Housed in a billet-like slab of aluminum, the HRT microStreamer’s clean, utilitarian design tips you off right away that it means business. In this case, that biz is performing the same basic tasks as the Dragonfly, including decoding files with up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution. And at a mere 2.5 inches, it checks in for work in a similarly compact form factor.
Color temperature (ISF Expert 2 mode/Warm color temperature preset before/after calibration):
20-IRE: 6,817 K/6,431 K 30-IRE: 6,816 K/6,499 K 40-IRE: 6,819 K/6,548 K 50-IRE: 6,796 K/6,527 K 60-IRE: 6,720 K/6,515 K 70-IRE: 6,726 K/6,495 K 80-IRE: 6,685 K/6,492 K 90-IRE: 6,638 K/6,464 K 100-IRE: 6,572 K/6,405 K
Primary Color Point Accuracy vs. SMPTE HD Standard
Blu-ray players are becoming less a means to play discs than a gateway to online services — and to any media stored on computers, smartphones, and iDevices lying around your home. Take LG’s BD670. You might pick up this modest-looking machine thinking you’d use it to play Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D discs, along with DVDs and CDs.
When I reviewed Oppo’s BDP-93 — the company’s first universal player to support Blu-ray 3D and high-rez FLAC audio playback — I wrapped things up by saying it could be the last disc player you’ll ever need. Turns out I spoke too soon, because Oppo keeps finding new ways to make the whole disc-player concept relevant. Its most recent offerings include the BDP-103 ($499) and the BDP-105 under review here, a $1,199 version that has been hot-rodded for two-channel-audio enthusiasts.
Much of the R&D effort for Panasonic’s TVs gets funneled into plasma technology — with excellent results. (Check out the TC-P55VT30 in our Editors’ Choice Awards here.) But as we found out this time last year upon reviewing the company’s TC-L42D2, it also makes sets of the LCD persuasion. Quite a few of them, in fact.
While Panasonic plasmas traditionally excel on the picture-quality front, they’ve lagged a bit behind other flat-panel TVs when it comes to style. Take last year’s VT25 series. The picture on those sets was hard to fault (the 50-incher we reviewed won our 2010 Video Product of the Year award), but when positioned alongside new, ultra-slim plasmas from companies like Samsung, the Panasonic’s 3-inch panel depth and thick gloss-black bezel rendered it caveman-like by comparison.
While 3D movies haven’t totally taken over the multiplex, the format remains a force to be reckoned with. Michael Bay just released a new Transformers installment in 3D (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), James Cameron is at work on Avatar sequels, and the entire Star Wars saga is being formatted for 3D release.