?

    Are cheap Android Boxes worth it as media streamers?

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