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Peter Putman Posted: Sep 09, 2003 Published: Aug 01, 2003 0 comments
CBS and ABC raise the bar for live HDTV.

High-definition television has certainly moved along in fits and starts since the first digital-TV stations came on air in 1997. There's been a steadily increasing flow of prime-time programming and movies, a tantalizing season of Monday Night Football, increasing amounts of sports coverage, and numerous PBS documentaries and nature programs. Along the way, there have also been some compelling programs, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Masters and U.S. Open tennis, the NCAA Final Four, and three Super Bowls. More than a few prime-time shows have grabbed us by the throat, including NYPD Blue, C.S.I., JAG, Alias, ER, and Law & Order.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 08, 2003 Published: Sep 09, 2003 0 comments

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily halted ownership transfers of broadcasting stations.

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Posted: Sep 08, 2003 Published: Sep 09, 2003 0 comments

The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (<A HREF="">CEDIA</A>) Expo is increasingly the venue for new product debuts. Among the hot new home theater products on display in Indianapolis are the world's first cable-ready HDTV, from Panasonic and the world's first combo DVD/DVD-A/SACD player with high definition multimedia interface (HDMI), from Pioneer.

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HT Staff Posted: Sep 03, 2003 0 comments
College kids, listen up! Have you been trying to re-create your home theater's sound in the dorm room, only to realize that a "closet" measuring 15 feet wide by 20 deep isn't nearly enough room for all of the equipment you'll need? Denon's new D-M71DVXP DVD receiver system may be able to help you out. The system incorporates Dolby Virtual Speaker surround technology, which uses just two speakers to deliver a 5.1-channel surround sound experience. Features include an integrated DVD/receiver unit, two satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. To achieve quality sound and picture reproduction, the D-M71DVXP uses Analog Devices' Hammerhead SHARC 32-bit DSP audio processors. The two-way speakers each offer dual 2-inch midbass drivers and a 0.5-inch dome tweeter. A 100-watt subwoofer rounds out the audio component. The receiver has an aluminum faceplate; the subwoofer has a wood finish; and the satellite speakers are housed in aluminum with wood-finished end caps. The system retails for $999, and a two-channel version is also available for $699. Now you know what to ask for this holiday season.
(973) 396-0810
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HT Staff Posted: Sep 03, 2003 0 comments
DVD: Ararat—Buena Vista
Video: 2
Audio: 3
Extras: 4
An overlooked historical tragedy—Turkey's genocide of its Armenian population during World War I—is at the heart of this drama by Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter). The atrocities that occurred take on new resonance for members of a contemporary Armenian-Canadian family involved in the filming of a movie about the holocaust, as each grasps for meaning in the events that lead to the deaths of their ancestors and, indirectly, their own fathers. The film-within-a-film structure, combined with a plot device in which one character explains the genocide to a jaded customs agent sniffing for smuggled heroin, creates a complex but oddly dispassionate canvas for this powerful story. Expect to think, even if you can't fully relate to the second-hand oppression these people feel.
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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 01, 2003 Published: Sep 02, 2003 0 comments

Many home theater experts assert that a center channel loudspeaker belongs <I>behind</I> the screen&mdash;which is what commercial theaters do with them. Yet many acoustically-transparent perforated screens contribute moir&#233; interference to the image when used with fixed-pixel (LCD, DLP, and D-ILA) projectors.

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Barry Willis Posted: Sep 01, 2003 Published: Sep 02, 2003 0 comments

Railroads once defined the US transportation industry, but by the late 20th century, they were all but obsolete, having succumbed to competition from airlines and trucking companies. Television networks may be headed for a similar fate, having lost 18% of the summer audience to cable channels.

Chris Lewis Posted: Sep 01, 2003 0 comments
Denon punches their ticket to the universal dance.

When you boil it all down, you realize that most format wars are somewhat ridiculous. Sure, it's fun to get the blood up every few years, and those of us in the A/V press certainly appreciate the opportunity to ramble on about these conflicts' various aspects and ramifications. Format wars ultimately belong in the software section, though, where the most that a wrong decision will cost you is the $20 or $30 that you spent on a disc, tape, or whatever else. When it comes to hardware, format wars can cost people hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Ultimately, that's no good for either side, let alone the buying public as a whole. Thanks to universal disc players' rapid emergence, the previously contentious (and occasionally ugly) high-resolution-audio war is now software-based, as it should be. This doesn't mean that the DVD-Audio and SACD camps don't still take shots at one another. Now high-resolution-player buyers have the luxury of either ignoring the conflict altogether or simply enjoying it for what it always should've been, secure in the knowledge that big bucks are no longer on the line. With competition between the various and ever-growing assortment of universal-player makers, capitalism survives, but nobody gets burned. The result should be a boom in universal-player buying over the next couple of years.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 01, 2003 0 comments
Speaker System Small sats, a big sub, and visions of hops and sausages.

My sociological spiel about the French in my JMlab Digital Home Cinema System review (April 2003) inadvertently hit newsstands around the start of the war with Iraq, so I'll limit my wantonly idiotic cultural commentary on the Germans to food and drink references. Have you ever tried their smoked beer? I'm not joking. It's called Rauchbier, and it's delicious. I should note that, although my byline is German, my ethnic makeup is German, English, Scots, and Irish, and they all make good beer. My oft-misspelled name literally translates as "meat man" (no jokes, please), and my great-grandfather was the last in a long line of sausage-makers. After he emigrated from Germany, he continued to practice his craft in New Jersey. According to my father, his sausages were so rich that you had to wash them down with a quart of milk.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 01, 2003 0 comments

The model designation "DM" might not sound like anything special, but it has a long history with B&W. Models such as the DM 6, fondly remembered by audiophiles as the "pregnant penguin," enjoyed a modest following in the 1970s, when then-small English speaker company Bowers & Wilkins was knocking out attendees at hi-fi show demonstrations. B&W is now, by most accounts, the biggest speaker company in the UK. Its model range has increased exponentially since those early days, but the DM prefix is still very much alive.