Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 15, 2003 0 comments

Visit the Sonus Faber website and you're given the softest of soft sells. The home page has birds flying lazily overhead while wheat sways gently in the breeze. Quiet classical music hums in the background. Click in the right place and you might find a few words about products, but you won't learn that Sonus Faber is the best-known Italian speaker manufacturer west of . . . Cremona.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 04, 2009 0 comments
Every year, Sony holds a late-winter Open House (aka line show). As in years past, it was located at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. The current financial situation, not to mention bad weather back east, kept most of the consumer-electronics press at home, but I was there from sunny southern California, camera in hand, to bring you the latest scoop.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2011 0 comments
Sony's new HDR-TD10 3D High Definition Flash Memory Handycam Camcorder (about $1500, April) is one of the first the full HD 3D consumer camcorders. It includes two separate 1920 a 1080 CMOS sensors and two lenses to capture distinct 1920 x 1080 data streams for each eye. It's also capable of 2D still image capture at 7-megapixels. At present, playback is from the camera only via an HDMI link to the video display. The future should bring dedicated playback devices (such as a 3D Blu-ray player with a flash card slot). Oh, and you can view the image you're shooting in autostereoscopic 3D on the 3.5" viewfinder—no 3D glasses required.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 09, 2012 0 comments
In our experience, most active 3D glasses are sensitive to head position or, more precisely, head tilt. With most of them, however, the effect is minor and limited to a slight darkening of the picture.

But Sony's active 3D glasses, up to now, have been different. When using the company's HDTV 3D glasses, a 3D image on the Sony displays we've tested doesn't darken as you tilt your head from side to side. Instead, the left and right images break up, producing significant 3D crosstalk or, as this artifact is more colorfully known, ghosting. In addition, the Sony's 3D color varies with head position, shifting reddish with a tilt in one direction from vertical and bluish in the other. The latter effect makes it impossible to do a reliable 3D calibration; one eyepiece of the 3D glasses has to be placed over the lens of the measurement meter for a 3D calibration, and even a slight tilt can affect the result. Fortunately, the Sony 3D sets we've tested recently have produced visually satisfying 3D color even without a 3D calibration, though it's unlikely to be accurate. Nevertheless, the head-tilt ghosting and color shifting are annoying.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Sony’s 4K UHD Media Player (FMP-X1), together with the Sony Xperia Z Tablet controller, are available for use with Sony’s 4K home theater projectors.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 26, 2013 0 comments
Sony’s VPL-HW55ES HD 3D SXRD projector is the follow-on to 2012’s VPL-HW50ES. It offers a claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 120,000:1 (using Sony’s dynamic, Advanced Iris 3), an advanced cooling system, a stated lamp life of approximately 5,000 hours, and a peak brightness of 1,700 ANSI lumens. It will be available in October at $4000.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 12, 2007 0 comments
The $499 BDP-S300 is an important product, giving Blu-ray some much needed traction in the affordable player category. Combine that with recent news from rental powerhouse Blockbuster that it is expanding Blu-ray titles in its stores (at the expense of HD DVD in most cases), and the BDP-S300 looks like a no-brainer.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 12, 2007 0 comments

The price of machines that will play Blu-ray or HD DVD high-definition discs is coming down. The drop is faster on the HD DVD side of the battle lines, but at $499 Sony's new BDP-S300 is half the price of its (still available) first generation <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/1206sonybdps1/">BDP-S1</A>.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 11, 2009 1 comments
This review is part of a five-way Face Off. Read the introduction and conclusions of the Face Off here.

Price: $1,500 At A Glance: Plasma-like blacks and shadow detail • Good color and resolution • At its best with 1080p sources

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 13, 2006 0 comments

Two years ago you would have paid over $10,000 for a large, widescreen flat panel LCD display. And "large" might well have meant 32" diagonal. The picture would have been bright and crisp, but a pale reflection of the overall image quality available from still-plentiful CRT direct view sets. Its resolution would have been 1280x720, tops, or one of those bizarre resolutions like 1365x768 that are still featured in many flat panels.

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