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Mark Craven  |  Jan 21, 2013  |  0 comments

Sony has released details of its forthcoming range of N-Series home cinema systems and soundbars.

Mark Craven  |  Jan 14, 2013  |  0 comments

KEF has today announced a desktop speaker designed for use with a PC, Mac or laptop. The new X300A is an active speaker that connects to its source via a ‘distortion free’ 96kHz/24 bit USB digital input. This, reckons KEF, ensures that 'high-definition sound is achieved throughout the system'. A 3.5mm input is also on hand for smartphones and MP3 players.

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 11, 2013  |  0 comments

Hammer's ongoing restoration program for its classic horror films continues to bear fruit with the news that Terrance Fisher's 1958 hit Dracula (aka Horror of Dracula) will be following in the footsteps of The Curse of Frankenstein and getting a feature-packed Double Play Blu-ray release in the UK through Lionsgate on March 18.

Mark Craven  |  Jan 10, 2013  |  0 comments

Studio Lionsgate and electronics giant Samsung are joining forces to expand the availability of 3D movies for home platforms.

Mark Craven  |  Jan 09, 2013  |  0 comments
1. Curved OLED TVs

Both Samsung (pictured) and LG launched curved OLED TVs at CES, with both claiming they'd delivered a world's first. The sets' concave designs (as opposed to the convex CRTs of yesteryear) are genuine eye-openers, but it remains to be seen what benefit they will have on picture quality - curved displays are typically deemed necessary at much larger sizes, and the LG and Samsung screens debuted at 55in. Don't expect them to appear at Currys anytime soon, either. This has all the hallmarks of CES showboating (such as last year, when the two brands went head-to-head with OLED screens which we're still waiting to see in shops - although LG has finally announced its (non-curved) 55in OLED will arrive in the UK before Spring).

Mark Craven  |  Jan 03, 2013  |  0 comments
Yamaha has added Napster compatibility to more of its AV receivers following the first wave late last year.   Buyers of the current Aventage models and the RX-V673 (pictured) and RX-V773 were first given direct access to the subscriptions-based music streaming service in November 2012. A firmware update is now available to add to Napster to the following networked AVRs: RX-V867, RX-V1067, RX-V2067, RX-V3067, RX-A1000, RX-A2000, RX-A3000, HT-R8063, HTR-9063, RX-V671, RX-V771, RX-V871, RX-A710, RX-A810, RX-V1071, RX-V2071, RX-V3071, RX-A1010, RXA2010 and RX-A3010.   'The same functionality of the Napster service is available via download from http://uk.yamaha. com,' says Yamaha. 'Simply search for your receiver model and download the latest firmware; please follow the instructions on the receiver page for installation.'   Yamaha receiver owners are also given a 30-day trial when registering for Napster. For more information visit www.napster.co.uk/yamaha  

 

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 20, 2012  |  0 comments

To celebrate the upcoming cinema release of the 'found footage' horror anthology V/H/S, UK distributor Momentum Pictures is hosting a one-off advance screening of the film in London's Blackhall Studios, Shoreditch, on Wednesday, January 16.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 18, 2012  |  0 comments

Independent UK film and home entertainment label Network Distributing is affirming its commitment to classic British cinema by acquiring the rights to 450 British titles from StudioCanal, one of Europe’s leading film distribution and production companies.

Mark Craven  |  Dec 14, 2012  |  0 comments

Wharfedale has announced new additions to its long-running Diamond range of speakers, dubbed the Diamond 100 Series.

Mark Craven  |  Dec 05, 2012  |  0 comments
Empire Cinemas has today announced The Empire Leicester Square will be the first cinema in the UK compatible with Dolby's new Atmos surround sound format, and the tech will make its debut next week with the fantasy flick Life Of Pi. Ang Lee's Oscar-tipped movie is getting a seven-day run at the Empire before its nationwide UK release on December 20.   Dolby claims its new Atmos format is 'the most significant development in audio since the arrival of surround sound', thanks to its use of overhead speakers and a twin-layer object-based sound design. 'Developed with input from professionals throughout the movie industry, Dolby Atmos delivers audiences a more natural and realistic soundfield, transporting them into the story with a lifelike sensory experience,' claims the aural innovator. The format debuted with Disney Pixar's flick Brave earlier this year, but until now there were no commerical cinemas Atmosified in Blighty.   Adds Jon Nutton, Marketing Director for Empire Cinemas: 'Dolby Atmos is set to change the cinema experience – we’re honoured that the Empire Leicester Square will be the first cinema in the UK to bring this to audiences.'   Team HCC already counts the Empire as one of the UK's best-sounding cinemas. We're looking forward to seeing what Dolby Atmos can bring to the party. As well as Life of Pi, other films confirmed for release with Atmos audio include the sci-fi sequel Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.   Click here for more information about Dolby Atmos.
Richard Stevenson  |  Nov 24, 2012  |  0 comments

Update: Click here for a full review of Lionsgate's The Expendables 2 Blu-ray

Mark Craven  |  Nov 16, 2012  |  0 comments

If you want to spruce up your home audio and give money to a good cause at the same time, then Tivoli Audio's Model 10+ BBC Children in Need DAB radio could be the answer.    Available to order online from   http://tivoliaudio.co.uk/cin/, the DAB/DAB+/FM table radio was designed by competiton winner David Hampson. It retails at £199, with £50 from each radio sold benefiting the BBC Children in Need charity. Tivoli Audio is taking no profits from sales.   The competition to find the winning fundraising design was hosted by the Today programme. The outer cover of the radio was meticulously designed to a brief inspired by New Broadcasting House at Portland Place. HCC's own effort, which tried to incorporate Children in Need mascot Pudsey's face in the speaker grille, never got passed the doodle-on-a-napkin stage.   BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a 'safe, happy and secure childhood'. And you can't argue with that. The live appeal show is on BBC One HD tonight from 7.30pm.  

 

Mark Craven  |  Nov 15, 2012  |  0 comments

Marantz's brand ambassador and HCC Hall of Famer Ken Ishiwata will be demonstrating his high-end hardware at an exclusive event at Birmingham-based independent AV retailer Music Matters on December 4th.

Mark Craven  |  Nov 15, 2012  |  0 comments
  A new YouGov study on the nation’s TV habits has revealed the 'optimal' price for Smart TVs, based on the average amount people intending to purchase a connected set are willing to pay.   The figure for a 32in Smart TV is £440, while the figure for a 42in model is £550.    The You Guv survey also reports that more than 50 per cent of Brits have connected their TV sets to the internet, and that sales of Smart TVs over the next year could reach around £2.5 billion.    Says YouGov's Media Consulting Director Dan Brilot: The good news for Smart TV manufacturers is that there is a huge appetite for accessing internet services on TV sets, whether that be on-demand TV, radio, news apps, or video calling services like Skype. The bad news is that there are a lot of competing technologies out there that can be confusing to the consumer.'    'The message for manufacturers and retailers is clear,' added Brilot. 'If they can set the right price the revenue potential in the short and mid-term from Smart TVs is huge, particularly as we enter the Christmas shopping period.'   HCC wonders if TV manufacturers would consider £550 for a 42in TV 'the right price'...     

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