Despite the results of recent statewide elections banning same-sex marriages, consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers may not want to dismiss the gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) community quite so readily. A recent nationwide Harris Interactive/Witeck-Combs on-line survey found that the tallied responses are indicative of "the enthusiasm and affinity that gay and lesbian consumers have for electronic technology and their propensity to seek out the latest trends in consumer electronics and television." The survey looked at preferences for service providers (both cellular and TV) as well as HDTV ownership and intent to buy and HDTV.
Video-on-demand: The Holy Grail of the cable industry, VOD is getting a boost from underutilized ("dark") fiber optic networks. Early attempts at VOD were glitchy at best, but computer technology is increasingly making the service a reality via large-capacity servers that can offer thousands of hours of programming to thousands of digital cable subscribers. Many of the fiber networks are owned by telecommunications companies that lease use to cable providers. Cox Communications Inc., Time Warner Inc., and Comcast Corporation have all bet heavily on the potential of fiber optics to deliver more to their subscribers. "80% to 90% of the fiber installed during the telecom boom is still sitting unused," reports Peter Grant in a recent analysis in <I>The Wall Street Journal</I>.
The flat-panel "arms race" reached a new level in mid-December, with an announcement from Samsung's display manufacturing division that it had successfully created a 102" –diagonal plasma display panel (PDP).
When we select gear to review at Sound & Vision, we shy away from stuff that seems inferior or merely mimics what's already available. We look for products that represent an important trend or new development - whether a technological breakthrough, a leap in performance, or a bold design statement.
We all long for big, bodacious home theater systems. Unfortunately, many of us, especially urban dwellers, find ourselves shoehorning 100 pounds of gear into a 10-pound space. Some videophiles even resort to pitiful little satellite speakers the size of Ping-Pong balls.
Tannoy has been designing and manufacturing speakers in the United Kingdom for as long as anyone can recall. The word "Tannoy," in fact, is as generic in Britain as "Scotch tape" is here. If a Brit tells you that he just heard something on the "Tannoy," you're more likely to be in a train station than a hi-fi shop, and he's talking about an announcement on the PA system.
Location, location, location. What's important in real estate is just as important in subwoofer perfor-mance. (And speaker performance in general, but that's a story for another day.) While agreement on recommendations for subwoofer placement is less than complete—some say "in the corner," some say "anywhere but the corner"—everyone agrees that the location of a subwoofer and its relation to the listening area can have a major influence on how the sub sounds.
JVC's first foray into fixed-pixel, rear-projection TVs a few years back was a big, embarrassing disappointment. The D'Ahlia, as the product was called, was introduced at a gala Times Square press extravaganza. The sets on display used Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier (D-ILA) technology, JVC's variant of liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS).
When Paul Barton was a youngster, he showed great promise as a violinist—so much promise that his father spent an entire year building him a violin based on one of Antonio Stradivari's most thoroughly studied instruments. Barton still has that violin, and still plays music regularly, but he long ago decided that the musician's life was not for him as a primary vocation. Instead, Barton decided to design speakers.
Back in the misty days when 2-channel stereo was still an exciting new format and tubes ruled the land, Sherwood was a brand name to be reckoned with. Together with such companies as Harman/Kardon, Fisher, Marantz, and McIntosh, Sherwood was instrumental in launching the American hi-fi industry on a path that would culminate in today's high-end audio gear—grist for our sister publication, <I>Stereophile</I>.