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August 2021 Newsletter

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Win a £1,400 luxury home cinema recliner; the latest TV, home cinema, hi-fi, gaming and tech reviews & news; competitions & more

Don't miss tomorrow's podcast (Wednesday 25th August 2021 at 7:30pm).
Visit YouTube to set a reminder to join us live and ask any questions you may have on the topic.

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

Podcast: Best Screens for a Home Cinema, Samsung NEO G9 Gaming Monitor Review and more...

This week the team discuss building a home cinema and the types of screens best suited to such a set-up, including the best aspect ratios and screen materials. We get an update on the reviews being worked on as well as a quick review of the Samsung NEO G9 Gaming Monitor from Greg. Plus, we have Ed's album and Steve's 4K disc choices for this week!

Can you help answer these questions from our members?

Would you like the 3D viewing experience to get another chance?

Would you like the 3D viewing experience to get another chance?

3D movie viewing was always a 'marmite' experience but with James Cameron prepping his Avatar sequels and a number of years of technological improvements for TVs, is it time to give it another chance? Join in the discussion here.

Is it greener and safer to switch TVs off at the mains?

Is it greener and safer to switch TVs off at the mains?

Even with modern low power standby, is it still greener and safer to switch off the TV at the mains? How do you power down at night?

Should all Hi-Fi amps feature tone controls?

Should all Hi-Fi amps feature tone controls?

If tone controls afford a quick (albeit broad brushstroke) solution to address immediate room issues, equipment and media variances or listener preferences, shouldn't all Hi-Fi amps benefit from their presence?

Games that only you seem to like

Games that only you seem to like

What are the video games which sold poorly or are generally looked down upon by the gaming fraternity but which are a big hit with you? Let us know why they clicked with you in the thread.

 
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TV News & Reviews
Xiaomi unveils Mi TV Master 77 4K OLED TV

Xiaomi unveils Mi TV Master 77 4K OLED TV

Xiaomi pulls back the curtain on the Mi TV Master 77 OLED and Mi TV 6 OLED TV models, packing in features such as Harman Kardon sound, multi HDR format and IMAX Enhanced support.

Hisense increases Laser TV sales following Euros

Hisense increases Laser TV sales following Euros

Hisense has announced it has seen an uplift in sales of its Laser TV products as a direct result of the company’s sponsorship of the 2020 Euros.

Samsung Smart Start offer grants access to premium TV apps

Samsung Smart Start offer grants access to premium TV apps

For a limited period, UK purchasers of a Samsung smart TV from the company’s 2020/2021 range will be offered a range of premium entertainment exclusives worth over £200.

Sony Bravia XR X95J TV range gets 65-inch model in August

Sony Bravia XR X95J TV range gets 65-inch model in August

Sony’s flagship 75- and 85-inch X95J full array Bravia XR TVs will soon be joined by a 65-inch model.

Samsung QD-OLED TVs primed for 2022 launch?

Samsung QD-OLED TVs primed for 2022 launch?

Samsung’s next generation Quantum Dot OLED display technology looks set to be launched in the first half of 2022 according to industry insiders who also suggest the company’s MicroLED production will be ramping up too.

Toshiba smart TVs add Amazon Music and Twitch apps

Toshiba smart TVs add Amazon Music and Twitch apps

Amazon Music and Twitch apps will bring 75 million songs and thousands of live streaming channels to owners of a range of Toshiba TVs.

Find more like this at our TV Hub

Home AV News & Reviews
Anthem MRX 740 AV Receiver Review

Anthem MRX 740 AV Receiver Review

The Anthem MRX 740 AV Receiver might sport a snazzy new design, but is the latest line-up that much different from the previous generation?

Denon and Marantz AVRs made after May 2021 are HDMI 2.1 bug free

Denon and Marantz AVRs made after May 2021 are HDMI 2.1 bug free

UPDATED 19-Aug-2021: Purchasers of Denon and Marantz AV receivers manufactured after May 2021 are promised an HDMI 2.1 bug free experience straight out of the box.

Samsung HW-S60A Soundbar Review

Samsung HW-S60A Soundbar Review

The Samsung HW-S60A is an all-in-one 5.0 soundbar that combines acoustic prowess with lifestyle-friendly looks and Amazon Alexa smarts.

