If you haven't made the jump to HDTV yet, here's a great reason to get with the program: the very affordable Dish Network ViP622 HD satellite receiver/DVR ($299). Not only will this magic box let you tune into HD shows (satellite and off-air), but it also packs a hefty hard disk for recording up to 25 hours of them (or 180 hours in standard-def).
SXRD FOR ALL Sony raised the bar when it debuted its SXRD front projectors a couple of years ago, although they also set a new standard for price. Today, the vibrant high-def images SXRD is known for can be yours for just $5,000 (!) from the VPL-VW50, a front projector that'll bestow upon you all the 1080p-res goodness you can stand.
Yamaha Taking over the flagship position in Yamaha's receiver fleet is the RX-Z1. It decodes Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES (Matrix and Discrete) and performs Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 processing to deliver surround sound from stereo sources.
Designed for the media professional on the move, Dell's Inspiron e1705 notebook ($2,165) comes with Windows XP Media Center Edition and has a high-performance Intel Core Duo processor to power it. Games and videos will live large on the 17-inch widescreen display, and the top-notch Nvidia graphics card makes sure quick motion won't give you any visual hiccups. No time to boot up?
LARGE AND IN CHARGE Are you serious about home theater? No, are you serious? Okay then, you may be worthy to own the Sunfire Theater Grand Receiver 3. Among its legendary features: HDMI switching, three (!) subwoofer outputs, and a power rating that'll make lesser receivers cower - 200 watts for each of the seven channels.
Gateway Your plasma-TV dreams have a little room to grow now that Gateway's 50-inch GTW-P50M203 flat-panel HDTV monitor is on the scene. Not only can the 1,366 x 768-pixel screen bring you true high-def images, but the widescreen set is only $7,000.
It seems that every few weeks Onkyo rolls out another round of upgrades and apps for their AVR line, but today the company announced four new receivers for 2012: two 5.1 models (the $299 TX-NR313 and $499 414), and two 7.2 models (the $599 TX-NR515 and $699 616).
NO WIRES The Philips Streamium music system takes all the complexity - and cables - out of multiroom audio through the wireless magic of Wi-Fi (802.11g). As soon as you turn on the WACS700 main base (left) and its satellite, they automatically find each other - no pairing, seeking, or inputting required.
MEDIA À LA MOD Out of the thousands of products, hundreds of pimped-out vehicles, and dozens of partially clad... um, booth models at the annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas in November, VizuaLogic's VMOD stood out from all the hubbub.
AUDIOPHILES’ enthusiasm for computer-sourced sound has inspired innovation in the market for external digital-to-analog converters, which deliver vastly better performance than your computer’s sound card. Accordingly, there were many new DACs at CES designed to connect to computers.
Krell is synonymous in the minds of many with high-performance audio, but they're not the first manufacturer that comes to mind when you mention DACs or headphone amps. That's about to change, perhaps, with the introduction of the Phantom III stereo preamplifier.
NET WORTHY Can the Internet improve your remote control? Hey, it worked for Harmony. Now Acoustic Research is taking the idea a step further by including Wi-Fi in its ARR2470 Wi-Q remote to keep it constantly connected to the Net.
HIGH-DEF CRED A nice side effect of everyone going gaga over 1080p displays is that 720p gear is more affordable than ever. Case in point: Sanyo's PLV-Z5 projector, which will fill your wall or screen with 100-inch HD images for less than 2 Gs.
Last night we got to check out the latest offering in Bang & Olufsen's wireless-lifestyle Play line, a wireless speaker system known as the BeoPlay A9 ($2,699). Now, obviously at that price it's got to offer something more than the average dock, and indeed it does.