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Sony is taking a geeky gamble that soundbars aren’t enough any more

Sony is taking a geeky gamble that soundbars aren’t enough any more

It's fair to say that soundbars upended the home theater market. While their early iterations may have struggled to match the audio performance of a room full of individual speakers, advances in hardware and processing algorithms have made it possible to have effective surround sound from a single source in the room. Suddenly, you didn't need a big amp and seven or more different boxes - all trailing wires - to get that pseudo-theater effect.

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Sony HT-A9 and HT-A7000 take two very different routes to home theater

Sony HT-A9 and HT-A7000 take two very different routes to home theater

Sony is looking to upend home theater audio, with a new HT-A7000 soundbar along with the more unusual Sony HT-A9 home theater system. While the HT-A7000 replaces the old HT-ST5000 with a familiar form-factor and niceties like Dolby Atmos, the HT-A9 takes a different route, with four speakers that use smart auto-optimization so that you can place them anywhere in the room.

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Android TV update adds new ways to cut through content overload

Android TV update adds new ways to cut through content overload

Android TV is getting an update, with Google adding new watchlist, recommendation, and other changes to make it easier to find new content to watch. The new features are rolling out this week, and aim to cut through the choice overload of streaming and live platforms.

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IKEA Symfonisk Picture Frame Review: Art is in the ear of the beholder

IKEA Symfonisk Picture Frame Review: Art is in the ear of the beholder

For a while it seemed like IKEA and Sonos' Symfonisk collaboration had stalled, but the new Symfonisk Picture Frame is a reminder that, much like artwork, unusual tech can take time to create. Packaging a connected Sonos speaker into a piece of wall art, it bypasses the traditional aesthetic associated with home audio for something that - depending on your decor - will either be more or less surreptitious than anything else from Sonos' line-up.

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AirPlay 2 and HomeKit arrive on 2020 Toshiba and Insignia 4K Fire TVs

AirPlay 2 and HomeKit arrive on 2020 Toshiba and Insignia 4K Fire TVs

Amazon's Fire TV platform was launched in response to Google's Chromecast. Its first device was an HDMI dongle, but it quickly outgrew that form, expanding to a more traditional set-top box and eventually to actual TVs. Smart TVs powered by Fire TV are still far and few in between, but now they're getting two of the most coveted features for any smart TV: Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support.

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LG SIGNATURE OLED R rollable TV goes on sale at $100,000

LG SIGNATURE OLED R rollable TV goes on sale at $100,000

LG's rolling OLED TV is up for sale, but if you want to put a piece of tech magic in your living room you need to brace yourself for a seriously eye-watering price tag. Revealed last year, the LG SIGNATURE OLED R has a 65-inch display that rolls up into its base when not needed, but you'll have to find a whopping $100,000 in order to buy one.

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LG webOS TV brings Amazon Alexa to third party TVs

LG webOS TV brings Amazon Alexa to third party TVs

It's not easy to determine which smart TV platform is really leading the market. Smart TV sales don't exactly correlate to the popularity or quality of the software that runs on them. Despite having been a close Google partner back when it still made smartphones, LG has opted to pave its own path with a proprietary spin of webOS made especially for TVs. It has opened up that platform to more TV makers and is now giving its own competitors one of its exclusive features, the ability to speak to Amazon's Alexa, even without an Alexa-powered speaker.

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Amazon Prime Video gets Watch Party support on Fire TV devices

Amazon Prime Video gets Watch Party support on Fire TV devices

Amazon has finally expanded Watch Party support to its Fire TV devices, enabling people who are located in different places to watch the same content together. Though Watch Party isn't a new tool, it launched with limited usefulness: you could only use it when streaming Prime Video on desktop. Watch Party is also now available on mobile, but with restrictions.

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The Witcher season 2 gets a Netflix premiere date

The Witcher season 2 gets a Netflix premiere date

Today, Netflix and CD Projekt are hosting WitcherCon - an online event devoted to The Witcher franchise. While we knew ahead of time that Witchercon wouldn't reveal any new Witcher games, we had a feeling we'd hear more about Netflix's various series. That's precisely what happened, as Netflix revealed the premiere date for The Witcher season 2 during the show today.

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IKEA SYMFONISK Picture Frame hands-on: An artful Sonos speaker

IKEA SYMFONISK Picture Frame hands-on: An artful Sonos speaker

IKEA's SYMFONISK Picture Frame speaker has arrived, and if you didn't know it hid wireless music talents behind the abstract art, you'd be forgiven for not realizing Sonos' involvement. Third addition to the SYMFONISK range, the new Picture Frame speaker joins the Bookshelf Speaker and Table Lamp Speaker as some of the most affordable ways to add Sonos to your home.

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Android TV and Google TV autoplaying ads are irking users

Android TV and Google TV autoplaying ads are irking users

Ads have unfortunately become an inescapable part of digital life, but, thankfully, there has been some pushback on the aggressive and invasive nature of ads. Given the nature of its business, it's no surprise that Google has become the poster child for often questionable advertising strategies. That came under the spotlight again this week when Google not only put video ads on the home screens of its Android TV and Google TV platforms but also made those ads automatically play with audio and no way to turn them off.

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The “Star Trek: Picard” season 2 trailer brings out the big guns

The “Star Trek: Picard” season 2 trailer brings out the big guns

Star Trek: Picard season 2 is coming, and the first full trailer is bringing out the big guns. The hit Star Trek spin-off focusing on ST:TNG's iconic Jean Luc Picard is one the franchise's most popular characters back to our screens.

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