Televisions, receivers, and speakers are important to the home theater experience, but the subwoofer is the only component that regularly gets pushed to its limits — or beyond. The laws of physics dictate that producing clean, powerful, deep bass requires drivers that displace lots of air, and amps powerful enough to push them.
In the heyday of Blockbuster, music documentaries and concert videos were tough to find unless you were willing to settle for musty oldies like the Three Tenors or musty newbies like Britney Spears. But the rise of video-streaming technology - and in particular, Netflix's Watch Instantly streaming service - has made music-video content of all types easier to access.
A crowd of movie-industry folk, film students, and press assembled last night for a preview of clips from the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon - the first in the series to be shot in 3D - as well as a lengthy and surprisingly technical discussion between Transformers director Michael Bay and Avatar director James Cameron.
The presentation, titled "3D: A Transforming Visual Art," took place at the Paramount Theater, on the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood.
Home theater enthusiasts have had seven speakers in their systems for a decade now, but only now is Hollywood finally catching up. Last Saturday, Dolby Laboratories feted the release of the Megamind Blu-ray Disc, which it says is the first movie released in 7.1-channel sound in theaters and on Blu-ray. A screening of the Blu-ray Disc in the company's technically unassailable theater was preceded by a discussion with Erik Aadahl, one of the movie's two supervising sound editors.
For anyone into ultra-low-budget home theater, yesterday was one of the greatest days ever. That’s because Optoma announced the HD33, which cuts the minimum price for a 3D home theater projector by 67%.
At the party last night at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood to celebrate the release of the Blu-ray Disc and DVD of Dexter, Season 5, I got to spend some quality time with Craig Eggers, Director of Blu-ray Ecosystems for Dolby Labs. Eggers was there because the Blu-ray release is in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I think I was supposed to talk with him about the new discs, but instead I cornered him for an update on something far more interesting to me: the status of 7.1 sound.
Apple announced today that it’s switching from the 30-pin connector on the bottom of iPods, iPhones, and iPads to something more compact. You can hardly blame Apple’s designers, since that connector is more than a decade old. But the move will essentially obsolete millions of iPod/iPhone docks already in consumers’ homes.
Many A/V enthusiasts dream of having a custom theater designed by home theater pioneer and Sound & Vision columnist Theo Kalomirakis. But mystery novelists Jonathan and Faye Kellerman (Capital Crimes, When the Bough Breaks) have something twice as nice: two theaters designed by Theo.