If you fear commitment, this is the HDTV source for you.
As HDTV broadens its horizons, the role of the standalone HDTV tuner has diminished but certainly not disappeared. Sure, this year, the FCC ordered TV manufacturers to begin incorporating internal ATSC tuners into new 36-inch-or-larger TVs that have an NTSC tuner, but what if you've built your home theater around a high-end projector or a flat panel with no internal tuners? Sure, the satellite and cable companies are offering more HDTV content by the minute and adding DVRs to their new HD set-top boxes, but that doesn't help the person who can't have a satellite dish, isn't getting much (if any) HDTV from their cable company, or doesn't want to pay a monthly fee to watch and record HDTV.
Dubbing and dumping those bulky VHS tapes just got a whole lot easier.
If you're anything like me, you have a pile of VHS tapes lying around, gathering dust. Perhaps they're neatly organized, or maybe they're thrown in some boxes in the garage. They might be precious home movies of the tykes growing up, or they could contain rare TV appearances by celebs of a bygone era. In my case, they're mostly treasured TV shows that I captured to enjoy over and over again. The only problem is that they take up way too much space, and they're on videotape, which makes it almost impossible to find the spots I want to watch.
Digital Light Processing is finally getting the recognition it deserves. It's not as hot a technology as plasma, but people are beginning to realize that it's an appetizing alternative—especially since it offers many of the strengths and few of the weaknesses of other digital display technologies. Texas Instruments is the creator and sole manufacturer of DLP chips, and their latest offering is the HD2+ (or Mustang) chip. But it all started long before the arrival of HD2+.
Score another breakthrough for HD DVD. On June 23, Apple Computer announced the ratification by the DVD Forum of the "H.264 Advanced Video Codec" (AVC) and its inclusion in the company's upcoming software releases. The standard will be included in specifications for the High Definition DVD format, the next great leap forward for the 5" optical disc.
John J. Gannon reviews the <A HREF="/directviewandptvtelevisions/504pioneer">Pioneer Elite PRO-730HD rear-projection CRT TV</A>, noting that the company will soon be converting their CRT assembly lines exclusively to plasma production. "If you've had your eye on an RPTV from Pioneer, the cupboard may be full now, but it won't be restocked. Ever."
Very few manufacturers can call themselves "traditional," but until now, no description has better fit Pioneer, with their dedication to high-performance CRT-based rear-projection displays. However, that's about to change: Pioneer is scheduled to convert their rear-projection CRT assembly facilities to the production of plasma displays in April 2004, finally leaving CRT behind. While there should be enough Pioneer Elite CRT RPTVs in the pipeline to last through the end of the year, you might consider this review an homage to Pioneer's CRT era. It's also a caution: If you've had your eye on an RPTV from Pioneer, the cupboard may be full now, but it won't be restocked. Ever.
While there's certainly no shortage of people clamoring for dedicated home theaters they can fine-tune for optimum performance, there's also a growing number interested in creating flexible entertainment systems that can deliver sound, video, and even Internet-based content throughout the house.