At a time when the world is pondering the potential of 50 GB of storage on a high-definition Blu-ray disc (around 40 GB for the HD DVD format), marketing for a prerecorded 8 cm (approximately 3 inches) standard-definition Mini-DVD format is about to be unleashed. Although playable on standard DVD players, movies and other video content on Mini-DVDs are really meant to be viewed on special hand-held Mini-DVD players.
There's no question that a DVD will look great on a widescreen HDTV, especially if your player happens to be a progressive-scan model. But with razor-sharp high-definition movies regularly showing on cable, satellite, and even broadcast TV, DVD has started to lose a bit of its luster.
It's normal for a company making amplifiers to boast about how much power, how many channels, and the massive size of some of the internal components (such as power supplies and heat sinks). Rotel's attitude toward their new RMB-1077 multichannel amplifier, therefore, is rather unique.
Universal players are becoming more and more appealing to consumers, and Integra's new DPS-10.5 universal player ($2,500) is a good example of why. This THX Ultra–certified player is compatible with nearly every format in use, including DVD-Audio and SACD. It sports an HDMI output to pass video in the digital domain, plus two iLink ports to allow the digital transfer of high-resolution audio signals. The O-Plus FlexScale circuit upsamples video to customizable formats, including 720p and 1080i. A full set of 7.1-channel analog audio outputs and two optical and two coaxial digital audio outputs are also included.
DVD: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella—Image Entertainment
Originally devised as a Broadway-caliber musical for CBS in 1957, Cinderella is making its very first appearance on home video since it aired live on the network to a record-breaking audience.
While I was working on this review, my friend Rob - a filmmaker who has a day job as a video editor at MTV - asked if I could recommend a DVD recorder to help him get rid of his bulky collection of VHS tapes. In true New York style, I started my reply with, "Have I got a deal for you . . .
Mandate? We'll leave that topic to the political arena. But in the realm of our annual S&V Entertainment Awards, ten music and eight movie critics have voted, and in each department the majority has ruled: Brian Wilson's SMiLE is the best CD of 2004, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the best DVD. Interesting.
Toshiba Connect Toshiba's RD-XS52 DVD/hard-disk recorder to your TV by its digital HDMI output, and it'll upconvert standard-def video from TV programs, DVDs, and even camcorder footage to the 1080i or 720p HDTV formats.
Way up on the list of reader questions we field on a regular basis is, "Which is better, plasma or LCD?" Compared with more affordable tube-type TVs, both technologies are relatively new. But their flat form factor, combined with an ultra-bright picture that looks good from any position on your couch, gives many folks a spasm of techno-lust.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><I>Washington is chomping at the bit to shut down analog broadcasting; has the time finally come to let go of the past?</I>