Lots can happen in the A/V world over a 3-year span, but that same length of time is an eternity in the computer world, where changes take place almost daily. Any new A/V gear that you buy is likely to remain up to date for at least a few years, but it’s not unusual for a state-of-the-art computer to become a paperweight in almost no time.
A DVD player is already a terrific bargain - an inexpensive black box that can play discs full of razor-sharp images, immersive surround sound, and fascinating extras. But what if you could wed a DVD player with another popular entertainment device like, say, a TV, VCR, or game console? Well, it's already being done.
Music servers are everywhere these days. Simple or complex, inexpensive or expensive, technically you're using one right now to read this webpage. But not all music servers are alike. The audio quality can vary greatly. For example, things like well designed digital to analog converters (DACs) are a huge part in getting good sound from your digital music.
Enter Olive. The San Francisco based company has been making gorgeous high-end music servers for several years now. With the 06HD, they're aiming right at the audiophile market.
Photos by Tony Cordoza You know a recording medium is going in or out of fashion when you can't find any blanks on the store shelves. Such a revelation hit me in the aisle for blank DVDs and CDs at a Best Buy here in New York City. There were shelf labels for all five recordable DVD formats - DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM - but precious few of the discs.
Many video enthusiasts, al though they may have long wanted to destroy their cantankerous, tape-eating, low-resolution VHS machines, have collected large libraries of off-air programs or camcorder footage that they wouldn't want to be without. What better way to preserve your VHS library than to copy it to a far more robust and easy-to-use medium like recordable DVD?
Setting up the Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD player for the best picture and sound quality is not for the uninitiated. Even home theater experts will face a learning curve to understand the different ways to extract video and audio from the player and the ramifications of each option and will have to read the manual to find what settings in the player's internal menu will yield the desired results.
Less than a year after I reviewed Panasonic's DMR-E10 DVD-RAM recorder in the December 2000 issue, here I am reviewing a follow-up model that, as we've become accustomed in things electronic, has more useful features, equivalent or better performance, and a much smaller price tag - $1,500 instead of $4,000! The drop to a far more realistic price is tre mendous prog ress all by itself.
For those of us without six figures of disposable funds, there are still some ways to improve a home theater/media room that don’t involve organ donation or a potential divorce. Here are some simple, won’t-break-the-bank enhancements that you can do on your own.
I review a lot of gear. While I don't think of myself as jaded, it does take a lot to get me truly excited about a product. The new Apple TV did it. I love this thing, and I am by no means an Apple fanboy.
The reasons why are simple. Apple TV combines several products I use on a regular basis into one user-friendly box. I use a PS3 or Blu-ray player for Netflix streaming, a Wadia 170iTransport for music playback, and my computer if I want to watch a TV show that I downloaded from iTunes. Apple TV takes care of all those things, and more.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Using a standalone DVD player in the connected home seems so inappropriately standoffish. Why live by disc alone? That's the thinking behind the Go-Video D2730, a richly featured DVD player that's also adept at playing music or videos, or displaying photos stored on a Windows-based computer.
Sure, DVD players are a dime a dozen these days. And even at the cheapest of prices, you can expect perks that were reserved for high-end players just a couple of years ago, like a progressive-scan component-video output. Amazing. But what if you want to spin more than one disc?