It seems like yesterday that the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference and Festival began as a local gathering in Austin, Texas. But it's actually been 15 years - and today, what is simply known as SXSW has morphed into the American music industry's largest event.
Sure, Hewlett-Packard's ambitious Media Center PC 883n ($1,999) could replace many of the A/V components in your home theater-including your DVD player, TiVo or ReplayTV hard-disk video recorder, and CD jukebox. But HP will be the first to admit that its chrome and black computer is not likely to become many families' main entertainment center.
More and more people are mak ing the switch from cable to satellite TV, and why not? A satellite system can deliver hundreds of TV and music channels digitally with amazingly clear picture and sound quality. And depending on your system and programming package, you can get Dolby Digital surround sound, HDTV movies, blazingly fast Internet access, and more.
Hardly a month goes by when we don't receive a reader letter or e-mail taking us to task for discussing the "2:3 pulldown" functions of DVD players instead of the more commonly found "3:2 pulldown." Let me immediately put the confused at ease by saying that both terms refer to the same thing.
Here's the thing about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' stunning new album, Mojo: While you've never quite heard the band play this way before on record, the songs sound like you've known them all your life.
Audio gear - designed for high-fidelity reproduction of recorded music - once ruled the Consumer Electronics Show, but now audio is for the most part only a handmaiden to video. However, for those who place sound first, some impressive components begged a hearing.
Brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly are the legendary duo behind some of the most raucous, outrageous, original - and successful - comedies ever, including Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary, and most recently, The Heartbreak Kid.
To disregard the hi-fi end of what we do is wrong,” says Tom Petty of his decision to include a Blu-ray Disc with 62 live tracks mixed in 5.1 as part of the Deluxe Edition of his career-spanning boxed set with the Heartbreakers, The Live Anthology(Reprise). That edition, is impressive indeed. Besides the Blu-ray, it comprises five live CDs, two DVDs with two previously unreleased shows, one vinyl LP, a book, lithographs, and other goodies.
You have to feel a little bit sorry for Blu-ray Disc. Despite winning the high-def format war, few are showing it much love. The month after Toshiba pulled the plug on HD DVD, Blu-ray sales plummeted by 40%.