Usually, shows that take place in a hospital fall into the hour-long drama category, with a few comedic moments thrown in to dilute the sad stuff. Scrubs has achieved something we haven't seen since M.A.S.H.—it's a hospital-based sitcom that is truly funny, with a few sad moments thrown in to dilute the happy stuff. OK, M.A.S.H. also dealt with war and managed to be funny, so it wins. But Scrubs' excellent melding of bizarre slapstick, wonderfully flawed but lovable characters, and genuine sentiment has made it one of the best sitcoms on TV right now.
Based on the short French film La Jetée, 12 Monkeys follows poor, hapless convict and time traveler Cole. He is tasked with preventing a plague that wiped out most of humanity. Time travel not being an exact sport, he is tossed around a bit, and everybody thinks he's insane. Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam directs one of the best science fiction movies of the 1990s. Bruce Willis plays poor Cole, while Brad Pitt is truly incredible as nutcase Jeffrey Goines.
Call it the invasion of the on-walls. Or just call it a change in the way speaker companies think about design. Either way, the audio world is being overrun these days with speakers made to go with flat-panel TVs. What these systems have in common are shallow, wall-hugging cabinets.
Anyone who has ever tried to integrate a pair of floor-standing or even a pair of bookshelf speakers into a living room or bedroom knows that it's virtually impossible to make them invisible. Multiply that single pair by 2.5 (or more) for a home theater system, and you've got the makings of a decor disaster. Wall-mounted speakers eliminate the use of valuable floor space, but even the best visual designs suffer from being visible. In-wall speakers are about as close to seamless, seen-less speaker integration, but they're not always practical in terms of wall space thanks to little things like doors, windows, fireplaces, picture frames, indoor plants, and other decorative items. The final frontier for the heard-but-not-seen speaker is the ceiling where there's plenty of available space, and, when mixed in with the various light fixtures and vents, the speakers look absolutely natural.
There are two (actually three depending on how you look at it, but who's counting?) major benefits to owning a front-projection HDTV. The size of the image, ranging from 60 to 120 inches in most home theater systems, makes movie watching at home almost as enjoyable as - and, in some cases, better than - what you'd see at the local multiplex. When it comes to images under 80 inches, of course, you can always rely on a rear-projection HDTV for the center of your home theater. But that's where a front-projection television has its second advantage. Even with the slimmest of the current rear-projection television designs, there's still the issue of the amount of physical space in the room that's taken up. While the amount of actual space is fairly small, the emotional space is still pretty high. ("You're not putting that in my living room!") With a paper-thin screen hanging on the wall or descending from the ceiling plus a small projection unit located across the room, the physical and emotional space used is negligible. What about plasma or LCD flat-panel HDTVs? When it comes to 60-inch or larger televisions, front-projection HDTVs can be purchased and installed for much less than an equivalently sized flat-panel - and, in many cases, you'll enjoy a better quality image.
TiVo Inc. last week launched a new interactive advertising technology with ad campaigns from General Motors and The WB Television Network. The new technology enables advertisers to insert a customized "tag" in their commercial, replacing the generic ad tags previously used by TiVo's advertising clients. TiVo customers can select the tag and "telescope" from the traditional 30-second ad to view long-form content, request more information, or take advantage of new recording opportunities. It also ensures advertisers' traditional TV spots will be more visible in TiVo homes, whether viewed in normal play or fast forward mode.
If you're familiar with the look of Yamaha's last two flagship DLP projectors, this latest version will definitely give you a case of déjà vu. But that's true of the latest projectors from most manufacturers. The world of home video projection is moving too fast to design new cosmetics for every new model.
You want the big-screen experience. You want to be immersed in the image. Ten feet wide at least, maybe 12. You've chosen the projector—a home model that's been getting great reviews. Obviously, you need a screen.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>So many little things have flown over the transom this month (does anyone even have a transom anymore?) that a lapse into blogging mode seemed the best way to clear them out.
One thing we've learned about Home Theater readers is that, no matter the subject, they all have opinions. We'd like to hear yours and also enter you in a chance to win a $250 American Express gift certificate.