One silver lining to the economic crisis, if there is one, is that we get bizarre new vocabulary. For example, Jimmy Carter brought us the fun new word, "stagflation." Now, we have another fun new word, "staycation."That is being...
Declining: The value of your stock portfolio, your home and . . . TV prices! An outfit called DisplaySearch is reporting that "e-tail" prices (internet-based prices) of LCD TVs fell an average of 22% year-to-year in September....
Price: $1,000 Highlights: HTIB with Blu-ray drive • Wireless surround speakers • Bamboo fiber speaker cones
Lady Sings the Blus
How do you define high end? Is it the gear that delivers the highest performance, sells for the highest price, or represents the most agile and innovative thinking? If that last criterion means anything, the Panasonic SC-BT100 is the very definition of a high-end home theater system—in a box. It includes a Blu-ray drive, makes daring use of bamboo fiber speaker diaphragms, and employs wireless technology to deliver signals to those two lonely surround speakers in the back of the room. Moving backward to the second criterion, price, the system sells for $1,000, on the moderate to high side by HTIB standards. And what about the first criterion, performance? Sorry, but you’ll have to read the review. Throw me a bone here—this is how I earn my living.
For those who tried to enter our Dress Your Gear for Halloween contest over the weekend, an email glitch may have prevented delivery of your entries. So try again!Specifically, our email address firstname.lastname@example.org seemed to be not...
Price: $350 Highlights: Five channels times 105 watts • HDMI with high-resolution PCM • Includes Yamaha’s YPAO auto setup
Home Theater Out of the Box
Why would anyone buy a budget receiver and satellite/subwoofer speakers instead of a simpler home theater in a box system? To the uninitiated, the HTIB seems like a no-brainer. It spares the consumer the rigors of equipment matching and sometimes even throws in a disc drive.
Downloads and streaming are nothing new. But lala.com offers both with an unusual angle on streaming. Instead of paying an all-you-can-eat subscription fee, you can pay 10 cents for the right to stream a song indefinitely. If that's not convenient, you can also pay to download it in the conventional way.
Walk me through your recent HDTV buying experience. I found myself attracted to the LCD. Two of my very good friends - Dave Rodriguez, who's directed two upcoming films that I'm in, and John Barr, the director of photography on those films - they're plasma guys.
As I noted in one of the five entries I wrote for our Top 50 Albums of All Time list (actually, I also penned three of the uncredited entries for albums 41-50 - see if you can guess which ones once our master list posts), I became an audio journalist to extol the virtues of great-sounding recordings.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/casinoroyale.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Before he can be licensed to kill, James Bond (Daniel Craig) must earn his stripes. With two quick professional assassinations, he is elevated to "00" status and M (Judi Dench) sends him on his first mission that takes him to Madagascar, the Bahamas, and eventually Montenegro to face Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a ruthless terrorist financier, in high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale.