Welcome Back, My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends

Greetings to all UAV readers! As you may have heard, there have been some changes around this digital watering hole. Shane Buettner has moved over to head Home Theater magazine and its associated website, leaving some mighty big shoes to fill here at UAV, a challenge I happily accept.

For those who don't know my name, I've been in the home-theater editorial game for over 15 years, writing for some of the most prestigious publications in the industry, including Home Theater (which I helped launch), Audio/Video Interiors, and, most recently, The Perfect Vision. I've always been passionate about high-quality video and audio reproduction, and as a hard-core geek, I love digging into the nitty-gritty of any related technology. I also enjoy translating all that geek-speak into plain English to help anyone with a modicum of interest understand what they need to know to get the most out of their home-theater experience.

In my new position, I'll be the captain of this ship, and I've got big plans. Of course, you'll continue to find the comprehensive A/V product reviews you've come to expect from the likes of Tom Norton and other highly qualified reviewers. We'll also maintain our extensive coverage of the major trade shows and other interesting industry events.

In the "what's new" department, we're planning to revamp our buyer's guides to be more streamlined and efficient so you can easily find the products we think represent the best that consumer electronics has to offer at any budget. Also, look for more feature articles that explain various fundamental concepts, sort of like an evolving, growing home-theater textbook without the dry, boring language you probably learned to hate in school.

And let's not forget the blogs...speaking of which, I'm thinking about using mine not for pontificating (tempting as that may be), but rather for answering your questions. We're still working on the specifics of this idea, so keep an eye out for your chance to get some straight answers to your burning home-theater queries.

Finally, I'd like to invite you to tune into The Tech Guy radio program, hosted by Leo Laporte. This nationally syndicated, consumer-technology call-in talk show airs live every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM Pacific time. Why am I shilling for Leo, you ask? Because I'm his "home-theater guy," with a 10-minute segment every Saturday right after the 11:30 news and an occasional hour-long stint answering listener questions.

The program might air at different times in your neck of the woods, so check out Leo's website for more info on when different stations broadcast the show. You can also get podcasts from his site and stream the show from sites such as KFI AM 640, the L.A. station that carries it live.

Home theater truly is the show that never ends, with ever-changing technology and exciting developments that keep all of us coming back for more. I hope you'll keep coming back to UAV for all your home-theater info, and I encourage you to let me know what you'd like to see on the site in terms of content and presentation. My primary goal is to deliver the information you really want in a manner that makes it easy to find, and with your help, I look forward to doing just that.

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COMMENTS
JasonP's picture

Welcome back Scott. Glad to have you on one of my favorite sites.

Cajun_Mike's picture

Welcome Scott, very familiar with your work and looking forward to reading all of your opinions and thoughts here. Mike Lafayette, La.

Bruce in CO's picture

Welcome, Scott. I've read Home Theater for years, and Ultimate AV as far back as when it was in print as Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. One thing that I would like to see is a blog/comment section after every review. There are times when I (and I'm sure many other readers) would like to ask a question directly to a reviewer about the item that was reviewed. This would allow for some very good back and forth feedback that would benefit the consumer, you as a reviewer and the company who made the product by learning about what potential buyers are really concerned and interested about.

Rob_C's picture

Welcome and I'd like to comment on something hopefully new leadership can adddress 1. Updates to the News Desk have gotten less and less. 2. Blogs too aren't updated very frequently. As such, I visit now visit audioholics,thedigitialbits,hidefdigest for news and sometimes comment. I've been happy with everything else about this site otherwise.

Steven Coe's picture

Keep us up to date on the format war. And find us a Blu-ray player actually worth buying.

Bruce in CO's picture

I would also be interested in comparative reviews - no, not the typical 5 TV shootout type stuff. For example, if someone is reviewing a surround sound speaker system, hook it up to 3 - 5 different pre-pro/amps and/or receivers that the reviewer is familiar with and see which combo works best with that speaker system. The reviewer's reference system could be the constant for comparison. May be it's not always practical, but it would provide very helpful solutions. Thanks for letting us inundate you with ideas. Hopefully, they make sense and are helpful.

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Many good ideas right off the bat; thanks! I'll look into each of them to see which ones might be feasable. As far a Blu-ray player that's actually worth buying, I think the Sony PS3 is an excellent choice (and I'm not even a gamer!). The 40GB version is only $400 list, and its firmware can be updated all the way to BD Live as far as I know. Of course, part of the problem with Blu-ray in general is that, as new features are added to titles, many players can't handle them until their firmware is updated, which is an ongoing frustration. It is for this reason that I've always liked HD DVD; every player ever made can play any HD DVD that comes out. But it looks like HD DVD might not be long for this world, so it's likely we'll have to deal wtih Blu-ray and its problems as well as its promise.

BilllB's picture

Scott, I think you could do a service that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. Could you please do a review of the Sceptre 46" LCD TV that is available from Costco and Sam's Club? They only sell the units online and you can't see them in the stores. Call me paranoid, but even though it looks great on paper, I'm leery of buying sight unseen.

Dennis's picture

Congrats! Scotty -- ahead warp factor 1!

Mar k's picture

Yeah! Welcome back Scott.looking forward to hear you on kfi on tech guy radio show. :)

Don Y.'s picture

Hi Scott, Congrats to you sir. since I could not find a Email I'm sending you this from your blog. In your article about the Big and Beautiful The Perfect Vision winter 2008 Issue 82 you stated that the TH-58PZ750U does not accept 1080P.(Specifications listing) Please let me know if this is true. I have one coming to me on Super-bowl Sunday Feb 3 and would stop the delivery. I trust your opinion. Thanks in Advance

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Yes, that comment about the Panasonic plasma was a misunderstanding on my part. In fact, it does accept 1080p/60, but it does not accept 1080p/24. You should be fine for the big game. Hike!

Don Y's picture

May I also ask what will I be missing if I don't have the 1080P/24 and just use the 1080/60 Just Asking

Scott Wilkinson's picture

In the case of the Panasonic plasma, you won't be missing anything at all. The main advantage of 1080p/24 is that it avoids the conversion from film's 24 frames per second (fps) to video's 60fps; this conversion is technically called 3:2 pulldown. Applying 3:2 to 1080p/24 results in slightly jerky motion, though it's so common that most people (except geeks like me) don't even notice. The only way to see the benefit of 1080p/24 is with a display that can accept it and display it at a multiple of 24 (48, 72, 96, 120, etc.); if the display accepts 1080p/24 and displays it at 60 (by far the most common scenario), it's adding 3:2 pulldown and any benefit is lost.

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Sorry, I forgot to mention in my previous comment that the Panasonic TH-58PZ750U can only display video at 60fps, so even if it could accept 1080p/24, it would add 3:2 to get it to 60. Thus, any advantage of sending a 1080p/24 signal would be lost anyway.

Brian's picture

Hi Scott, Congrats on the new job. I just bought a ps3 and have it hooked up to my audio recv, but i was looking to upgrade my reciever to take advantage of hd audio that bluray uses. I have been looking at the Onkyo TX-SR 705, Which is one of the few Recv's out there that play hd-dts and DD-HD. But i heard that the ps3 doesnt support the HD-DTS only the DD-HD. Do you think its worth it to upgrade my Recv that i have right now. Will i really hear that much of a diffrence? Thanks Scott, and by the way great job on Leo's show!

Scott Wilkinson's picture

Brian, if you would be so kind, please resumbit your question to me at scott.wilkinson@sourceinterlink.com. When you do, please include the make and model of the receiver you have now. Thanks!

Kevin's picture

Sorry for such a "simplistic" question. But am in need of an inexpensive DVD player with analog dolby digital outputs. Most if not all websearches have yeilded nothing or at worst, claiming to have dolby digital decoding onboard...only to find that it is a coax or optical output. Please help. Thank you. -Kevin

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