Put these items on your AV wish list
The European Imaging and Sound Assocation (EISA) is the technology world’s largest independent awards panel, incorporating 50 specialist magazines from across the continent – including Home Cinema Choice. Its goal is simple: to celebrate the most desirable, highest-performing home entertainment hardware that you – the AV enthusiasts – will be spending your hard-earned pennies on.
Today, the awards have been announced. We've rounded up those from the Video Panel and the Audio/Home Theatre Panel, covering everything from flatscreen TVs to Blu-ray players, speakers, projectors and AV receivers. Chosen after a lengthy judging process throughout the Summer, during which the member magazines covene and whittle down a shortlist, these can be considered the cream of the consumer electronics crop.
To find out more about EISA, visit www.eisa.eu
With the KDL-55W905A, Sony has unleashed its new Triluminos LED display and a second generation of its processing engine X-Reality Pro. The result is a faultless picture performance with vibrant, lifelike colours and superb motion clarity that suits sports, movies and games, while the long-duct speaker system delivers excellent audio, too. A new, fast user interface makes the TV easy to operate, as do features like the NFC-enabled remote and TV SideView app. A thin aluminium bezel and eye-catching stand give the KDL-55W905A its distinctive ,Sense of Quartz’ look. An excellent choice for the demanding consumer.
Panasonic’s TX-P60ZT65 is the new reference for plasma TVs thanks to its new single-glass Studio Master Panel, which guarantees low reflections and clear, sharp images from any angle. This 60-inch display delivers a truly cinematic experience with superb black levels, outstanding contrast and brightness, and smooth motion handling. Colours, meanwhile, are effortlessly natural, and the TV’s professional-level calibration options mean its performance can be fine-tuned to perfection. As well as its peerless picture quality, the TX-P60ZT65 offers a range of Smart TV features, including wireless media streaming and the customizable My Home Screen interface. The premium build quality and the screen’s slender design also impress.
Samsung’s UE55F8000 is more than just a TV – it’s a versatile home entertainment hub that gives you access to a wide range of media, be it your own or from on-demand services. Controlling the TV is aided by gesture control thanks to the integrated camera, voice recognition via the touchpad remote, and smartphone and tablet compatibility. The well-organized, revamped Smart Hub – driven by quad-core processing – is smooth and fast, making it simple to explore the UE55F8000’s many features, including the massive selection of apps or movies and shows suggested by the innovative 'S Recommendation' system. A TV with brains!
Offering four times the resolution of Full HD, Ultra HD is clearly the future of home entertainment, and the Philips 65PFL9708 is an accomplished and surprisingly affordable debut from the brand. With Ultra HD content it offers astonishing depth and clarity and its upscaling talents improve the quality of Blu-ray, DVD and direct broadcast sources. Passive 3D images on this 65-inch TV also look razor-sharp thanks to the screen’s greater resolution. Other picture quality highlights include a robust edge LED system and superb brightness, contrast and motion performance, while Ambilight XL illumination makes the whole experience more immersive.
If you want a TV that stands out from the crowd then LG’s curved 55EA980W is the one for you. A flatscreen that isn’t actually flat, thanks to the use of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology, the LG offers a cutting-edge, stylish and super-slim design, with the display seemingly floating on its transparent stand that includes nearly invisible speakers. LG’s OLED implementation (which uses an additional white pixel) brings performance benefits too; this TV offers an ultra-high contrast with deep black levels and searing bright whites, an extremely wide viewing angle and vivid colours. 3D and Smart TV features are of course also included, and the curved shape provides a unique viewing experience.
This is an accomplished hybrid design, offering both versatile Full HD camcorder and still image camera in a lightweight, small and easy-to-use design, with a detachable viewfinder, optical image stabilizer and accessory ports among its useful features. The F1.2 lens, combined with a highly efficient CMOS sensor, ensures excellent performance in low-light conditions. High-speed recording up to 500 fps and slow-motion playback makes it ideal for capturing fast-moving action. JVC’s innovative CAM Coach App is also a great editing/tagging tool for sports analysis. The GC-PX100’s built-in Wi-Fi enables quick sharing of footage and flexible control via tablet or smartphone.
