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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 04, 2008 0 comments
Apart from the occasional foray into cutting-edge technology that doesn't always pan out (ionic tweeters, anyone?), speaker technology is relatively stable—glacial, even, compared to other consumer-electronics products like flat-panel displays. The manageable pace of speaker development has allowed small- and medium-sized speaker companies to thrive. Most of them make nothing but speakers that remain in production for years, which is a plus for buyers. Unlike that flat-panel display you just got, when you buy a new set of speakers today, you can be reasonably sure they won't be yesterday's news tomorrow.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 01, 2007 0 comments

We haven't spent a lot of review time here at <I>Ultimate AV</I> on two major trends in speaker design. One of them is euphemistically referred to in the industry as "architectural speakers." That is, speakers designed to be mounted either in or on a wall. The other, an outgrowth of the on-wall category, is the tall, slender column speaker that takes up little floor space.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2011 Published: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
At $700/pair, PSB's Imagine Mini (second from left, on stand) may turn some heads. It did not have any deep bass, but was clean as far down as it went, and even when played loud (though not unreasonably loud) did not fall to pieces. With a good subwoofer, five of them plus a spare (unfortunately they are sold only in pairs), or four with an Imagine center, could make for a sweet, small room home theater setup.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 08, 2007 0 comments

HDMI connections, combined with a pristine source and a great display, can produce beautiful images, perhaps the best ever available to consumers. But the format has not been trouble free. Even if we ignore consideration of which version of HDMI we're dealing with, and the length limitations of the connections, more than a few videophiles have had problems getting HDMI some combinations of source, display, and switcher to work together.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2015 0 comments
An increasing number of manufacturers are starting to use Quantum Dots as a light source for their LCD TVs, replacing LEDs. QD Vision is a major supplier of these devices...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 16, 2015 0 comments
Quantum Media showed its full RGB 4K laser projector. The booth was too dark to get a good shot of it, but it’s large (and loud) enough to deserve a small projection booth of its own. In its 4K guise it will cost you between $150,000 and $200,000...
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 31, 2014 0 comments
From a recent article in the Los Angeles Times:

“A South Korean Company aiming to transform the way Americans experience movies at the multiplex is bringing its ‘4-D’ technology to Los Angeles.”

What’s 4-D? The technology is actually called 4DX, and instead of just picture and sound it adds, as needed, moving and vibrating seats, wind, strobe lights, fog, rain, and scents, all of them supporting what’s happening on the screen.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 15, 2004 0 comments

After a brief flirtation with LCoS, Thomson has chosen Texas Instruments' DLP for their high-end RCA Scenium line of rear-projection televisions. Even CRT fans must admit that DLP has some advantages. It usually produces a sharper, brighter image than any but the best, most expensive CRT designs. Big-screen DLP models are smaller and weigh less than their tube-based counterparts. And it's even possible to build DLP sets that are almost as shallow as plasmas. Thomson plans to introduce such thin DLP models this fall.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2002 0 comments

When a video product is arguably the best of its kind, it's hard to find the right words to describe it without blubbering. "The Next Best Thing to Being There" sounds vaguely familiar. "The Real Thing" might perk up your thirst, but doesn't quite gel. And "Must See TV" is only two-thirds right. With the Reference Imaging CinePro 9x Elite CRT projector and Teranex HDX Cinema MX video processor, we're definitely not in TV-land anymore.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 07, 2015 3 comments
If you asked me if my passion for things audio and video began with music or movies, I'd have a hard time answering. But one of the things that attract me to movies is their music. Movie scores (instrumental, not the string of pop tunes that often passes for a soundtrack) are certainly far down the list of the most popular music genres, but their importance to the success of a film can't be denied. Most film critics mention the score only if it's prominent enough to annoy them. But for me a great score can turn a middling movie into to good one. It can also (though less often) turn a good film into a great one.

The art of film scoring attracts a wide range of talents, but we recently lost one of the best. James Horner died late last month when the private plane he was piloting crashed in a California forest.

I first discovered Horner's work in 1982...

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