A round-up of news and reviews to have graced What Hi-Fi? this week, including details of products from Philips, Metronome and Sony

This week there were reports of the BBC and ITV teaming up to create a Netflix-like streaming service, while in Hollywood, same day film releases were being discussed again. In other news, Sonos is laying off staff as it attempts to cope with the music industry's transition to digital.

Elsewhere we had reviews on Sony's 4K, HDR beast of a projector, the XS1 soundbase from Philips and an 'entry-level' CD player from French hi-fi company Metronome.

It's also new What Hi-Fi? week and the April issue sees a head-to-head between two turntables, a group test of wireless headphones and our first look at Technics' SL-1200 turntable. It's now available from your local newsagent or online.

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BBC and ITV considering Netflix streaming rival

The BBC and ITV are believed to be holding talks over a joint streaming service.

It is thought that the proposed service will work much like Netflix, with a focus on archive content available to access for a subscription fee.

These talks are at an early stage, and there may still be rights issues to work out, but it appears that both the BBC and ITV are intent on stepping up their digital presence.

MORE: BBC and ITV considering Netflix streaming rival

The Screening Room brings films to your home on the day of cinema release

Variety has reported on another idea for same day home/cinema releases.

Napster co-founder Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju from SFX Entertainment have pitched the idea of The Screening Room, where films would be available via a $150 set-top box and cost $50 each. They'll only be available for 48 hours before the rental period expires.

For each film rented, customers would receive two free movie tickets. A number of studios are said to be interested, but negotiations are in the early stages.

MORE: The Screening Room brings films to your home on the day of cinema release

Sonos lets staff go as focus turns to paid streaming and voice control

Sonos CEO John McFarlane has announced that the company will lay off staff as it navigates "an industry in transition".

With the music industry moving towards digital, Sonos has cited access to streaming services and voice control as areas to exploit.

McFarlane asserts that the company is taking the 'long view' in determining how to bring these experiences to its products, which has led to staff redundancies as the company continues its efforts in multi-room audio and digital music markets.

MORE: Sonos lets staff go as focus turns to paid streaming and voice control

More after the break


"If you’re excited by the benefits of HDR technology – we’d be hard-pushed to recommend anything else"

Sony VPL-VW520ES

Sony's latest projector has the future in its sights but it's not taking its eyes off the present.

With support for native 4K and HDR, the picture is startlingly good with images rendered in sumptuous colours and vivid details.

At nearly £9000, the price tag is a significant barrier to entry. But if you can afford it then this projector could well be on your shelf for years to come.

Read the full Sony VPL-VW520ES review

"If you’re willing to trade some of the audio quality for features, connections and streamlined looks, the XS1 is spot on""

Philips Fidelio XS1

Soundbases often look like the monolith from 2001 has decamped in your living room. Philips has come up with a rather novel solution.

Its XS1 comes with a separate subwoofer, so your main unit is a slice of metal and glass that's 4cm tall and sturdy enough to hold up to 44kg.

The sound is where it comes up a bit short. Integration between the 'base and 'woofer is cohesive, but subtlety and dynamics could arguably be better. In any case, the XS1 is still a contender if you need to beef up your TV's sound.

Read the full Philips Fidelio XS1 review

"If Metronome’s entry-level sounds this good, we can’t wait to hear what the company’s upmarket models sound like"

Metronome Le Player

How can a CD player be entry-level when it costs over £5000? It's a question French company Metronome answers with impressive results.

Given a couple of hours to run in, Le Player delivers a lively performance that's agile, articulate and expressive. Music sounds wonderful whether it's played via CD or USB port.

It may look a little plain, but that's a minor blemish for what is an excellent unit.

Read the full Metronome Le Player review