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December 2020 Newsletter

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£2000 Philips TV to win, CES 2021 preview, the year's best products and TV highlights of the New Year

Win a Philips 55

Win a Philips 55" OLED+935 worth £2,000!

The latest set from the partnership between Philips TV and specialist audio gurus Bowers & Wilkins is the result of both company's philosophy of continuous improvement, and to every part of the product's design.

The OLED+935 combines the power of the new 4th Gen P5 AI Intelligent Dual Picture Engine with an audiophile quality, multi-speaker 3.1.2 sound system that includes Dolby Atmos elevation speakers and the unique Tweeter-on-Top technology to create a new performance reference standard for premium TVs.

CES 2021 Preview: What to expect

CES 2021 Preview: What to expect

CES is the world’s largest technology show and this year’s event, running from 11th -14th January, will take on a very different format from that which traditionally fills the huge floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Best Hi-Fi Products 2020 - Editor's Choice Awards

In case you missed our awards for the best products we've seen in 2020, here they are:

AVForums Podcast: 16th December 2020

AVForums Podcast: 16th December 2020

This week, in our bumper Xmas special podcast, we round-up our favourite AV and Hi-Fi kit and technologies, look back at the best movies, TV shows and 4K discs of the year and look forward to what we might see in 2021.

Can you help answer these questions from our members?

Which is best? 85-inch TV versus a 100-inch projector

Which is best? 85-inch TV versus a 100-inch projector

Member domuduck asks which would give the best results for convenience, image quality/immersion and future proofing - an 85-inch TV or a projector with a 100-inch display size. See what the consensus is here.

Is there any value in rotating your home cinema speakers?

Is there any value in rotating your home cinema speakers?

In home cinema setups where the speakers are identical, and assuming the centre speaker handles most of the output, is there any worth in rotating them to even up the load across each?

What's the one piece of audio kit you wished you'd never let go?

What's the one piece of audio kit you wished you'd never let go?

Maybe it was your first Hi-Fi purchase and has memories associated with it. Maybe the replacement item was a disappointment. Maybe it's now a classic or a collector's item. What's the one piece of Hi-Fi equipment you wish you'd still got?

 
A message from our sponsor Cyberpower
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Cyberpower UK - Custom Build Gaming PCs
Over the past 22 years, here at Cyberpower, we have built a renowned reputation as a world-leading custom gaming PC manufacturer. Proudly assembled and tested in the UK, our blend of expert builders and use of the best components on the market has resulted in numerous industry awards for our unrivalled custom-built gaming PCs

Passion runs through our veins.

At Cyberpower UK we are passionate about the gaming industry, from our highly-trained sales and support staff to our skilled PC builders, each department is brimming with PC gaming fanatics. We offer a huge range of component choice from the best PC part manufacturers in the industry. We are here and ready to help you pick the right system for your budget and needs. 

If you're looking to buy a Gaming PC or you want to upgrade your current rig, then visit us at Cyberpower.

 

As usual, we start our news and reviews roundup with TVs.

TV News & Reviews
Samsung introduces 110-inch Micro LED TV for the home

Samsung introduces 110-inch Micro LED TV for the home

Samsung has unveiled a new 110-inch Micro LED TV in a form factor more suited for consumer homes than previous versions of ‘The Wall’.

TCL launches P615K 4K Android TV in UK

TCL launches P615K 4K Android TV in UK

TCL rounds off 2020 with the release of its latest 4K HDR TV range, the P615K.

Samsung Micro LED TV announcement expected?

Samsung Micro LED TV announcement expected?

Could Samsung be gearing up to announce the next step in its Micro LED TV strategy?

Samsung Q80T (QE55Q80T) QLED Review

Samsung Q80T (QE55Q80T) QLED Review

The Q80T is the replacement for last year's Q70R and has a 50-zone FALD VA panel along with a sleek design and one HDMI which can accept 2.1 features for gaming and 4K/120. With a price now under £1K for the 55-inch, it could very well be a bargain gaming and movie viewing set...

