Daniel Kumin Posted: Aug 05, 2001 0 comments

Almost 20 years ago matrix-encoded Dolby Surround videotapes and laserdiscs brought surround sound to home theaters. Almost 15 years ago Dolby Pro Logic decoding raised the ante by extracting a center-channel signal from Dolby Surround recordings. And more than half a decade has passed since Dolby Digital brought discrete digital 5.1-channel surround sound home.

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Michael Antonoff Posted: Aug 05, 2001 0 comments

When Dr. Amar Bose visited the magazine where I worked in the early 1990s, he teased staffers by hiding under a cloth the source of the luxurious-sounding music filling the room. Moments later he revealed that it was actually emanating from an unassuming clock radio. Since then, the Bose Wave radio has landed on countless tabletops and nightstands.

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Posted: Aug 05, 2001 0 comments

Last week, <A HREF="">Samsung</A>, <A HREF="">Sears</A>, and <A HREF="">CBS Television</A> announced a partnership that will allow fans to watch a full season of college football games in HDTV. The agreement marks the first time a full season of college football will be broadcast in HDTV, as well as the first time a retailer, broadcaster, and manufacturer have joined forces to jointly promote HDTV usage.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Aug 05, 2001 0 comments

According to new consumer research, more than 95% of digital television (DTV) owners would purchase a DTV set again. That overwhelmingly definitive stamp of approval for DTV was presented last week to conference attendees struggling with HDTV's rollout at the <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Association</A>'s (CEA) DTV Summit, "Is Laissez-Faire Fair?" in Washington, DC.

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Posted: Aug 05, 2001 0 comments

The world's largest video rental chain wants to renegotiate its video supply agreements with Hollywood film studios. In late June, <A HREF="">Blockbuster Inc.</A> chairman John Antioco announced to Wall Street analysts that his company is reassessing its distribution deals with the studios&mdash;including possibly letting some deals lapse when renewal time comes.

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Posted: Aug 05, 2001 0 comments

Satellite television subscribers will soon be able to take advantage of a new satellite-based Internet service being rolled out by two subsidiaries of <A HREF=""> Hughes Electronics Corporation</A>.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 05, 2001 0 comments

<I>Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Haya Harareet, Stephen Boyd, Hugh Griffith, Martha Scott, Cathy O'Donnell, Sam Jaffe. Directed by William Wyler. Aspect ratio: 2.76:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Surround 2.0 (English, French). 212 minutes. 1959. Warner Home Video 65506. G. $24.95</I>

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 31, 2001 Published: Aug 01, 2001 0 comments
Put away that charcoal. Here's a different kind of grille for your patio.

My, how times have changed. Back when vinyl records were king and a 25-inch-diagonal TV screen was considered big, here's how you had a good time in the backyard: a keg of beer, burgers on a charcoal grill, and your roommate's big, ugly speakers (carted out from the living room) blasting Rush (Geddy Lee, et al) until the conservative neighbors call the cops. A decade or so goes by, and the fun gets more sophisticated: a cooler of imported beer (maybe a margarita machine), steaks on a gas grill, and a big, ugly boombox belting out Rush (Limbaugh) until the liberal neighbors call the cops. Today, it's likely to be takeout from a local BBQ joint, a mini-fridge full of hard lemonade, and steam from the hot tub mingling with big-band music from outdoor speakers hidden somewhere in the (twice-monthly manicured) foliage.

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jul 31, 2001 Published: Aug 01, 2001 0 comments
M&K's K-5 proves that a small speaker doesn't have to deliver a small performance.

Miller & Kreisel Sound has a habit of being there at the very start of things. The company's timeline stretches all the way back to 1973, when Steely Dan's Walter Becker wandered into Mr. Kreisel's shop and asked him to design a subwoofer and monitoring system for his Pretzel Logic mixing sessions. The rest, as they say, is sub-history. OK, you probably already knew that M&K is synonymous with badass subwoofers, so here's another cool bit of trivia. In 1976, long before the words "home" and "theater" were ever used together in a sentence, M&K introduced their first subwoofer/satellite system. Their pioneering spirit in the pro-sound world is legendary; so, naturally, Dolby Labs depended on an M&K MX-5000 system during their developmental work on Dolby Digital in the early '90s. M&K's list of achievements could easily fill this entire review, so I'll stop myself right now and move on to the subject at hand: their brand-new and most affordable satellite speaker, the K-5 ($149). This little guy, measuring a scant 7.375 by 4.875 by 5.875 inches, can serve with distinction as a front, center, or surround speaker.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Jul 31, 2001 Published: Aug 01, 2001 0 comments
Proof that plasma technology is evolving, Marantz's PD5010D plasma display is a solid HD monitor that's perfect for your wall.

In the last couple of years, plasma displays have become increasingly popular. The technology has also come a long way in terms of picture quality. Initially, plasma's biggest performance pitfalls were in the areas of black level and color accuracy. Thanks to recent technological advances, black-level performance has improved significantly, but it still has a long way to go. Another performance issue with plasmas is something called "false contouring," which manifests itself as crawling patches or blotches of noise.


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