Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 22, 2014 0 comments
The annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was held in early October in the Marriott Hotel at the Denver Tech Center. For at least the past 10 years this has been the biggest of the many audio shows now jostling for position around the U.S. Depending on who you ask, the Newport Beach (CA) show, held in June, is nipping at its heels but isn’t quite there yet.

Manufacturers (not to mention the press) must be tearing what’s left of their hair out trying to support all these shows, which now include RMAF, Newport, (northern) California, Chicago, New York City, Washington D.C., and Toronto. Let me know if I’ve missed one! And this doesn’t even include the trade-only CES (and, for some, CEDIA EXPO). For small manufacturers this is a major expense, and many of them only attend one or two. If they support two, it’s most likely they’ll include RMAF and CES).

Unlike many present-day audiophiles I keep one foot in the audio/video world of home theater and surround sound and the other in the 2-channel world of high-end audio. I regret that multichannel, even for music alone, remains anathema to many audio fans. As for film sound, for many that’s clearly the spawn of the devil...

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 07, 2006 0 comments

When we think of a power amp today, we think of that large, heavy, hot-running, often ugly block of metal we hide away so we don't have to look at it. Or, if it's impressively large or expensive we proudly display it on the floor—an amp that's large, impressive, and expensive enough to show off is too heavy to put anywhere else! There, we willingly subject our ankles and shins to its sharp heat sinks on the sacrificial altar of great sound.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 13, 2005 0 comments
Home theater in the World's Biggest Log Cabin
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 10, 2012 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $10,000 At A Glance: Superb resolution • Excellent color • Top-class video processing

Projection lamps: Can’t live without ’em, can’t shoot ’em. Until recently, that is.

Projection lamps are slow to turn on and off, hot, often unstable, and have a nasty habit of getting dimmer with age, while their color balance deteriorates. If you’re fussy about your video—and if you’re reading this review you should be—the 2,000-hour useful lifetime that’s usually specified (to half brightness) for projection lamps will likely be closer to 1,000 hours or less. With a replacement averaging around $400, that’s about $0.40 per hour of use, not including the bottom line on your electric bill.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
No model number, price, or availability date was given for this Samsung 27-inch PC monitor/3DTV combination. But it can handle all 3D formats (the image on screen shows the side-by-side format in its native form before it's processed into a single, unsqueezed 3D image. The display includes an antenna input (it has a built-in tuner) and an HDMI port. You will need active glasses to watch 3D on it (it is not autostereoscopic).
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2014 2 comments
Samsung’s new Auto Depth Enhancer, on its 9000 and S9 Ultra HD sets, analyzes different areas of the screen and adjusts their contrast separately to provide a greater illusion of depth with 2D sources. In a side-by-side comparison with one of Samsung’s 2013 sets, it definitely worked. There was a bit of the cardboard cutout 3D look, but since the depth enhancement, while appealing, was subtle, this wasn’t bothersome.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2015 0 comments
3D was hardly a presence at this year’s show, and aside from a small 3D video wall at the LG booth most of the action was on glasses-free 3D designs...
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 16, 2006 0 comments

The battle is starting to heat up. HD DVD has been out for just two months. Two weeks ago Samsung launched its first Blu-ray player, the BD-P1000 ($1,000), the subject of this report.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 20, 2006 0 comments

Samsung has announced that the first production run of its BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player, which includes all players now in use and in stores, has an error in the programming of a Genesis chip used in the design. A noise reduction feature in that chip which cannot be user defeated has apparently been set to a level high enough to noticeably soften the image—an error that could account for the mixed reports on the player and the Blu-ray Disc format that have been published to date, here and elsewhere.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 22, 2007 0 comments

Samsung was first to market with a Blu-ray player in mid 2006: the <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/706dsamsungbd/">BD-P1000</A>. While it's no secret that that player drew serious criticisms from us, and others, it's also true that the first batch of Blu-ray titles did it no favors.

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