Opinion

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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.

Steve May  |  Sep 01, 2015  |  0 comments

These days you can’t move for pundits proclaiming the death of physical media. Whatever your passion, be it DVDs and Blu-rays, CD and vinyl, or coffee table tomes, the connected mantra is largely the same: bin what you own and don’t buy anything that requires a bag to carry it in. This is shockingly bad advice. But I nearly fell for it.

Steve May  |  Apr 18, 2016  |  0 comments

Generally speaking, our modern connected world is a good thing, particularly when it comes to electronic doodads. Back in the day, before the 'net, we would buy a gadget, happy to know that what it did when first unboxed would be what it would do forever (wear and tear not withstanding) – play DVDs, amplify music, time an egg.

Steve May  |  Aug 19, 2015  |  0 comments

Let me tell you about embargoes. Essentially a gagging order, they’re routinely disgorged by companies in an attempt to control the flow of information that they give to journalists, usually so they can stage-manage product launches or coordinate marketing. Occasionally they're useful, allowing magazines like the one you’re reading to get an early heads-up on new products and technologies. More often, though, they're pointless, irritating and dispensed with little real thought about the practical consequences. The first rule of any embargo is that someone (else) will break it.

Steve May  |  Apr 08, 2016  |  0 comments

Virtual Reality makes me sick. No, it really does. I've donned VR goggles more than once, and more than once I've ended up looking for a brown bag afterward. There's something about the disorientating sense of motion and the sensory deprivation of VR that snafus my equilibrium. I reckon I'm not alone in this. Yet this hasn't prevented VR being hailed as The Next Big Thing.

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?’

Mark Craven  |  Jun 21, 2021  |  0 comments
Mark Craven wonders if it's time to rethink the way we talk about tech...
Steve May  |  Jul 13, 2021  |  0 comments
Some studio execs think the over-50s have been forgotten amid superhero franchise mania. Steve May wonders if the BBFC could help out...
Mark Craven  |  Aug 02, 2016  |  0 comments

Home cinema used to be oh-so simple. Partner a bigscreen TV with a home theatre in a box (HTIB) and you were sorted for whatever DVD or Blu-ray you wanted to play. You could go the separates route, splitting your speakers, AV amp and disc-player purchases in pursuit of greater quality, but an all-in-one system couldn't be criticised when it came to covering the basics. It was wonderfully democratic.

Mark Craven  |  Mar 22, 2016  |  0 comments

Beyond all the rights deals, compliant hardware, giant servers and subscription fees, there's one thing that makes streaming TV and movie content possible, and it's your internet connection. 

Mark Craven  |  Feb 19, 2015  |  0 comments

In an answer to a reader's letter in a recent issue I said I didn't want to be a 'Netflix knocker'. And truly I don't. But the American streaming giant is certainly making it pretty hard work. Here's why.

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.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 26, 2012  |  0 comments

If you had an empty space in your house – perhaps a basement or a loft, or even an unused garage – and you wanted to convert it into a home cinema, what route would you take? Would you break out the toolbox, roll up your shirt-sleeves and do it yourself, or call in a professional installer?

Mark Craven  |  Sep 24, 2012  |  0 comments

Forget LG and its OLED screen, forget Toshiba and its glasses-free 3D TV, forget Samsung and its Smart fixation – the most exciting development in the TV market at the moment is from Sharp. Strange, but true.

Mark Craven  |  Jul 05, 2016  |  0 comments

I'm a big believer in giving your AV setup a Spring clean. Untangling cables, repositioning speakers that have been shunted about and putting Blu-ray discs back in their correct cases can help bring a sense of calm to a fraught AV mind. 

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