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OTHER SOURCE COMPONENT REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 15, 2006 0 comments
A set-top convergence device for the common man.

When you're in the market for a convergence product, an important part of the decision-making process is compiling a list of exactly what you want it to do for you. Some of the most popular entertainment applications include DVD/CD playback, TV recording/time-shifting, and an MP3 jukebox. A DVD burner and a video jukebox typically add a level of complexity—and cost. But, if you're looking for an easy-to-use device that won't break the bank, check out LiteOn's latest round of DVD recorders with built-in hard drives.

Chris Lewis Posted: May 28, 2004 Published: Jun 01, 2004 0 comments
Marantz gets universal for less than four figures.

Slowly but surely, more readers are asking questions about high-resolution, multichannel audio. They want to know what kind of progress the SACD and DVD-Audio formats are making. In most ways, I think they're right where we thought they'd be at this point, if not ahead in some respects. Sure, the naysayers are out in force, but it's entirely predictable that they would be. A technology's early days are the safest time for naysayers, as this is when all new technologies inevitably struggle. It wasn't so long ago that the DVD-Video detractors were out in force, and I think we all know how that turned out. Am I saying high-resolution/multichannel audio will ultimately have the impact of DVD-Video? Hardly, at least not in these videocentric times. Am I saying that SACD and DVD-Audio will change the world? Obviously not. But I am saying that it doesn't make much sense to dismiss a technology, or technologies, before they've had a chance to show what they can really do.

Al Griffin Posted: Feb 14, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $249

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive sound quality for Bluetooth
Audiophile-friendly look
Pain-free setup
Minus
Pricey

THE VERDICT
It might not be high-rez or high end, but Mass Fidelity’s Bluetooth receiver is a great option for casual listening.

Bluetooth gets a bad rap in the hi-fi world, and for good reason: In contrast to other wireless audio technologies that let you stream uncompressed CD-quality audio from a PC or portable device, Bluetooth subjects the signal to lossy compression. If you’re an audiophile with a reputation to uphold, the story pretty much ends there.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Aug 27, 2007 0 comments
Think of it as the Xbox 360.1

In the video-game business, the stakes are high. So, the Big Three have detailed road maps and five-year plans. A new console usually remains unchanged for at least a few Christmases, save for possible software updates and minor technical variations. However, this isn't the case with the Xbox 360. After only a record 17 months in its original incarnation, it has transformed into the Xbox 360 Elite, with two noteworthy hardware upgrades plus a fresh style.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 22, 2007 Published: Feb 22, 2007 0 comments
Games and movies collide, again, this time in high-def.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD DVD player is targeted specifically at the owners of the Xbox 360 gaming console—or those on the fence about purchasing one. It's an affordable way to bring HD DVD into your existing multimedia system. This small disc spinner will not work by itself; rather, it will only operate in conjunction with one of the two available versions of the Xbox 360, or with a PC (sort of, as you'll see later). It's another box (which will of course take up more space), and it lacks the sleek approach of a single-chassis solution. But the easily replaceable USB cable that connects the HD DVD player to your Xbox does offer a bit of placement freedom. This in turn makes the drive's integrated USB hub potentially more versatile.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Oct 15, 2006 0 comments
Praise the Lord, and pass the remote.

Sometimes an idea is so appealing—world-shaping concepts like communism, capitalism, free love, or spandex clothing—that it blinds believers to shortcomings that are otherwise glaringly obvious to those on the jaded, dispassionate periphery. We may look down our noses and scoff, yet it's hard to dismiss the power of simple belief.

HT Staff Posted: Jul 11, 2002 Published: Jul 12, 2002 0 comments
Play compressed audio files on your DVD player.

Not content merely to conquer the world, the DVD player is rapidly becoming the Swiss army knife of consumer electronics. The list of formats it supports is already swollen: DVD-Video, Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround, DTS, the videoCD format that's so popular in Asia, and (of course) the CD, not to mention CD-Rs and CD-RWs. Gourmet formats like DVD-Audio, SACD, and even the obscure 24/96 stereo Digital Audio Disc are finding their way into affordable DVD players, as is a decidedly nongourmet format: MP3 compressed audio is coming to a DVD player near you.

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jan 26, 2007 0 comments
They want to take you higher.

The component that put NAD on the map in the mid 1970s—the 3020 integrated stereo amplifier—didn't look like a giant killer. Finished in an indeterminate shade of grayish-brown and devoid of gee-whiz features, the 3020 nevertheless became one of the best-selling audiophile amplifiers of all time—and not just because it sounded better than anything going for two or three times its humble MSRP. The 3020 had that special something that made it, well, lovable. Over the decades, the engineers squeezed a bit of the 3020's magic into every NAD product, but they've pulled out all the stops with the new Masters Series components. They had to, as the ultimate NADs are competing with the likes of Anthem, Arcam, B&K, and Rotel. They're playing with the big boys now.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 28, 2005 0 comments
Well that sure is 1080p.

