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March 2020 Newsletter

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Samsung 8K TV review, Hi-Fi, Movies, Games, Tech, self isolation and more from AVForums.

Join the latest Coronavirus discussions here

Join the latest Coronavirus discussions here

I didn't want to put the 'C' word in the newsletter title, but if you have any questions, concerns, experiences or uplifiting stories to share, we have an extremely well moderated forum for discussion on all aspects of the Coronavirus pandemic here.

Coronavirus to interrupt global TV production until May

Coronavirus to interrupt global TV production until May

On the back of significant impact over the last two months, TV makers could see global production and supply disruptions until May because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to industry sources.

While most of us are at home, we thought we'd get some recommendations together on what to watch on TV.

Join the latest Coronavirus discussions here

Disney Plus Top 10 Things You Can't Miss

Disney Plus lands and we look at some of the highlights of this streaming service, which has actually opened at a fortuitous time for those in need of some escape from self-isolation.

Can you help answer these questions from forum members?

How noticeable is the difference in HDR quality between 4K streaming and UHD disc?

How noticeable is the difference in HDR quality between 4K streaming and UHD disc?

Proud owner of a new Panasonic 55GZ1500B OLED TV, AVForums member orm8426 is feeling a little underwhelmed with the UHD / HDR content on streaming services. He'd like to know just how much of an advantage a 4K Blu-ray disc and decent UHD player would give his movie watching experience. Let him know in the thread.

DTS:X vs Dolby Atmos - is there any appreciable difference?

DTS:X vs Dolby Atmos - is there any appreciable difference?

Assuming a decent surround sound mix for both, do home cinema fans find any appreciable difference between DTS:X and Dolby Atmos audio formats? If so what have some of your favourite discs been?

Is there still a place for graphic equalizers with home Hi-Fi equipment?

Is there still a place for graphic equalizers with home Hi-Fi equipment?

Given the rise of room calibration software, are graphic equalizers really necessary any more? What about parametric equalisers? Do you use any additional EQ, or is bass / treble all you really need? Let us know what you think in the thread.

Will the upcoming Xbox Series X / PS5 persuade you to move to a console for gaming?

Will the upcoming Xbox Series X / PS5 persuade you to move to a console for gaming?

This one's for PC gamers - will either of the power promises made by Sony and Microsoft for their next-generation consoles tempt you to make the jump to predominantly console gaming?

 
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Here's the rest of this month's news.

TV

Panasonic HZ2000 and HZ1500 Dolby Atmos Upfiring OLEDs, plus HZ1000 OLED TV launched

Samsung Q950TS (QE75Q950TS) QLED 8K TV Review

The Samsung Q950TS QLED 8K TV is the company's flagship model for 2020, and boasts a gorgeous new design, state-of-the-art picture and sound enhancements, and numerous high-end features.

LG Display OLED production boost expected from May

LG Display OLED production boost expected from May

LG Display has faced problems surrounding its China based OLED manufacturing plant long before coronavirus appeared on the scene. Now though there could be some good news for the company upon whose shoulders the business strategies of many TV manufacturers rest.

Hisense launches 85U9E 8K dual screen TV

Hisense launches 85U9E 8K dual screen TV

Revealed at IFA 2019, Hisense's 85U9E Pro 8K TV has been described as the world's first 8K dual screen television.

TV industry HDMI 2.1 'ready' after Xbox Series X collaboration

TV industry HDMI 2.1 'ready' after Xbox Series X collaboration

Microsoft has revealed the full extent of its Xbox Series X specifications and features, including how it worked with the TV industry to ensure HDMI 2.1 compliance.

Samsung working on QD-OLED successor

Samsung working on QD-OLED successor

Samsung's Quantum Dot OLED displays are expected some time in 2021, but the company is reportedly already working on a refinement / successor - Quantum Nano Emitting Diode display technology.

LG 2020 OLED TV rollout begins

LG 2020 OLED TV rollout begins

LG has announced the rollout of its range of 2020 TVs featuring 8K and 4K OLED and NanoCell models.

Find more like this at our TV Hub

Home AV

Q Acoustics Q B12 Subwoofer Review

Q Acoustics Q B12 Subwoofer Review

Q Acoustics expands its subwoofer range with the new Q B12, which features a 12-inch driver to provide a more solid bass foundation to the company's Concept and 3000i Series speakers.

Epson EH-TW9400 Projector Review

Epson EH-TW9400 Projector Review

The Epson EH-TW9400 is the latest flagship lamp-based home cinema LCD projector from the company, and it promises 4K HDR support and a host of useful features. Is this another Best Buy?

SVS SB-2000 Pro Subwoofer Review

SVS SB-2000 Pro Subwoofer Review

The SVS SB-2000 Pro is the company's latest iteration of its most popular sealed subwoofer, integrating features found further up the range to deliver deep bass at a competitive price.

Find more like this at our Home AV Hub

A message from our Sponsor Pulse Cinemas
Click for more information

Pulse Cinemas and SIM2 unite to deliver an unmissable offer on the exclusive new NERO4S GOLD SERIES which launches this April.

