Great Sound, Cool Look: New Montana SP Series 3 Loudspeaker
Tight punchy bass, incredible clarity, and high efficiency are qualities all home theater fans look for when shopping for loudspeakers. Great sound is important, but the dealmaker is often the speakers' look.
Style and Performance: the Marantz PD4290D Plasma Screen
Décor-conscious movie buffs dismayed by big, black rear projector sets have something new to look at. Marantz
has come up with the PD4290D widescreen plasma monitor--it's only 3.5-inches deep, but offers wide-angle viewing from its 42-inch diagonal screen. Mounted on a wall (with cables hidden) or on its tabletop stand, the $14,999 PD4290D makes an unequivocal statement about melding technology with high style.
HDTV or Else
Testifying last week before the House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection, <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) president and CEO Gary Shapiro described what he called a "successful consumer transition" to digital television (DTV), this characterized by broad product offerings, increased programming from alternative media sources, steady sales, and high consumer satisfaction with DTV products. But all is not rosy: According to Shapiro, broadcast-industry delays in delivering significant HDTV programming and the industry's potential misuse of the DTV spectrum to provide subscription data services could seriously slow the transition's current momentum.
TiVo, Nielsen, ASI Join to Discover Viewers' Habits
What do you watch on TV? When do you watch it? Soon 1500 volunteers will reveal all about their viewing habits as they embark on an unprecedented adventure in "big brotherism."
American Movie on DVD
M<I>ark Bourchardt, Mike Schank. Directed by Chris Smith. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-screen). Dolby Digital 5.1. 104 minutes. 1999. Sony Pictures 04702. R. $27.95.</I>
Pioneer's HDTV Monitors Go Mass-Market in September
Although prices for high-definition displays have steadily declined in the past year, the equipment hasn't moved into the mass market in significant numbers. Home-theater specialty shops and their upscale clientele haven't yet had much of a "trickle-down" effect on rank-and-file consumers.
All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go?
According to figures released last week by the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA), factory sales to dealers for digital television (DTV) displays for the month of June were 26,750 units, which the CEA claims is "the biggest sales month to date for DTV." The figures also show that the June figures brought DTV display sales for 2000 to 129,438, surpassing total display sales in 1999 (121,226). The CEA adds that these figures include DTV and HDTV display monitors that require the addition of a set-top box to receive digital broadcasts, as well as DTV and HDTV sets that include a DTV tuner. In addition, the CEA reports that 17,671 standalone set-top receivers have been sold to dealers since January 2000.
Denon Receiver First with DTS-ES Discrete 6.1
Home theater fans looking for one component that will do everything should look no further than Denon
’s new AVR-5800 receiver. With seven channels of high-wattage amplification, a subwoofer output, and high-resolution internal digital-to-analog converters, the AVR-5800 is also the first home theater product designed to accommodate DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, the recently-announced surround sound format from acoustic effects pioneer Digital Theater Systems
Panasonic Recently Announces High-Contrast Plasma Display
No projector, no screen, no giant box dominating the room--just a bright, clear picture hanging on the wall. It's the dream of many home theater enthusiasts, and Panasonic
is helping to make it come true. The Japanese manufacturer has announced huge advances in contrast ratio––boosting it from a middling 400:1 to a mind-boggling 2000:1--and resulting in, the company says, brighter whites and darker blacks.
Konka's Small Room Solution: Versatile HD3298u
Not every home theater enthusiast has space for a big screen and a bulky projector. If your taste in home entertainment runs toward cozier rooms, perhaps you should look at a smaller high-definition CRT display, like the HD3298u from Konka