Every time a new technology emerges, it seems like pundits can't wait to declare everything that preceded it obsolete. A classic example is the U.S. Postal Service. How many times have you heard that faxes and e-mails are going to replace the good old mailman? But six days a week - through rain, sleet, snow, and dead of night - the mailman still completes his appointed rounds.
Most home theater fans acknowledge that masking of front projector screens can vastly improve image quality. Most screens, unfortunately, come with black masks fixed for either 4:3 or 16:9 images. Some screens with manual masking allow adjustment of the masks by hand—a useful, but cumbersome way to get the most from films shot in a variety of aspect ratios.
Michael Fremer reviews the <A HREF="/speakersystems/504aerial">Aerial Acoustics LR5, CC5, LR3, SW12 surround speaker system</A>, noting that while many of the components may be sourced from Europe, the company's latest speakers are "American in size, scope, and reach-for-the-stars performance."
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I started in the specialty A/V business in 1972. Since then, I've worked for a number of audio companies, including Ohm Acoustics, Dahlquist, and with Mark Levinson at Cello.
If those new windows from MW cost a fortune and you don't want to cover them with curtains or shades whenever you watch a movie in your home theater, consider using SPD-Smart windows. You control the window's tint and decide how much heat, light, and glare you want to enter the room. SPD-Smart says that the windows offer a limitless number of options between clear and dark states, so you can go from a darkened theater to a sun-filled room instantly. Imagine never having to clean between every single blind or wash those dust-filled curtains. Pricing starts at $70 per square foot.
(888) SPD-REFR www.smartglass.com
DVD: City of God—Buena Vista
The outskirts of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro stand in stark contrast to the festive, colorful city known for drawing tourists from around the world. In squalid, dangerous slums, children grow up relying on the protection of drug lords to survive, learning early on that the city's police force is not to be trusted. City of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles, follows one young boy who eventually finds his way out of his miserable living conditions by taking photographs of the violence within.
Never mind that the cabinets are made in Denmark and the driver technology is German and Danish—Aerial's latest speaker system is American in its size, scope, and reach-for-the-stars performance. It's meant to fill a big space with big sound.
<I>Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore. Directed by Franklin Schaffner. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Spanish), Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French). Two discs. 112 minutes. 1968. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment 2220754. G. $26.98.</I>
Whole-house entertainment means never having to handle physical media. With all your music, photos, and videos parked on a hard drive and accessible through your home network, you can enjoy them in any room where a media receiver is attached to a TV or stereo system.