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January 2020 Newsletter

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TV news & previews from CES 2020, some forum questions for you and the latest news and reviews.

AVForums Podcast: CES 2020 Special

AVForums Podcast: CES 2020 Special

Phil and Steve wrap-up the CES coverage with discussions on the latest TV announcements from this year's show and what to look forward to in 2020.

We have lots of news and video content from CES. You can find it all at https://www.avforums.com/tag/ces/.

Can you help answer any of these questions from the forums?

How to get into TV Calibration?

How to get into TV Calibration?

Most new TVs have a range of options to adjust the image to the viewer's preference and the latest models from LG and Panasonic add professional standard calibration options too. So, where's the best place to start for someone wanting to get into TV calibration?

Replacement lamps in projectors - are non-OEMs worth the risk?

Replacement lamps in projectors - are non-OEMs worth the risk?

Will saving money on buying cheaper, non-OEM replacement projector lamps end up compromising image quality? Why not let other projector owners know what you do when it's time to shell out for a replacement?

What's your favourite Hi-Fi or audio myth?

What's your favourite Hi-Fi or audio myth?

Expensive cables, similar-sounding DACs, relying on price or specs as an indicator of quality? What 'perceived wisdom' grinds your gears?

Photographers, what is your favourite lens?

Photographers, what is your favourite lens?

Quality lenses hold their value and provide years of service without becoming technologically obsolete. So, what are some of the favourites among AVForums snappers?

Is video gaming more of a social activity now?

Is video gaming more of a social activity now?

AVForums's gamer Knight Rider 1963 asks whether players get more out of video gaming as a hobby or as a means of social or group interaction. Drop into the thread and see what others think.

 
A Message from our sponsor Denon

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The Denon AVC-X8500H was the industry's first true 13.2 channel AV Amplifier and it takes multi-channel surround sound and immersive audio to a level previously only available on high-end AV processors and it does so whilst also providing all the amplification necessary in a single box.

Offering unparalleled sound quality and audio performance, the AVC-X8500H features Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D surround decoding with 13 channels of built-in amplification to enable premium 3D surround sound up to 7.2.6 without external amplification.

Be transported to the very heart of the latest blockbuster movie, enjoy the best seat in the house for your favourite band, or unleash the power of your gaming console with the best sound possible. Upgrade to award-winning sound with the AVC-X8500H at AV Online.
 

Here's the rest of this month's news, kicking off, as usual, with TVs.

TV

Samsung Q800T 8K QLED TV Preview

TV Previews
Samsung Q800T 8K QLED TV Preview
Hisense U7 4K LCD TV Preview
Hisense U8 4K LCD TV Preview
Sony XH90 4K LCD TV Preview
Sony XH95 4K LCD TV Preview
Sony A9 4K OLED TV Preview
Sony A8 4K OLED TV Preview
Panasonic HZ2000 4K OLED TV Preview
LG GX 4K OLED TV Preview
LG BX 4K OLED TV Preview
LG CX 4K OLED TV Preview

LG Filmmaker Mode will use autosensing

LG Filmmaker Mode will use autosensing

Filmmaker Mode was one of the hot topics in TV circles at this year's CES, with support confirmed by a number of major TV manufacturers including LG, Samsung, Vizio and Panasonic as they unveiled their newest TV models. We look at how LG will be implementing this new setting on its 2020 TVs.

Hisense U8Q and U7Q QLED TVs coming to UK in 2020

Hisense U8Q and U7Q QLED TVs coming to UK in 2020

This year sees some changes in Hisense's TV offerings for the UK. We caught up with the Chinese TV maker at CES 2020 and talked about its first QLED models coming to these shores and what else they had in store for UK TV enthusiasts.

Loewe back after Skytec takeover

Loewe back after Skytec takeover

After a challenging 2019, Loewe now has a new sales team, almost 50 employees ready to go and a base back at its traditional headquarters. Partnerships and supply arrangements are being agreed and there's a clear path forward, according to new owners Skytec.

Philips 804 OLED TV series to debut in US during 2020

Philips 804 OLED TV series to debut in US during 2020

The UK and Europe have seen TP Vision release Philips branded OLED TVs to much acclaim and now it looks like the company's 804 models will be released in the US sometime this year.

Find more like this at our TV Hub

Home AV

Acoustic Energy AE300 5.1 Speaker Package Review

Acoustic Energy AE300 5.1 Speaker Package Review

Acoustic Energy keeps things simple with the new AE300 Series, but the result is an excellent midrange package that not only sounds impressive but is also great fun.

