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Audio News for April 17, 2015

Vizio Launches Soundbars and Stands –  Five new soundbars and two under-TV speakers have been launched by Vizio, as well as an integrated 5.1-channel soundbar as part of its 65-inch Reference Series UHD TV. The bars and stands are designed for use with 32-inch and larger TVs. The flagship 40-inch 5.1 channel model includes wired surround speakers and a 10-inch wireless subwoofer. Select models come with remotes whose LCD screen lets users view the input source, turn on Bluetooth, enable or disable audio technologies, adjust levels of the speakers and select other audio settings. The Reference series comes with Vudu streaming service using Dolby Vision high-dynamic range (HDR) technology. A new line of smart TVs was also introduced.

LG Introduces Wi-Fi Multiroom-Audio Products – LG Electronics is now shipping its Music Flow Wi-Fi mutliroom-audio speakers and soundbars with Google Cast. All the speakers can be used as surround speakers in a home theater incorporating a Music Flow soundbar and music is distributed thruout the home via the Music Flow app running on iOS, Android and Chromebook mobile devices.  The devices stream their content direct from the cloud, and it includes Google Play Music, Pandora, Tunin, Songza and others, plus Deezer and Spotify Connect for a monthly fee. LG’s Music Flow is among the first devices to feature Google Cast.

Advantages of OLED Easy to See – LG put together a panel which included some of their people plus two from Netflix to access OLED technology and its display of HDR (high dynamic range) content to its fullest potential. (Netflix hopes to stream HDR content by late this year.) One expert said “Black sets the foundation for color and brightness.” Another said “I’ve not seen anything comparable to it, even in the color suite, from pure black all the way to 100% luminance.” Details in shadows spring to life, and the technology also delivers accurate saturated colors and accurate shades of gray and pastels. It reproduces the grayscale accurately to see all the color combinations from deep black to full white. And after almost two years on the market, OLED displays have not developed any problems with burn-in, and they last well beyond the normal TV-replacement cycle. A new flagship 77-inch LG UHD OLED model has a “flexible” screen for those who want the option of both a curved and a flat screen.

Imports Recovering After West Coast Port Strike – According to the National Retail Federation, import cargo volume for U.S. retailers is rebounding after the long West Coast port strike, but it is still far from normal. There’s still a lot of cargo that has been unloaded from ships but is waiting to be loaded onto trucks and trains to be moved across the country.

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