Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 07, 2004 0 comments

The Dreadnaught (reviewed in our Oct-ober 2000 issue) was the first power amplifier from Theta Digital, a company previously known for its D/A converters, CD and DVD transports, and surround processors. But it wasn't to be the last. The Dreadnaught II is now a member of a growing family of Theta amplifiers—the premier multichannel design in a line that also includes high-end monoblocks.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2011 1 comments
The new Thiel floorstanding SCS4T (about $3700/pair), mentioned again further down in this report, is a modest speaker by Thiel standards. The single coaxial driver has the advantage of coincidence. That is, the tweeter is mounted coaxially with the woofer, so the two drive units do not produce comb filtering dips in the speaker's response at off axis angles. Coaxial drivers are also used in more upmarket models from Thiel, and also by KEF and Tannoy, but otherwise are relatively rare.

Yes, I heard more dramatically impressive sound at the show, but the Thiel room, one of the first I visited, sounded so honest and right that for me it represented the sort of value that most of the higher-end products could not manage. Of course, a pair of Thiel subwoofers were helping it along in the deep bass!

And unlike nearly all of the speakers heard at the Venetian, the SCS4T is ready for home theater. The older, stand-mount SCS4 (about $2400/pair, available in singles) should be a good match. It uses the same coaxial driver and can be used as a matching center channel, even mounted on its side (a trick that other non-coaxial 2-way speakers cannot do without sonic consequences.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 20, 2010 0 comments
In a daylong event last week, THX Ltd. and LG Electronics brought a number of journalists to its San Mateo, California headquarters. The main feature was the showing of the documentary Camera Man: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff from independent filmmaker Craig McCall, but THX also took the opportunity to bring us up to date on its THX certification program, including its work with LG on the latter's LCD and plasma sets.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2000 0 comments

N<I>arrated by Kenneth Branagh. Series producer: Tim Haines. Producer: Jasper James. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Surround. Two discs. 230 minutes. 1999. BBC Video (distributed by CBS). CBS Fox Video 2000040. NR. $34.98.</I>

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 13, 2002 0 comments

When I reviewed Toshiba's TW40X81, the smallest (40-inch) RPTV in Toshiba's first full line of HDTV-ready sets, I raved about its picture quality (SGHT, March/April 2000). I was so taken with it, in fact, that I bought the review sample. I still use it, but a lot of video displays have bobbed under the bridge since then, and Toshiba is now two generations beyond that earlier design. The company's smallest rear-projection set is now the 42-inch-diagonal 42H81. But the 50H81, at 50 diagonal inches, is only slightly more expensive, and has the advantage of a significantly larger picture in a still (relatively) manageable cabinet. Like all HDTV-ready sets, it can display hi-def broadcasts, but only with an optional, outboard HD tuner.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 07, 2012 0 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Price: $1,800 At A Glance: Crisp resolution • Bright 3D • So-so black level • Poor screen uniformity

The last three flat-panel HDTVs reviewed in these pages averaged over $4,000 each—a figure inflated, to be sure, by one of them costing $6,000. Statement products tell us what’s possible and where the technology is going. Most Home Theater readers want to know these things.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 03, 2011 1 comments
Price: $3,300 At A Glance: Vivid picture with outstanding resolution • Solid 3D performance • Skewed color and gamma

3D Pictures, Ultra-Thin HDTV

LEDs and 3D. Add in Internet connectivity, Wi-Fi, and an ultra-thin panel, and you have the mix that matters in today’s HDTV market. That also describes Toshiba’s new 55-inch 55WX800U. Together with its smaller sibling, the 46-inch 46WX800U, it makes up Toshiba’s current 3D lineup.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
A trip back to the Toshiba booth will be needed to get a look at Toshiba's demo of glasses free (autostereoscopic) 3D. The crowds waiting to see this technology were huge. Still, I think all the hoopla about 3D without glasses is going to leave a lot of people disappointed. I suspect that it will either be years away (if it's ever perfected at all—not all technical challenges have a ready solution) or a serious step backwards in image quality—whether from Toshiba or anyone else. But I could be surprised. A similar demo from Sony, while hardly flawless, looked better than I expected.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 21, 2006 Published: May 22, 2006 0 comments

Toshiba hosted its annual dealer and press line show this year at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa near Fort Myers, Florida.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 22, 2005 0 comments

Albuquerque, New Mexico, sounds like a strange place for a video manufacturer to hold its annual new-product launch, but Toshiba knew what they were doing. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, about 10 miles north of the city, was a great spot not only for taking in the sun, but for checking out what Toshiba R&D has been up to for the past year. While the east coast press contingent seemed a little overwhelmed by the mountain and desert vistas, 90-degree May temperatures, cloudless blue skies, and 5000-foot thin air, it was all old hat for me, having lived 50 miles further north, in Santa Fe, from 1990 to 2000.


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