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OTHER SOURCE COMPONENT REVIEWS

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Posted: Jan 31, 2001 Published: Feb 01, 2001 0 comments
The Sony DVP-S9000ES SACD/DVD player proves you can increase a product's value and raise the price at the same time.

Sign up for a Vons-supermarket club card today, and you can purchase a name-brand DVD player for $170! It's true. We saw it with our own eyes.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 25, 2014 1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
500-GB hard drive
DSD capable
Serious fun to use
Minus
No live streaming from network devices
Lightweight amp

THE VERDICT
This handsome DSD-capable audio player with built-in storage takes the pesky computer out of computer audio—and it’s way more fun to use.

Sony made waves when they announced their intention to market three high-resolution audio (HRA) products built around the company’s DSD file format. True, there was a nascent HRA movement before Sony made the move, with loads of network audio players and USB DACs flooding the market. But somehow the Sony announcement provided the extra momentum that finally made HRA seem not just promising but inevitable. That the Consumer Electronics Association has also launched an HRA initiative is icing on the cake.

Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jun 13, 2014 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $150

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Adds Google TV apps to a Sony Bravia TV
Compact dongle form factor
Integrates cable/satellite programming with streaming apps
Integrates some apps typically not available on Google TV

Minus
Google TV remote was sometimes unresponsive
Only works with specific 2013 (or newer) Bravia TVs

THE VERDICT
A solid Google TV add-on for owners of compatible Bravia TVs.

When the Sony Bravia Smart Stick was first announced, it was thought to be competition for Google’s Chromecast. But this complete Google TV-on-a-dongle is not for everyone. It is an add-on option for recent Bravia TV owners who want more than the streaming apps available on the Bravia TV platform. The Bravia stick integrates seamlessly with the TV, combining the app menu from the Bravia TV with the Google TV home screen for quick access.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 18, 2005 0 comments
More video-game hardware in less space.

My medication is obviously not working because I'm still talking to myself. Marveling at the redesigned PlayStation 2's jaw-droppingly slender form factor for about 10 minutes straight, I caught myself actually saying "Wow" out loud, even though I was alone. It's comparable in size to a paperback book, but it reminds me more of a portable DVD player, sans screen, in black. While some of the accessories designed for use with the original PS2 are not compatible with this new design (the vertical stand and the Multitap to allow four players instead of the standard two, although new versions of each are now available), I was happy to find that my step-up Monster Game products all still fit. The digital optical cable and component video adapter plugged into the obvious places, while the replacement AC cable now patches into the breakout AC adapter (the 8.5-volt power supply is now located outside the console, which is another secret to the PS2's profound weight loss). At just 2 pounds, it's half as heavy as its former incarnation and takes up one-quarter the space, leaving me with vast amounts of open air in my under-TV gear stack after a quick, new-for-old PS2 swap. I do wish it had a catchier moniker, rather than simply "the 70000 Series."

Benjamin Dover Posted: Mar 01, 2004 0 comments
You can have it all (almost).

If you're like me, you're sick and tired of format wars. When will these companies learn that having to choose between formats only leads to consumer frustration and, sometimes, outright rebellion? Perhaps this is why DVD-Audio and SACD have not taken off like their proponents might have wished. And perhaps this is why several companies have introduced universal players that will play both formats in addition to DVD-Video and good ol' CD.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Mar 10, 2003 0 comments

Sony and Zenith have enviable records in the world of DirecTV and digital television set-top boxes. Sony's first such product, the SAT-HD100, was among the best on the market, with topnotch performance and a host of enviable features. That receiver, along with one by Panasonic, were the two most sensitive I had ever seen. And while the Sony had some problems, among them a noisy fan and the lack of aspect-ratio control, last year I judged it the best of a troubled lot.

Mike McGann Posted: Jan 25, 2000 Published: Jan 26, 2000 0 comments
Real high-definition audio that everyone can appreciate.