Bang & Olufsen adds 48-inch OLED to Beovision TV range

Bang & Olufsen adds 48-inch OLED to Beovision TV range

Danish lifestyle based technology gurus Bang & Olufsen have announced the new 48-inch Beovision Contour OLED TV along with updates to its Beovision Eclipse TV and the introduction of its Beovision Harmony Motorized Floor Stand.

Find more like this at our TV Hub

A message from our sponsor JBL
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THE POWER OF HIGH-DEFINITION IMAGING - THE HDI SERIES

The HDI Series is a showcase of JBL's industry-leading acoustic technologies, delivering unrivalled performance in combination with elegant cabinetry and a modern design aesthetic.

The foundation of the HDI Series is JBL's patented High-Definition Imaging (HDI) waveguide technology coupled with the patented 2410H-2 high-frequency compression driver.

Together, this combination delivers incredibly realistic dynamics, lifelike imaging and the "you-are-there" presence that makes music and movies come alive.

To find out more, click here.

 
 
Home AV News & Reviews
Polk Signa S3 Soundbar Review

Polk Signa S3 Soundbar Review

Polk Audio offers yet another cracking affordable soundbar and subwoofer combo, delivering a performance that's punchy and musical.

Manhattan T3-R update adds Britbox

Manhattan T3-R update adds Britbox

The latest update to Manhattan’s T3-R Freeview Play smart recorder adds Britbox, third channel viewing and timeshifting, improved reminders and more.

Focal Chora 5.1.2 Speaker Package Review

Focal Chora 5.1.2 Speaker Package Review

Focal's new Chora range of more affordable speakers will literally elevate the audio in your home cinema with the addition of the 826-D floorstander and its built-in Dolby Atmos driver.

Klipsch announces four Cinema soundbars for UK

Klipsch announces four Cinema soundbars for UK

US speaker manufacturer Klipsch is introducing four new soundbars to UK consumers in the shape of the Cinema 400, Cinema 600, Cinema 800 and Cinema 1200 lineup.

Find more like this at our Home AV Hub

A message from our sponsor Philips
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This newsletter is brought to you in association with the OLED+935, Philips new flagship OLED TV.

Available as 48", 55" & 65" versions and featuring the new 4th Gen P5 with AI Intelligent Dual Picture Engine using a dedicated second chip to produce the most natural, realistic and lifelike images of any TV.

Add in an audiophile quality, multi-speaker 3.1.2 Bowers & Wilkins sound system combines Dolby Atmos Elevation speakers with unique Tweeter-on-Top technology, and once again Philips are pushing the boundaries for outright picture and sound quality in a premium TV. 

Four-sided Ambilight technology continues to create a unique immersive viewing experience while new anti-burn-in technology uniquely protects your investment by removing the burn-in problem for 95% of static images, including logos and gaming content.

To find out more, visit www.philips.com/oled+

 

Another bumper month for Hi-Fi news and reviews

Hi-Fi News & Reviews
Pro-Ject Audio launches Phono Box RS2

Pro-Ject Audio launches Phono Box RS2

As part of its dedication to the premium Hi-Fi experience, Pro-Ject Audio Systems has released a new fully balanced, fully discrete, flagship phono pre-amplifier, the Phono Box RS2.

NAD M33 Streaming Amplifier Review

NAD M33 Streaming Amplifier Review

NAD’s take on a premium all-in-one offers a killer spec wrapped in Masters casework but does on paper dominance translate to real world greatness?

MOON adds AirPlay 2 option to streaming products

MOON adds AirPlay 2 option to streaming products

Simaudio has added Apple’s AirPlay 2 option to six streaming devices from its MOON product range.

Apple introduces AirPods Max over ear headphone

Apple introduces AirPods Max over ear headphone

Apple’s long awaited over-ear version of its hugely successful AirPod earphones features high fidelity audio, Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation and spatial audio.

Ruark R3 Wireless Speaker Review

Ruark R3 Wireless Speaker Review

Ruark takes their retro aesthetic and adds a new member of the family to the range. Is the R3 a sweetspot or a bit wooden?

Technics Ottava SC-C30 Wireless Speaker Review

Technics Ottava SC-C30 Wireless Speaker Review

The smallest member of the Technics wireless speaker family packs an impressive spec but can it compete with the established order?

