Kevin Hunt Posted: Jan 01, 2004 0 comments
The low price of well-heeled HTIBs.

Consumer confession: A little more than three years ago, I bought my first DVD player for $300. It was a basic player in a nondescript black box with none of the now-standard features like progressive-scan video and component video outputs. It couldn't even read recordable CDs.

HT Staff Posted: Jan 01, 2004 0 comments
Big screen, small price, good picture.

Let's say you have around $2,500 to spend on a new high-definition widescreen television monitor. If you plan to put it in a small room, you'd be hard pressed to do better than the Sony KV-34XBR910 34-inch direct-view set that we reviewed in the November 2003 issue of Home Theater. In a big room, however, you need a big screen, and most big-screen HDTVs are more costly than your budget will allow.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 01, 2004 0 comments
A receiver that listens to the room sounds better.

Home theater has its sweet spots. In the surround sound arena, the slickest compromise between "in a box" basics and "cost no object" indulgences would have to be the $999 A/V receiver. History tells us that Yamaha has a long track record of hitting this target with one best-selling model after another. So the RX-V2400 comes with a distinguished pedigree—and THX Select certification—even without the ground-breaking addition of automatic equalization. There's nothing new in the concept of using equalization to correct flaws in room acoustics. Custom installers have been using carefully tweaked EQ for years. What's new is that the idea has trickled down from custom home theaters to bleeding-edge preamp/processors to the humble receiver.

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Michael Trei Posted: Jan 01, 2004 0 comments
The loudspeaker system for anyone who's ever considered installing a Murphy bed.

If Magnepan has a company motto, it might be something along the lines of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." For more than 30 years, this Minnesota company has been busy making its Magneplanar loudspeakers for those audiophiles who care more about great sound than they do about owning the latest candidate for loudspeaker of the month. Magnepan rarely introduces a new model; when they do, it's generally just another evolutionary step in their continual refinement of the planar magnetic approach that they use in all of their products. This conservatism breeds long-term customer loyalty, and Magnepan invariably trumps other high-end manufacturers in the areas of customer satisfaction and repeat business.

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HT Staff Posted: Dec 31, 2003 Published: Jan 01, 2004 0 comments
Digital Light Procesing (DLP) and Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) may be the hottest buzzwords in video projection technology, but old-fashioned Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) still have room to grow.
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HT Staff Posted: Dec 31, 2003 Published: Jan 01, 2004 0 comments
Always seeking cost-effective improvements in home theater sound, Norwood, MA-based Atlantic Technology has introduced a subwoofer controller that the manufacturer claims "can dramatically improve the sound quality of any subwoofer by fine-tuning its interaction with the acoustic characteristics of the listening room."
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HT Staff Posted: Dec 31, 2003 Published: Jan 01, 2004 0 comments
Perpetually on the cutting edge of technology, Meridian Audio Limited plans to make a big push with its new "G Series" home theater components at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show. The Huntingdon, UK- and Atlanta, GA-based company also plans to ratchet up its support for the DVD-Audio format.
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HT Staff Posted: Dec 30, 2003 0 comments
Fujitsu has added an impressive 50"-diagonal plasma display panel to its monitor line.
Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Dec 29, 2003 0 comments

Photos by Tony Cordoza When the DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD formats were launched, critics bemoaned the start of yet another format war, knowing that when incompatible formats compete, consumers often don't buy either one. Instead, they wait to see which format is left standing.

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Barry Willis Posted: Dec 29, 2003 0 comments

Upscale parents have already discovered the benefits of "mobile theater"—DVD players and LCD screens in sport-utility vehicles that keep cranky kids content on long drives. Soon they will be able to take the "plug-in drug"—broadcast television—with them as well.