Opinion

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Richard Stevenson  |  Sep 08, 2012  |  0 comments

I don’t normally shout at the TV, and if I do it’s only to encourage proponents of major sporting events, such as Foxy Boxing. It’s rarely an outburst at the factual information programme BBC News at Ten. But on the launch day of the BBC’s most forward-thinking initiative since iPlayer, the online arts platform The Space, I found myself in tooth-spitting form.

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!

Richard Stevenson  |  Oct 09, 2012  |  0 comments

It’s recently come to light that the buying public don’t like 3DTV, don’t connect their Smart TVs to the internet and 89 per cent of them are actually stone deaf. Now, a quick straw poll around the HCC office would suggest these figures are a little off the mark, but you can’t argue with the research. After all, these surveys of consumer behaviour form the basis on which TV manufacturers develop new products and new features for the year ahead. My email inbox is positively awash with survey results at the moment, and one guaranteed conclusion of this research is that 100 per cent of grumpy old AV columnists will get incensed.

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.

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.

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.

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  |  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  |  May 16, 2013  |  0 comments

I recently visited a branch of Currys/PC World to make my seemingly monthly purchase of printer ink, and once I'd finished handing over a small fortune for a couple of teardrops of black liquid, I had a potter around the shop floor.

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.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 04, 2014  |  0 comments

Since the widespread adoption of digital visual effects during the 1990s, several filmmaking arts have essentially fallen by the wayside. The most notable for me is the demise of the matte painting – a technique used to combine a piece of live-action footage of a limited scale with a more expansive, or ornate, painted background or foreground. This was a method used to create epic vistas that otherwise couldn't be achieved without bankrupting the studio.

Anton van Beek  |  Nov 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Oo-er! Things are getting a little steamy around here as Anton van Beek reminisces about the heyday of the big-budget erotic thriller and wonders why Hollywood studios seem so scared of sex these days...
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. 

Mark Craven  |  Sep 24, 2018  |  0 comments
Going from a Steinway Lyngdorf/Sony 4K home cinema system to an IMAX Laser screening finds Mark Craven singing the praises of both. But...
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.

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