The following reviews appeared as "Reference DVD" features in the Movies section of Sound & Vision. Out of the 22 discs chosen for their exceptional audio and video from September 2000 through July/August 2003, I consider these five the standouts. BLUE CRUSH Universal
Zenith Want a taste of DVD-Audio? Hey, at this price, why not? Zenith's affordable DVB252 five-disc DVD changer can handle the format, feeding high-res audio to your receiver or preamp through its multichannel analog audio output. And if you're sometimes in the mood for compressed audio, the player also reads MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) files on CD-Rs and CD-RWs.
Your new A/V receiver's front panel seems friendly enough with its softly winking LEDs and ergonomic layout of buttons and knobs. But turn that sucker around, and you'll find a menacing thicket of jacks, terminals, and other connectors - some familiar, some not.
A year ago, Texas Instruments' new HD2 chip for DLP projectors, with a native resolution of 1280x720, was little more than a promise. Today you can hardly walk into a home-theater dealer without being hit in the eye by a DLP projector based on the HD2. It's just too bad that most HD2-equipped projectors cost more than $12,000.
From the June issue, Steven Stone reviews the competitively-priced HD2-chipped <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/showarchives.cgi?129">InFocus Screenplay 7200 DLP projector</A>. Stone observes that the InFocus "lowers the price of an HD2 projector below $10,000." But does it deliver? "That's the $2000 question," says Stone.
<I>Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox. Directed by Gore Verbinski. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic widescreen). DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French), Dolby Digital 2.0. 115 minutes. 2002. DreamWorks 89980. R. $26.</I>
Former Chrysler Corporation CEO Lee Iacocca was famed for saying that, in the auto industry, a company "either leads, follows, or gets out of the way." Fox Television has apparently decided that where high-definition programming is concerned, it had better follow or get left behind.
In late June, two electronics industry groups presented proposals that could make "plug and play" a reality for high-definition video components,home networking devices, and other types of consumer products.
Homepage photo, remotes, and back panels by Tony Cordoza Sure, when it comes to A/V receivers, the $4,000 flagships get most of the attention in our fantasy lives, and the $399 loss-leaders get most of the play in the Sunday-paper circulars.