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March 2021 Newsletter

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Getting the best from your home entertainment system, the latest reviews, news and competitions at AVForums.

In this newsletter, we round up our recent articles explaining the technologies availalbe to help us calibrate our entertainment rooms to get the very best out of them.

Further down this really long newsletter, we tell you what's coming to Sky, Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ in April.

What is Samsung EzCal?

What is Samsung EzCal?

Samsung's latest potential TV feature is an app that allows users to automatically calibrate the screen using their mobile phone.

What is Trinnov Optimizer Room Correction?

What is Trinnov Optimizer Room Correction?

The biggest influence on sound quality is the room itself, and while you can physically mitigate some of the negative aspects with acoustic treatments, a software solution is easier. The Trinnov Optimizer is the most flexible, customisable and sophisticated software available, making it the choice of the professionals.

What is Dirac Live Room Correction?

What is Dirac Live Room Correction?

The biggest influence on sound quality is the room itself, and while you can physically mitigate some of the negative aspects with acoustic treatments, a software solution is easier. Dirac Live room correction is a sophisticated solution, and the dominant software in higher-end processors and receivers.

What is Audyssey Room Correction?

What is Audyssey Room Correction?

The biggest influence on sound quality is the room itself, and while you can physically mitigate some of the negative aspects with acoustic treatments, a software solution is easier. Audyssey Room Correction was one of the first, and remains hugely popular in affordable receivers and processors.

Carry on reading for the latest news, reviews and competitions at AVForums.

In tomorrow's podcast (Wednesday 24th March 2021 at 7pm) we're discussing whether you should demo kit before you buy it.
Visit YouTube to set a reminder to join us live and ask any questions you may have on the topic.
And share your thoughts in our discussion thread.

Soundbar or AV Receiver and speakers – which one should you choose?

Podcast: Should you demo before buying AV Gear and TVs? Cyrus i7 XR review and more

This week with new TV season approaching how do you demo before buying, especially in a pandemic? This also applies to other AV gear and Hi-Fi, so what are the available solutions? Plus, Ed reviews the Cyrus i7 XR integrated Amplifier and we discuss episode one of The Falcon and the Winter Solider, while Cas rounds up the TV show and film reviews and news.

Can you help answer these questions from our members?

Is it possible to go back to a TV from a projector?

Is it possible to go back to a TV from a projector?

After the podcast discussion about whether a projector or large screen TV is the better home cinema setup, forum member Dorian asks whether anyone has gone from a projector to a TV, as he had to do, and been happy with the results. Leave a comment if it worked out fine (or not) for you.

Can a 'hard power off' damage an integrated amplifier?

Can a 'hard power off' damage an integrated amplifier?

Will an automated power down of an integrated amplifier using a smart plug/adapter cause any problems to the amp or speakers, or does the amp have to have been designed for a custom install to ensure protection?

 
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TV News & Reviews
LG 2021 TVs see Freeview Play return

LG 2021 TVs see Freeview Play return

One of the very few issues with LG’s 2020 impressive range of TVs was the absence of the Freeview Play app alongside the likes of Netflix and Disney+. However, any worries that this will continue into 2021 can be put to rest as LG confirms the service’s return for its 2021 TVs.

Samsung Neo QLED UK prices revealed

Samsung Neo QLED UK prices revealed

Samsung has updated its website with the UK prices for its 2021 Neo QLED TV range.

Loewe joins Hisense as latest DTS Play-Fi partners

Loewe joins Hisense as latest DTS Play-Fi partners

DTS is gathering more partners to its Play-Fi fold as German luxury TV maker Loewe becomes the latest brand to take advantage of the whole-home audio ecosystem.

Sony launches Bravia XR A80J OLED TVs in Europe

Sony launches Bravia XR A80J OLED TVs in Europe

Sony’s Bravia XR OLED TV series is now hitting the market with the newly announced Bravia XR A80J OLED coming hot on the heels of the A90J.

Philips TV to offer Mimi Sound Personalisation

Philips TV to offer Mimi Sound Personalisation

TP Vision has announced that Philips will become the first major European TV manufacturer to offer Mimi Sound Personalisation on select models from its 2021 range.

Sony announces A90J UK/EU price and March availability

Sony announces A90J UK/EU price and March availability

Sony has announced that its high brightness A90J 4K OLED TVs, featuring the Cognitive Processor XR, will be available in March and how much they’ll cost in Europe.

Find more like this at our TV Hub

Home AV News & Reviews
SVS launches 3000 Micro subwoofer in UK

SVS launches 3000 Micro subwoofer in UK

SVS’s new active dual-driver SVS 3000 Micro sub is designed to deliver substantial bass from a cabinet less than 30cm cubed.

Bluesound announces new Pulse Soundbar+

Bluesound announces new Pulse Soundbar+

Canada based maker of Hi-Res wireless audio players Bluesound has introduced the Pulse Soundbar+, featuring eight drivers, 24 bit audio and support for Dolby Atmos.

Velodyne launches Deep Blue subwoofer range in UK

Velodyne launches Deep Blue subwoofer range in UK

Silicon Valley subwoofer specialists, Velodyne Acoustics has launched its new range in the UK. The Deep Blue series comes in 4 sizes and cuts out any digital and cabinet superfluousness to concentrate on the best performance possible.

Trinnov Altitude platform updates due for 2021

Trinnov Altitude platform updates due for 2021

French audio pioneer Trinnov is promising a range of updates to its Altitude AV processors throughout 2021 as it strives for continued performance and longevity for consumers.

SVS PB-2000 Pro Subwoofer Review

SVS PB-2000 Pro Subwoofer Review

The SVS PB-2000 Pro is the third model in this updated range, complementing the sealed and cylindrical units and bringing deeper bass along with a remote app.

Paradigm launches Founder speaker series

Paradigm launches Founder speaker series

Canadian speaker specialist Paradigm has brought together innovations from its flagship Persona range along with a host of new technologies and approaches and launched the Founder speaker series.

SVS launches 1000 Pro Series subwoofers

SVS launches 1000 Pro Series subwoofers

SVS continues its mission to bring its flagship subwoofer technologies to more and more bass fans with the launch of the Pro version of its most affordable 1000 models, the SB-1000 Pro and the PB-1000 Pro.

Find more like this at our Home AV Hub

A message from our sponsor Noveto
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SoundBeaming™ by Noveto

A new technology which beams sound only to your ears and creates a spatial 3D sensory personal audio experience without disturbing others - no headphones.

It's an entirely new way of listening, like nothing before and will change how people experience audio.

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Just a small sample of our extensive Hi-Fi news

Hi-Fi News & Reviews
Q Acoustics Q Active 200 Speaker System Review

Q Acoustics Q Active 200 Speaker System Review

Q Acoustics has launched its first ever active speaker and, as well as being technically fascinating, the spec is pure 2021. Is it any good though?

Focal Clear MG Headphone Review

Focal Clear MG Headphone Review

The Clear MG is the latest member of the Focal headphone family and brings new materials and thinking to the process. Is this the home headphone to beat?

iFi Audio Zen Phono Stage Review

iFi Audio Zen Phono Stage Review

Looking to extract a little more performance from your turntable? The latest member of the Zen family claims to have exactly what you need.

Sonos launches Roam ultra portable smart speaker

Sonos launches Roam ultra portable smart speaker

Sonos’ latest is a smaller, lighter, waterproof smart speaker that you can slip into a bag and take with you wherever you go - and it's the company’s most affordable speaker yet at £159.

Yamaha YH-E700A Wireless Headphone Review

Yamaha YH-E700A Wireless Headphone Review

Yamaha wades into the noise cancelling headphone category with the YH-E700A headphone - can it compete with the established order?

Marantz Model 30 Integrated Amp & SACD 30N Streaming Player Review

Marantz Model 30 Integrated Amp & SACD 30N Streaming Player Review

Marantz resurrects a classic name and some equally classic styling cues for their latest stereo components - is this nostalgia or a worthwhile look back?

Tidal streaming service acquired by Twitter/Square's Jack Dorsey

Tidal streaming service acquired by Twitter/Square's Jack Dorsey

Twitter founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has taken to the social media platform he owns to announce the acquisition of a significant majority stake in Tidal, the music streaming platform owned by rapper and mogul Jay-Z.

Lypertek Soundfree S20 True Wireless Stereo Earphones Review

Lypertek Soundfree S20 True Wireless Stereo Earphones Review

Chinese audio brand Lypertek's new release looks to build on the surprise success of the Tevi (now renamed to Pureplay Z3) with the Soundfree S20, a £69 set featuring wireless charging, Bluetooth 5.0 and up to 40 hours battery life.

Audio Technica AT-LP5X Turntable Review

Audio Technica AT-LP5X Turntable Review

Audio Technica’s talented and affordable turntable gets a makeover - is this enough to ensure it’s still a budget champion?

More at our Hi-Fi Hub

A message from our sponsor Yamaha
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What's on TV in April
What's new on Sky and NOW TV UK for April 2021

What's new on Sky and NOW UK for April 2021

The post-Zack Snyder’s Justice League sugar crash may take some of the sheen off Sky’s April offerings but there must be something that can seamlessly take the place of a 4 hour superhero teamup as viable content… surely?!