I must admit I, and I assume you, had never heard of this company before this review. The boss (Maureen Jenson) had been talking with them and had a review sample sent to our studio. I didn't find that part out until later. As far as I knew, this product quietly and unceremoniously just showed up. Its plain, unlabeled brown box was so nondescript that it lay unnoticed for several days. Had we not been clearing space to make room for the six RPTVs from the Face Off we had just finished (see our February 2005 issue), who knows how long it may have sat there. I opened the box to check out what it was, and my eye caught what your eye surely caught when you read the headline above: 1080p. As I investigated further, this DVD player only got cooler.

Chris Chiarella Posted: May 21, 2007 Published: Apr 21, 2007 0 comments
Putting the fun back into next-generation consoles.

Nintendo's follow-up to their popular GameCube—number three in the Big Three consoles of the previous generation—is the Wii (pronounced "we"), which represents a very different approach from SCEA's and Microsoft's next-gen gaming offerings. The humble Wii de-emphasizes the absolute latest and greatest in graphics and game audio, supporting a maximum video resolution of only 480p, in EDTV mode. Instead, it offers innovation in game design and control. And you can buy two of these Wii consoles for the price of the stripped-down PlayStation 3 model.

Adrienne Maxwell Posted: Nov 07, 2004 Published: Nov 01, 2004 0 comments
Because more is better.

The only thing better than an inexpensive player that will play virtually any disc you ask it to is an inexpensive player that will play virtually any six discs you ask it to. With the DV-CP802, Onkyo has lowered the price bar and upped the ante in the category of disc changers, including some nice higher-end perks in an entry-level machine.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Feb 28, 2001 Published: Mar 01, 2001 0 comments
A mean machine isn't a lean machine.

I hate going shopping by myself. I don't know whether it's the result of nature or nurture (after mapping the human genome, maybe they'll discover a treatment for the cheapskate gene), but I am often afflicted with serious outbreaks of miserable, miserly thriftiness. At its worst, it can make an innocent trip to the grocery store a torturous hell—as I rub brain cells raw attempting to mathematically determine, among other things, which roll of toilet paper provides the best deal per square foot. Considering my penchant for the finer-but-cheaper things in life, I should be absolutely thrilled by the vertiginous free-fall of prices on entry-level DVD players over the last few years. It wasn't that long ago that the least expensive DVD player would set you back $1,000 or more. Today, it took me fewer than 10 minutes to track down a DVD player selling for less than $120 at a national retailer. While the available information on this machine was pretty sparse, I'd be shocked if it weighed more than five or six pounds. Giving it the weighty benefit of a very generous doubt, six pounds brings the cost of the player in at just under $20 per pound. That's a lot to pay for a roll of Charmin, but it's dirt-cheap for a DVD player. Interestingly, I've noticed that low-end DVD players and cheap toilet paper share a close correlation: The lower the price, the thinner and lighter each one gets. At some point, the performance of both really begins to suffer.

Chris Lewis Posted: Feb 11, 2003 Published: Feb 12, 2003 0 comments
The high-resolution combi-player takeover continues.

How pleased am I that the trickle of combination SACD/DVD-Audio players has quickly reached a full flow? Visitors to my whiskey cellar (all right, my whiskey cabinet) may notice recently cracked seals on more than one of my special-occasion bottles of rare Wild Turkey. I've been on the soapbox about this issue. While no one needed a crystal ball to predict that the market would kick-start once Pioneer released their combi player, I still had my doubts. After all, this SACD/DVD-Audio format war started out as nasty as any of them. But then, I always took solace in precedent. Dolby and DTS didn't exactly exchange Christmas cards at first, either (and they still don't); now, however, you'd be hard-pressed to find applicable hardware that doesn't accommodate both formats. Deep down, I suppose I always knew that high-resolution combi players would ultimately be the norm, but I doubted that it would happen this quickly—and besides, it was more fun to do a bit of preaching.

Mike Wood Posted: Dec 27, 2000 Published: Dec 28, 2000 0 comments
Recordable DVD . . . Need We Say More? Probably.

Here it is. The moment you've been waiting for. Recordable DVD! That's right. That last remaining excuse for you not to buy a DVD player has finally been expunged, at least to some extent. While they made announcements at last January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, manufacturers are just now following through on their release plans for recordable DVD players. As usual, the excuse was copyright issues, that never-ending thorn in home theater's side. Panasonic finally sent us a sample of the DMR-E10 DVD-RAM player, which should be available for the holiday season and, if nothing else, is just one of the coolest products to come along since DVD first came out.

Robert Scott Posted: May 01, 2005 Published: May 17, 2005 0 comments
This combo unit lets you copy VHS tapes to DVD (and vice versa) and watch either format from a single device.

Panasonic is among the many manufacturers that now make combo VHS/DVD recorders; one of their current models is the DMR-E75V. This unit includes a VHS hi-fi VCR and a DVD drive that records on DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs (but not on DVD-RW), and it plays these formats, as well as DVD-Video, CD, CD-R/-RW (recorded with either normal CD or MP3 audio), and videoCD. It can even play DVD-Audio discs, but it only outputs two channels. I found out that playing DVD-Audio involves some sort of downmixing, but I was unable to get any more specific details of the process.

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