Classic games don't always age very well. While they mighty still play great, their low resolution and blocky sprites make the experience on an HDTV into a chore. Even if you grew up on games like Street Fighter II and Pac-Man, if you played them today on your nice, big HDTV you're more likely to get sharp, stabby, headachey feelings than warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feelings.
Q. I read somewhere in your magazine that cathode-ray tube TVs have a half-life of 30,000 hours. At 6 hours a day, that's around 13 years. I'm about to make the HDTV plunge. What are the half-life specs for plasma, LCD, and DLP? Jeff Dorscher Glendale, AZ
What time-shifting was to the VCR generation, place-shifting is becoming to the home-network-enabled. Extending personal entertainment to every room in your home is the mission of SkipJam, a company whose main product is the iMedia Center, a box you can attach to multiple A/V components including your cable or satellite receiver, home theater receiver, DVD player, and TV.
When José, the Fed Ex guy, rings my doorbell, the transaction is well scripted. He gives me the box containing the Next Thing to Review, and I give him the box containing the Last Thing I Reviewed. One glance at the Next Thing box tells me which link in the audio/video chain I'll be scrutinizing for the next few weeks. Like I said, it's highly choreographed.
Q. I'm moving into a new home, and the den that will house my home theater is 24 x 18 feet. What can I do myself to treat the room acoustically? There's a fireplace on one of the short walls, and our 60-inch rear-projection HDTV will go on the other. The long walls have a sliding glass door on one side and a picture window opposite that.
We've added four products to The List in June. Yamaha's VX-2600, at about $1,000 retail, delivered great sound and video scaling to win our receiver shootout. The Westinghouse 42-inch LCD flat-panel is an exceptional value and boasts 1080p display and input. Crystal Acoustics, a British speaker outfit, scored with its $2,000 THX-certified system.
It's not often that someone tosses me the keys to a new car, tells me to take it out for a few hours, and encourages me to crank up the stereo as loud as I want. But that's just what happened last week at the press junket that marked the debut of the new Lincoln MKT crossover vehicle.