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HT Staff Posted: May 16, 2003 0 comments
West Coast electronics chain Good Guys has been enormously successful in its effort to remake itself into an upscale specialty retailer. The company's partnership with Focus Enhancements is its latest move into high-quality video.
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HT Staff Posted: May 15, 2003 0 comments
DVD: 25th Hour—Buena Vista
Audio: 3
Video: 4
Extras: 3
I'll admit that 25th Hour seemed slow at first. Yet, as it went on, I noticed that, instead of Hollywood's usual mind-numbing blizzard of special effects, this film has something much rarer: a great script. Edward Norton plays Monty, a drug dealer who gets picked up by the cops and sentenced to seven years in prison. The film follows Monty for the 24 hours before he has to go in, raising many interesting questions, the most simple of which is: What do people think about right before they're locked up? Through strikingly realistic dialogue and a refusal to sugarcoat any issue, 25th Hour allows you a fascinating look into the mind of an ex-criminal, ending in a satisfying twist.
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HT Staff Posted: May 15, 2003 0 comments
Bang & Olufsen
For a widescreen plasma display, B&O's BeoVision 5 might at first appear to be strangely shaped. Upon closer inspection, though, you'll see that its beautifully finished aluminum frame incorporates a 42-inch-wide, 16:9 plasma screen and a pair of magnetically shielded, front-firing speakers mounted below the screen. The BeoVision 5 measures 42 inches wide, 45.25 tall, and 6.75 deep, and it arrives with a stand, as well as a wall-mounting bracket. With a retail price of $19,500, the BeoVision 5 might not qualify as a budget plasma; however, its unique industrial design and your choice of a silver, red, black, blue, or green brushed-aluminum frame are sure to appeal to the décor-conscious theaterphile.
Bang & Olufsen
(847) 590-4900
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uavKrissy Rushing Posted: May 14, 2003 0 comments

<I>Shafiq Syed, Hansa Vithal, Chanda Shrma, Nana Patekar, Aneeta Kanwar, Rughbir Yadav. Directed by Mira Nair. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, Mono. 114 minutes. 1988. MGM 1004335. NR. $24.98.</I>

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Peter Putman Posted: May 14, 2003 0 comments

The struggle to displace CRT front projectors from their lofty perch continues in the home-theater world. Cathode-ray tubes still produce the most lifelike images, with wide gray scales and excellent contrast, but they require a fair amount of setup, calibration, and periodic maintenance to keep looking their best.

David Ranada Posted: May 12, 2003 0 comments

Photos by Tony Cordoza Anyone interested in an ultra easy-to-set-up home theater system usually has only one recourse: a system-in-a-box, comprising a combination DVD player and A/V receiver, five satellite speakers, and an optimistically designated "subwoofer." The weakest links in most of these systems are generally the speakers.

Kevin Hunt Posted: May 12, 2003 Published: May 13, 2003 0 comments
Divide or unconquerable? Onkyo's speakers-optional HTIB.

Instant home theater—speakers, a receiver, and a DVD player packaged tidily in a single box—is the hottest thing since the bare midriff. So why does it bug me so much? Maybe because so many sub-$1,000 systems bundle generic speakers that are about as flashy as the cardboard box they came in. Onkyo's response to this HTIB speaker crisis? With the Envision LS-V500C, you can take the speakers or leave 'em.

Chris Lewis Posted: May 12, 2003 Published: May 13, 2003 0 comments
Parasound's 7.5-channel surround controller has finally landed.

While it may always get second billing in the parade of human emotions, don't forget about anticipation's potent influence. This is the force that has been linked to Parasound's Halo C1 pre/pro ever since its trade-show debut a few years back, and it has only gained momentum with each successive instance of display without delivery. While some critics speculated that Lucas-like patterns of prolonged hype were at work, most people figured that Parasound simply wanted the C1 to be right before they finally let it go. Once you dig into it, you'll see why that took some time.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 12, 2003 Published: May 13, 2003 0 comments
Funny name; serious TV.

Sony insists that I pronounce this TV's name correctly: Wega (Vay-guh). I think Wegg-ah is so much more amusing. Perhaps Wee-ga. If only Sony had gone all out and put an "e" at the end of Grand. I can hear the annoyance of salespeople everywhere as customers come in looking for one of them thar Grand-ee Wee-gas. It's too bad that the rest of the model nomenclature is hard to poke fun at. After all, how funny is KF-50XBR800? KF-50Exburrerr… never mind. Names aside, the TV itself is very hard to make fun of. Mostly.

Mike Wood Posted: May 12, 2003 Published: May 13, 2003 0 comments
Better sound without additional black boxes.

Have you considered room acoustics? That's my first question when people ask me for home theater advice. Your theater's acoustic environment is as important to your system's sound quality as any single component. Sure, you can improve the sound with a new amplifier, new speakers, or the latest and greatest EX/ES processor; however, if your room isn't acoustically optimized, you still won't get maximum performance from your system, no matter how much it costs. Adding acoustic treatment is probably the easiest and most effective thing you can do to improve your sonic environment. Granted, it can be daunting to calculate reverberation times so that you add the right amount of acoustic treatment. Fortunately, Performance Media Industries (PMI) has done the work for you with their CinePanel acoustic-treatment kits.