The NERO 4S Gold Series comes from SIM2's already high-performance N4S platform, but offers even more refinement with a special selection of only the best components, a new firmware platform and calibration software making this projector truly state of the art.  

This limited-edition series (each product will have a unique number identifying it) has been created especially for those customers who are searching for the 'best of the best' and want to experience home cinema at the peak of its powers.

A full 10K off this impressive machine is available if you take up our trade in offer.

A small holding deposit secures the deal until delivery becomes available.

 
 

Hi-Fi

Marantz Melody X All-in-One System Review

Marantz Melody X All-in-One System Review

Marantz promises that the Melody X is 'True Hi-Fi' in a compact and user friendly container. Is this the affordable one box of choice?

Vertere DG-1 Turntable Review

Vertere DG-1 Turntable Review

The DG-1 is Vertere's take on an 'affordable' turntable and it is quite different to almost anything else you can buy. Is it any good though?

Groov-e Zen Wireless Headphones Review

Groov-e Zen Wireless Headphones Review

We take a look at the Groov-e Zen Wireless Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling which, available for just under £30, look to offer a lot for the money.

Kudos Titan 505 Standmount Speaker Review

Kudos Titan 505 Standmount Speaker Review

The Titan 505 is a standmount speaker that hides some rather clever ideas beneath its handsome exterior. Is it all the speaker you could ever realistically want?

More at our Hi-Fi Hub

With cinemas closed, some movies are going straight to early access premium rental, and since we've been reviewing streamed content for a while, we can help you decide whether or not to drop nearly £20 to rent them for 48 hours.

Movie & TV Show Reviews

The Hunt Movie Review

The Hunt Movie Review

Released on Early Access Premium Rental, GLOW's Betty Gilpin has a mad blast channelling Jodie Comer in Killing Eve in this satirical action comedy horror Trump-trumping reworking of Hard Target / The Most Dangerous Game.

Emma Movie Review

Emma Movie Review

Another Early Access Premium Rental, Emma lands on streaming, delivering a sharply satirical and whimsically witty reworking with The Witch's Anya Taylor-Joy on fabulous form.

Apple TV+'s The Banker Movie Review

Apple TV+'s The Banker Movie Review

Apple TV+'s first movie sees Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson attempt to right some wrongs in backwards 60s Texas, just about balancing sobering true-tale drama with a more frivolous heist movie tempo.

Amazon's The Professor and the Madman Movie Review

Amazon's The Professor and the Madman Movie Review

Amazon picks up the messy, shot-in-2016 film whose tale of the impossible task of bringing the Oxford English Dictionary into existence is ironically mirrored by the film's own 20 years of production woes.

Netflix's Altered Carbon: Resleeved Movie Review

Netflix's Altered Carbon: Resleeved Movie Review

Few will disagree that season 2 of Altered Carbon didn't quite live up to its predecessor, leaving this action-packed future-tech anime room to reset the balance.

Netflix's The Lost Girls Movie Review

Netflix's The Lost Girls Movie Review

Netflix's latest doesn't really know what it wants to be, and would have likely worked far better as a documentary than a frustratingly open-ended dramatisation.

Netflix's Spenser Confidential Movie Review

Netflix's Spenser Confidential Movie Review

Director Peter Berg and go-to star Mark Wahlberg take their schtick to Netflix for another generic waste of potentially decent source material.

More Movie & TV Show Reviews

UHD Blu-ray Reviews

Doctor Sleep 4K Blu-ray Review

Doctor Sleep 4K Blu-ray Review

40 years after The Shining, Doctor Sleep delivers the impossible: a superbly atmospheric and disconcertingly creepy sequel to the 1980 classic and also an adaptation of King's sequel to the original book, earning a spectacular 4K release and a three hour director's cut, albeit not in 4K.

Midway 4K Blu-ray Review

Midway 4K Blu-ray Review

Roland Emmerich's passionate retelling of the Battle of Midway comes to 4K UHD with a Dolby Atmos track that will have you diving for cover.

Terminator: Dark Fate 4K Blu-ray Review

Terminator: Dark Fate 4K Blu-ray Review

With all the lowered expectations from previously being burned, Dark Fate should come as a mostly pleasant surprise; a competent, tense and aggressive Terminator sequel, and one which looks stunning and sounds thunderous in 4K with Atmos.

Zombieland: Double Tap 4K Blu-ray Review

Zombieland: Double Tap 4K Blu-ray Review

Cast and crew return 10 years later to Zombieland, newly released on 4K UHD with superb picture and sound.

More UHD Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Reviews

Superman: Red Son Blu-ray Review

Superman: Red Son Blu-ray Review

Superman gets an innovative Russian makeover in this Elseworlds spin, although some of the changes to Mark "Kick Ass" Millar's source material lessen the impact.

More Blu-ray Reviews

Tech

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Review

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Review

For the first time ever, Samsung has opted to change the number of its latest Galaxy release by not one but ten. So last year's Galaxy S10 is followed by the new S20. You didn't miss a decade, but Samsung is suggesting a huge step forward.