JBL HDI 1600 Standmount Speaker Review

JBL HDI 1600 Standmount Speaker Review

The HDI Series is designed to bring some of the benefits of ‘big’ JBL speakers in a less dominating form factor. Does it work?

Elipson adds Connect 250 streaming amp to Connected range

Elipson adds Connect 250 streaming amp to Connected range

Elipson Audio has announced the expansion of its Connected range with the introduction of the new Connect 250 wireless streaming amplifier.

Musical Fidelity M8xi Integrated Amplifier Review

Musical Fidelity M8xi Integrated Amplifier Review

Musical Fidelity’s latest integrated amp is a monster in all senses of the word but is this a sledgehammer to crack a nut or a genuine amplifier superstar?

KEF LS50 Meta Standmount Speaker Review

KEF LS50 Meta Standmount Speaker Review

KEF has updated its ‘affordable high end’ standmount with some new thinking that keeps the striking aesthetic. Is this the best way to blow a grand?

More at our Hi-Fi Hub

A message from our sponsor Denon
Click for more information

Denon Home 350

Enjoy exceptional sound with the Denon Home 350. Stream your favourite music effortlessly and make use of quick pre-selections with just a gentle touch. Experience impressive acoustic performance, based on 110 years of sound innovation. 

Denon Home speakers cater for all of your audio needs, no matter how refined. They support hi-res audio files, so your digital music can sound as good as vinyl, as well as a huge array of streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn and Deezer. But your options aren't limited to those. 

Thanks to wi-fi, Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth wireless connections, you can enjoy your music however you see fit, whether you're playing wirelessly from your phone, streaming from the internet, or over your home wireless network. Discover more at denon.com

 
 
Movie & TV Show News
HBO Max launches on Roku devices

HBO Max launches on Roku devices

The HBO Max streaming service may have launched later than its rivals but, from today, it will be added to Roku’s millions of devices as it plays catch up.

Sky Q launches Amazon Prime Video app

Sky Q launches Amazon Prime Video app

Sky has announced the launch of the Amazon Prime Video app on its Sky Q and NOW TV platforms as well as confirmed that the NOW TV app will appear on select Fire TV devices and Fire TV Edition smart TVs for the first time.

Disney announces Star Wars, MCU expansion plus huge production slate

Disney announces Star Wars, MCU expansion plus huge production slate

Disney’s latest Investor’s Day saw a price increase for Disney+ revealed, though the company will hope the sting is soon dulled by a massive slate of content announcements.

Disney+ adds Star for streaming mature content outside U.S.

Disney+ adds Star for streaming mature content outside U.S.

Disney’s latest Investor Day has come off like a trip to Santa’s Grotto with huge subscriber numbers reported, masses of new content announced and confirmation of the mature content themed Star service for non US subscribers.

Movie & TV Show Reviews
Let Him Go Movie Review

Let Him Go Movie Review

One of the best films of the year, Let Him Go reunites Diane Lane and Kevin Costner for a brilliant, brutal and blisteringly tense Neo-western thriller.

The Prom (Netflix) Movie Review

The Prom (Netflix) Movie Review

With a cast list boasting more stars than the crisp December sky, The Prom should really be more entertaining than it is.

Raised by Wolves Season 1 (HBOMax/Sky) TV Show Review

Raised by Wolves Season 1 (HBOMax/Sky) TV Show Review

Ridley Scott's best work in decades, and one of the best shows you'll watch this year, HBO Max's Raised by Wolves finally launches on Sky/NowTV UK.

Fatman Movie Review

Fatman Movie Review

Gibson's edgy twist on Santa steps one bloody foot too far for left-field family entertainment at Christmas, but also treads too gently when it should really embrace its wacky dark fairytale whims.

Chronical: 2067 Movie Review

Chronical: 2067 Movie Review

South African-born Australian filmmaker Seth Larney works some sporadically impressive magic to bring his sophomore sci-fi feature to life with scale beyond its indie budget, telling a competent time travel yarn that, above all, showcases a promising future for this young filmmaker.

Roadkill Limited Series (BBC) Blu-ray Review

Roadkill Limited Series (BBC) Blu-ray Review

BBC's four-part drama, Roadkill, enjoys placing the ever-watchable Hugh Laurie centre-stage in this compelling tale of politics and corruption.

