The 60-inch-plus plasma is the big kahuna of flat-screen designs. If you want to go really big and really flat (under 5 inches), plasma is the only technology that will get you there. Mitsubishi has adopted the two-box approach for their new plasmas. On its own, the PD-6130 is a 61-inch HD monitor. Add the HD-5000A controller, and it functionally becomes an integrated HDTV.
A short stack of Jacksons: four hundred dollars, more or less. Used to be a lot of money. Today, it'll buy one piece of chrome for your Hog, a box of average Cubans, or a decadent dinner for two in New York City. On the other hand, you might use a similar sum to buy an impressively powerful and flexible A/V receiver, setting the foundations for a serious home theater.
Flat-panel TV is the 900-pound gorilla currently ruling the home theater roost. More and more people are deciding that, yeah, a steep price, grayish blacks, and the occasional digital video glitch really are worth it for a hang-on-the-wall TV that's big, bright, and bodacious - décor-wise.
LG's new plasma is available in three different sizes—42, 50, and 60 inches—to suit theaters of any size. The 50-inch DU-50PY10 is fully integrated, with ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuners and a built-in CableCARD slot. The television also features a 1,366 by 768p resolution and a rated 3,000:1 contrast ratio. The TV uses LG's proprietary XD Engine, which, according to the company, minimizes distortion, improves brightness, and enhances the overall picture quality. Inputs are plentiful, including HDMI, DVI with HDCP, RGB, and IEEE 1394. Pricing wasn't available at press time.
DVD: Purple Rain 20th-Anniversary Edition—Warner Brothers
The artist currently (and formerly) known as Prince experienced quite the career resurrection in 2004. The year began with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he followed that up with his biggest album and tour in ages. With the purple one's place atop the pop world once again secure, Warner Brothers has found the perfect time to release the 20th-anniversary, special-edition DVD of Purple Rain.
Cable TV may be nearing the end of a long growth season, yielding subscribers to competition from satellite services like DirecTV and EchoStar's Dish Network. Recently published figures from Kagan Research LLC show that the cable industry overall has lost 900,000 subscribers over the past two years.
DirecTV in the north: On August 13, DirecTV Group Inc. has received clearance from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move one of its satellites into an orbital slot controlled by Telesat Canada, a move that will expand DirecTV's reach to an additional 24 markets. The El Sugundo, CA–based satellite service should soon be serving as many as 130 markets, and could add as many as 7 million new customers to its existing base of 13 million. The company's new Canadian service should be in full operation by early October.
Thomas J. Norton warms up the <A HREF="/directviewandptvtelevisions/704rca">RCA Scenium HDLP50W151 DLP rear-projection television</A> and settles in for an appraisal, noting, "After a brief flirtation with LCoS, Thomson has chosen TI's DLP for their high-end RCA Scenium line."
Wi-Fi is certainly one of buzzier hyphenated words I hear each week, and while my experiences have generally been positive, seldom are they jaw-dropping either. That all changed earlier this month when the team from Belkin Corp. demonstrated their newest products, the Wireless Pre-N Router (F5D8230-4, $179.99) and Wireless Pre-N Notebook Network Card (F5D8010, $129.99). "Pre-N" means that these products are arriving in advance of the upcoming 802.11n standard, but are Wi-Fi certified under the 802.11g standard and are intended to perform closer to the theoretical levels promised in Wi-Fi literature.
Unlike the editors of Home Theater Magazine who live in palatial estates written off their taxes as "business expenses" (note to the IRS: multiroom mansions are a job requirement for product testing purposes; no audits are necessary, really), not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a home with enough floor space to devote to a pair of (or five, six, or seven) perfectly positioned home theater speakers. (You poor, poor, pitiful people, you...) There are even some folks out there who refuse to see the beauty inherent in big, bulky, behemoth speakers dominating the visuals (and the available square footage) of the average living room. (I could mention the standard sexist question about the wearing of pants in the family; but since I'm in the process of installing in-walls throughout the Wilkinson abode, we'll just move on, shall we?) Some people don't even have available wall space for in-wall speakers. Atlantic Technology's two new in-ceiling speakers are the sonic salvation for situations such as these.