DVD: South Park: The Complete Fourth Season—Paramount
Extras: 3 South Park was just warming up in season four, with the introduction, sans fanfare, of handicapped Timmy, who has since developed his own enormous following and would go on to be a dominant force throughout a year ranging from the esoteric nostalgia of the Trapper Keeper to the boys' first Holy Communion. (A chill just shot down my poor mother's spine.) This oddly timed season contained 17 episodes, with original airdates between April and December of 2000, ending with another fecally gifted yuletide and an homage to the "Spirit of Christmas" video short that began it all.
Thomas J. Norton reviews the follow-up to last year's Editor's Choice Gold Award, the <A HREF="/videoprojectors/604nec">NEC HT1100 DLP video projector</A>. Norton reports that the latest model is more of a good thing.
You might have thought that the best way to see the Summer Olympics was to brave long security lines, eat lots of calamari, down a few Mythos beers, and pay through the nose for the "cheap" seats at Athens Stadium. But InFocus Corporation thinks they have a better idea. They humbly suggest staying in the comfort of your own home and watching the hundreds of hours of HD Olympic coverage on a huge screen (up to 11 feet wide) courtesy of their newest High Definition home entertainment front projector, the ScreenPlay 5000.
A proud Polk Audio recently announced the birth of quintuptlets: four new RM Series six-piece, five-channel home theater speaker systems wrapped in swaddling plastic bags, protective styrofoam packing, and beautifully overprinted cardboard cartons. The new arrivals feature slim satellites and powered subwoofers. The cute and cuddly satellites in the new RM6800, RM6900,and RM7300 were selectively bred to be wall-, shelf-, or stand-mounted; and, for the very first time, this new RM Series includes a system (RM7400) with a pair of floorstanding front speakers.
NEC's HT1100 DLP projector is the follow-up model to the company's well-received HT1000, reviewed in the July/August 2003 SGHT (review available at www.UltimateAVmag.com). Based on an NEC business design but refitted for home-theater use and remarkably compact for the performance it provided, the HT1000 went on to become our Editor's Choice Gold Award winner for 2004 (SGHT, January 2004).
Just in case you haven't noticed, let me point out that the Web has changed everything, especially the way we get information. Do you need a satellite photo of your neighborhood? How about the name of a good dental hygienist in Anchorage? What was the patent number on Edison's phonograph? Need to know the name and birth date of the country's 24th first lady?
Flat-panel TVs have been the rage for a couple of years now, and even if the larger sets are still beyond most budgets, speaker manufacturers are falling over themselves to offer the latest flat-panel-friendly model. Thin is definitely in.
There's no question that the sophistication of today's home theater - with anywhere from six to eight speakers - can take a toll on your décor. And if you're putting together a serious system, chances are you won't be able to simply unpack your new gear and enjoy a movie the same night without some help.