From the November 2003 issue, Thomas J. Norton scrutinizes the <A HREF="/speakersystems/1103sonus">Sonus Faber Cremona surround speaker system</A>, noting that although SF speakers are generally known as very expensive, the compnay "has followed a different strategy with the Cremona, making sure from the get-go that the speaker is home-theater friendly."
New York's Cablevision Systems Corporation is the latest cable provider to announce that it will begin offering set-top boxes with recording capability. The company plans to offer digital video recorders (DVRs) based on the TiVo, Inc. model, with a high-capacity hard-disk drive used to record dozens of hours of TV programming. Cablevision should begin offering its DVRs in spring 2004.
What could be better than a remote control that works up to 100 feet away? How about a remote that can send commands through walls and household structures and costs only $499? Universal Remote Control's Home Theater Master MX-800 does just that. Users can control all of their A/V equipment from one remote, regardless of where that equipment is located. The MX-800 sends commands to the included MRF-200 Base Station, which converts them to infrared signals to control the components. Using macros, you can program the MX-800 to operate up to 20 A/V units. It can create 900 macro buttons with 199 commands each. The LCD screen measures 1.4 by 2.1 inches and features text-editing capabilities.
Universal Remote Control
(914) 835-4484 www.universal-remote.com
DVD: The Battle of Shaker Heights—Buena Vista
In The Battle of Shaker Heights, the second Project Greenlight movie, Shia LaBeouf plays Kelly Ernswiler, a 17-year-old kid who re-enacts WWII battle scenes in his spare time. At a battle re-enactment, he meets Bart Bowland. The two become fast friends, but things get messy when Kelly falls for Tabby, Bart's older, engaged sister. After watching the making-of on Project Greenlight, you expect an intensity level that's lacking in the final, edited version. Where is this "wonderful" script that everyone keeps talking about? Oh, that's right: It ended up on the cutting-room floor.
The buying public can't seem to get enough of new flat-panel televisions. The coming months should be good ones for manufacturers and retailers, according to a December 9 report from DisplaySearch, a research firm specializing in the flat-panel market.
Samsung Joining forces, Samsung, DirecTV, and TiVo have created the SIR-S4120R video hard-disk recorder. Not only does it have a supersized 120-gigabyte (GB) hard drive that can hold up to 100 hours of shows but also dual DirecTV satellite tuners so you can record two shows at once or watch one while recording another.
The introduction of the compact disc was the greatest single leap forward in the history of recorded audio after Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877 and the introduction of electrical recording in the late 1920s. By 1983 the long-playing (LP) record had entered what the late Peter Mitchell, my prime audio mentor, aptly referred to as its Baroque period.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Up against the wall! That's the marching order being given to speaker designers by companies that want to offer systems to complement flat-screen TVs. With cabinets barely exceeding the 3- to 4-inch average depth of most plasma or LCD sets, some new speakers incorporate this directive literally.
Screener ban blocked: A federal judge in New York has sided with a group of independent film producers in their effort to overturn a ban by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on issuing preview copies of potential nominees for the annual Academy Awards. On Friday, December 5, US District Chief Judge Michael Mukasey found in favor of the plaintiffs, ruling that the ban runs counter to US antitrust law. He granted a preliminary injunction to lifts the ban, after hearing testimony from filmmakers who claimed that it could severely damage their ability to reach critics and viewers. One filmmaker estimated that the ban could reduce box office sales for independents by as much as 75%, a potential loss claimed to constitute "an unreasonable restriction of trade."