The "trickle-down" economics theory didn't work, but it sure seems to describe what's happening in the world of home theater electronics. Take one of the latest multichannel refinements, those 6.1- and 7.1-channel surround modes that require adding one (or two) back surround speakers to the standard five-speaker-plus-subwoofer array.
The weather forecast for the cable industry is cloudy, to judge by attendance at this year's Western Cable Show. Typically one of the biggest annual events for the cable television industry, this year's convention was attended by only 17,056 people, approximately half the number that attended the year before. Attendance disappointed the <A HREF="http://www.ccta.org">California Cable Telecommunications Association</A>, which hosted the event in Anaheim the last week of November.
If you've been steadfastly waiting for the perfect reason to buy a new HDTV set, here it is: <A HREF="http://NBCOlympics.com">NBC</A> and <A HREF="http://www.hd.net">HDNet</A> announced last week they will broadcast selected events at the upcoming 2002 Olympic Winter Games from Salt Lake City in 1080i high definition video with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio.
<A HREF="http://www.nectech.com">NEC Technologies</A> has radically reduced the cost of its flagship PlasmaSync monitor, dropping the price by almost one-third, according to a November 26 press release. The suggested retail price of the company's HDTV-compatible PlasmaSync 61MP1, said to be the world's first 61" display, has been reduced to $19,995 from $27,995.
It's the week before Christmas. You've taken a good look at your extended family, gotten all of the naughty and nice stuff out of the way, and finally arrived at a list of who's deserving of a little holiday cheer. But you're drawing a big blank when it comes to little Susie, big brother Ned, and jolly Uncle Phil.
Our readers are intensely curious about both Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio, if recent mail is any indication. But most have stayed on the fence, unsure which format is going to come out with the music they want - or is even going to be around in a year.