Richard Stevenson

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Richard Stevenson  |  Sep 01, 2014  |  0 comments

I have always been a fan of the phrase ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. It was coined by the late Dr Richard Carlson in his best-selling book of the same name; a tome of wisdom that highlighted the dangers of getting hung up on the little details. 

Richard Stevenson  |  Aug 08, 2014  |  0 comments

As noted previously, complexity is the Achilles' heel of home cinema. In an era of one-touch instant results, faffing about with the likes of THX Boundary Gain Compensation is not turning anyone on these days. We need switch-on-and-go simplicity; a clean, crisp movie-watching experience. In other words, home cinema needs to be more Zen.

Richard Stevenson  |  Mar 28, 2014  |  0 comments

Lots of people watch movies at home on large screens, but how many go to the lengths of adding an AV amplifier, a full-size loudspeaker package and a subwoofer or two? Very few, because despite TV sound quality going backwards for over a decade, proper home cinema audio is just not on most people’s radar.

Richard Stevenson  |  Nov 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Television is the new movie. Or rather: TV shows are the new media entertainment of choice when it comes to streaming video. Recent figures from survey-meister GfK show that content created for broadcast TV enjoys up to four times as many downloads as cinematic movies. In fact, GfK in the United States suggests that, across the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) market, TV series account for 81 per cent of downloaded content against just 19 per cent for films.

Richard Stevenson  |  Oct 01, 2013  |  0 comments

I have been turned. Having being derisive and scathing about soundbars for as long as I can remember, my opinion has been massaged by the performance and spousal acceptance of one of the breed. You see, soundbars have not and never will deliver proper home cinema sound. They are too small, the left and right channels are too close together and those that do try to integrate rear effects never quite succeed. Yet they are damn popular with the proletariat. The UK soundbar market has been doubling in value every year for the last five years and in 2013 is expected to crest the key £100m mark. That is a whole lot of soundbars.

Richard Stevenson  |  Sep 29, 2013  |  0 comments

Every now and again something comes along that is so focused and so madly different from the mainstream that it stands in a category virtually of its own. While the big Japanese brands cram ever more licensed and bespoke home cinema technology into ever cheaper AV receivers, there are brands that just refuse to choose the same inevitable path – a path that logically can only lead to a reduction in outright performance as R&D cash is poured into features, logos and gadgetry rather than sound quality.

Richard Stevenson  |  Aug 12, 2013  |  0 comments

The avalanche of super-sized TVs hitting the market this Summer has got me thinking about that lynch-pin of serious home cinema, the projector. These thoughts go along the lines of, ‘how long before projectors are redundant in most installs?’

Richard Stevenson  |  Jul 10, 2013  |  0 comments

Sitting in the shadow of Yamaha’s flagship Aventage receiver, the £1,500 RX-A2020 is a big and hefty lump of AVR goodness. The range build and cosmetics are superb, even if there is a serious hint of Harman Kardon about that full-width black Perspex screen, and the display is bold, bright and large enough to see from the other side of the room – even if you live in a sports hall. The rest of the fascia is pleasingly minimalistic and the sculptured knobs, different sizes at that, have a cool and solid feel to them.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jun 29, 2013  |  0 comments

We may still be in the grip of economic gloom but I can see some light at the end of the consumer electronics market’s long dark tunnel, and that light is home cinema. During this recession, the electronics industry has fared even worse than other consumer goods sectors and has had more dips than a fondue party. The general public are simply not buying TVs and audio systems like they used to. In fact, throughout 2012, the UK public purchased half as many TVs as it did in 2006.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jun 15, 2013  |  0 comments

I have yet another subwoofer-induced headache, and it's not from playing the opening sequence to The Expendables 2. Rather, it's from trying to get my noodle around a mind-bogglingly complex setup. You see, my period of single subwoofer purity has come to an end, with a second Velodyne DD18+ joining my system to capitalise on the new breed of 11.2-channel AV hardware.

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