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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 21, 2006 5 comments

As the old saying goes, what if they started a war and nobody came? That seems to be the case with the simmering format war between Blu-ray and HD-DVD. To the consumer who bothers to keep up on developments, it must look like a phony war.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 21, 2015 10 comments
While many of you can’t recall when the VCR shook up the TV landscape, I remember the transition to color television. It was an exciting time, but those new sets were very expensive relative to the average middle class income. They were also seldom larger than 21-inches—about the size of many of today’s computer monitors.

Understandably, many consumers waited years for color television to come down in price. I still remember relatives and family friends claiming that they were waiting for them to be perfected. If by “perfected” they meant that they wanted to see the technology stabilize, they’re waiting!

Technology is never stable. While the Ian Malcolm character in Jurassic Park may have said, “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should,” (truly an odd statement coming from a scientist—oh wait, it came from a screenwriter) there’s always something new and enticing just over the next hill.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 24, 2012 8 comments
Denver may seem like an odd place for a high-end audio show. As a medium-sized city, you wouldn’t expect it to be a hotbed of passionate audiophiles. But when you add the attendees who drive or fly to the mile-high city to a core of local enthusiasts you have what has become the biggest consumer audio show in the U.S. Last June's Orange County (CA) show reportedly drew bigger crowds (no surprise given the huge Southern California market). But the RMAF appeared to attract more exhibitors.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 16, 2015 4 comments
Last time around I wrote about my experience in viewing Dolby Vision projection, part of Dolby’s Digital Cinema initiative. It features a laser projector from Christie Digital designed specifically to offer higher dynamic range in a theatrical venue. The result was spectacular, but there was an additional reason for my trip back to California. The annual Orange county Hi-Fi show was held on the last weekend in May, and I spent three days there.

The OC show is more properly known as T.H.E. Show (The Home Entertainment Show) Newport Beach (though it was actually in Irvine). “Home Entertainment” is really too broad a term to describe its emphasis. It was, with only one or two exceptions, an exclusively two-channel audio show. There are a number of similar shows in the U.S. and Canada each year—far more than as little as three years ago. The reason for the growth of these shows is the shrinking number of dedicated audio dealers. Yes, the Best Buys, Targets, Costcos, and Walmarts of the world sell their share of audio-only gear. But with rare exceptions (most prominently the Magnolia shops located in or near a select number of Best Buys), the type of audio gear you’ll find in such stores rarely interests audiophiles.

In wide swaths of the country serious audio products simply cannot be auditioned anywhere...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 17, 2006 2 comments

The pieces are rapidly falling onto place for Home Entertainment 2006, to be held from June 2 to June 4 at the Sheraton Gateway hotel in Los Angeles. It's the first time that this annual event has been held in the City of Angels since 1998—far too long a wait for those living here. If you're coming from out of town and plan to fly in, the hotel is located just a short shuttle ride from the airport. Even short enough to walk, if you aren't weighed down with baggage.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 07, 2006 Published: Mar 08, 2006 0 comments

Our annual Home Entertainment show, sponsored by Primedia's home tech and photography publications&mdash;<I>Ultimate AV</I>, <I>Stereophile</I>, <I>Home Theater</I>, <I>Audio Video Interiors</I>, and <I>Shutterbug</I>&mdash;is still three months away. But time has a way of catching us off guard. If you plan on attending from out of town, you need to make plans now!

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 23, 2006 0 comments

When manufacturers announced the first three-chip DLPs aimed at the home theater market, my first thought was, "I'm there!" One thing about even the best single-chip DLPs continued to bug me: those pesky rainbows.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 17, 2003 0 comments

The CRT is a relatively stable, mature technology, but the new digital projection systems, particularly Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing (DLP), are moving targets. Last year, DLP really came into its own for home theater with the introduction of TI's HD1 Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). Not only did the HD1 have a true 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio with 1280x720 resolution, but DLP projectors based upon it were significantly better than earlier designs, particularly in the depth of their blacks.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 13, 2014 0 comments
SIM2 Multimedia celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In its demo, the small, LED-lit Nero 2 projector ($14,000) was putting out more than enough light on a huge, nearly 12-foot wide screen. The picture was gorgeous, if just slightly soft, likely due to to the very large screen. The projector's light output is rated at 1400 lumens, which is generous for an LED projector.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 30, 2005 Published: Jul 31, 2005 0 comments

The first projector in SIM2's new Multimedia Grand Cinema C3X series was demonstrated to the press last week at the Italian Trade Council's New York City headquarters. SIM2 invested $5 million developing the new C3X projector. The few 3-chip DLP designs that have been introduced to the consumer market so far are large, heavy, and expensive. SIM2 appears to have solved the large and heavy issues. At a svelte 19 pounds, the C3X is not much more massive than the company's 1-chip models, and only about twice their compact size.


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