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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Will the prices of HD DVDs and BDs—the discs themselves, never mind the players)—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).
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.
I saw <I>King Kong</I> —twice— theatrically, in the "standard" auditoriums of the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood (not the Cinerama Dome where it was also playing, for reasons I described in an earlier blog, "<I>King Kong: Peter Jackson's Production Diaries</I>," below). It was, without question, the best theatrical film presentation I've seen in years. I wrote about the DVD in our most recent e-Newsletter, which will show up in your mailbox in a few days. (You do subscribe don't you? It's free, just go <A HREF=" http://www.ultimateavmag.com/newsletter_subscribe/?Your%20E-mail ">here</A>to sign up.)
During a gala event last night at Ken Cranes Home Entertainment on the tony west side of Los Angeles, LG Electronics hosted the launch of its long-awaited 71-inch plasma display, the MW-71PY10. As the press handout states, it's the first plasma you can speak of in feet, not inches (they should have made it an even six feet—what's an itty bitty inch among friends).
As the old saying goes, what if they started a war and nobody came? That seems to be the case with the simmering format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. To the consumer who bothers to keep up on developments, it must look like a phony war.
Last time I mentioned a letter from a reader asking me to recommend great movie theaters he should check out on a visit to Los Angeles. I also suggested that out-of-towners visiting The Big Orange for our upcoming Home Entertainment 2006 show on June 2-4 (you are coming, right?) might want to include a visit to one or more of the best theaters in the world in their plans—particularly if they're from a theater-challenged part of the country. There are new multiplexes in LA <I>suburbs</I>, for example, that are likely better than any movie theater in the entire state of New Mexico (I know from experience, having lived in Santa Fe for 10 years and visited most of the theaters there and in nearby Albuquerque, the state's biggest city by far).
Our annual Home Entertainment show, sponsored by Primedia's home tech and photography publications—<I>Ultimate AV</I>, <I>Stereophile</I>, <I>Home Theater</I>, <I>Audio Video Interiors</I>, and <I>Shutterbug</I>—is still three months away. But time has a way of catching us off guard. If you plan on attending from out of town, you need to make plans now!
With the HD DVD competition set to launch within a month, Sony invited members of the CE press to the Sony Studios in Culver City, California for an update on Blu-ray technology and a demonstration of that format's formidable capabilities.