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Dolby Vision Explained 

What is Dolby Vision?

Dolby VisionTM transforms the way you experience movies, TV shows, and games with incredible brightness, contrast, and color that bring entertainment to life before your eyes. By fully leveraging the maximum potential of new cinema projection technology and new TVs' display capabilities, Dolby Vision delivers high-dynamic-range (HDR) and wide-color-gamut content. The result is a re ned, lifelike image that will make you forget you are looking at a screen.
Current consumer video delivery and cinema standards are based on the limitations of old technologies and require altering the original content before it can be reproduced for playbackdramatically reducing the range of colors, brightness, and contrast from that captured by modern cameras. Dolby Vision changes that, giving creative teams the con dence that images will be reproduced faithfully on TVs, PCs, and mobile devices that feature Dolby Vision.
Dolby Vision is a natural complement to Dolby Atmos®. It gives movie, television, and game creators the tools they need to create experiences that preserve the creative intent and let consumers experience truly immersive content without compromise.
For manufacturers of televisions, game consoles, personal computers, and mobile devices, Dolby Vision unlocks the full capabilities of their hardware and creates a premium experience that can increase use and enjoyment of these products.

What The Content Creator Is What The Viewer Gets

The limitations in today's system comes as a natural result of the limitations of current TV and Blu-ray standards. The maximum brightness for broadcast TV or Blu-ray discs
is 100 nits*. But modern TVs often have 300 to 500 nits maximum brightness, so TV manufacturers stretch the brightness of the content to try to use the capabilities of the display. This distorts the images. And because each manufacturer stretches the output differently, every viewer will experience a movie, TV show, or game in a different and unpredictable way.
Dolby Vision solves this problem. Content creators color-grade their content using Dolby Vision compatible reference monitors, which have dramatically higher dynamic range and wider color gamut, to ensure the highest- delity mastering. The Dolby Vision picture contains metadata about the system used to create the nal version
of the content. Because any Dolby Vision television has been carefully calibrated by
the manufacturer and Dolby technicians, our technology can use this metadata and the higher-quality content to produce the best and most accurate representation on every display. This honesty to the creator is why Dolby Vision is being adopted by major studios for the cinema and for delivering the best Hollywood content to the home.

* nit: In lighting, the nit is a unit of visible-light intensity, commonly used to specify the brightness of a cathode ray tube or liquid crystal display computer display. One nit is equivalent to one candela per square meter.

Major difference between the Dolvy Vision approach and other HDR solutions

A major difference between the Dolby Vision approach and other HDR solutions is the metadata that accompanies each frame of the video all the way to the display manager in the consumer-playback device. Systems with generic HDR* carry only static metadata that describes the properties of the color-grading monitor that was used to create the content and some very basic information about the brightness properties (maximum and average light levels) for the entire piece of content. Dolby Vision adds dynamic metadata that is produced during content creation; the dynamic properties of each scene are captured. With this information, the Dolby Vision display manager is able to adapt the content to the properties of the display much more accurately. It allows hues to be preserved properly, which is critical for display of skin tones. Even with mass- market edge-lit TVs, the overall impression of colors is preserved much more accurately.
Guided by the Dolby Vision metadata, the Dolby Vision display manager enables great visual experiences on a wide range of display devices ranging from higher-end OLED TVs with stunning black levels to LCD TVs with advanced technologies like quantum dot, all the way down to mass-market edge-lit TVs.
Technology has moved far beyond current imaging standards for TV and movies. This end-to-end solution delivers dramatic imaging that fully expresses the original creative intent. Dolby Vision enhances today's viewing experiences and is ready for the next wave of innovation from TV, movies, games, and streaming services

* HDR (High Dynamic Range): The contrast between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks. The high the dynamic range the closer a picture gets to real life.



A Primer on our Naim Uniti In-Store Event Saturday October 7th

Posted by Juan on 3 October 2017
A Primer on our Naim Uniti In-Store Event Saturday October 7th
Who is Naim?
The NAIM brand is very well known in the specialist audio industry, and for a very long time. Officially founded on 1973 by Julian Vereker in Salisbury, England, NAIM is now recognised as one of the world's best producers of audiophile products. All started when Julian - recording his friends playing live - found that playback on his system at home fell very short of the experience he craved. Ignoring accepted wisdom, he focused on aspects of performance that allowed music to burst into life. It's from these humble beginnings that have spawned many iconic and award-winning hi-fidelity products.

