<I>Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving. Directed by Andy & Larry Wachowski. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Surround 5.1 (English, French). Two discs. 129 minutes. 2003. Warner Home Entertainment 33209. R. $29.99.</I>
TEAC has been around since the early days of stereo, and my own history as a user of their products spans almost 35 years. My first TEAC was an A-1200 reel-to-reel tape recorder, purchased in 1968. It was big and heavy, and it worked perfectly for many years. I currently use a TEAC RW-H500 CD recorder to make all my live concert recordings, and a complete TEAC 500-series system—AV-H500D 5-channel integrated amplifier, T-H500 AM/FM stereo tuner, R-H500 cassette deck, PD-H570 CD changer—provides music in my master bedroom.
Sure, DVD players are a dime a dozen these days. And even at the cheapest of prices, you can expect perks that were reserved for high-end players just a couple of years ago, like a progressive-scan component-video output. Amazing. But what if you want to spin more than one disc?
This new technology could replace plasma and LCD as the must-have for flat-panel displays.
Plasma and LCD are dead. Well, at least that's what Kodak, Dupont, Universal Display Corporation, and a few others would like you to start thinking. One of the new technologies coming down the HT highway is called Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED), and it could be the future of flat-panel displays. Soon your TV may be able to trace its lineage back to the power light on your VCR.
With an elegance too-rarely found in the portable MP3 realm, the Creative MuVo Slim ($200) packs 256 megabytes of digital music into a unit barely larger than a credit card and weighing just over an ounce, unobtrusive even in a shirt pocket. There's a built-in FM tuner that can even record music off-air (also a voice recorder with built-in microphone) and a five-band custom equalizer in addition to Jazz, Rock, Pop and Classical presets. MuVo Slim is a mass storage device so it does not require drivers, just the familiar drag-and-drop between PC and player with a USB 1.1/2.0 connection that also recharges the removable, replaceable lithium ion battery, good for well over ten hours.
RCA Still playing your CDs and your DVDs on two separate machines? The RCA DRC510N changer is here to simplify things for a price that's a no-brainer. Shuffling between five discs, the changer can play CDs loaded with MP3, Windows Media Audio (WMA), or mp3PRO files as well as all recordable DVD formats except DVD-RAM.
Here's the solution for all of you flat-screen lovers out there who don't know what to do about the accompanying loudspeakers. Thiel's ViewPoint loudspeaker is designed to integrate with your wall-mounted flat panel. The ViewPoint combines a coaxial and coplanar driver with a 90-degree radiation pattern for a sound that covers the room. The loudspeaker features a 6.5-inch woofer and the same 1-inch tweeter that Thiel uses in their flagship CS7.2. The ViewPoint measures 8 inches wide by 5 deep with a built-to-order height. It sells for $1,990 and weighs 18 pounds.
(859) 254-9427 www.thielaudio.com
DVD: National Lampoon's Senior Trip—New Line
The longest road trip you've ever taken won't feel so bad after sitting through this 90-minute "high schoolers-hit-the-road" piece of dreck. The jokes aren't funny, every character is an overdrawn cliché, and there's absolutely no one to hold our interest, let alone root for.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is celebrating the official July 1 launch of the national "plug-and-play" digital cable standard, one that will deliver digital and high-definition television (HDTV) via cable for the first time without the need for a cable set-top box.