Home is where one starts from.
I’M AL GRIFFIN, the new editor of Sound & Vision. The above quote, from the poet T.S. Eliot, is one that applies in particular to my situation. Back in 1998, I was working as a staffer at Video magazine when it was announced that we would join forces with Stereo Review, our sister publication down the hall. The result of that merger was Sound & Vision.
It was a heady time for the consumer AV industry when our first issue launched in 1999. After a long period of development, digital high-definition TV broadcasts were finally hitting the airwaves. Netflix had just been birthed and was starting to mail out red envelopes packed with DVDS. The Super Audio CD format was introduced, soon to be followed by a competing high-res, surround-capable music format, Dvd-audio.
There seemed to be no end to the rush of technical innovation, and the magazine eagerly covered all of it.
Almost two decades have passed since we published that first issue, and plenty more has happened in the interim. Streaming has become commonplace, letting us instantly consume almost any movie, TV program, or music with little, if any, loss of quality. High-definition video has given way to ultra high-definition video, with enhancements including 10-bit color depth and high dynamic range. Movie soundtracks have become object-based, expanding the immersive potential of the soundfield through the addition of 3D overhead effects. Sound & Vision, of course, has been there to report on and review each of these new developments, same as when we started back in 1999.
What can readers expect with me at the helm? For the most part, more of the same comprehensive reporting and testing that my predecessor, Rob Sabin, oversaw during his tenure as editor. I also plan to augment the magazine’s reviews of surround sound components with coverage of music streaming and two-channel audio products. One manifestation of that change is a new column, Stream On, written by S&V’S music editor Mike Mettler. Another is the reviews you’ll find in this issue of Elac’s impressive Adante AS- 61 speaker and Micromega’s M-150 stereo integrated amplifier. Streaming might be taking over, but AV enthusiasts still love packaged media. To that end, I’ve introduced a new feature called Remaster Class that tracks the release history of an iconic music or movie title. For this issue, we’ll explore 1982’s Toto IV.
To wrap up, I’m happy to be home. That’s because Sound & Vision always has been my home, the place where I started out, and the place where I feel most comfortable. Feel free to email me at editor@ soundandvision.com to let me know your thoughts about this issue, and if we’re delivering what you expect from Sound & Vision.