LATEST ADDITIONS

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Posted: Nov 10, 2002 0 comments

The rollout of HDTV may finally get rolling, thanks to an agreement reached the first week of November by consumer electronics manufacturers and representatives of the cable television industry.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 10, 2002 0 comments

<I>Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, Gerry Becker, Bill Nunn, Jack Betts, Stanley Anderson, Ron Perkins. Directed by Sam Raimi. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French), Dolby Surround (English). Two discs. 121 minutes. 2002. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment 09661. PG-13. $29.99.</I>

Fred Manteghian Posted: Nov 07, 2002 0 comments

High-priced DVD players are an almost anachronistic concept in today's cheaper-by-the-minute world. In fact, if I set up a card table at the local warehouse price club and offered sips of unsweetened cranberry juice to shoppers while clandestinely questioning them about the going rate for an <I>expensive</I> DVD player, their predictable guesses of around $500 would only confirm how out of sync audiophiles and videophiles are with the average Joe.

Steven Stone Posted: Nov 07, 2002 0 comments

Once upon a time, several professors and associates from a small college in Fairfield, Iowa, formed an audiophile company named Enlightened Audio Designs. More widely known by its initials, little EAD created state-of-the-art 2-channel equipment whose performance rivaled products from much larger companies. When it became clear that home theater would become a major force in the market, they jumped into it with gusto, producing the TheaterMaster audio processor, SwitchMaster video processor, Theater Vision LD transport, and PowerMaster amplifier&mdash;all within a year of the first multichannel product rollouts.

Mike Wood Posted: Nov 04, 2002 Published: Nov 05, 2002 0 comments
Big new toys.

Everybody loves new toys. When you're a geek like me, new toys come in the form of test equipment. This year, Christmas came early for the Home Theater video department, as we finally got the OK to buy an HDTV test-pattern generator. Woo-hoo! OK, so maybe test-pattern generators aren't your idea of fun. Maybe a 73-inch rear-projection TV is your idea of fun. Well, we got one of those in, too.

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Nov 04, 2002 Published: Nov 05, 2002 0 comments
Listening outside the pod.

Mirage's VP of engineering, Ian Paisley, went bipolar way back in 1987. Hold on a sec, let me restate that: Paisley designed the first commercially successful bipolar loudspeaker, the Mirage M-1, in 1987. That speaker garnered raves in all of the audiophile mags and put Mirage on the map. Ah, but do bipolar/wide-dispersion speakers always produce great sound? It all depends. People have criticized some omnidirectional speakers for their overly diffuse, vaguely defined imaging. While I've never owned a set of Mirages, I've been a fan of this sort of speaker since I bought a pair of "direct/reflecting" Bose 501 speakers in '76. Hey, I was still wet behind my not-yet-golden ears, and Bose's dispersion concept caught my fancy. My Bose affair was a quickie, and I eventually settled down for a long-term relationship with a pair of Quad ESL-63 (dipole) electrostatic speakers.

Chris Lewis Posted: Nov 04, 2002 Published: Nov 05, 2002 0 comments
With the Showcase pre/pro-and-amp combo, Krell hits a new low—price point, that is.

Much is made of the intense competition that goes on in the receiver game, and understandably so. For the most part, these are companies that have piles of money to spend on advertising, have the resources and inclination to bring out new models every year, and have hordes of accountants and marketing types to keep watch on things likemarket placement, pricing, competitor activity, and so on. But what about the healthy (and growing) competition in the separates arena, especially at the lower (all things being relative) price points? It may not draw the receiver war's headlines, involve a fraction of the corporate expenditure and model turnover, or feature dueling laser shows from multilevel booths at industry trade shows. But, make no mistake, the competition here is no less intense, no less important to the industry as a whole, and no less beneficial to its particular crop of potential buyers.

Mike Wood Posted: Nov 04, 2002 Published: Nov 05, 2002 0 comments
Part two: Construction and acoustic treatment.

Last month, I introduced some basic concepts to help you design the ultimate home theater. For those of you who missed it, we invited three home theater design gurus to help us build a new listening room: Anthony Grimani, Russ Herschelmann, and Norm Varney. I tried to cover everything you'd need to build a great home theater, regardless of your budget. This month, I continue that approach as I discuss the construction and acoustic treatment of our room.

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Michael Riggs Posted: Nov 03, 2002 0 comments
Photo by Tony Cordoza

Portable MP3 players have gone from novelty to staple item in four short years. But with popularity has come proliferation, and many MP3 players aren't just MP3 players anymore. A growing number play files encoded in the Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) formats as well, and the storage options are many.

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Jamie Sorcher Posted: Nov 03, 2002 0 comments
(Movie Images Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.)

"This, like any story worth telling, is all about a girl," Peter Parker tells us at the beginning of Spider-Man-not what you'd expect to hear from a superhero. But, as delighted audiences soon discovered, Spider-Man doesn't play by the rules.

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