4K Blu-ray Reviews
Mad Max 4K Blu-ray Review

Mad Max 4K Blu-ray Review

George Miller's 1979 classic, which kick-started an enduring franchise, and launched Mel Gibson's career, gets the 4K Dolby Vision treatment.

Crash 4K Blu-ray Review

Crash 4K Blu-ray Review

Cronenberg's controversial sex-and-car-crashes drama gets the deluxe Arrow treatment with this stunning native 4K release packed with extras.

Tremors 4K Blu-ray Review

Tremors 4K Blu-ray Review

The simply wonderful, Tremors, comes to 4K Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow Films, with a limited edition set to rule them all.

Blade 4K Blu-ray Review

Blade 4K Blu-ray Review

The success of this tremendous pre-Matrix superhero actioner basically kicked Marvel into high gear, with an effortlessly cool Wesley Snipes slicing and dicing with the edge of a blade, earning a superb native 4K release with one hell of a bass-laden Atmos track.

More at our Movie & TV Show Hub

A message from our sponsor Yamaha
Click for more information

We're celebrating 15 years since the launch of our very first Soundbar, the YSP-1. The YSP-1 set the first stone of our Digital Sound Projector technology.

Everything started here.

The Digital Sound Projector was the world's first system to produce realistic 5.1 surround sound from a single unit. Individual control of 40 speakers installed into one body formed the sound into beams.
Ever since the launch of the YSP-1 in 2005, our soundbars have continued to evolve, following one main goal: To upgrade your TV sound, allowing you feel what we, at Yamaha, call True Sound. Sound as it was meant to be heard.

Celebrate with us and receive 15% cashback when you buy a Soundbar until 31st December 2020.
To find out more information and to make your claim, click here.

 
 
Tech News & Reviews
4K Streaming impacts carbon emissions says Royal Society

4K Streaming impacts carbon emissions says Royal Society

A report by the Royal Society has revealed the central role that digital technology will play in achieving net zero carbon emissions.

Azulle Access 4 Fanless Mini PC Stick Review

Azulle Access 4 Fanless Mini PC Stick Review

A fully functioning Windows 10 Pro PC with 64GB storage, 4GB RAM, dual band Wi-Fi, all the same size as a choccie bar? Surely, you cannot be serious. I am and don't call me serious.

Find more like this at our Tech Hub

Gaming News & Reviews
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which Next-Gen Console is Best?

PS5 vs. Xbox Series X: Which Next-Gen Console is Best?

We compare Sony's PS5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X game consoles and try and resolve the thorny question - which one is best?

Find more like this at our Gaming Hub

Save Money

Amazon Deals

Don't miss our page 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
 
A message from our sponsor Marantz
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Marantz SR7015

Immerse yourself in stunning 3D surround sound with the most complete format support including Auro-3D and IMAX Enhanced. The SR7015 easily handles demanding scenes in action films, as well as offering exceptional musical audio playback. 

The stylish aluminium front panel with illuminated porthole display represents the typical Marantz luxury. Stream music from leading services, and enjoy it throughout your whole home with HEOS Built-in. Extensively tuned by world-renowned sound acousticians at Marantz's state-of-the-art facilities, the new SR7015 leverages decades of experience in Hi-Fi to drive exceptional, audiophile-quality surround sound for all your entertainment. 

Learn more about the SR7015 at Richer Sounds.

 

We're seeing out the year with *lots* of competitions! Here are the first few. Click here for the full list and good luck!

Competitions
Win a Philips 55

Win a Philips 55" OLED+935 worth £2,000!

Win a SHARP HT-SBW800 - Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer worth £449 (round 2)

Win a SHARP HT-SBW800 - Dolby Atmos Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer worth £449 (round 2)

Win a Denon Home 250 with AV Online!

Win a Denon Home 250 with AV Online!

