Mitsubishi made history yesterday during an event held at Ken Cranes Home Entertainment store in West Los Angeles, where they unveiled the first 1080p (1920x1080) DLP RPTV available to the public. With many Mitsubishi and Texas Instruments dignitaries on hand, shoppers got their first look at the 52-inch WD-52627 ($3699), which was available for purchase then and there. Also on display was the 73-inch WD-73927 ($7999), which won't be available until August. All in all, Mitsubishi will have nine 1080p models with sizes of 52, 62, and 73 inches in four product lines, which will be released in a staggered schedule over the summer.
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc. is claiming bragging rights to being the first rear-projection HDTV maker to bring Texas Instruments' 1080p DLP technology to your corner TV store. Mitsubishi (sometimes called by customers shopping for big screens "Mister Bushi" - as in, "Let me see one of those Mister Bushi TVs" - seriously, I'm not making this up) says they'll claim their rightful place in the consumer-electronics history books when they begin shipping the 52-inch WD-52627 to certain lucky (or brown-nosing) Southern California retailers on June 30th. National distribution of the widescreen HDTV will commence in the following weeks. The suggested retail price of the WD-52627 is $3,699 (plus local taxes and applicable delivery charges).
In what is sure to be a big boost for the HD DVD format, Microsoft and Toshiba announced on Monday that they have formed a partnership to co-develop HD DVD players among other joint activities. Now that unification talks with the Blu-ray camp seem to have completely stalled, this sets the stage for a rip-roaring battle royale with Sony, Apple Computer, and the other Blu-ray supporters.
When home theater enthusiasts talk about their audio systems, they usually concentrate on components such as the disc player, receiver (or preamp-processor and power amps), and speakers. But there's another component that deserves just as much attention: the cables that connect the other devices together. Without cables, those other components would be nothing more than expensive boat anchors.
Americans tend to prefer quantity over quality. Given the opportunity, we build McMansions. We drive Hummers. We wash down our Whoppers with Big Gulps. And we always buy the biggest AV receiver we can, because you can't be too rich, too thin, or have too many watts. More is <I>better</I>.
<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>"Sell the Mercedes! Hock the mink!" So wrote a still-active audio scribe (Peter Moncrieff) a quarter century ago while reviewing a pricey (for the time) tube preamp. Today, you can still pay more than the price of a Mercedes for an amplifier or speakers. And while few people today would be caught alive wearing a dead rat, the proverbial mink coat wouldn't go far toward the price of that top-drawer, custom home theater installation, either.
Director John Moore had a lot going for him when he helmed this 2004 remake of the 1965 original. He used CGI and other effects barely dreamed of 40 years ago to create the harrowing plane crash that sets the plot in motion. Can the survivors escape the desert that threatens to kill them? Moore also effectively filmed his African location using aerial photography and wide-angle lenses to portray its vastness, eliminating much of the original film's stage-play feel. What Moore didn't have, though, were actors like Jimmy Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, and the rest of the original cast. The new players are good (Giovanni Ribisi is a stand-out), but they tend to lean on the special effects to create the suspense and drama that the original actors could muster alone.
By mere coincidence (or perhaps not), I sat down to review this new hybrid SACD on the rare rainy day in Los Angeles (although not quite as rare this winter). The two were a perfect fit. The Jazz Kamerata has a comfortable warmth about it, inviting you to wrap yourself in it and settle in for a lazy afternoon.
This is one funny movie. It's the kind of film that you can pick up years later and appreciate all over again. Bill Pullman and John Candy star as two space cadets, literally and figuratively, who rescue a kidnapped princess. Together, this motley crew attempts to save the planet Druidia from the evil Dark Helmet, who plans to steal the planet's fresh air.