A/V VETERAN

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 05, 2008 8 comments

I recently spent a weekend cleaning up my home office, the retreat where I write much of my deathless prose. I hadn't rummaged through some of my files for several years, but had to make room for the piles of new stuff that have managed to build up to the point where I couldn't find things. This sorting process invariably takes longer than you plan, as you find things that require instant action (as they did two years ago) and others that demand to be re-read and enjoyed again.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 11, 2008 11 comments

Contrast: The ratio between the brightest part of the picture and the darkest.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 10, 2008 6 comments

I can't say I'm as big a <I>Star Trek</I> fan as some. I love the stories and characters, but I'm not into the minutiae. I don't know which deck sickbay is on, couldn't tell you the date the first Enterprise was launched (actually it was Stardate 1814, if you can believe Wikipedia), and don't know a word of Klingon.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 21, 2008 1 comments

You're got two displays; perhaps a plasma on the wall for day-to-day viewing and a projection screen that drops down in front of it for serious movie watching. Or you want to feed HDMI video to a small screen on your equipment rack as a monitor. Or…whatever. Up to now, it's been difficult to find an affordable device that will split an HDMI source in two. There are a number of such products on the market from companies like Gefen, Key Digital, and PureLink, but they tend to be expensive solutions to a relatively basic problem, often providing more flexibility than you need.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 06, 2008 Published: Mar 07, 2008 9 comments

So now we have a single HD disc format. Hallelujah. No more excuses for sitting on the fence. No more "my upconverted DVDs look almost like high definition" claptrap. The clouds will part, angelic choirs will sing, and…oops, wrong blog.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 19, 2008 9 comments

The ship has sailed. The hero is riding off into the sunset as the fat lady sings her closing aria. She sees the handwriting on the wall for her final curtain. The end is near.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 30, 2008 4 comments

It's already a month into 2008, but never too late to make predictions for the coming year or so&mdash;predictions of things that probably won't happen in the way we expect. If anything is certain, it's the uncertainty of the future. The volatile world of consumer electronics is no exception.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 05, 2008 5 comments

The bombshell dropped yesterday, the day before I was to drive to CES. And I don't mean the deluge that hit LA and tested the leaks in my roof (they still work!). It was Warner's decision to go Blu-ray exclusive starting this coming May. Why they aren't doing so immediately is a bit of a puzzle, but is likely due to contractual obligations and to keep from scrapping product already in the pipeline.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 26, 2007 2 comments

With Sony's recent announcement that it is discontinuing production of all rear projection sets, both LCD and SXRD, in favor of its flat panel LCD Bravia line, the video display landscape is becoming noticeably thinner. Yes, many major companies—Panasonic, Samsung, and Mitsubishi among them, continue to turn out rear projection televisions. But is the handwriting on the wall for this type of display?

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 06, 2007 2 comments

Judging from the DVD section in my local Costco, the hot items to put under the Christmas spruce this year are boxed sets of a television series. Not just single seasons, but the whole magilla. You can get everything from the <I>X-Files</I>, complete with a Sing Along (the writers are on strike, but not the songwriters), to <I>24</I>, with a Day Timer (11:00PM: Whip terrorists’ butts; 11:59PM: Leave on hiatus).

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 31, 2007 8 comments

Sponsored by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment but involving all the major studio supporters of the Blu-ray format, a so-called "Blu-ray Festival" was held in Hollywood over the past two days (October 29th and 30th).

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 18, 2007 2 comments

DisplaySearch is a company that produces technology assessments, surveys, studies, and analyses of the current state of video display technology. Every year for the past four years they organize a two-day HDTV event. This year's, the DisplaySearch 5th Annual HDTV Conference, was held at the Hilton hotel at Universal City, CA.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 05, 2007 0 comments

While I have decidedly mixed feelings about big-box consumer electronics retailers getting into the TV calibration game (see the following story on Best Buy, and an earlier story that also touches on Circuit City's calibration promotion) the commercial pull of these giants is already having at least one unanticipated benefit.

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Tom Norton Posted: Oct 05, 2007 1 comments

Back in late July I blogged about a demo kiosk at my local Best Buy. You can scroll down and read about it. It was set up in a DirecTV promotion kiosk, but it wasn't clear whether or not it was also intended to promoting Best Buy's new video calibration services.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 03, 2007 0 comments

I'm not exactly sure what a sugarplum is—probably a Christmas treat in Victorian England. But I do know that for those of us in the AV game, it comes early every year. September is time for the CEDIA Expo, to be held this year in Denver.

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