LATEST ADDITIONS

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
575p...and bright!

Almost universally, our panel agreed that BenQ's PB6200 was extremely close in performance to our second-place contender. Price ultimately pushed this projector into third place: It's $300 more expensive than the runner-up. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
What's shaking in the world of convergence?

One of the reasons I sleep well each night, secure in my job at HT, is the fact that seemingly every unusual product that comes down the pike is deemed "convergence" and falls into my lap. The Crowson Technology Tactile Effects System (TES) 100 wasn't exactly what I thought it would be: I anticipated a little added shaking of the sofa at appropriate moments, and the TES 100 certainly delivered, but the Couch Kit's two magnetic transducers turned out to be actual loudspeakers that also happen to channel enough physical vibration to move whatever is pressed down upon them, ideally the two hind legs of a big piece of furniture. Two rubber feet help to isolate the front legs. The less-expensive Chair Kit comes with one transducer and three rubber feet.

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Michael Trei Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 1 comments
Trickle-down economics, audio style.

While those on the left and right sides of the political fence are bound to debate the pros and cons of trickle-down economic theory for the rest of time, it's hard to deny the way in which many high-tech developments that began life in projects bearing stratospheric price tags eventually came to benefit the masses, in products we can use every day. Today, many of us can afford gadgets like GPS navigation systems and laser pointers, whereas a few years ago this type of technology was available only to the largest institutions and military powers. This access to technology has had a major effect on today's audio components; for example, most of the latest surround processors have far more computing power than the in-flight computer used for the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
Is it finally time to say, "Au Revoir, VCR"?

So a bunch of us reporter types were sitting around CES 2003, and we kept hearing that recordable DVD finally stood poised to replace the VCR, since the prices had come down to the $600 range. Marketing people are paid to make these unrealistic claims with a brave smile, but the journalistic consensus was that recordable DVD would indeed replace VHS. . .when the price was closer to $200. We also hoped that format-compatibility issues would largely be resolved by that time.

Chris Lewis Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
High-end home theater for the rest of us.

Home theater in 2004 is like America in the 1950s, with a middle class that has steadily been building momentum and now finds itself in the midst of a major breakout. The same philosophy of the good life at a better price that spawned a culture of suburbs and credit-card debt in the '50s is spawning an unprecedented emergence of high-end home theater components at mid-level prices in the '00s.

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Steve Guttenberg Posted: Sep 18, 2004 Published: Sep 01, 2004 0 comments
They're cool—really cool!

MB Quart's new Vera Series speakers have redefined cool. They're cool-sounding, for sure, but I also mean cool, as in low-temperature cool. Heat, you see, is the enemy of good sound. When you're rocking with Aerosmith's ballistic blues bash Honkin' on Bobo or crankin' Master and Commander, your speakers' voice-coil temperatures shoot up. In extreme cases, they can heat up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The excessive temperature does bad, bad things; it can raise the voice coils' resistance by as much as 25 percent. Distortion creeps up, dynamics flatten out, and transient response goes to hell. Worse yet, sustained overheating can lead to driver meltdown. Ouch!

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 15, 2004 0 comments
If you're old enough to remember the extremely popular (and still produced!) Klipsch Heresy speaker, you'll probably be a bit surprised by the look and feel of some of the latest Klipsch loudspeaker introductions. On the other hand, if you're young enough that the first thing you think of when you hear the name "Klipsch" is one of their svelte ProMedia personal audio systems, then you'll probably just say, "Cool!" Either way, you can't fault the venerable 58-year-old company for focusing its engineering efforts on keeping up with the times.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 15, 2004 0 comments
Denon calls it their "flagship" receiver; but if you want to fully carry out the nautical metaphor, you'd have to refer to the new Denon AVR-5805 as the biggest, baddest, boldest combination battleship/aircraft carrier/submarine/destroyer/frigate/(throw in some secret stealth technology reference here) ever to have floated on the home theater seven seas. Denon claims it's "the world's first A/V receiver with 10 built-in amplifiers and 16-channel output...[and] unprecedented multi-source and zone capabilities with perhaps the most comprehensive analog and digital audio/video switching configurations ever offered."
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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: Sep 13, 2004 Published: Sep 14, 2004 0 comments

Nothing less than "a new standard in video quality" was promised this month by <A HREF="http://www.siliconoptix.com">Silicon Optix</A> in announcing its new Realta single-chip video processor.

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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: Sep 13, 2004 Published: Sep 14, 2004 0 comments

At last weekend's CEDIA show, <A HREF=€�http://www.panasonic.com€�>Panasonic</A> unveiled a new series of high-performance plasma displays (PDPs) whose bold hardware-free minimalist look is a big departure from the competition. With their only exposed surface a single sheet of glass, images on the company's Onyx XVS series of plasma sets appear to float in mid-air. With no visible hardware, "all you see are crisp, clear, deep images,€� said Panasonic Display Group vice president Ed Wolff.

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