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Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 26, 2010 Published: May 27, 2010 10 comments

Movie studios don't miss a thing when it comes to keeping a tight watch on the effectiveness of Blu-ray copy protection. Recently, in an apparent attempt to close an assumed (I assume) breach, 20th Century Fox updated its BD+ copy codes in an effort to keep the door firmly locked. The first disc I noted a problem with was (surprise!) <I>Avatar</I>, which was so firmly locked it would not play. After an inordinately long loading cycle it decided it couldn't get along with an Oppo BDP-83 player, which I've admittedly been lax in updating. The same proved to be the case on another current but not updated model, the Pioneer BDP-320. Same long wait, same lack of a payoff. Or at least not a welcome one. All I got was a bright red screen telling me to update my player.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2008 3 comments

In a recent e-mail, an old friend and audio reviewer asked about Blu-ray players. I tried to steer him away (successfully, I hope) from what he thought was a good deal on an new, unused first generation Sony Blu-ray player. The seller had apparently almost convinced him that this was some sort of undiscovered gem, akin (though in a different application) to the early, tank-like SACD players held in high regard by some audiophiles.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 27, 2005 8 comments

What's a blog? It's the hot topic on the Internet these days, but what, exactly, is it? Since we've just launched four new blogs here on <I>Ultimate AV</I>, this is a timely question. Three of the blogs have been converted directly from our previous monthly columns. A fourth is brand new.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2007 0 comments

LG was the first press event of the day, and at 8AM the assembled press corps was suitably bleary-eyed. But the big news (which had broken a few days before the show) drew a huge crowd and kept all of them awake. Oh, LG did announce 12 new 1080p displays, including 9 LCDs and 3 plasmas. But it was their Super Multi Blue player that shook up the opening of the 2007 CES.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 02, 2012 4 comments
It may surprise some readers, but apart from the Blu-ray discs we are assigned to review and the occasional disc that flies over the transom, most of us here at Home Theater actually buy the Blu-rays we watch. True, at one time (as the editor of the Stereophile Guide to Home Theater and Ultimate AV), I received many screeners for review. So I do have a large collection of DVDs (many of which have been donated away), Blu-rays, and HD DVDs (RIP). But the pile has grown far more slowly in recent years. Nevertheless, I look forward to upcoming releases just as much as before, and I'll be in line to purchase titles I want that don't come my way for review.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 12, 2010 7 comments

With the analog audio section of this multi-part tome largely out of the way (though a listen to the audio from the Special Edition Oppo BDP-83 is still to come), I turned to video. All of the testing was done with duplicate copies of high quality Blu-ray discs. The players were compared directly, two at a time, with the disc in one of the players running roughly 12 seconds behind the other. Making allowances for a switching delay of about 5 seconds (which the players needed to re-sync with the display following the switch) this staggered cueing let me watch the same few seconds of program material first on one player and then on the other.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 05, 2010 4 comments

Break out the fireworks. Fire up the grille. Happy 4th of July. A new chapter in the Neverending Story of this Blu-ray player saga has arrived.

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 20, 2010 1 comments
At long last, we come to the final chapter of the ongoing Blu-ray player saga. It has been a journey too-often interrupted by the need to adjust to new system components coming in and out for their own reviews. Nothing is more disruptive than having to adjust to the sound of new speakers.

But enough with that. First, a brief summary of what this entire effort has been about....

Filed under
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 01, 2006 8 comments

With the HD DVD competition set to launch within a month, Sony invited members of the CE press to the Sony Studios in Culver City, California for an update on Blu-ray technology and a demonstration of that format's formidable capabilities.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Pricey, high-end, dedicated 2-channel audio electronics were thin on the ground at CEDIA--they always are--but we did see amps from Constellation, Krell, Aragon, Theta, ATI, D'Agostino, and Esoteric (Esoteric is now distributed in the US by Integra). There was also this Boulder amplifier. Boulder is located in Boulder, Colorado, in case you missed the connection, which is just a stone's throw from CEDIA's Denver location.

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