OPPO's BDP-103EU is a state-of-the-art Blu-ray player, matching a luxurious, heavyweight build quality with an astonishing range of features. In addition to two HDMI outputs, external sources can take advantage of the player’s high-grade processing via its twin HDMI inputs, while USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi capability make it easy to play back your own media files. As a universal deck, the OPPO will happily spin Super Audio CDs and DVD-Audio discs as well as Blu-rays – its performance, aided by extensive user adjustments, is sublime. 4K upscaling and HDMI passthrough mean it can be combined with the latest high-end displays at the heart of a home cinema.
Designed for home theatre enthusiasts, the DLA-X55R offers an unprecedented picture quality for its price point. Light output and native contrast are highly impressive, while the colour reproduction is nuanced and natural. Sharpness is another strength, with JVC’s second-generation 'e-Shift2' detail enhancement technology displaying Full HD content with an astonishing level of detail that comes close to an Ultra HD sensation. Installation of the DLA-X55R is helped by its comprehensive setup features, including motorised horizontal and vertical lens shift, a 2x zoom and Lens Memory function, plus extensive calibration options and a range of excellent preset viewing modes
Loewe always strives to provide home entertainment systems that mix premium design and ease of use with a quality audio-visual experience, and this combination is no different. The new Individual 55 Slim Frame TV offers Active 3D playback, an integrated PVR and Smart TV features, plus personalised style options to tailor it for any living room. The 3D Orchestra 5.1 IS, meanwhile, uses an array of wireless speakers with omnidirectional dispersion, ensuring an immersive surround sound performance, with a tight bass delivery from the dedicated 200W subwoofer. With no need for an external processor, as decoding is handled by the Loewe TV, this is an appealing fuss-free solution.
The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH3 offers the best video quality of any combined still and movie camera in this price segment – and actually in some higher segments as well. It offers full manual as well as completely automatic video recording, making it ideal for in-the-field shooting as well as more formal situations. It's also a pretty handy stills camera with a full range of controls, making it an impressively flexible package. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH3 is very popular with videographers partly because it is a very lightweight and rugged, weather-resistant camera that’s serviced by a great selection of high-quality lenses.
The Manfrotto MVH500AH is a lightweight and compact tripod head with a wide sliding plate that is suitable for use with big DSLR telephoto lenses and professional quality video cameras. It ensures smooth adjustments, fine controls and sharp pictures. As it can be mounted on standard photo tripods the MVH500AH is an ideal accessory for photo enthusiasts who want to start exploring the video functions of their cameras. The head achieves its smooth motion using professional fluid cartridges on both pan and tilt axes, and a locking system makes it quick and simple to lift the camera out of the head. The MVH500AH is able to support equipment of up to 5kg and an Easy Link 3/8” connector also allows an external monitor or other accessories to be fitted directly to the head.
The GoPro HERO3 Black Edition is the most sophisticated action cam around. Robust, lightweight and compact, it’s an ideal partner for outdoor enthusiasts, from surfers and cyclists to deep-sea divers. Acting as both a camcorder and a stills camera, the GoPro gives users total flexibility over what they shoot – modes include slow-motion, full HD and low-frame-rate 4K/Ultra HD. Accessories in the Black Edition set include a Wi-Fi remote, waterproof housing and adhesive mounts and pivots, so it can be used in many different environments. Pairing with smartphones and tablets lets you monitor and control what you’re filming. Essentially, whatever you want to do, this smallscale cam can do it…
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Plus: All of the latest home cinema tech,
Blu-ray/DVD reviews, and a whole lot more!
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Home Cinema Choice is proud to be a member of EISA.
Visit www.eisa.eu for more info.