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Dan Yakir Posted: Feb 15, 2003 0 comments

<I>Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Olivier Martinez, Erik Per Sullivan, Chad Lowe. Directed by Adrian Lyne. Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Surround 2.0 (French, Spanish). 124 minutes. 2002. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 2005899. R. $27.98.</I>

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HT Staff Posted: Feb 13, 2003 0 comments
DVD: X-Men 1.5—20th Century Fox
Audio: 4
Video: 5
Extras: 4
X-Men 1.5 is a sneaky way to squeeze a few more dollars out of the public's hands and get X-Men back in their minds for the sequel, which hits theaters in May. X-Men, based on the comic of the same name, is about a group of mutant humans who fight other mutant humans to decide their place in society. The disc's audio and video quality seem to be no different from the first DVD release. The 2.35:1 anamorphic video is excellent, with lots of fine detail. One new addition is the DTS soundtrack, which is just as good as the original Dolby Digital 5.1.
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HT Staff Posted: Feb 13, 2003 0 comments
Some things in life are just so much fun that they hardly need explanation, and Ellula's HotAir inflatable multimedia speaker is one such thing. The HotAir is compatible with any type of computer or portable music source, including personal CD players and MP3 players. With a little help from a connection kit, gameheads can even use these speakers with most gaming consoles. Do the HotAirs sound good? At $49 each, why not grab a couple and find out?
(646) 935-0912
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SV Staff Posted: Feb 11, 2003 0 comments
Edited by Michael Gaughn Photos by Tony Cordoza Share Wear lap2 Like a lot of couples, these two products don't appear to have much in comon.
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Mike Wood Posted: Feb 11, 2003 Published: Feb 12, 2003 0 comments
The upright gets upgraded to a grand.

You'd think there would've been a flood of entry-level DLP projectors since PLUS came out with their HE-3100 last year (see our review in the December 2001 issue). PLUS has even dropped the original Piano's price to $2,700. Usually, this would entice or force others to do likewise. There have been some new entries in the sub-$10,000 price range, but few projectors have reached below $5,000 (except for projectors aimed at the business market). This makes PLUS's step-up model, the $3,299 Piano Avanti HE-3200, even more interesting.

Chris Lewis Posted: Feb 11, 2003 Published: Feb 12, 2003 0 comments
The high-resolution combi-player takeover continues.

How pleased am I that the trickle of combination SACD/DVD-Audio players has quickly reached a full flow? Visitors to my whiskey cellar (all right, my whiskey cabinet) may notice recently cracked seals on more than one of my special-occasion bottles of rare Wild Turkey. I've been on the soapbox about this issue. While no one needed a crystal ball to predict that the market would kick-start once Pioneer released their combi player, I still had my doubts. After all, this SACD/DVD-Audio format war started out as nasty as any of them. But then, I always took solace in precedent. Dolby and DTS didn't exactly exchange Christmas cards at first, either (and they still don't); now, however, you'd be hard-pressed to find applicable hardware that doesn't accommodate both formats. Deep down, I suppose I always knew that high-resolution combi players would ultimately be the norm, but I doubted that it would happen this quickly—and besides, it was more fun to do a bit of preaching.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Feb 11, 2003 Published: Feb 12, 2003 0 comments
Gateway has thrown down the gauntlet in the budget-plasma arena.

Plasma panel prices continue to drop precipitously as the technology gets hotter and hotter. Gateway, provider of digital-technology solutions, has entered the home theater market with the GTW-P42M102 42-inch plasma panel, which has a native resolution of 852 by 480 in progressive-scan mode. It's a perfect example of plasma's ongoing price reduction. The streamlined display is 25.2 inches high, 40.8 inches wide, and a very slim 3.7 inches deep, and it weighs less than 70 pounds. The handsomely designed set sports a silver finish with a small, dark border surrounding the screen. The GTW-P42M102's performance characteristics are a mixed bag; however, at a list price of $2,999, there's no denying that it's the best value by a country mile in the 42-inch-plasma-panel category.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Feb 11, 2003 0 comments
Having a great product at a fair price is mandatory practice in the ever-competitive audio business. But getting the word out and placing those products in front of the customer is just as critical—some might argue, even more important. If this is true, then Canadian speaker company Athena has just made the score of a lifetime.
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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Feb 11, 2003 Published: Feb 12, 2003 0 comments
DVD-Audio: The long and winding road to the future of music?

DVD is a hit. Lauded as the most successful format launch since—well, I guess nothing has had this overwhelming level of acceptance in a long, long time. I wish I could say the same about DVD's younger sibling, DVD-Audio. Introduced three years ago, it's just now starting to gather some momentum. On the hardware side, DVD-Audio offerings run the gamut from saucy little $200 players to budget-busting state-of-the-art machines. New DVD-Audio titles are still just trickling out, but even a cursory glance at a typical disc's fairly lengthy production credits might explain the relative paucity of releases. I counted 13 DVD-Audio-related producers, engineers, and mixers on R.E.M.'s Reveal disc and a crew of 21 on Queen's epic A Night at the Opera. Releasing a DVD-Audio reissue or brand-new title is a labor-intensive effort.