Fast forward to today and Naim's hotly anticipated new and improved Uniti range is coming to Audio Junction as an exclusive event! Here's what we have in store;

Uniti Atom
A compact multi-source music player that will seduce you with amazing sound quality and outstanding aesthetics. The versatile Uniti Atom is perfect as a high-end main system or even for use in the kitchen or study, where space is at a premium. Just add speakers. Using your smart iOS or Android you will be able to combine  all your music sources in one place, even the option of adding an HDMI connection (Arc Audio Return Channel) would boost television audio, makes the surprisingly powerful Uniti Atom more appealing

Uniti Star
This system is the star of the show. With plenty of features and the ability to play, rip, store, and serve your treasured music collection, Unit Star offers infinite possibilities. Since includes a CD player alongside streaming and amplification technology. The custom-integrated CD drive also doubles as a ripper, making Uniti Star the most versatile all-in-one in the range. Ready to go with practically any speaker set-up. Explore the new world of digital audio and stay connected to your CDs turning up the volume effortlessly.

Uniti Nova
The Nova is proof that audiophile quality can be achieved with an all-in-one player. Whichever source you choose; your music will be transformed into incredible sonic experiences. The reference player in the range, Uniti Nova has been configured to offer the very best solution that Naim can implement in a single box, compact enclosure. All the available space has been used to provide 80 watts per channel of class A/B amplification capable of driving the most demanding loudspeakers detail and depth you'll hear in every note, riff, and chorus.

Uniti Nova boasts outstanding new technology which really sets it apart from the rest of the range. Its circuitry features the highest quality discrete components, superior isolation, more inputs, and a massive toroidal transformer that brings a whole new meaning to the term heavyweight. Uniti Nova is as good as an all-in-one player can get.

Uniti Core
Uniti Core represents the essence of digital music. It's a seriously powerful machine that will store up to 100,000 tracks on an HDD or SSD; serve up to 12 streams and allows you to fit the hard drive of your choice.

The new Uniti Core is a state of art piece of audio technology. Every element of this dedicated music server from the customised operating system, the enhanced ripping engine, and the linear power supply to the low-vibration aluminium casework has been engineered to deliver consistent, reliable performance and highest sound quality.
Unit Core is a fuss-free, no-compromise solution to ripping, storing, cataloging and playing all of your music in one place.

Command Your Music
The custom Naim app gives you effortless control over individual or multiple Unit products. Access all your music including favourite radio stations, streaming services, and playlists, explore artist discographies and biographies and update your system wirelessly with a single tap.

Bi-Directional Remote Control
Uniti all-in-one players have a full colour LCD display with a proximity sensor that wakes up on approach, accompanied by a bi-directional intelligent remote control giving you complete freedom of movement.
Posted in: Naim Hifi   0 Comments

Our Three part Guide to an Affordable, Future-Proof High Fidelity System - Part One

Posted by JL on 12 September 2017
Our Three part Guide to an Affordable, Future-Proof High Fidelity System - Part One
The Amplifier

It's a well-known fact that we're able to listen to music because the speakers' drivers vibrate back and forth forcing the air all around them to vibrate as well. These vibrations are what stimulate our ears, permitting our brain to interpret it, and us to enjoy the music! To produce this physical movement, the loudspeaker drivers require energy in the form of amplification power, and the more power available, the more accurately the drivers are controlled by the amp to reproduce music in high fidelity sound, and with greater detail.
Of course, power isn't everything - the complexity of design and quality of parts used in the manufacture of any component is also crucial to achieving great sound.   

The stereo amplifier is the driving force of any stereo hi-fi system, and the NAD C368 is one that especially attracts me thanks to its solid and sustainable delivery of power in addition to many other features that we'll get into in a moment. But firstly, to the power delivery; Its power supply is capable of 200 watts continuously and over 600 watts instantaneously to allow for short-term musical transients. It can provide pure DC power to all the various stages of the C 368. This highly efficient supply also provides near perfect regulation of voltage across a wide range of conditions and provides a solid, noise-free foundation for the amplifying stages. This allows the C368 to deliver wide bandwidth and consistent performance into any speaker load.

This hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier is then equipped with 2 optical and 2 coaxial digital inputs, Bluetooth with aptX® support and optional Bluesound network streaming module. All this digital connectivity provides an ample range of possibilities:
- An optical input provides a connection for your TV digital out achieving a far greater quality sound performance than a Soundbar and can even learn your TV remote.
- Bluetooth with high the quality apt-X codec allows you to push music you have on your smart phone or tablet.
- A Bluesound module installed into the C368 gives you access to one of the most advanced Hi-Res Audio multi-room wireless systems available,  opening the window to a world of music streaming from a variety of music online stores such as Deezer, Spotify, and Tidal. In fact, if you subscribe to Tidal or Deezer-Elite, you may not need to buy CDs ever again, as these online music stores can stream in CD quality or better.

Don't worry - the C368 has traditional connectivity too, meaning that you can listen to your vinyl collection in all the typical and well-known NAD Hi-Fi performance we've come to love, as well as two analogue line inputs for legacy support of a CD player or any other analogue devices.

Looking back to the future, however; Modular Design Construction (or MDC for short) is a magnificent feature not seen in other manufacturers' products, allowing you to customise your NAD amplifier with additional capabilities and features, now or in the future. The two available MDC slots can accommodate a variety of upgrade modules including 4K video capable HDMI switching, additional Digital Inputs, additional Analogue and Phono Inputs, and one of the best multi-room streaming platforms available. BluOS connects to your network and is controlled via smartphone, tablet or desktop to manage your music collection and connect you to a growing list of high-quality streaming music services.

So, the C368 ticks all the boxes: traditional and future ready, digital and analogue, customisable, superb stereo sound, a stereo system just for your music room or in your living room, an excellent substitution for sound bars, and able to match the widest range of speakers even those with difficult loads.

As you can see, the C368 is an absolutely extraordinary value for money!

Click here for more info.

Posted in: NAD Tidal Amplifier hi-fi   0 Comments

Focal Sopra Part 2- The Obsession with Midrange

Posted on 15 February 2016

Welcome to our second installment on the innovative technologies employed in the new Focal Sopra Loudspeaker, this one focusing on the design of the midrange section. Midrange frequencies are undoubtedly one of the most complex areas of a speakers design and the most demanding musically, it is also a key element of the sound signature of all Focal Loudspeakers. The performance of the midrange driver is critical. On one hand, there must be a smooth transition to the bass driver, while on the other, it must be tuned to the tweeter in terms of dispersion and acceleration.  The Sopra design team have approached this dilemma with a series of exciting advancements in midrange driver design which I will expand on below.


The "W" composite sandwich cone permits total optimisation of the frequency response curve, thanks to the total control of three key parameters: lightness, rigidity and damping. At Focal, the letter "W" means Glass/ Glass, as it usually has two sheets of woven glass tissue that are "sandwiched" onto the structural foam core. The cone structure is more homogeneous and its behaviour in flex is much more superior than Kevlar® or Aramid fibre .
These unique characteristics of lightness and rigidity provide control of the signal transmission speed inside the material. Adjusting the thickness of the structural foam allows a very precise control of the "W" cone's damping. The variation of the number of glass fibre sheets and the thickness of the central foam can easily optimize the cone's behaviour according to the desired frequency range. When listening, the sound of the "W" cone is entirely transparent, has an excellent phase response and has a very low distortion rate (rigidity 20 times higher than Kevlar® or Aramid fibre).



For the past 20 years, Focal have been working on mastering the "break up" (the frequency at which the cone becomes deformed, leading to distortion) of their 3rd generation "W" cones. Today, thanks to the power of finite element analysis, Focal's design teams have developed simulation software to visualise the dynamic behaviour of the suspension which connects the cone to the basket, thus revealing the performance issues requiring attention.


The problem is now well known: there  is a sudden change in mechanical impedance where the wave passes from the cone to the surround, which itself radiates sound and has a "boomerang" effect, causing deformation of the cone. Many attempts to resolve this have been considered by Focal's competitors but none is satisfactory, since all are detrimental to cone travel and cause dynamic compression.

Following the discovering of these issues, Focal had to conceive the approach to solve them. The solutions already known for increasing the damping properties of the suspension all result in an increase of the mass which consequently alters definition. The answer came from a technology used in earthquake-resistant skyscrapers and which is also used for the suspension on racing cars!  This technology is called a "Tuned Mass Damper": an additional mass oscillates in opposition to the resonance frequency to control it.

It was used with great success in the suspension of the Renault R25 F1 car in 2005 and was quickly banned because it was considered anti-competitive by the FIA. It is also the basic principle of anti-seismic systems for modern skyscrapers. This device offers major advantages. The speaker engineers were able to:

  • Use an exponential cone profile that extends the bandwidth to more than 5kHz and thus achieve better transient response;
  • Choose a very light surround, eliminating the resonance that is even stronger when the mass is low;
  • Damp resonance in the direction of the sound radiation (the radial plane) whereas competitors' devices damp circumferential resonances of the suspension.)