What's new on Disney+ UK and Amazon Prime Video UK for April 2021

What's new on Disney+ UK and Amazon Prime Video UK for April 2021

UPDATED 18-MAR-2021: After March's comedy crowd pleasers - Raya and Coming 2 America - April sees both Amazon Prime Video and DisneyPlus getting all dramatic and ‘awardsy’ with the films they’re bringing to UK subscribers.

What's new on Netflix UK for April 2021

What's new on Netflix UK for April 2021

UPDATED 17-Mar-2021: With streaming services duking it out during March with a number of notable releases (Raya and the Last Dragon on Disney+ Premier Access, Coming 2 America on Amazon Prime and the Justice League Snyder Cut on HBO Max / Sky), what can Netflix serve up as the dust settles in April?

 
Movie & TV Show News
Netflix's Mank heads nominations for 93rd Oscars

Netflix's Mank heads nominations for 93rd Oscars

Following on from the BAFTA’s most recent list of diverse potential award winners, so too the Oscar nominations go out of their way to reflect a greater depth of representation in a film industry breaking out of its established rut.

NOW TV streamlined to simply NOW in rebranding

NOW TV streamlined to simply NOW in rebranding

The Sky run NOW TV enterprise is having a shakeup to simplify the brand and will drop the ‘TV’ to become simply, NOW.

Disney+ crosses 100 million subscribers milestone

Disney+ crosses 100 million subscribers milestone

As expected, Disney confirms it has topped 100 million subscribers to its streaming service and also holds fast with Black Widow’s upcoming theatrical release.

Movie & TV Show Reviews
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+) Premiere TV Show Review

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+) Premiere TV Show Review

The second Marvel serial to come to Disney+, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier shows potential but little novelty in its first episode.

Yellowstone Season 2 TV Show Review

Yellowstone Season 2 TV Show Review

After a tremendous first season, Yellowstone returned for a strong second tour which built to an epic conclusion, finally making it to UK digital and Blu-ray almost two years after its release.

Zack Snyder's Justice League Movie Review

Zack Snyder's Justice League Movie Review

Attempting to right a great deal of wrongs, this impossible fan dream finally materialises and is a hell of an experience - a visually striking epic of untold proportions that simply has to be seen to be believed.

Judas and the Black Messiah Movie Review

Judas and the Black Messiah Movie Review

Shaka King’s incredible debut depicting the historical difficulties faced in the struggle for Black self-determinism is part crime thriller, part love story and all a damning indictment of the power systems that maintain inequality in America.

Andy McNab's SAS: Red Notice (Sky / NowTV) Movie Review

Andy McNab's SAS: Red Notice (Sky / NowTV) Movie Review

Are you someone who voraciously reads and watches SAS related books and films? Do you love Andy McNab and Chris Ryan? Do you also love low budget, poorly made action flicks? If you answered yes to all of the above... I still wouldn't recommend this film.

Cherry (Apple TV+) Movie Review

Cherry (Apple TV+) Movie Review

The first film from the Russo Brothers after their tremendous Winter Soldier / Civil War, Infinity War / Endgame run, Apple TV+'s exclusive Cherry sees Spider-Man's Tom Holland put through the wringer.

The Little Things Movie Review

The Little Things Movie Review

The legend that is Denzel Washington just about makes the little things work in this flawed Seven-esque crime thriller, even if writer/director John Lee Hancock can't quite stick the landing.

Sentinelle (Netflix) Movie Review

Sentinelle (Netflix) Movie Review

A cut above your usual Netflix thriller, Julien Leclercq does for Olga Kurylenko what he did for Van Damme in the supremely underrated The Bouncer, using gritty, realistic action and native language to turn in a taut 80 minute revenge flick.

Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney+) Movie Review

Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney+) Movie Review

Although some Disney Plus subscribers might understandably balk at the notion of paying an extra £20 as opposed to just waiting and watching it for free in June, Raya is a worthy entry in the Disney catalogue.

Coming 2 America (Amazon Prime) Movie Review

Coming 2 America (Amazon Prime) Movie Review

Arguably the best anybody could have expected from a 33-years-in-the-making sequel, with Murphy on fine post-Dolemite form, affording a warm, witty romp back to Zamunda.

Ultra HD Blu-ray Reviews
Gattaca 4K Blu-ray Review

Gattaca 4K Blu-ray Review

Ahead of its time, and one of those career-defining debuts that some directors never manage to best, Andrew Niccol's eugenics sci-fi is still an absolute classic.

Monster Hunter 4K Blu-ray Review

Monster Hunter 4K Blu-ray Review

Following their slew of trashily entertaining Resident Evil adaptations, the Paul Anderson / Milla Jovovich duo set their sights on the Monster Hunter videogame franchise, with the film hitting US 4K Blu-ray before it's even had a UK cinema release.