Paradigm Persona 5.1 Speaker Package Review

Paradigm Persona 5.1 Speaker Package Review

The Paradigm Persona Series of speakers offer uncompromising build quality, components and performance. But do they do enough to justify their wallet-busting price tag?

REL S/812 Subwoofer Review

REL S/812 Subwoofer Review

The new REL S/812 is the latest subwoofer from the company and represents a complete transformation of its Serie S mid-sized range. The new model has been upgraded to incorporate elements of the high-end Reference Series, but also adds increased power and a redesigned driver for a seriously impressive performance.

Focal Astral 16 AV Processor/Amplifier Review

Focal Astral 16 AV Processor/Amplifier Review

The Focal Astral 16 is a high-end AV processor and amplifier that has 12 channels built-in, but can decode up to 16 for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D. There's also Dirac Live and sophisticated web-based interface, but does it do enough to justify the hefty price-tag.

Find more like this at our Home AV Hub

A message from our sponsor Audio-T

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The Bristol Hi-Fi Show, now in its 33rd year, runs from the Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd February. The Show is organised by Audio T, the long established national group of specialist Hi-Fi shops, in association with What Hi-Fi? magazine. Virtually the entire Hi-Fi industry takes part so it's the ultimate place to see the latest products or choose the best system to buy yourself!

Nearly 100 companies showing almost 200 brands makes for a home entertainment experience like no other! Open from 10am to 5pm each day we recommend buying a ticket online to save time and money.

The Show offers fantastic deals and discounts so, if you do make up your mind, it is an ideal place to buy! There's also a competition, run jointly with What Hi-Fi?, with prizes worth £10,000+. Join us for the funnest weekend in the Hi-Fi calendar and see if you get lucky.

 
 

Hi-Fi

Ruark Audio R5 All-in-One System Review

Ruark Audio R5 All-in-One System Review

The Ruark Audio R5 is a high-end all-in-one system that combines retro styling and a built-in CD player with all the latest wireless features.

Bose to close all retail stores in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan

Bose to close all retail stores in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan

Reflecting a significant change in shopping habits, Bose has announced the closure of stores in several major markets, leading to an unknown number job losses.

Lypertek Tevi Truly Wireless Earphones Review

Lypertek Tevi Truly Wireless Earphones Review

Relative newcomer to the market, Chinese brand Lypertek releases its TEVI truly wireless earphones with a very promising feature set and specification for just £99.

Rega Planar 10 Turntable Review

Rega Planar 10 Turntable Review

Having wowed us with the Planar 3, 6 and 8 over the last few years, what happens when Rega pulls out all the stops? The Planar 10 is here so let's find out.

Grado PS2000e Headphone Review

Grado PS2000e Headphone Review

Grado's flagship headphone retains the unique aesthetics of its more affordable brethren but the differences are rather more than skin deep.

More at our Hi-Fi Hub

Movie & TV Show Reviews

Bad Boys for Life Review

Bad Boys for Life Review

Over two decades after the franchise was launched, this third effort somewhat unbelievably misses the Michael Bay touch, but it's still nice to have these Boys back.

Bombshell Review

Bombshell Review

Meet the Fockers' Jay Roach has a film with a whole lot to say, although it doesn't always say it well.

1917 Review

1917 Review

Director Sam Mendes combines with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins to create one of the most ambitious and visually-arresting war movies to hit the big screen.

The Gentlemen Review

The Gentlemen Review

Guy Ritchie's latest is less Lock Stock and more Knives Out; a gangster whodunit that's not as clever as it thinks it is, but is a perfectly entertaining start to the New Year nonetheless.

More Movie & TV Show Reviews

UHD Blu-ray Reviews

Rambo: Last Blood 4K Blu-ray Review

Rambo: Last Blood 4K Blu-ray Review

Lean and brutal, this may be the weakest Rambo film but Stallone still deserves respect for destroying opponents half his age, the film further impressing in Native 4K with Dolby Vision and Atmos.

It Chapter Two 4K Blu-ray Review

It Chapter Two 4K Blu-ray Review

The bloated conclusion to 2017's remake is a decent finale with a game adult cast but doesn't quite know when to end, at least earning itself a strong 4K release with Dolby Vision and Atmos.

Doctor Strange 4K Blu-ray Review

Doctor Strange 4K Blu-ray Review

One of the last couple of MCU titles to get a 4K upgrade, Marvel's Inception-like introduction to the multiverse is well worth a revisit.

