OTHER SOURCE COMPONENT REVIEWS

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Chris Lewis Posted: Sep 01, 2003 0 comments
Denon punches their ticket to the universal dance.

When you boil it all down, you realize that most format wars are somewhat ridiculous. Sure, it's fun to get the blood up every few years, and those of us in the A/V press certainly appreciate the opportunity to ramble on about these conflicts' various aspects and ramifications. Format wars ultimately belong in the software section, though, where the most that a wrong decision will cost you is the $20 or $30 that you spent on a disc, tape, or whatever else. When it comes to hardware, format wars can cost people hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Ultimately, that's no good for either side, let alone the buying public as a whole. Thanks to universal disc players' rapid emergence, the previously contentious (and occasionally ugly) high-resolution-audio war is now software-based, as it should be. This doesn't mean that the DVD-Audio and SACD camps don't still take shots at one another. Now high-resolution-player buyers have the luxury of either ignoring the conflict altogether or simply enjoying it for what it always should've been, secure in the knowledge that big bucks are no longer on the line. With competition between the various and ever-growing assortment of universal-player makers, capitalism survives, but nobody gets burned. The result should be a boom in universal-player buying over the next couple of years.

Chris Lewis Posted: Jul 14, 2003 Published: Jul 15, 2003 0 comments
Lexicon's next generation arrives with a bang.

You can't please everybody, especially in the home theater world. Lexicon came close in 2000 with the release of the MC-12, an end-all pre/pro that carried on the company's tradition of performance but also addressed the few issues that people had with earlier Lexicon controllers like the MC-12's direct predecessor, the MC-1. Almost everyone, myself included, loved the MC-1's sound, tweakability, and just about everything else. As with any high-profile piece, though, people did raise questions about the MC-1—some legitimate, some not. The MC-12 directly addressed the important issues, like the lack of analog bypass and a six-channel input. (Remember that, when the MC-1 debuted, SACD and DVD-Audio were still just a twinkle in the audiophile's eye.) Even many of the peripheral issues, such as aesthetics, got some attention on the MC-12. The only remaining issue was price, as the MC-12 cost a few thousand dollars more than the MC-1. True, but Lexicon didn't replace the MC-1 with the MC-12; they simply provided the MC-12 as another option.

Mike Wood Posted: Jun 27, 2003 Published: Jun 28, 2003 0 comments
Samsung SIR-TS160, Zenith HD-SAT520, and Sony SAT-HD200 HD DirecTV Tuners: Connect to the future of digital TV.

Whether we like it or not, digital video connections are the way of the future. Growing consensus from manufacturers suggests that consumers who have HD-capable displays that only have analog (Y/Pb/Pr or RGB) high-definition connections won't be left out in the cold, which is good news. However, while Hollywood may allow legacy equipment to remain in service, they prefer the potential copyright protection that's available through digital signals. We enthusiasts like the opportunity to pass digital signals directly to the display without stopping along the way for an unnecessary conversion back to an analog signal. Finally, several manufacturers have come out with new HD-capable DirecTV tuners to accommodate the growing number of displays with digital connections.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Apr 09, 2003 Published: Apr 10, 2003 0 comments
By the time you read this, Paramount's two-disc special collector's edition of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home should be available. While it was never my favorite Star Trek film, the movie does offer some memorable funny-because-they're-true lines. One that I often quote occurs when time-traveling Scotty confronts a 20th-century computer. When he eventually realizes that he'll have to use a horribly outdated keyboard, he quips, "How quaint."
Joel Brinkley Posted: Mar 10, 2003 0 comments

Sony and Zenith have enviable records in the world of DirecTV and digital television set-top boxes. Sony's first such product, the SAT-HD100, was among the best on the market, with topnotch performance and a host of enviable features. That receiver, along with one by Panasonic, were the two most sensitive I had ever seen. And while the Sony had some problems, among them a noisy fan and the lack of aspect-ratio control, last year I judged it the best of a troubled lot.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Feb 15, 2003 0 comments

Anyone in the market for a digital television receiver in recent months might have found them hard to come by. Manufacturers stopped making older models early this year when they began working on newer ones with updated features and receiver chips. Because most digital receivers these days also double as DirecTV tuners, one factor motivating this retooling was DirecTV's decision last year to make DVI the official digital-connection format for the service, forcing manufacturers to provide new receivers with DVI outputs.

Chris Lewis Posted: Feb 11, 2003 Published: Feb 12, 2003 0 comments
The high-resolution combi-player takeover continues.