LG SP8YA Soundbar Review

LG SP8YA Soundbar Review

The LG SP8YA soundbar promises to deliver a 3.1.2-channel system with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content. It also includes Meridian acoustic know-how, Amazon Alexa built-in and AirPlay 2. But how does it perform?

Find more like this at our Home AV Hub

A message from our sponsor Arcam
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Just a small sample of our extensive Hi-Fi news

Hi-Fi News & Reviews
Fyne Audio launches F500SP loudspeaker

Fyne Audio launches F500SP loudspeaker

Scotland based Fyne Audio combines some of the best components and engineering from across its ranges and issues the F500SP compact bookshelf speaker.

Q Acoustics unveils M20 wireless music system

Q Acoustics unveils M20 wireless music system

The M20 HD wireless music system brings advanced driver technology, award-winning Point to Point cabinet bracing and aptX HD Bluetooth together in a wireless, high-resolution audio package equally at home with music, movies and gaming.

Audio-Technica introduces ATH-M50xBT2 wireless headphone

Audio-Technica introduces ATH-M50xBT2 wireless headphone

The latest update of Audio-Technica’s venerable M50 headphone range comes in the form of the new ATH-M50xBT2 which promises a longer battery life, clearer calls and an improved high fidelity sound.

Triangle Borea BR08 Floorstanding Speaker Review

Triangle Borea BR08 Floorstanding Speaker Review

Do you want room filling sound for under a grand? Do you want it to have a hint of Gallic chic to it? Triangle is here to offer both with the BR08.

NAD announces Masters M10 V2 BluOS streamer

NAD announces Masters M10 V2 BluOS streamer

NAD continues its “just add speakers” mission with the M10 V2 BluOS streaming amplifier, an updated iteration of the successful original model.

Samsung introduces Galaxy Buds 2 noise cancelling earbuds

Samsung introduces Galaxy Buds 2 noise cancelling earbuds

Samsung’s latest Unpacked event unveiled a host of anticipated devices including the latest Galaxy Z foldable smartphones but also front and centre were the new smaller, lighter Galaxy Buds 2 and the Galaxy Watch 4 series.

Helm Audio Bolt DAC/Amp Review

Helm Audio Bolt DAC/Amp Review

Its THX headphone amp was quirky but rather good, so how does HELM Audio get on with making a portable DAC?

T+A Caruso R All in One System Review

T+A Caruso R All in One System Review

Having given us the unconventional but rather brilliant Caruso, T+A has removed the speakers to give us the (marginally) more normal Caruso R - how does it stack up?

KEF adds Ci160ES to Architectural Speaker range

KEF adds Ci160ES to Architectural Speaker range

KEF has announced the Ci160ES, a new, square speaker designed for in-ceiling and flush mount installations.

JBL announces L52 Classic speaker and L75ms all-in-one

JBL announces L52 Classic speaker and L75ms all-in-one

JBL has unveiled two new additions to its Hi-Fi lineup with the L52 Classic bookshelf speaker and the L75ms Music System, appealing to traditionalists and modern music fans alike.

iFi Audio ZEN DAC v2 Review

iFi Audio ZEN DAC v2 Review

iFi has taken the already formidable Zen DAC and tweaked it in the pursuit of higher performance - does this add up to a meaningfully better DAC?

Bang & Olufsen announces Beoplay EQ TWS earphones

Bang & Olufsen announces Beoplay EQ TWS earphones

Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay EQ earbuds are the company’s first true wireless earphones with Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation.

Rotel A14 MkII Integrated Amplifier Review

Rotel A14 MkII Integrated Amplifier Review

We’ve seen how Rotel makes affordable amps and we’ve tested its flagship offering too. What can the firm do in the middle? Let's find out...

More at our Hi-Fi Hub

Movie & TV Show News
SkyShowtime streaming service coming to Europe in 2022

SkyShowtime streaming service coming to Europe in 2022

SkyShowtime will be a new streaming service due to launch in 2022, delivering content from Sky, NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, Peacock, Paramount+, Showtime, Paramount Pictures, and Nickelodeon to over 20 European territories.

What's new on Blu-ray (UK) for August 2021

What's new on Blu-ray (UK) for August 2021

From Criterion's Deep Cover to Eureka's Running Against the Wind to 88 Films' Cyborg and Dazzler's fresh new horror Sound of Violence, we review August's key Blu-ray releases.