More UHD Blu-ray Reviews

Save Money

Amazon Deals

Check our regularly updated list of AV related deals from Amazon

Save money with our classifieds

Classified Adverts

Buy and sell used kit in our free classifieds

Save money with our classifieds

Bargain Threads

Find bargains posted by our members

Save money with our bargain threads
 

Competitions

Win a copy of Pain & Glory on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Pain & Glory on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Pain & Glory on Blu-ray™ Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar's PAIN & GLORY debuts on digital download on 16th December and on BD/DVD on 13th January PAIN & GLORY, starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, is Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar's 21st feature film. It is also his biggest grossing film in the UK since VOLVER was released in 2006.

Win a copy of Rise of the Footsoldier 4: Marbella on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Rise of the Footsoldier 4: Marbella on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Rise of the Footsoldier 4: Marbella on Blu-ray™ The unstoppable and biggest British crime series built around the real life Rettendon Range Rover murders in Essex, 1995 returns. And this time the boys go international in Rise of the Footsoldier 4: Marbella. Fresh out of prison, Pat Tate (Craig Fairbrass) steps right back into his Essex nightclub business.

Win a copy of It Chapter Two on Blu-ray and a copy of the original novel

Win a copy of It Chapter Two on Blu-ray and a copy of the original novel

WIN IT CHAPTER TWO ON BLU-RAY™ PLUS A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL NOVEL OWN IT ON DIGITAL DOWNLOAD NOW, AND 4K STEELBOOK, 4K UHD, BLU-RAY™ AND DVD ON JANUARY 13 Pennywise wreaks terror on Derry once again for round two! Evil resurfaces in Derry as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club in a return to where it all began with "IT Chapter Two," the conclusion to the highest-grossing horror film of all time, on 4K Steelbook, 4K UHD, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital Download.

Win copies of Criterion's January Titles on Blu-ray

Win copies of Criterion's January Titles on Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are delighted to add three new titles in January 2020 and we are giving YOU a chance to win a copy of each of them on Blu-ray™. Being There In one of his most finely tuned performances, PETER SELLERS (The Pink Panther) plays the pure-hearted Chance, a gardener forced out of moneyed seclusion and into the urban wilds of Washington, D.C., after the death of his employer.

Win a copy of Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season on DVD

Win a copy of Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season on DVD

Win a copy of BIG LITTLE LIES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON on DVD The Lies Continue To Haunt As the DVD Becomes Available On January 6, 2020 To celebrate the release, we are giving one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on a DVD. HBO's smash-hit Big Little Lies returns for more drama, secrets, and seduction then ever before with the release of Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season on DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on January 6, 2020.

Win a copy of Western Stars on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Western Stars on Blu-ray

Win WESTERN STARS on Blu-ray™ Experience the concert of a lifetime, WESTERN STARS is out now on Blu-ray™ DVD and Digital Download. A cinematic film version of Bruce Springsteen's latest globally successful album of the same name, WESTERN STARS was directed by Springsteen and his long-time collaborator Thom Zimny, marking Springsteen's directorial debut. To celebrate the release, we are giving one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on a Blu-ray.

Bookmark our Competitions Hub

Podcasts

AVForums Podcast: 20th January 2020

AVForums Podcast: 20th January 2020

This week we look forward to the TV year ahead, discuss if OLED has reached its peak and the return of Loewe. We review Bad Boys for Life and 1917 at the cinema, cover the latest film releases as well as dissecting Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Find all our podcasts here

Coming Soon

With CES done and dusted for another year, we now know what the TV landscape looks like for 2020. And as this newsletter hits your inbox we are also getting the final details on the Philips range for the coming year, with Panasonic also confirming their UK line-up on the 18th of February.

So while we wait for the new line-ups to become ready for review we turn our attention to projectors and high-end home cinema sound. Phil will be looking at the BenQ W5700 4K DLP and the JVC N5 native 4K D-ILA projectors, along with Yamaha's CX-A5200 processor and MX-A5200 11ch Power Amp with both written and video reviews to follow.

Steve has reviews lined up for the Polk Signature E 5.1 speaker package as well as a 77-inch LG C9 review. Ed, meanwhile, has a raft of new Hi-Fi kit reviews awaiting publication that include the PX7 headphones from B&W, Naim Mu-So Qb 2nd Gen, Marantz NR1200 stereo amp, Cambridge Audio Edge A Integrated Amp and the Quad Vena II Play Streaming Amplifier.

Ed will also be heading for his annual February (Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd) pilgrimage to Hi-Fi show nirvana in Bristol and sharing numerous bedrooms with the great and good of the industry. His full report will be live on the Saturday of the show.

Plus, streaming waits for no man, especially Cas, who will continue to review the latest content dropping on the various services, as well as the movie team covering the latest cinema and disc releases.

So it's yet another busy month for the editorial team...

And that wraps up the January newsletter.

Best regards, Stuart and Vicki Wright and the AVForums team.

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