How pleased am I that the trickle of combination SACD/DVD-Audio players has quickly reached a full flow? Visitors to my whiskey cellar (all right, my whiskey cabinet) may notice recently cracked seals on more than one of my special-occasion bottles of rare Wild Turkey. I've been on the soapbox about this issue. While no one needed a crystal ball to predict that the market would kick-start once Pioneer released their combi player, I still had my doubts. After all, this SACD/DVD-Audio format war started out as nasty as any of them. But then, I always took solace in precedent. Dolby and DTS didn't exactly exchange Christmas cards at first, either (and they still don't); now, however, you'd be hard-pressed to find applicable hardware that doesn't accommodate both formats. Deep down, I suppose I always knew that high-resolution combi players would ultimately be the norm, but I doubted that it would happen this quickly—and besides, it was more fun to do a bit of preaching.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 19, 2002 Published: Dec 20, 2002 0 comments
Upping the ante.

Thanks to consumer interest, competition, and their fundamental coolness, high-resolution audio players are falling in price to a point where almost everyone can afford them. Sony's DVP-NS755V, for example, is only $250, and it features SACD capability and progressive scanning. A year ago, this player's predecessor excited us as an inexpensive progressive-scan DVD player. Now Sony ups the ante by adding SACD and keeping the price the same.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 02, 2002 Published: Sep 03, 2002 0 comments
Zenith's DVB216 DVD player has a refreshingly different aesthetic and a refreshingly low price.

Sure, a mirror reference was the obvious route to go with the intro. After all, how many DVD players do you know that sport a fully mirrored front panel? Still, I'll try to keep the analogies to a minimum.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 05, 2002 Published: Aug 06, 2002 0 comments
Few things have dropped in price as quickly as DVD players. Less than a year ago, progressive-scan models like this one would have cost over $1,000. Now, you can find the Samsung DVD-P421 progressive-scan player for well under $200.
HT Staff Posted: Jul 11, 2002 Published: Jul 12, 2002 0 comments
Play compressed audio files on your DVD player.

Not content merely to conquer the world, the DVD player is rapidly becoming the Swiss army knife of consumer electronics. The list of formats it supports is already swollen: DVD-Video, Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround, DTS, the videoCD format that's so popular in Asia, and (of course) the CD, not to mention CD-Rs and CD-RWs. Gourmet formats like DVD-Audio, SACD, and even the obscure 24/96 stereo Digital Audio Disc are finding their way into affordable DVD players, as is a decidedly nongourmet format: MP3 compressed audio is coming to a DVD player near you.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 11, 2002 Published: Jun 12, 2002 0 comments
�ReplayTV goes online.

At first glance, this appears to be yet another review of yet another PVR. Sure, this PVR looks a little cooler and seems a bit newer, but take a closer look at the back panel. There amongst all of the inputs you'd expect to see is an Ethernet connection. ReplayTV and new owner SONICblue have pushed the PVR to the next level: the Internet.

Chris Lewis Posted: Feb 02, 2002 Published: Feb 03, 2002 0 comments
Don't believe us? Just check out Arcam's DV27 DVD player.

Killing time on an airplane is never an easy thing to do. Thankfully, over the past couple of years, I've developed an entertaining way to do just that on my return trips from our industry trade shows: reliving all of the bizarre things people have told me over the previous days. The source of these statements is broad-based: manufacturers, PR people, dealers, and even my fellow journalists (yours truly, of course, has never said anything dumb at a show—as far as you know). Maybe it's the long hours and lack of sleep or the rivers of free booze that wind their way through these events. At this year's CEDIA Expo, a representative from a large manufacturer (which will go unnamed) resolutely declared that, outside of the lowest price ranges, nobody is going to buy a DVD player that doesn't process DVD-Audio or SACD. Maybe he was trying to appeal to my well-documented affinity for these high-resolution formats, or maybe he hadn't quite sobered up yet. I imagine that my dumbfounded look made it clear that even a biased audio fellow like myself certainly couldn't agree at this stage in the game—if ever.

Mike McGann Posted: Feb 02, 2002 Published: Feb 03, 2002 0 comments
The SD-5700 affirms Toshiba's quest to continually advance DVD-playback technology.

In those dark days when it seemed like DVD would never launch—tied up by lawyers, Hollywood types, and so on (the same folks who are now working so hard to mess up HDTV)—some of the truest of true believers were lodged in an office building in Wayne, New Jersey. Their mantra was, "DVD is coming, and Toshiba will bring it to you." After almost two years, DVD did come, and Toshiba's first players were worth the wait. Since dragging the world (OK, maybe just Hollywood and a few attorneys) kicking and screaming into the DVD era a few years back, Toshiba has put out a series of low-cost, high-performance DVD players that earned justifiable praise from critics and enthusiasts alike.

HT Staff Posted: Nov 07, 2001 Published: Nov 08, 2001 0 comments
Got money? HT editors tell you the best value for your $$$.

As editors of Home Theater, everyone asks us questions about the consumer electronics business. This is fine—it's our duty to help those who may not have the time to spend all day playing around with really cool gear. Some questions are easy, like "How do I hook this up?" or "What does anamorphic mean?" Unfortunately, the one question we get all the time is not as simple to answer: What gear should I buy?

Pages

X
Enter your Sound & Vision username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading