The kitchen used to be considered mom's domain. But it's now the central gathering point in most homes. During parties, people congregate sipping cocktails and chatting while waiting for the food to cook. Mail is read and checks are written at the kitchen table. Messages are transmitted via refrigerator magnet.
Whether it's because of newspaper ads, TV shows saying they're being broadcast in HDTV, or the buzz from co-workers, relatives, and friends, you've probably been thinking about testing the HDTV waters. And now is a great time to buy a high-definition set.
In a basement in 1975, back when turntables were big business and Linda Ronstadt ruled the airwaves, three friends started Definitive Audio (definitive.com, 206-524-6633). In its early days, the high-end store sold two-channel gear by the likes of Mark Levinson and Magnepan. There was no video.
Back in elementary school, I loved reading those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. They'd begin like a normal book, but at the end of each page, you'd be faced with a decision that radically altered the story. "You discover a beautiful princess trapped in a dragon's lair. If you try and rescue the princess, turn to page ....
Computer companies have been trying to get off your desktop and into your entertainment rack for a decade. Ever since the invention of tuner cards for PCs and giant computer monitors that doubled as TVs, they've been pushing the "convergence" of entertainment and computing on a wary public. The reception from A/V enthusiasts has been, to put it politely, less than enthusiastic.
Rockford Corporation, which owns such brands as Rockford Fosgate, Lightning Audio, and MB Quart, used CES 2003 to showcase its newest member, NHT, and promote home-network products made by Rockford's new partner, SimpleDevices. Formerly owned by Recoton, speaker maker NHT used its CES limelight to promote its modular Evolution line and that line's latest addition, the on-wall L5 speaker.
You might suppose Minerva & the Bell Ringers was a 1960s girl group, but it's actually a mechanical clock located outdoors in New York City's Herald Square. On the hour, pivoting statues strike a bell up to 12 times, temporarily dislodging a pigeon or two. A still camera is inadequate for capturing the sound and motion. If I were a tourist, I might reach for a camcorder.