Find more like this at our Tech Hub

Gaming

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review (Nintendo Switch)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Review (Nintendo Switch)

Nintendo's first Animal Crossing for Switch sees your character persuaded to move to a desert island by a brochure that promises "A carefree new life just beyond the horizon." Does it live up to that pledge?

DOOM Eternal Review (Xbox One)

DOOM Eternal Review (Xbox One)

Bringing more gloriously self-orchestrated carnage to the world, it's well worth soaking up a little DOOM amidst all the gloom...

Coronavirus: E3 cancelled

Coronavirus: E3 cancelled

E3 organisers, the Entertainment Software Association, has officially confirmed the cancellation of the gaming calendar's most prestigious annual event over Covid-19 fears. Where does this leave the AV and tech events such as IFA that are planned for later in the year?

Xbox Series X, more specs confirmed

Xbox Series X, more specs confirmed

Though much is already known specification wise, a few new features have been revealed along with a hint that gamers won't have to wait for HDMI 2.1 on TVs to get the most out of the Xbox Series X.

Find more like this at our Gaming Hub

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

Here are our current competitions.

Win a copy of Syncopation on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Syncopation on Blu-ray

Eureka Entertainment to release SYNCOPATION, William Dieterle's stylish jazz chronicle, restored and remastered in 2K and presented for the first time on home video in the UK in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of the Eureka Classics range from 16 March 2020, and we are giving YOU a chance to win a copy on Blu-ray! A jazz trumpeter tries to woo a fellow musician in mourning for her dead lover, and sets up a band in an attempt to bring them closer together.

Win a copy of Long Day's Journey into Night on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Long Day's Journey into Night on Blu-ray

Eureka Entertainment to release Sidney Lumet's adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's famous stage play, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, for the first time ever on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK, in a Special Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of The Masters of Cinema Series from 16 March 2020 and we are giving YOU a chance to win a copy on Blu-ray!

Win a copy of Superman: Red Son on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Superman: Red Son on Blu-ray

WIN SUPERMAN: RED SON ON BLU-RAY. What if the Man of Steel was raised behind the Iron Curtain? So begins DC's acclaimed Elseworlds story, Superman: Red Son, now the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film arrives - along with a new DC Showcase animated short, Phantom Stranger - from Warner Bros.

Win a copy of Criterion's March Titles on Blu-ray

Win a copy of Criterion's March Titles on Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are delighted to add three new titles in March 2020 and we are giving YOU a chance to win a copy of ALL of them on Blu-ray. Antonio Gaudi Catalan architect ANTONI GAUDI (1852-1926) designed some of the world's most astonishing buildings, interiors, and parks; Japanese director HIROSHI TESHIGAHARA (Woman in the Dunes) constructed some of the most aesthetically audacious films ever made.

Bookmark our Competitions Hub

Podcasts

AVForums Podcast: 23rd March 2020

AVForums Podcast: 23rd March 2020

This week we have a soundbar round-up so you can improve your stay at home experience, Ed reviews a Bluetooth DAC and we look at cinema releases now available on VOD, plus, streaming vs. physical media.

AVForums Podcast: 16th March 2020

AVForums Podcast: 16th March 2020

No football, no toilet rolls, no hand sanitiser, empty shelves and the possible end of large group meeting or concerts, but the AVForums Podcast is still here! We talk about lots of today's burning issues and subjects we have no expertise in, as well as AV.

AVForums Podcast: 9th March 2020

AVForums Podcast: 9th March 2020

This week we discuss the latest hardware news, discover MiniDisc day is a thing, review a subwoofer from Q Acoustics and a turntable from Vertere, plus, we round-up the latest cinema, disc and TV show news, reviews and suggestions...

AVForums Podcast: 2nd March 2020

AVForums Podcast: 2nd March 2020

This week we have reviews of the Epson TW9400 LCD Projector and Kudos Titan 505 speakers, plus we discuss the latest hardware news and look back at the best of the month for February...

Find all our podcasts here

Coming Soon

With the ever-changing situation regarding COVID 19, the editorial team still has a number of products in for review and we are also lining up a whole host of topical articles giving you the opportunity to ask the team questions on related subjects.

Phil is currently working on the Yamaha CX-5200 and MX5200 processor and power amplifier combination along with Philips' bargain 55-inch OLED754 TV set. Plus, he will be making videos covering a number of subjects and tutorial points.

Steve is looking at a set of speakers from MK Sound, the LCR750s along with a Zappitti 4K media player. Ed continues his adventures in Hi-Fi with reviews lined up of the iFi Audio Zen Blue Bluetooth DAC, Naim NAIT XS3 Integrated Amplifier and the Marantz Melody X All-in-One System.

Our tech reviewer Greg Hook is also keeping busy with reviews of the Kitsound Immerse 75 Wireless Headphones, MSI GL65 9SD Gaming Laptop and Asus Concept D Monitor.

With all of us now staying at home, Cas and the movie team will be covering plenty of top 10 lists of the movies you should be watching on disc, TV and streaming services. Also with Disney+ launching this week, we will also have a whole line-up of content reviews for you.

And that wraps up the March newsletter.

Stay safe, everyone. Best regards, Stuart and Vicki Wright and the AVForums team.

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