DVD: Tanner '88—Criterion and Tanner on Tanner—Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
If last year's contentious presidential race wasn't enough to demonstrate how ridiculous politics can be, Tanner 88 and Tanner on Tanner should drive the point home.
"Rain, rain go away" was my mantra on the trek down to the annual audio-video Mecca; the forecasters were warning that the winter desert was set to deliver wet weather for the Consumer Electronic Show. I never thought my prayers would be answered so obliquely—Las Vegas enjoyed more than a few moments of <I>snow</I> on Friday of the convention. You could tell those who had never seen flurries of the chilly white stuff before: they wandered comically in circles with w-i-d-e eyes and slack jaws.
According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the organization that runs the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 140,000 people attended this year’s annual confab in Las Vegas, NV. In past years, attendance has typically hovered around 100,000. But with the shrinkage of the normally even larger computer show, COMDEX, in 2003, followed by its cancellation this past November, the Intels, IBMs, Apples, Hewlett Packards, and other assorted bits-and-bytes vendors, and their customers, descended on CES with a vengeance.
For me (and, I'm sure, for many others), CES 2005 marked the year that 1080p took off. I'm not talking about 1080p broadcasts or pre-recorded content; it will be a few more years before we see that, and even when we do, it will likely be 1080p/24, not 1080p/60. But 1920x1080 fixed-pixel displays—plasma, LCD (panels and projectors), DLP, and LCoS—were suddenly <I>everywhere</I>, unlike last year, when they were as rare as than hens' teeth.
As the first three-chip DLP projector to pass through my studio, the InFocus ScreenPlay 777 generated more than a little excitement. Apart from its futuristic, streamlined appearance, its size and weight—not to mention its price—immediately set it apart from the one-chip designs that have come to dominate the home-theater projection market.
I was intrigued by the idea of a 45-inch LCD TV when I first saw it last January, at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show. LCD TVs in smaller sizes are a dime a dozen, and their prices are plummeting. ViewSonic showed a 32-inch LCD at the CEDIA Expo 2004 that retails for just under $2700.
There's an old saying: "Good things come in small packages." In our industry, however, there's often a perceived correlation between the size of an AV component (speakers, amplifiers, plasma TVs) and its level of performance. Here, the working mentality seems to be "the bigger (or pricier), the better."