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Movies for a Summer Night
Tue, 16 Jun 2020 18:41:49 +0000


We all suffer through choosing a film to play for friends and family on a movie night. This might invariably include Joe and Ann from down the block, the neighborhood’s premier movie fans (apart from you!) who claim to have seen just about everything. Of course, most of what they’ve seen might have been on a 40-inch set (or even an old 27-inch, low definition CRT), constantly interrupted by commercials. Or perhaps new neighbor Bob from across the street, who hasn’t seen a movie in 20 years on anything but his computer — or not at all.

There’s no one answer to please everyone. And in today’s environment any such gathering will invariably be small. But I can at least offer a list of (I hope) intriguing selections from my Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray collection, either for now or later. Many are available for streaming as well, or even from a well-stocked local library. They follow no particular pattern and fit into many categories. I could produce other lists (and in the future likely will!), possibly dedicated to specific genres. But hopefully this will be a start. I’ve eliminated many favorites from this list because they’re either too long (such as Lawrence of Arabia) or demand experience with earlier films in a franchise or multi-movie saga to understand the story. In other words, don’t play Avengers: Endgame for someone who has never seen a Marvel film (and there are many who haven’t!).

The Prestige… Christopher Nolan has directed many titles worthy of inclusion here...



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PlayStation 5: Your New Ultra HD Blu-ray Player?
Mon, 15 Jun 2020 19:34:08 +0000


While interest in movies on disc continues to be strong even with the massive growth of streaming, there’s been a deficit of new disc players to choose from. We’ve recommended models from Panasonic and Pioneer semi-recently, but with no new Ultra HD Blu-ray players unveiled at CES 2020, there's nothing from that category in our review queue at present. Hmm, what about this new PlayStation 5 thing everyone’s been talking about?


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Do You Plan to Buy an 8K TV?
Mon, 15 Jun 2020 14:31:48 +0000


“8K is not overkill.” That was one of the key takeaways from last week’s interview with Chris Chinnock, executive director of the 8K Association (8KA). The additional pixels in an 8K TV screen — four times that of a 4K screen — help reduce digital artifacts to produce an image that’s cleaner, more realistic, and more emotionally impactful. “It is hard to argue that creating more emotional impact is not beneficial,” Chinnock says. “8K screens are clearly needed as screen sizes grow in order to maintain pixel density.” (Click here for the interview.)

Perhaps most compelling at this early juncture is the video upscaling capabilities of these new state-of-the-art sets, which draw on artificial intelligence (AI) to, as Chinnock puts it, “make lower resolution images look extraordinary.” And, yes, next-generation 8K technology is already being embraced by the top TV brands. Samsung, Sony, and LG have had 8K sets in their lineups for more than a year now — Samsung and LG offer 8K screens sizes from 65 to 88 inches at prices ranging from $3,200 to $30,000 — and other brands are ready to introduce 8K TVs later this year. All of which brings us to the question, does it make sense to buy an 8K TV before content is widely available? More to the point, do you plan to buy an 8K TV? Don’t forget to leave a comment to explain your choice!

Do You Plan to Buy an 8K TV?
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S&V Poll! Is There an 8K TV in Your Immediate Future?
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Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1
Fri, 12 Jun 2020 17:19:18 +0000


It's around this time of year that a few disparate "guy" movies new to the format or re-released usually pop up on Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray. That's because, as I've said since the early DVD days, discs make fantastic gifts, and not just for Father's Day. But Sony chose a different path for 2020, opening the door of its vast and prestigious Columbia Pictures vault to debut six titles on 4K Blu-ray as the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1.


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Father’s Day: A/V Deals to Die For
Fri, 12 Jun 2020 14:20:40 +0000


Let’s hear it for dad! When I was a kid, mine smoked in the car while driving my brothers and I to and from Little League baseball, cursed a blue streak, and would whap us upside the head if we dared cuss in his presence. But we knew he loved us unconditionally, and we loved him unconditionally back.

Haven’t sorted out your Father’s Day gift plans? We’ve got two great deals you should hear about.



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