A/V VETERAN

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 23, 2005 2 comments

I dropped in to my local Costco today after lunch to pick up a couple of new DVDs. (No, Virginia, we don't get free review samples for <I>all</I> the titles that come out.) The aisles were crowded with cartons containing new televisions, all of them plasmas, LCDs, and DLPs. I saw the same thing last week when I was in Fry's&mdash;a California chain well known for just about everything electronic and a few things that are not. The branch in my area gives the same amount of space to a giant, 10-foot ant suspended from the ceiling (not a real one&mdash;just in case you were wondering if I've been watching too much science fiction lately) as it does to the latest in big-screen TVs. With the boxes piled high and deep at retailers everywhere, it's obvious they're all humming <I>'Tis the Season to be TV Buying</I> and <I>Jingle Bills</I> (but no interest until 2007).

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Steven Stone Posted: Nov 17, 2005 4 comments

<I> My blog is open to any non-blogging </I>UAV<I> writer. Why should I have all the fun? Today, reviewer and contributing editor Steven Stone chimes in with advice for feline-loving audio- and videophiles.</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 13, 2005 Published: Nov 14, 2005 2 comments

And you thought it was already here. It's true that a number of films over the past few years have been digitally projected in a small number of theaters around the world, using primarily DLP technology (and occasionally LCoS). But these presentations have employed a wide range of formats. For example, 30 different release masters were reportedly made for the 30 theaters that showed <I>Van Helsing</I> digitally in 2003. This lack of standardization could never support the massive conversion to digital cinema (and the savings in print distribution costs) that the studios are hoping for.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 09, 2005 0 comments

If you checked into our website this week (and of course you did, or you wouldn't be reading this!) you've noticed a whole new look. Access to you favorite sections will be easier, thanks to a more detailed top line. Loading time—we anticipate—will be faster. And, most important—there's a whole new layer of content.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 02, 2005 5 comments

The DVD of <I>Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith</I> hits the video stores this week. Fox didn't send us an advanced screener. Perhaps they read the rather negative review I wrote last summer during the film's <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/thomasjnorton/505tjn/index1.html">thea... release</A>! I'll have more to say about the movie, and about the DVD release, in the upcoming November 2005 <I>UAV</I> eNewsletter, scheduled to be mailed out next week. You do subscribe, don't you? (If not, simply <A HREF="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/newsletter_subscribe/?Your%20E-mail"> click here</A> to sign up. It's free.)

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 27, 2005 8 comments

What's a blog? It's the hot topic on the Internet these days, but what, exactly, is it? Since we've just launched four new blogs here on <I>Ultimate AV</I>, this is a timely question. Three of the blogs have been converted directly from our previous monthly columns. A fourth is brand new.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 19, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Your favorite <I>first-run</I> movies could be coming soon to a theater near you&mdash;your own home theater&mdash;in full high definition.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 28, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>I'm a huge fan of having a physical copy of video content (high-definition or otherwise) for my own personal use any time I see fit. The downloading paradigm scares me. It opens up all sorts of ways for the provider to stick it to the consumer. How about paying <I>every</I> time you want to watch? How about additional compression so our downloaded movies are "High-Definition Quality," like those "CD-quality" MP3s? How about spyware or adware along for the ride? Pop-up ads in mid-movie, anyone?

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 24, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>So many little things have flown over the transom this month (does anyone even have a transom anymore?) that a lapse into blogging mode seemed the best way to clear them out.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 26, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>"Sell the Mercedes! Hock the mink!" So wrote a still-active audio scribe (Peter Moncrieff) a quarter century ago while reviewing a pricey (for the time) tube preamp. Today, you can still pay more than the price of a Mercedes for an amplifier or speakers. And while few people today would be caught alive wearing a dead rat, the proverbial mink coat wouldn't go far toward the price of that top-drawer, custom home theater installation, either.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 01, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>George Lucas is a fan. I don't mean of <I>Star Wars</I> (though he is, I suspect, that, too); rather, he's a fan of digital cinema. And he wanted his magnum opus, <I>Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith</I>, to play in digital on the biggest screens in the world. That covers a lot of territory, but the screen at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, which measures 32 by 86 feet, just might be the biggest anywhere.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 25, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>One of the hot, media-centric topics these days is Digital Rights Management, or DRM. I touched on this topic in a <A href="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/news/041405DRM/">report</A> on the recent Digital Hollywood conference. Put simply but politely, it involves managing how and what an individual may do with program material to which others own the copyright. Put more bluntly, it involves how to keep the public from making copies that Hollywood considers illegitimate and thus deny Hollywood the income it feels would otherwise come from the sale of that material.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 20, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>It never ends. Today's fast-changing AV scene constantly generates an ongoing flow of myths, legends, and other blather that either arises spontaneously or is deliberately manufactured to push the bewildered consumer toward a certain product or technology. I'll make a valiant attempt here to explode a few of these video urban legends, nevertheless secure in the knowledge that, like Don Quixote, I'll find an endless supply of new windmills just down the road.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 14, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><I>The Oscars are coming! The Oscars are coming! Which films are worthy contenders? Which will make good DVDs?</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 31, 2004 Published: Jan 01, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><I>Ultimate AV is going completely to bits! But not to pieces. </I>

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