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Sony's new 3D speaker is a pricey work in progress

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Along with its smaller sibling, the RA3000, Sony's latest sonic hardware is first and foremost a vessel for the company's immersive music format, 360 Reality Audio. From its multi-directional, seven-driver configuration to support for high-resolution audio over Wi-Fi from 3D sound sources--and a sticker-shocking $700 price point--Sony's intentions for the RA5000 as a 360RA ambassador are clear from the get-go. Following Amazon's Echo Studio smart speaker, which supports the rival Dolby Atmos Music service, the RA5000 is tasked with helping Sony blaze its own trail in the 3D music landscape. However, while the RA5000 is an ambitious device with impressive sound quality, it's also got some serious limitations at the moment, including a half-baked app, an awkward design, and a highly limited collection of songs to make it sing. But before we get into the details, what exactly is 360RA?


Vizio vs. TCL: TVs for every budget

Mashable

Vizio and TCL sell budget-friendly TVs that don't compromise on quality -- perfect for gaming, virtual workouts, and binge-watching Cobra Kai. Reviewers love them because they're not as expensive as TVs from other top brands, but have many of the same features. But what brand should you choose? Both TCL and Vizio offer models with 4K resolution and advanced gaming features to use with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. To help you decide, take a look at our TV breakdown. Sure, they don't have 4K or 8K displays.


Cyber Monday: What you need to know before buying that cheap smart TV

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

That Cyber Monday special from Best Buy sounds really enticing. Which may not be a catch at all, but it is something worth considering. Because if you have Amazon Echo speakers throughout your home, you won't be able to use them to talk to your new TCL TV. As all TV sales now tend to be "smart," they operate on different software platforms, ones you need to consider before making your purchase. Before you buy a Roku-branded TV, I have three words for you: "Wonder Woman 1984."


Sony HT-G700 review: This Atmos- and DTS:X-enabled soundbar boasts a trifecta of virtual 3D modes, but no Wi-Fi

PCWorld

Sony doubles down on virtualized 3D audio with the HT-G700, a 3.1-channel soundbar that can deliver immersive 3D audio using not one, not two, but three competing audio technologies. While it lacks the upfiring drivers that most Dolby Atmos- and DTS:X-enabled soundbars employ for height effects, the HT-G700 simulates height and surround cues using virtual 3D solutions from Dolby, DTS, and Sony itself. The HT-G700 makes for an impressive showcase for how far virtualized 3D audio has come in recent years, yet it also betrays its weaknesses, particularly when it comes to Sony's aggressive--perhaps too aggressive--implementation. The HT-G700's $500 price tag might sound enticing given its array of 3D audio functionality, but it's also missing one huge feature: a Wi-Fi adapter. That means many of the wireless capabilities we've come to expect from soundbars in this price range--including multi-room audio, AirPlay 2 or Chromecast connectivity, direct support for streaming music services, and voice assistant support--are missing.


'Ghost in the Shell' (the good one) arrives in 4K on September 8th

Engadget

Just in time for its 25th anniversary, Ghost in the Shell is getting a 4K Ultra HD rerelease. On September 8th, you'll be able to buy Mamoru Oshii's landmark film in a beautiful collection that will let you watch the 1995 feature across multiple formats. Lionsgate has remastered both the original Japanese and English audio tracks for Dolby Atmos. Included in the release is a digital copy of the movie. For good measure, you also get the film on Blu-ray.


Sonos Move review: brilliant sound now portable

The Guardian

Sonos has finally made a portable wifi and Bluetooth speaker that sounds great – but it's not quite what most will have imagined. For years Sonos has made some of the very best wifi speakers, recently adding optional voice assistants from Google and Amazon. But they have never been truly wireless, needing to be plugged in and on your home wifi network. The Move changes that, essentially taking the excellent Sonos One and adding a battery to the bottom. But it comes at a hefty £399 price tag, although some retailers already have it at £329.


CES 2020: EVs, 8K TVs and streaming – this is the future Sony says it's optimistic about

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Sony unveiled at CES 2020 its Vision-S– an electric concept car – as it looks forward to becoming a driving force on the road to the future. But don't look to the global tech and entertainment giant to challenge Tesla or GM, at least not anytime soon. Sony is not going to sell you your next car. "At this point in time, we have no plans for mass production," CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told USA TODAY in an exclusive sit-down at the Sony booth. Instead, Sony is focused on what goes into the car of the future, gathering real-time intelligence about road conditions and the environment in the name of safety.


Sony's AI drummer is so good you'd think it's human

#artificialintelligence

AI generating music is pretty commonplace now. Apps such as Mubert even let you play generative music on your phone. Now, Sony has just developed an AI that adds kick-drum beats to pre-existing songs, and make them more catchy. The AI adds "musically plausible" kick drum beats invariant to tempo and time-shift. The research team used 665 pop, rock, and hip-hop tracks to train the model where rhythm instruments including bass, kick and snare are available as separate 44.1kHz audio tracks.


This Vizio might be the best TV for the money this year

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

For the last several years, Vizio's M-Series has been a mainstay of TV value-hunters. The M-Series TVs (much like TCL's 6-Series) tend to give users the latest TV technology at much more affordable prices than the competition. To that end, 2019's M-Series Quantum delivers 4K resolution, an LED backlight with full-array local dimming technology, smart features, HDR and Dolby Vision compatibility, and--as you might have guessed from the name--quantum dots. Quantum dots are a newer TV tech that provide a big boost to a TV's color capabilities, and for the last several years they've really only been available in very high-end TVs from brands like Samsung and Sony. With the M-Series Quantum, Vizio is making this technology available to people who might not have $2,000 to spend on a new TV. Are the M-Series Quantum TVs perfect specimens? No--Vizio's learned how to cut just enough corners that, while nothing about them is too egregious, they're not as buttoned-up and posh-looking as their higher-price counterparts. Picture quality is the strongest foot forward here, while the design is nothing to speak of and elements of their software and behavior can be a bit frustrating.


I tried this can-sized TV projector--is it worth it?

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Once upon a time, projectors were big, clunky, and, well, not exactly easy to move around if you want to watch the big game in your backyard or a movie at a friend's house. However, portable projectors have come a long way and Anker's Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector is a solid bet. The Anker projector, which runs Android TV, is lightweight, works with Google Assistant, and has an auto-focus function that automatically adjusts the screen size to your projector screen within a second, not to mention other features that deliver a sharp and clear picture. I've been in the market for a smart projector so I can watch my favorite teams play and watch movies outside. I had high hopes of testing the Nebula Capsule II against a large projection screen in my backyard, but due to the high Florida humidity--and unbearable October heat--I decided to stick to testing the smart projector indoors.