A plasma TV has become one of the most desirable items on the planet, and owning one confers a certain amount of social status. Case in point: a friend of mine recently visited the palatial Long Island house of a certain hip-hop star, who had hung more than twenty of the things on his (presumably gold-plated) walls.
Home networking is about to hop forward with the arrival of SkipJam, a hardware/software solution for watching, listening to, and digitally recording entertainment content housewide. With a wired or wireless network and an iMedia Center box in your stack of home theater gear, enjoy TV (including satellite) and more on the PC and share any audio/video source with an iMedia Player anywhere in the home, view/hear PC files in the living room, or bypass the computer altogether and simply network all your A/V devices directly, with high-quality audio and video including 24-bit/192-kilohertz DAC/ADCs with 114db dynamic range. Look for a hands-on review in an upcoming issue of Home Theater.
She first caught our attention with her spectacular entrance as the goddess Venus on the half-shell in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. She made even greater splashes as the virginal innocent in Dangerous Liaisons and, the following year, at age 19, playing the complex sexual sophisticate June in Henry & June.
If you're like my son, no matter how big the hard drive is in your DVR it's not big enough. Humax USA announced today the nationwide availability of the T2500, the first TiVo Series2 DVR with a whopping 300 hours of recording capability. (Although it doesn't record HD, that's still over 12 days of continuous couch-potato bliss.) It'll cost you $699 for that kind of storage capacity; but when you compare it with what it would cost to 300 hours of Super Bowl commercial air time over the next 50 years, it's a steal. Since the T2500 (and the 80-hour T800) is a TiVo Series2 unit, subscribing owners can use TiVo's new Home Media features and online scheduling as part of TiVo's standard $12.95/month service package. The new features let you schedule recordings from any internet connection and move content between two or more TiVo Series2 DVRs in your home. You can also listen to music or view photos stored on your PC if you're so networkingly inclined. Now Humax just needs to release an HD DVR, and my son won't ever have to leave the couch.
Although it's too late to become eligible to submit a surround sound music release for the 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2005 if you're not already a member of the Recording Academy, fans of surround sound music will have a new award category - Best Surround Sound Album - to heatedly discuss around the office water cooler. While it's certainly not as exciting as Best Hawaiian Music Album, another new category to make its debut in 2005, it's good to see multichannel music getting more professional respect and attention. All genres of music for commercial releases on DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and SACD with an original mix of four or more channels are eligible. We'll know multichannel music has finally come into its own when a release wins both the Best Surround Sound and Best Hawaiian Music Album awards. Could a surround remix of Zamfir's (Master of the Pan Flute) Greatest Hits be next?
It all began with a film projector on the hood of a car showing images on a bed sheet hung between two trees. Richard Hollingshead went on to perfect this apparatus, and the world's first drive-in cinema under the stars opened to the public in Camden, New Jersey, on June 6, 1933. By the late 1950s, there were more than 4,000 drive-ins - and why not?
V, Inc.'s Bravo D2 DVD player is an update of the company's award-winning Bravo D1. The D2 has a DVI output that transfers a DVD's digital video signal straight to your display, bypassing analog conversion and the resulting digital-to-analog conversion artifacts. Through both the DVI and component video outputs, the unit's scaler can convert the signal to 480p, 720p, or 1080i (except in the case of Macrovision-protected DVDs). Playback options include Picture Zoom 1 and 2, MPEG-4, JPEG, DVD-R/+R, CD, CD-R/-RW, and Kodak Picture CD. The Bravo D2 is available in a titanium-silver finish for $250.
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DVD: Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London—MGM/UA
If your kids are fans of the first Cody Banks movie, do yourselves a favor and just keep popping that puppy into the player. Steer clear of this strained and largely humorless sequel. What's the problem? Cody 2 has too much "spy" and not enough "kids." CIA operative Banks, now 16, is acting like a grown-up secret agent, which robs this film of the charm that Frankie Muniz displayed while learning the ropes in the first movie. There's zero chemistry between him and his female counterpart/love interest, Hannah Spearritt; and all the dads out there would probably agree that we'd rather watch statuesque Angie Harmon play Banks' "handler" than pudgy Anthony Anderson (even though Anderson tries to be funnier).
Consumers excited over the prospect of HDTV's increased clarity and audio quality may not realize that those are precisely the characteristics that terrify the motion picture industry. Fearful that high-definition broadcasts of its films might lead to an increase in video piracy, Hollywood has pressured the <A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov/">Federal Communications Commission</A>, which has issued a proposal requiring future digital television (DTV) tuners to include digital rights management (DRM) technologies. As of July 1, 2005, all HDTV receivers must watch for a broadcast flag (a marker embedded in program material by copyright holders). This will make it impossible for consumers to time-shift or archive broadcast material (or share it on a home network, unless the router also has DRM technology).