Thus Focal are able to combine benefits which were previously irreconcilable: low mass, optimum damping and extension of the frequency response. This leads to several benefits at the listening level:

  • Improved transient response coupled with a flat frequency response and reduced distortion, of the order of more than 50 per cent in an area where the ear is highly sensitive around 2kHz.
  • This results in more accurate timbre, improved definition and better stereo imaging.

To clarify the last point, the resonance of a conventional surround blurs the soundstage, especially when the resonance is marked. TMD suspension eliminates the problem at its source.

Focal's Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) consists of two tubular rings moulded onto the surround. This simple solution, perfected thanks to new software, stabilises the dynamic behaviour of the surround according to resonance, thus avoiding deformation of the cone without afflicting the dynamics.

Two moulded circular beads in the surround form the tuned harmonic damper. While this appears to be a simple solution, over a hundred different configurations were tested to optimise the result.

A committed research project  thus enabled Focal to develop a remarkable solution by addressing the problem at its source, without limitation of cone movement, using a "TMD" suspension for which a patent was filed in the third quarter of 2014.

VISUAL ANALOGY OF THE SURROUNDS- Left shows no TMD or default configuration, Right shows with TMD suspension



The precision and detail of audio reproduction depends on the stability of the drivers magnetic field. This stability is compromised by three factors which tend to modulate the magnetic field:

  1. the movement of the voice coil (Lenz's law),
  2. the current passing through it (Foucault current),
  3. the frequency.
Consequently, the voice coil, and all the moving parts, including the cone, are located within the magnetic field which becomes too variable, and leads to loss of precision.



After three years of research and the development of simulation software which makes it possible to visualise these complex interactions, Focal engineers have created an incredibly stable magnetic circuit for the Sopra line. The solution, (NIC technology), lies in a Faraday ring whose dimensions, materials and positioning were optimised to make the magnetic field no longer affected by the position of the voice coil, by the amperage or the frequency of the current passing through it.


To implement this solution Focal developed a new midrange driver magnetic circuit for the Sopra line. A central Neodymium magnet is topped with a ferromagnetic pole piece brought to saturation by a second Neodymium pellet above it. The field is looped by a ferromagnetic circuit dimensioned to avoid saturation. Finally a Faraday ring is carefully positioned further to reduce distortion below 1kHz.

The end Result ...

Focal have now applied two major developments to the Sopra's midrange driver:   the harmonic damper suspension "TMD" and the  new magnetic circuit "NIC".

It is interesting to see the combined effect of these two innovations on overall performance. The results can definately be heard in listening tests:
  • extended frequency response for better transient performance and thus better definition
  • high linearity in the critical region 1-3kHz for improved timbral accuracy
  • drastic reduction of resonance in the surround and non linearities in the magnetic circuit which are responsible for blurring the stereo image.

In the Part 3 we will explore the Bass section of the Sopra.
Posted in: Focal   0 Comments

Focal Sopra- A peek behind the scenes

Posted by MD on 8 February 2016
As a lead up to our Special Focal/Naim Event on the 20th Feb, this is the first installment in a series of blogs which will give some insight into the design elements that give Sopra its unique look and sound. In this installment we discuss the High Frequency section.  In the Utopia Series Loudspeaker, Focal have created a flagship range, globally recognised, but out of the reach of many consumers. The Sopra is an exercise in passing down the new technologies inspired by what they have learned from the development of the Utopia III in the creation of a Loudspeaker with spectacular performance but at a more affordable price.


Introducing the Sopra Tweeter



The tweeter remains central to the design of the Sopra, it is the "eye" of the product that captures the eye of the onlooker. Its positioning is not just aesthetic, it is highly critical to the sound as it predetermines the speaker's spatiality, what Focal call "Focus Time".


Due to its incredible rigidity, Beryllium represents the ultimate material for a tweeter dome. Focal, after two years of research and development, produced a world first: a pure Beryllium inverted dome, able to cover more than five octaves (1000Hz 40kHz). You may ask yourself, why strive for an extended response at 40kHz, if the human ear can only hear up to 20kHz? If you can extend frequency response, you will improve the perception of transients and other micro details. As well, the linearity of the speaker's response curve is mainly a function of three opposite parameters: lightness, rigidity and damping. To this day, Beryllium is the only material which permits a joining of these three parameters. The result is a sound wave propagation three times faster than Titanium and two and a half times faster than Aluminum. In the end, the linearity of the frequency response curve, the acoustic transparency and the impulse response of the Beryllium tweeter are maximized and offer near-perfect sound.


