Opinion

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Richard Stevenson  |  Aug 18, 2012  |  0 comments

I am always amused when people tell me that their ears and eyes would not be good enough to do my job as a reviewer. They are convinced that they wouldn’t hear the difference between two pairs of speakers, or see the variation in picture quality from one HD screen to another. While I am the first to highlight my 24-carat golden ears and eagle-eyed vision to anyone requiring AV equipment testing, the reality is a little different. My physical sensory faculties are really no better than most other normal healthy people, although in terms of reviewing hours they have been round the block a bit.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 05, 2012  |  0 comments

A couple of months ago I wrote a piece for HCC about how much I loved my AV receiver. But I’ve now realised there’s something I love even more – my Sony PlayStation 3.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jul 21, 2012  |  0 comments

Great. I have spent the last 20 years building and writing about state-of-the-art home cinema and we get a renaissance in black-and-white silent movies!

Anton van Beek  |  Jul 17, 2012  |  0 comments

There’s no two ways about it, 2010 will be remembered as a vintage year for modern cinema. Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, The Social Network, Inception, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Kick-Ass, Piranha 3D, The Illusionist, Buried, Mother and Easy A all broke cover at the UK box office that year, while the likes of True Grit and Black Swan were making a late bow in the US, ready to leap across the Atlantic in the New Year.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jun 26, 2012  |  0 comments

I was propping up a bar after a conference earlier this month and found myself speaking to a man who referred to himself as ‘a banker’. We live a public space that makes bankers about as popular as Die Hard’s John McClane wearing that sandwich-board sign on the streets of Harlem, so fair play to his admission. However, on enquiring about my line of work he noted that I must be worried because ‘that niche end of the electronics market is a dinosaur dying on its arse’.

Richard Stevenson  |  May 29, 2012  |  0 comments

My home cinema system is just not looking good enough these days. Despite deploying the very latest hardware, mostly by not answering the phone when makers want their review samples back, its image is less impressive than it was some 10 years ago.

Anton van Beek  |  May 19, 2012  |  0 comments

February saw the death of an auteur, the likes of which the film industry may never see again. The man in question – 70-year-old writer/director/producer/actor Zalman King – was a veritable legend amongst fans of softcore erotica with artistic aspirations. That might explain the lack of coverage in the mainstream media.

Richard Stevenson  |  Apr 24, 2012  |  0 comments

I have been pondering the high-end of AV recently, mostly why I can’t afford it, of course. But events have made me wonder at precisely what price reality ends and opulent lunacy begins. I have a horrible feeling it is about a tenner.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 27, 2012  |  0 comments

Back in January, just prior to the release of a Government report by the Film Policy Review Panel, the Prime Minister decided to offer his thoughts on the current state of the British film industry.

Richard Stevenson  |  Mar 21, 2012  |  0 comments

The heyday of television is over, and the mobile phone is now more important to young people than the traditional goggle-box. I bring you this revelation thanks to Ofcom’s ongoing, tax-payer funded research into stating the bleeding obvious. I can’t remember the last time I actually saw the face of a teenager. They either have their noses pressed into a smartphone or are wearing a hoodie, presumably just prior to breaking into the Carphone Warehouse.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 17, 2012  |  0 comments

British cinema lost one of its true legends in November with the death of director Ken Russell. Regularly described as an iconoclast and the enfant terrible of the UK film industry, the Southampton-born Russell carved out a niche as one of our most pioneering and controversial filmmakers, yet one who has been mostly overlooked by the majority of DVD labels in his native country. Indeed, the only bright spot surrounding his passing is that UK studios and distributors might finally get their act together.

Richard Stevenson  |  Feb 16, 2012  |  0 comments

Regular readers of this column may find it hard to believe that I have gone green. I mean I have heard of being environmentally friendly, I am aware of carbon footprints and CO2 emissions, but I was never going to let any of that get in the way of my lifestyle. Previously, I made Jeremy Clarkson look like a tree-hugging hippie.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jan 25, 2012  |  0 comments

I often wonder why I am not Tom Cruise. The obvious benefits of being minted, married to Katie Holmes and working with Cameron Diaz aside, I can see absolutely no reason why I am not yet controlling my home cinema system in true Minority Report style. Why am I still surrounded by a clutter of remote controls, rather than simply gesticulating with my fingers and issuing complex voice commands that simultaneously play Blu-ray, dim the lights and move the volume to ASBO level? There is no reason at all, other than the fact that, as yet, no manufacturer has pulled all these readily available technology components together.

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