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OTHER SOURCE COMPONENT REVIEWS

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 19, 2002 Published: Dec 20, 2002 0 comments
Upping the ante.

Thanks to consumer interest, competition, and their fundamental coolness, high-resolution audio players are falling in price to a point where almost everyone can afford them. Sony's DVP-NS755V, for example, is only $250, and it features SACD capability and progressive scanning. A year ago, this player's predecessor excited us as an inexpensive progressive-scan DVD player. Now Sony ups the ante by adding SACD and keeping the price the same.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 02, 2002 Published: Sep 03, 2002 0 comments
Zenith's DVB216 DVD player has a refreshingly different aesthetic and a refreshingly low price.

Sure, a mirror reference was the obvious route to go with the intro. After all, how many DVD players do you know that sport a fully mirrored front panel? Still, I'll try to keep the analogies to a minimum.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 05, 2002 Published: Aug 06, 2002 0 comments
Few things have dropped in price as quickly as DVD players. Less than a year ago, progressive-scan models like this one would have cost over $1,000. Now, you can find the Samsung DVD-P421 progressive-scan player for well under $200.
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.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 11, 2002 Published: Jun 12, 2002 0 comments
�ReplayTV goes online.

At first glance, this appears to be yet another review of yet another PVR. Sure, this PVR looks a little cooler and seems a bit newer, but take a closer look at the back panel. There amongst all of the inputs you'd expect to see is an Ethernet connection. ReplayTV and new owner SONICblue have pushed the PVR to the next level: the Internet.

Mike McGann Posted: Feb 02, 2002 Published: Feb 03, 2002 0 comments
The SD-5700 affirms Toshiba's quest to continually advance DVD-playback technology.

In those dark days when it seemed like DVD would never launch—tied up by lawyers, Hollywood types, and so on (the same folks who are now working so hard to mess up HDTV)—some of the truest of true believers were lodged in an office building in Wayne, New Jersey. Their mantra was, "DVD is coming, and Toshiba will bring it to you." After almost two years, DVD did come, and Toshiba's first players were worth the wait. Since dragging the world (OK, maybe just Hollywood and a few attorneys) kicking and screaming into the DVD era a few years back, Toshiba has put out a series of low-cost, high-performance DVD players that earned justifiable praise from critics and enthusiasts alike.

Chris Lewis Posted: Feb 02, 2002 Published: Feb 03, 2002 0 comments
Don't believe us? Just check out Arcam's DV27 DVD player.

Killing time on an airplane is never an easy thing to do. Thankfully, over the past couple of years, I've developed an entertaining way to do just that on my return trips from our industry trade shows: reliving all of the bizarre things people have told me over the previous days. The source of these statements is broad-based: manufacturers, PR people, dealers, and even my fellow journalists (yours truly, of course, has never said anything dumb at a show—as far as you know). Maybe it's the long hours and lack of sleep or the rivers of free booze that wind their way through these events. At this year's CEDIA Expo, a representative from a large manufacturer (which will go unnamed) resolutely declared that, outside of the lowest price ranges, nobody is going to buy a DVD player that doesn't process DVD-Audio or SACD. Maybe he was trying to appeal to my well-documented affinity for these high-resolution formats, or maybe he hadn't quite sobered up yet. I imagine that my dumbfounded look made it clear that even a biased audio fellow like myself certainly couldn't agree at this stage in the game—if ever.

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?

Steve Baldwin Posted: Jul 02, 2001 Published: Jul 03, 2001 0 comments
Comparing the Incomparable? The Philips SACD 1000 ushers SACD into the world of multichannel audio. Does this bring the high-resolution format closer to DVD-Audio or drive them farther apart?

Apples and oranges are both great, but generally you like one or the other better. Sure, they're both fruits, and they're both sort of round, but there are lots of things you'd do with one and not the other. Ever mix vodka with apple juice? I haven't either, although the mere thought brings a shudder. Ever tried orange sauce with pork chops? Not likely.

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.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jun 28, 2001 Published: Jun 29, 2001 0 comments
Move over, Volvo. There's a new Swedish import to love.

I used to be one of those snide individuals who took joy in deriding people who drove Volvos. In my admittedly limited experience, a swiftly moving Volvo was invariably piloted by an aggressive female hell-bent on a mission to get Junior to his soccer game or Missy to her Brownie troop meeting on time. In the minds of these monomaniacal matriarchs, the brakes included on the vehicle were exclusively for emergencies. Then, through a curious train of events, I became the owner of a used Volvo 740GL. Despite some of its nagging proclivities—like spending more time parked in the mechanic's garage than in mine—I became quite enamored of that car. Its boxy shape and heavily overbuilt feel made it a deeply comforting and enjoyable automobile in which to travel. I'm not talking the plush and cushy kind of comfort here. This was more the secure and stable kind of comfort.

Mike Wood Posted: Mar 31, 2001 Published: Apr 01, 2001 0 comments
High-end, high-definition satellite thrills.

The press has lamented the lack of HDTV programming for far too long. In reality, there's a reasonable amount of HDTV broadcasts right now—enough to warrant the purchase of an HDTV, anyway. You just have to know where to look for it. In certain areas, you can get most of CBS's prime-time lineup, as well as various shows and movies from NBC and ABC. Almost anywhere in the country, there are at least two cable networks, Showtime and HBO, and one pay-per-view channel that broadcast HDTV signals. Granted, there isn't as much high-def programming as there is NTSC programming and you can't get it from cable, but who needs cable when you can have satellite?

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.

Mike Wood Posted: Feb 28, 2001 Published: Mar 01, 2001 0 comments
Toshiba's SD-9200 and Onkyo's DV-S939 are part of a new breed of what might as well be called "super" DVD players. Like a handful of others, they're high-quality DVD players that offer a progressive-scan video output and can decode the high-resolution audio signal from DVD-Audio recordings. With the category becoming almost appliancelike, these players are a welcome addition to any writer's queue of review products.
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.

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