At this year's CeBIT (Europe's answer to CES) in Hannover, Germany, Samsung is introducing the world's largest LCD flat panel display. Measuring 82 inches diagonally, the 1920x1080 panel was developed at Samsung's new seventh-generation production facility in Tangjeong, South Korea; amazingly, this facility can produce two 82-inch panels from a single substrate, which has been impossible up to now.
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Mitsubishi once manufactured plasma monitors. (Okay, it wasn't that long ago or far away, it just seems like it!) But while the company seemingly abandoned the business in the late 1990s, it managed to keep its foot in the door by working out an agreement with NEC to sell plasma sets using NEC panels. The PD-5050 is the latest model to come along; even though NEC sold out to Pioneer early last year, Mitsubishi is still selling 50-inch and 61-inch plasma products from the same factory.
The Lite-On LVC-9006 DVD+VHS Recorder meets consumer need to record TV directly to DVD and to backup VHS to disc, all in a single chassis and compatible with a wide variety of blank media.
The duplication of VHS onto DVD is nothing new, but a single-component solution is clearly the way to go, and the aggressive pricing we've seen over the past year surely helps as well. While upon close inspection the Lite-On LVC-9006 does appear more streamlined than the Lite-On LVW-5005 DVD Recorder I reviewed in the December 2004 issue of Home Theater—the front-panel inputs (digital video, composite video, analog stereo) are now exposed, and the optical audio output is gone altogether—I cannot overlook the obvious, namely the addition of an excellent four-head Hi-Fi stereo VHS VCR. Yes, it might finally be time to retire your old VCR to Miami (or at least the kids' room), or take it put back behind the woodshed and put a bullet between its fast-forward and rewind buttons. Chief among the LVC-9006's strengths remains the "All-Write" technology which enables it to recognize and record onto most popular blank media types: DVD+/-R, rewritable DVD+/-RW, and even more affordable CD-R/RW. Choose whatever works best for you, if you know for example that a friend's DVD player doesn't support DVD+RW. It is that compatibility, combined with the Easy Guider menus (now seamlessly enhanced for its increased functionality) which virtually hold our hand every step of the way, that make Lite-On recorders such a particular pleasure to use.
It seems that Voom is not doomed just yet. The primarily high-definition satellite service has been the focus of a bizarre family struggle between Charles Dolan, founder of Voom owner Cablevision, and his son, Cablevision CEO James Dolan.
Unless you're a full-fledged (or even a budding) audio/videophile for whom performance is everything (and I'm not implying there's anything wrong with that), at one time or another you've faced the tough choice of sound and picture quality versus aesthetics, decor, and ergonomics (sometimes referred to as SAF or Spousal Acceptance Factor). Three introductions from Onkyo are intended to provide performance without ruining potential romance.
Imagine the number of people in the world for whom the intricacies of a setting up and using a home theater system are just about as inscrutable and mysterious as the Federal tax code. Then add those individuals who either have limited space or desire to keep the system as minimal in form and function as possible. Throw in a few more folks who simply like to set (and forget) things on top of the television, and you've got the makings of a giant market for two-speaker (or one-box) "surround sound" systems.
Digitizing music changed all the rules - even though we took almost two decades, from the introduction of the CD to the rise of MP3, to explore its full potential. Freed from the limitations of hard-wired analog circuits, new software-driven digital music systems can be amazingly powerful and flexible, especially when combined with networked computers.