Hard to believe it, but it's been over 2 years since we unboxed our first Blu-ray Disc player here at Sound & Vision. Despite a sometimes stunning 1080p high-def picture (I say "sometimes" because the picture quality of the initial Blu-ray releases was a mixed bag), those first players had numerous shortcomings.
Photos by Tony Cordoza You can get a hint of what's up with Samsung's top-of-the-line DVD player from its model number. The "HD" in DVD-HD931 signifies that it has a special output for "upconverted" DVD video signals that closely match the capabilities of high-definition TVs.
While you might want to start with a budget model if you're looking for your first DVD recorder, there are good reasons to explore the higher end of the price range. Up there, you'll find models that make it easier to do time-shift recording and that provide storage and editing options not found on starter units.
Wireless media streaming once seemed exotic, but these days we take it for granted. Between Blu-ray Disc players, A/V receivers, TVs, and gaming systems, chances are you have multiple components in your home capable of shuttling music (or even photos and videos) from one room to another.
Elite is Pioneer’s premier home audio line, much like Lexus is to Toyota. That means you can expect better build quality, a longer warranty, step-up features, and premium performance. New to Elite this year are two network audio players, the N-30 and N-50, that stream audio (including high-rez files up to 192-kHz/24-bit) from a computer, play Internet radio, and use Apple’s AirPlay for easy wireless networking with iOS devices. When it comes to basic features, the two are essentially the same. But there are several key performance differences between the players that make it easy to argue the case for the N-50’s $200 price premium.
The DVD format advanced from a high concept to a hot commodity blindingly fast. Navigating the crowded aisles of their local video stores, DVD enthusiasts - who just yesterday felt like elite, high-tech trailblazers - today rub shoulders with increasingly large crowds of new converts. And as models of DVD players have multiplied in number, so have their features and capabilities.
Logitech's Revue Google TV box is quickly approaching, but that hasn't stopped the recent influx of boxes designed to get the Internet (or at least parts of it) onto an HDTV. The latest effort from Western Digital sounds like an impressive one. Inside, WD has packed a full terabyte of storage, to which you can add media from networked PCs and Macs or via its pair of USB ports.
Being a custom installer is no easy feat. More often than not, the job involves problem-solving and figuring out a way to make a square peg fit in a round hole. Fortunately, the manufacturers that support the world of custom installation have produced a lot of terrific products to make these possible.
Photos by Tony Cordoza My old man told me I'd get nowhere trying to be all things to all people, but Denon appears to have done pretty well by flouting this adage with its new DVD-2900. (I always knew Dad was full of it.) It plays optical discs in just about every current video or audio flavor.
Now's this for a cutting-edge shopping list: bread, milk, a dozen eggs, strawberries, zucchini, orange juice, chicken, sirloin, DVD player, spaghetti, ice cream, puppy chow. Yep, buying a DVD player these days can be as uneventful as picking up a quart of milk. And with low prices like $49, it is ridiculously tempting to pop one of 'em in your cart.
Here are the three most important things you should know about Toshiba's much anticipated HD-XA1, the world's very first high-definition optical disc player: 1. It's not just a DVD player - it's a computer.
While it might take a village to raise a child, it takes an army and lots of time to build an estate! Custom Theater and Audio (CTA) in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, where I work as lead system designer, was recently involved in all aspects of the A/V design and installation for Phil and Janet Pate's new home in North Myrtle Beach.
• Movie/music server with two additional music-only zones • Uncompressed storage for all movies and music • Sigma Designs VXP processing • System holds up to four 500-gigabyte hard drives for storage of 225 DVDs or 2,475 CD