Win a Christmas Studio Ghibli Steelbook Blu-ray Bundle

Win a Christmas Studio Ghibli Steelbook Blu-ray Bundle

Win a copy of Tremors on Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Win a copy of Tremors on Limited Edition 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Bookmark our Competitions Hub

A message from our sponsor Arcam
Click for more information

Introducing ARCAM's AVR30 for Stunning Realism, Exceptional Power and Immersive Sound

The AVR30 is a high-performance audio/visual receiver that delivers stunning realism for the ultimate home cinema experience. With an impressive 16-channel surround solution and featuring all the latest CODECs from Dolby, DTS, Auro-3D and IMAX Enhanced, the AVR30 exemplifies sound quality and engineering excellence.

The AVR30 boasts the dynamic class G amplification, powering the most complex speakers with ease while delivering great efficiency. Audiophile listening experiences are optimised with full 16-channel Dirac calibration on board as well as simple streaming with a mobile device using the native app of choice via Apple AirPlay2 or Google Chromecast.

Read Steve Withers outstanding AVForums review.

 
 
Podcasts
AVForums Podcast: 16th December 2020

AVForums Podcast: 16th December 2020

In our last podcast of the year, we round-up our favourite AV and Hi-Fi kit and technologies, look back at the best movies, TV shows and 4K discs of the year and look forward to what we might see in 2021.

AVForums Podcast: 9th December 2020

AVForums Podcast: 9th December 2020

This week Phil and Steve discuss and review the Sony VPL-VW790ES and VPL-VW590ES native 4K projectors while Ed reviews the NAD M33 streaming amplifier and Cas gives us the latest TV show and movie reviews and news...

AVForums Podcast: 2nd December 2020

AVForums Podcast: 2nd December 2020

This week we cover our Editor's Choice Awards for the best projectors and TVs of 2020 over a number of categories. Plus, Ed gives us his music choice of the week and Cas rounds-up the movie & TV show news and reviews.

Find all our podcasts here

AVForums Podcast: 20th April 2020

Support AVForums

If you appreciate what we do and feel like supporting us, we can take direct donations through

If you feel inclined to support us, you will be contributing directly towards

  • growing AVForums
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Thank you so much for your support!
 
A message from our sponsor Peter Tyson
Click for more information

The New KEF LS50 Collection

Really great loudspeakers simply melt away, leaving you with just the music. A pristine voice, perfectly rendered layers of instruments you can lose yourself in, sound so clear it's as though the artist is there with you. This is what great loudspeakers with the best technology deliver.
The new award winning LS50 Meta and Wireless MK2 are an incredible leap forward in speaker technology. Building on an industry legend, they deliver more detail, refinement and music to any system. 

Contact us to arrange a demonstration in any of our stores or fast free UK home delivery.

To find out more click here.

 

It may be close to the Christmas holidays, but Phil will be publishing several TV video reviews to our YouTube channel this month as well as reviewing the Samsung Q800T 8K TV and Sony VPL-VW590ES native 4K projector. Plus, we have CES at the beginning of January, so keep an eye on the home page and our YouTube channel for news reports and opinions on the product announcements.

Steve will have reviews of the Polk Signa S3 Soundbar, Humax AURA PVR, Sony VPL-VW790ES native 4K projector, Bowers & Wilkins 600 S2 5.1 Speaker Package and the Roku Streambar Soundbar. Plus, Ed has reviews lined up of the Sonus Faber Lumina speakers, Rotel Tribute amp & CD player as well as the Kudos and Exposure Active System.

Our tech reviewer Greg Hook has a review on the way for the Lypertek Levi Wireless Earphones while Cas and the movie team will have all the major movie and disc reviews, along with the latest TV shows streaming on every major platform over the Christmas period.

Merry ChristmasAnd that wraps up the December newsletter.

AVForums was 20 years old this year, but it didn't seem right (or legal) to celebrate during the pandemic, so we look forward to doing that later in 2021.

Meanwhile, we would like to thank all the moderators who have helped the AVForums community to run smoothly despite this year's events and our often heated Covid and Brexit forum discussions.

We also want to thank the editorial team for their hard work and commitment to quality despite the intermittent supply of review equipment and the difficulties of lock down. On the up side, it gave us an opportunity to start our weekly live stream and the team have really taken to it. Great job, guys.

And we want to thank you, our members, whose support for AVForums continues to make us one of the most vibrant communities in the UK. We will continue to work to improve our service to you in 2021.
Thank you, Merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021.

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

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