Lately it seems as though every component in a fully tricked-out home theater system wants to dink with the video - the DVD player, the receiver, the TV. Usually whatever is being done is described as some sort of upconversion. What does that mean, though? And perhaps more important, is it always a good thing?
First, the good news: when you turn on your analog TV at 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2009, you'll get pictures and sound. And now the bad news: at midnight and forever after, your TV will never receive a signal again.
So you're shopping for a home theater speaker system and you've got between one and two grand to spend. Welcome to the jungle. This is one of the most densely populated and competitive price ranges in all of speakerland. The good news is that there's lots to choose from.
Last month, we began exploring "how to listen." Now it's time to audition your favorite CDs. Note what you like about each one. Is there a common thread among them in the genre of music or the style of production?
There are two ways to go about setting up a home theater. The first option is to rope off a room in your house, seal the windows, and then make any and all necessary modifications to turn it into a dedicated movie palace. The second, more common option is to take a space your family actually lives, works, and plays in and adapt it so that it can easily go from sitting to screening room.
Conventional TV broadcasting, whether over the air or by cable or satellite, sends out multiple channels all at once, and it's up to the viewer to tune in a particular one at a set time to watch or record a show. Akimbo is promising the next step: speedy interactive delivery of video directly from the Internet to a hard drive connected to your TV.
I wasn't sure why the guys at S&V asked me to have a listen to Acoustic Research's AWD510 wireless 5.1-channel headphones ($350; audiovox.com). They looked big and clunky compared with many of today's much smaller 'phones and earbuds.
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.
Over the past 18 months, prices for entry-level 1080p front projectors have fallen faster than the Super Bowl repeat hopes of the NY Giants. As a result, you can get a pretty awesome DLP or 3LCD model for about $3,000, while an entry-level 1080p LCoS projector from Sony (SXRD) or JVC (D-ILA) will set you back about $4,500 to $5,000.
When the Compact Disc was introduced 22 years ago, it rocked everyone's world. Like any seismic change, it fostered its share of controversy and anger and even some name-calling. As a devout young digerati, I waited patiently for all the conspiracy theories to die away. I'm still waiting.