Consumer-electronics writers are a curious group. We'll look at a product on paper and decide whether it's going to be any good long before we actually get our hands on the gear. That's not a very shocking admission. Think about it: You see Kevin Costner is making another baseball movie, and you have to figure it will be decent. It's sort of the same process for writers. Being cynical, most of us writer types looked at Sony's SACD format on paper and agreed it would probably sound good, as long as it's surrounded by good-enough gear to bring out the difference over traditional CDs and maybe even the long-awaited DVD-Audio. Some even argued that the product is of questionable value, since it's only aimed at the high-end, tube-amp crowd. Why muddy the water? Why mess things up for the upcoming (and more-mainstream) DVD-Audio? Isn't Sony just being arrogant?

Chris Lewis Posted: Jul 02, 2001 Published: Jul 03, 2001 0 comments
The Highs and Lows of Super Audio: Sony's SCD-CE775 five-disc SACD player offers high resolution for a low price.

We know all too well that there are lots of new formats out there. We also know firsthand that this means a lot of spending and a whole lot of studying to try to keep pace. If everything falls into place as it should, there will come a day a couple of years from now when you'll slide into that easy chair, throw some high-definition television on the screen or some high-resolution audio into the speakers, and smile from ear to ear, wondering how you ever lived without either. No one ever said change was easy; however, from what I've seen and (more importantly) heard over the past couple of years, I have no doubt that this change will be worth it.

HT Staff Posted: Nov 07, 2001 Published: Nov 08, 2001 0 comments
Got money? HT editors tell you the best value for your $$$.

As editors of Home Theater, everyone asks us questions about the consumer electronics business. This is fine—it's our duty to help those who may not have the time to spend all day playing around with really cool gear. Some questions are easy, like "How do I hook this up?" or "What does anamorphic mean?" Unfortunately, the one question we get all the time is not as simple to answer: What gear should I buy?

Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 19, 2005 0 comments
The Xbox 360 Is All Around Us

We offer facts, figures, and first impressions of Bill Gates and company's latest (and quite major) step toward providing Microsoft with a foothold in the world's living rooms. We look at games and accessories here, too, with a full review in the March 2006 Home Theater Magazine.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 16, 2006 0 comments
Inside Toshiba's HD-XA1 HD DVD player.
David Vaughn Posted: Sep 08, 2010 0 comments
Price: $299 At A Glance: New user interface • Multiple streaming services from Netflix, Amazon, and Blockbuster • Enhanced Internet-driven search capabilities

Has TiVo Reinvented TV Again?

What started as Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay’s idea in 1997 became a reality in 1999 when TiVo burst on the scene and changed the way people watch TV. While time-shifting programs had been around for years via VCR, you couldn’t pause live TV, watch one program while recording another, or view a comprehensive program guide at the push of a button. The cable and satellite companies took their sweet time entering the DVR market, and TiVo’s only other competitor—ReplayTV—was absorbed by DIRECTV. TiVo became so popular, its brand name became a verb.

David Vaughn Posted: Dec 24, 2007 0 comments
There are all types of fanatics in the world; religious fanatics, sports fanatics, Windows fanatics, Apple fanatics, the list goes on and on. But one type of fanatic that I never really understood is the TiVo fanatic. You've probably have met someone who's asked, "Do you have TiVo yet?" or stated that the "TiVo has completely changed my life!"
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 30, 2006 0 comments

It's here, but only just. On April 18th Toshiba launched the HD DVD format with the release of the $499 HD-A1 player. On the same day Warner released The Last Samurai and The Phantom of the Opera on HD DVD, and those two titles were joined by Universal's Serenity. Warner's Million Dollar Baby, also scheduled for the launch, was delayed initially but is in stores now. These were joined on April 25th by additional titles, including what is the easily best film released on the format so far, Apollo 13.

David Vaughn Posted: Feb 25, 2007 0 comments

The first car I owned was a VW Bug that cost a whopping $500 in 1986. It wasn't the prettiest car on the block, but it got me from Point A to Point B. When Toshiba's first generation HD-A1 HD DVD player arrived on the scene it reminded me an awful lot of that trusty old bug: slow, ugly and clunky, but once the movie started to play, the picture was so outstanding that I could forget it's little quirks. Oh yeah, and it cost a cool $500 as well!

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