What's new on UK streaming services for September 2021

What's new on UK streaming services for September 2021

UPDATED 21-Aug-2021: September sees Disney return to the Star Wars well with its anime Visions series, Amazon has a musical medley month and Apple goes for expansive hardcore sci-fi with its adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation.

Netflix subscriptions overtake pay TV for UK viewers

Netflix subscriptions overtake pay TV for UK viewers

As UK viewers watch nearly 6 hours of TV or on demand video per day, there are now more households with a Netflix subscription than a pay TV account for the first time, according to Ofcom's latest survey.

Movie Reviews
Sweet Girl (Netflix) Movie Review

Sweet Girl (Netflix) Movie Review

Jason Momoa stars in a movie dealing with the weighty issue of unaffordable healthcare in the US and the impact of big pharma’s cutthroat attitude to cancer treatments on normal families… WITH PUNCH UPS.

Demonic Movie Review

Demonic Movie Review

The much-missed Neil Blomkamp returns to our big screens with his patented use of hi-tech to explore traditional genre beats, this time the good old fashioned possession movie… with depressingly horrible results.

Reminiscence Movie Review

Reminiscence Movie Review

Lisa Joy’s devoted homage to Film Noir is a slick piece of filmmaking that reminds us why we love the genre, and why certain elements of it could probably remain happily in the past.

Pig Movie Review

Pig Movie Review

Churning through dime-a-dozen DTV movies, Cage at least still always gives it his all, which occasionally results in an absolute gem.

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Movie Review

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Movie Review

Some unholy blend of a modern-day update of Cinemax's Warrior and an unnecessary tie-in to a long-dead failed blockbuster franchise. Oh and giant snakes. Cause, you know, it's in the title. Or something.

Free Guy Movie Review

Free Guy Movie Review

The Lego Movie for the Fortnite Generation starring that guy from 6 Underground. And so much better than that sounds...

Censor Movie Review

Censor Movie Review

First-time feature director Prano Bailey-Bond brings us a thematically rich and visually inventive slow, spiralling descent into the fractured mind of a young woman that weaves in a huge amount of texture through its use of time and place.

Run Hide Fight (Sky / NOW) Movie Review

Run Hide Fight (Sky / NOW) Movie Review

Shot for $1.5 million, Kyle Rankin's Isabel May-starring indie thriller is surprisingly solid work, somehow managing to respectfully pay lo-fi tribute to classic heavyweight Die Hard.

TV Show Reviews
The White Lotus Season 1 (Sky / NOW) TV Show Review

The White Lotus Season 1 (Sky / NOW) TV Show Review

A dark satire on privilege and self-involvement, Mike White’s new anthology drama is a prickly and misanthropic depiction of America’s 1% that pulls very few punches.

Marvel's What If...? (Disney+) Premiere TV Show Review

Marvel's What If...? (Disney+) Premiere TV Show Review

A tasty closer look at some alternate universes.

The Equalizer (Sky / NOW) Premiere TV Show Review

The Equalizer (Sky / NOW) Premiere TV Show Review

80s nostalgia continues with this extremely retro remake/reboot whatever TV show that acts like episode-of-the-week procedurals are back in fashion and Queen Latifah is a ninja.

Ultra HD Blu-ray Reviews
The Final Countdown 4K Blu-ray Review

The Final Countdown 4K Blu-ray Review

Ultimately little more than an advert for the US Navy, The Final Countdown is still an interesting time capsule of an experiment which makes for a great, if surprising, Native 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos release.

Peter Rabbit 2 4K Blu-ray Review

Peter Rabbit 2 4K Blu-ray Review

Although it probably won't mean much to everybody else, Peter Rabbit fans will find that this surprisingly self-aware sequel is a marked improvement over its just-above-average predecessor.

True Romance 4K Blu-ray Review

True Romance 4K Blu-ray Review

Tony Scott's 1993 adaptation of an early Tarantino script is an endlessly quotable, iconically memorable, all-star bona fide classic, earning a fabulously lavish native 4K Dolby Vision-enhanced Limited Edition Box Set.

More at our Movie & TV Show Hub

Tech News & Reviews
TP-Link RE605X Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender Review

TP-Link RE605X Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender Review

TP-Link's RE605X Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender offers dual band AX1800 speeds with a single Gigabit Ethernet port and compatibility with the OneMesh feature, all for just under £80.

Samsung launches Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 foldable smartphones

Samsung launches Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 foldable smartphones

Samsung’s latest Unpacked event unveiled the next iterations of its foldable smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, bringing greater durability, more multitasking and lower prices.

Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset Review

Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset Review

The Oculus Quest 2 delivers an awesome VR experience with no wires or even the need for a PC or games console. Facebook may be mining your personal data, but at this price who cares?

TP-Link Archer GX90 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router Review

TP-Link Archer GX90 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router Review

TP-Link's Archer GX90 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Gaming Router offers a very promising package for the £250 outlay. Including gaming focused features, 2.5Gbs Ethernet port and more!

Find more like this at our Tech Hub

Gaming News & Reviews
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 49" Curved Gaming Monitor Review

Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 49" Curved Gaming Monitor Review

The world's first curved gaming monitor with Mini LED and Quantum Matrix Technology, 49" 5120 x 1440 resolution, HDR 2000, 240Hz and more than you could possibly want on a monitor! Could this be the Ultimate Gaming Monitor?

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut (PS5) Review

Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut (PS5) Review

Ghost of Tsushima was one of the last great PlayStation 4 exclusives and quite possibly the best-looking game of the last generation. Now available as an updated Director's Cut version, we see how it looks and plays on Sony's newest console.

Hades Review (Xbox Series X)

Hades Review (Xbox Series X)

Previously launched on PC and Switch, this award-winning rogue-like dungeon crawler gets an HD upgrade for consoles, and it’s never looked or played better.

Philips adds Dirac spatial audio to TAGH401BL gaming headphone

Philips adds Dirac spatial audio to TAGH401BL gaming headphone

Philips’ first ever gaming headset, the TAGH401BL, comes with Dirac’s spatial audio solution for a high-precision, immersive experience.

Find more like this at our Gaming Hub

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Bargain Threads

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Save money with our bargain threads

As usual we have plenty of opportunities for you to win prizes at our competitions page. Including this Luxury Reclining Chair worth £1,400!. Click here for the full list and good luck!

Competitions
Win a 'Valencia Theater Seating' Luxury Recliner worth £1,400!

Win a 'Valencia Theater Seating' Luxury Recliner worth £1,400!

Bookmark our Competitions Hub

Podcasts
AVForums Movies Podcast: 18th August 2021

AVForums Movies Podcast: 18th August 2021

This week we discuss the greatest action stars of the 80s and 90s, their legacies and the state of the movies they're making now. Is there a future for action heroes in cinema? We also find out your opinions on the best and worst action movies. PLUS a podcast exclusive competition.

AVForums Podcast: 11th August 2021

AVForums Podcast: 11th August 2021

This week Phil gives us his initial thoughts on the 65-inch Panasonic JZ1500 OLED TV which has just arrived for review. This is the Custom Pro OLED panel usually found in the flagship JZ2000, but in a chassis without the Technics tuned Dolby Atmos speakers. Plus, we discuss the various routes to building your own dedicated cinema room.

AVForums Podcast: 4th August 2021

AVForums Movies Podcast: 4th August 2021

We discuss the phenomenon of basing movies and TV shows on toys and board games and try and work out if it has ever been a good idea. We also find out your opinions on the best and worst toy-inspired movies. AND there will be a podcast exclusive competition.

AVForums Podcast: 28th July 2021

AVForums Podcast: 28th July 2021

This week Steve gives us a review of the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset he has been using for the last few weeks and Ed reviews the Rotel A14 MkII Integrated Amplifier. Plus Tom joins us to discuss the best of the month for music, movies and TV.

Find all our podcasts here

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Coming Soon

Phil is currently reviewing four TVs - the 48-inch Philips 806 OLED, the Samsung 65QN95A NEO QLED, the Samsung 50AU9000 QLED and the Panasonic JZ1500 OLED. We will also have video reviews and settings videos, including some comparisons appearing on our YouTube channel soon.

Steve will have reviews of the Klipsch Cinema 600, Denon 550 and Creative SXFI Carrier Soundbars along with the Anthem MRX 740 AV Receiver.

Ed has reviews lined up of the Bluesound Node Network Streamer, Philips Fidelio L3 Bluetooth Headphones and the Pro-Ject Debut Upgrade Program.

Meanwhile, Greg will be looking at the Braun Audio LE01 Premium Hi-Fi Smart Speaker and TP-Link AX6600 Gaming Router and Range Extender.

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, plus join the team on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm for the Movies Podcast.

And that wraps up the August 2021 newsletter.

Best regards, the AVForums team.

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