A/V VETERAN

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2006 Published: Oct 01, 2006 1 comments

I leave tomorrow for a week in Japan, courtesy of Sharp. We will, of course, visit Sharp factories, but another main event on the trip is CEATAC, the annual "Japanese CES." It actually isn't anywhere near as big as CES, but it is a show with a unique flavor all its own. And while I'm not sure we'll see anything we didn't see at the recent CEDIA Expo, you never know. Products are often introduced in Japan before they're exported overseas.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 20, 2006 1 comments

I uploaded my final blogs from CEDIA Expo 2006 on Tuesday. I returned Sunday and had intended to post them early Monday, but United Airlines delayed my luggage until Monday afternoon. It was very thoughtful of United to help me avoid schlepping home bags loaded with brochures, notes, my camera card reader, and the power supply for my laptop. They even hand delivered them to my home for me.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2006 1 comments

It's that time of year again. A nip in the air. The trees changing color. Well, OK, September is a bit early for either of those annual events, and in any case we rarely experience them in LA, but you get the idea. Fall is coming, and with it thoughts of new high definition programs, new formats, new video displays, new audio gear, and all that other indoor stuff that was pushed into the background by beaches, barbecues, and way too much of that unhealthy fresh air and sunshine.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 27, 2006 2 comments

The August 2006 issue of <I>Popular Mechanics</I> devotes one entire page (!) to HD DVD. The main feature of the article is a comparison between HD DVD and the standard disc played back on a much less expensive, upconverting DVD player (an $80 Philips).

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 18, 2006 4 comments

It has long been rumored that Sony is readying a new, lower-priced SXRD front projector to slot in under the current VPL-VW100. Now those rumors, while not yet confirmed, have more substance. The new projector is codenamed Pearl, and may have the official designation VPL-VW50. (The internal codename for the VPL-VW100, Ruby, has stuck as a name for that projector, though it appears in none of Sony's promotional materials). If the rumors pan out, the new projector will be introduced at the 2006 International Funkausstellung in Berlin in early September, and most certainly will have its official U.S. launch at the 2006 CEDIA EXPO in Denver two weeks later.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 01, 2006 0 comments

There's an interesting story behind the photo of the Samsung rear projection set that appears on the home page and in the product review. As most of you know, such photos are almost never taken directly from a television showing an actual image. Instead, the image is inserted later into a blank screen photo of the set using a computer program, most often Photoshop. This program allows nearly any photo to be resized and reconfigured to fit a television screen originally shot at any angle.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 25, 2006 0 comments

Denon has reported that audio component sales, long declining, increased significantly last month (June). Not coincidentally, the company's own sales increased by double digits in the past year to the point where, in dollar sales, it holds the second place market share in the receiver/amplifier/tuner category (after Yamaha).

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 08, 2006 2 comments

A few years back everyone was wondering if our civilization would come crashing down around our keyboards. All of our computers stored the year as a two-digit number, and 00 did not compute. Best case: Aunt Ellie wouldn't get her airline reservation in time for that visit, or better yet might end up in Sri Lanka. Worst case: an extinction level event.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 25, 2006 Published: Jun 26, 2006 6 comments

It's hard to fight the notion that an upconverting DVD player works some kind of magic on the lowly, standard definition DVD. I've written about this before, but if recent Internet forum traffic is any indication, the confusion continues.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 13, 2006 1 comments

The gear has been packed back up and the rooms cleared. The demo material has been tossed into suitcases, destined to end up in an obscure corner of each exhibitor's factory, the place where overplayed and now unloved recordings go to die. And copious notes have been made on what worked and what needs to be improved.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 31, 2006 0 comments

Tomorrow I'm off to our 2006 Home Entertainment Show at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport—LAX to the locals. We'll be blogging on line from the show, including gobs of photos and comments about all the new products we see. Check it out, starting tomorrow evening, Thursday, June 1.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 17, 2006 2 comments

The pieces are rapidly falling onto place for Home Entertainment 2006, to be held from June 2 to June 4 at the Sheraton Gateway hotel in Los Angeles. It's the first time that this annual event has been held in the City of Angels since 1998—far too long a wait for those living here. If you're coming from out of town and plan to fly in, the hotel is located just a short shuttle ride from the airport. Even short enough to walk, if you aren't weighed down with baggage.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 04, 2006 3 comments

Will the prices of HD DVDs and BDs&mdash;the discs themselves, never mind the players)&mdash;keep the brakes on sales of the new format? If current trends continue, those of us with big DVD collections had better start saving up if we want to eventually replace them with HD DVDs and BDs (Blu-ray discs).

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 21, 2006 0 comments

I always find it odd when they refer to movie <I>previews</I> (what everyone I knew called them when I was growing up in Connecticut) as <I>trailers</I>. Trailers (okay, I surrender) are mini movies, assembled for one purpose: to put asses (pun not…oh, never mind) in the seats for the film itself.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 17, 2006 3 comments

After an extended absence, our popular opinion poll is back!
<I>
To check it out, either click on the "Vote" section in the link line just below the <I>Ultimate AV</I> logo on the top of our home page, or go directly there from <A HREF=" http://cgi.ultimateavmag.com/cgi-bin/displayvote.cgi">here</A>.

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