More at our Movie & TV Show Hub

Tech News & Reviews
TP-Link Deco X20 Mesh Wi-Fi System Review

TP-Link Deco X20 Mesh Wi-Fi System Review

TP-Link's £295 triple unit Deco X20 mesh Wi-Fi system promises whole home Wi-Fi coverage including seamless roaming, greatly reduced lag, anti-virus and parental controls.

Find more like this at our Tech Hub

Gaming News & Reviews
Stubbs the Zombie Review (Xbox One)

Stubbs the Zombie Review (Xbox One)

The 15-year-old cult classic rises from the grave with a zero frills port, leaving a first-gen Xbox title to walk among those living in a new-gen world... but there's still some life in this undead antihero.

Do gun controller games still exist?

Do gun controller games still exist?

Pre VR, there were a number of games such as Time Crisis 3 and Killzone that allowed players the opportunity to live out their military fantasies using a gun controller. What were your favourites from back in the day and are there any new games currently available?

Audeze Penrose Gaming Headphones Review

Audeze Penrose Gaming Headphones Review

100mm Planar Magnetic Drivers, Wireless PC and Console support, broadcast quality microphone, could the Penrose at £300 be the must buy gaming headset?

The Nioh Collection (PS5) Review

The Nioh Collection (PS5) Review

Remastered versions of Nioh and Nioh 2 for PS5. Relive the entire saga, including all DLC, with 4K resolution and up to 120fps gameplay. Data from PS4 versions can be transferred over to pick up where players left off.

Find more like this at our Gaming Hub

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We've got lots of competitions for you. Here is the highlight. Click here for the full list and good luck!

Competitions
Win a 2TB Humax AURA 4K Freeview Play Recorder worth £279

Win a 2TB Humax AURA 4K Freeview Play Recorder worth £279

Bookmark our Competitions Hub

Podcasts
AVForums Podcast: 21st March 2021

AVForums Podcast: 21st March 2021

In a special one-off movies podcast the team discuss the brand new Zack Snyder cut of Justice League. We cover the director's cut, new plot points and performances, plus the controversial use of the 4:3 aspect ratio for a home release.

AVForums Podcast: 19th March 2021

AVForums Podcast: 19th March 2021

In this special edition of the AVForums Podcast, we interview James Thomas, product manager for home entertainment at LG UK. We get the full details on the UK TV line-up and deep dive with the new OLED models and features, including the OLED EVO G1

AVForums Podcast: 17th March 2021

AVForums Podcast: 17th March 2021

This week we look at the LG BX OLED TV to see if it is the bargain it appears to be. Steve has finished his articles covering all the room correction systems, plus, we look at room acoustics and adding items to improve the sound quality in your room. Ed reviews a pair of Focal Clear MG Headphones and Tom gives us the latest movie and TV show news and reviews

AVForums Movies Podcast: 15th March 2021

AVForums Movies Podcast: 15th March 2021

This month the AVForums movie review team tell us what they have been watching, what they are looking forward to next month and also review Coming 2 America. Plus, what are the best-belated sequels that follow many years after the originals?

AVForums Podcast: 10th March 2021

AVForums Podcast: 10th March 2021

This week we look at the NAD M28 and Storm Audio PA16 mkII Class D amplifiers and ask which type of amplification is best for your system. Plus, Sony has revealed the pricing and availability of the A90J and A80J OLED TVs for 2021 and we also round-up the film and TV Show news and reviews.

AVForums Podcast: 3rd March 2021

AVForums Podcast: 3rd March 2021

This week we discuss Samsung's 2021 TV launch details from their 2nd March press event as well as a first look review of the QN95A Neo QLED TV model. We ask how lockdown has affected our equipment buying habits and Cas rounds-up the latest Film and TV Show news and reviews.

Find all our podcasts here

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AVForums Podcast: 20th April 2020

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Coming Soon

Phil will be reviewing the Arcam AVR20 AV Receiver and also looking at the LG BX OLED TV to discover whether it really is the bargain OLED to buy right now. Plus, we are waiting for the first 2021 TV to arrive for review with the LG G1 and Sony's sets not too far away. We will also have review and settings videos coming soon to our YouTube channel.

Steve will have reviews of the Storm Audio PA 16 MK2 16-Channel Power Amplifier, Samsung HW-Q800A Soundbar and SVS SB-1000 Pro Subwoofer. Plus, Ed has reviews lined up of the Rotel Michi X3, Q Acoustics Q Active 200 Speaker System and the Focal Celestee Over Ear Headphones.

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.

And that wraps up the March newsletter.

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

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