The inverted dome tweeter is perhaps the perfect transducer. This design permits very high-efficiency, precision and energy. The particular advantage of the inverted dome tweeter is the optimisation of the mechanical coupling between the voice coil and the dome.



     Conventional Positive Dome Tweeter                  Inverted Dome Tweeter

The voice coil is fixed at mid-height on the dome and uniformly moves the cone entire surface. The positive dome is only joined at its edge, causing it to be inactive beyond 16kHz for a flexible surface. The inverted dome directly radiates into the air, with maximum efficiency, which is translated by an extremely precise soundstage. The dome's response curve is clearly more linear than that of any positive dome. It provides better space dispersion and very low directivity, contrary to ribbon tweeters. The inverted dome tweeter offers unequalled dynamics, enabling sound engineers to very precisely control compression. The image precision (height, width and depth) is outstanding and makes the positioning of each element very easy, as well as allows one to exactly assess the reverb tails.


The requirement for Sopra to be compact meant that as much of the cabinet as possible had to be used for the bass. The Focal Design team had to explore a new system for loading the tweeter. Their Beryllium tweeter features an incredibly light and extremely rigid dome. Its main limitation comes from the compression of air in the cavity behind it. To overcome this, the ideal would be to have a nearly infinite volume.



With the Utopia IAL 2 tweeter Focal  worked on improving the flow of the rear-directed wave from the dome. In Utopia III the tweeter has its own enclosure with a large volume to absorb the back wave very gently, as would an infinite space. With Sopra, the need for compactness meant they could not devote the necessary volume for this. So their thinking has led them to imagine a rear acoustic load on the tweeter that approaches the ideal by gradually absorbing the rear radiation. Located on the back of the tweeter a progressively damped horn-shaped duct evacuates smoothly the rear radiation of the dome and has the advantage of being the most effective solution in terms of compactness, thereby preserving internal volume for the bass section.

The rear of the Beryllium tweeter is loaded via a small cavity which is connected to the exterior of the enclosure by a horn. The inside of the horn is filled with a damping material. Thus, sound waves from the rear of the tweeter are delicately and gradually absorbed. Its acoustic impedance approaches zero so that no resistance alters the movement of the dome. This pushes definition to its maximum. Moreover, a lot of effort went into isolating the tweeter from any interference from vibrations. The injected polyurethane mono-bloc tweeter frame provides the optimal mass and damping in a reduced space.
Thus, the Focal design team were able to get the most out of the woofers to enhance bass performance while having an ideally-positioned tweeter, and all this in a reasonably-sized cabinet.

In our next installment we discus the Sopra's Mid-range section.

Posted in: Focal   0 Comments

4K TV and premature marketing

Posted by MD on 1 November 2014






We all love to get excited about the "next new thing", and the latest "new thing" is undoubtedly 4K or now rebranded UHD. Unfortunately the industry has put the cart before the horse in many respects. UHD will eventually become mainstream but today it is probably only of real benefit at sizes of 80 inch and over. Future implementation of wider colour space and greater bit depth will lead to even greater benefits, but as of today it's only true advantage is resolution. If you buy a UHD TV today you are just buying and expensive upscaler. Your 4K content options are limited to a few streaming services but with our decrepit internet infrastructure the approximately 20Mbps bandwidth required to stream UHD means you will need to book your show a day or two in advance. The recently announced UHD Blu Ray player will be available late 2015, but until then upscaled SD & HD will have to suffice. My main gripe though is not the lack of content, but rather the lack of a firm set of standards, in particular something called REC2020. HD uses a standard called REC709, this specifies things like frame rate, resolution, bit depth and colour space. REC2020 is a working standard which means it is still not fully cooked. The danger is that people buying UHD TVs today may not be able to utilise features implemented further downstream. In fact the recent release of the HDCP2.2 copy protection spec has already rendered any TV or Receiver sold up to this point redundant due to them being unable to handshake with any HDCP 2.2 compliant device and therefore unable to display UHD content. Our advice is to forget UHD for the moment  and buy the best 1080p HD equipment you can afford. If you have to have UHD then talk to a speacialist in order to get the best advice you can so that you can make an informed decision and then , proceed with caution......

Posted in: 4K   0 Comments

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