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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 24, 2006 0 comments
One speaker, a subwoofer, a source component . . . and you.

Virtual surround is nothing new: Some people don't have the space, the know-how, or perhaps the ideal room layout for a pair of surround speakers for true 5.1-channel audio. Wireless surrounds are an option for some. But even those need a place to live, and they still require power cables. All manner of technologies have addressed the virtual-surround challenge, but not until I tried the two-piece Binaura Sound Environment B102A (in our November 2005 issue) did I believe that such simplified gear could produce truly respectable audio. Cambridge SoundWorks of Newton, Massachusetts, is the first third-party manufacturer to license Binaura's patented technology for their own products. They have integrated it into a complete home theater system—three boxes instead of two—with the addition of a progressive-scan DVD player/receiver. Said receiver provides Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS decoding, and this signal then goes to the subwoofer, where all of the amplification and Binaura processing take place.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 19, 2006 0 comments
These DVD champions are going to a better place.

As the annually updated list of the top 100 DVDs of all time hits stands in the August issue of Home Theater magazine, we thought we'd take a moment to honor the number-one picks from each category in last year's ranking. We purge these "best of the best" titles each year to help keep the list current, although they still receive our highest recommendation: Buy them all as part of your own ultimate DVD library. Best Music DVD

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 19, 2006 0 comments
The most important Xbox 360 accessory you'll ever own.

Remember the buzz shortly after the launch of the Microsoft Xbox 360 last year regarding concerns of the super-powered system overheating amid all of that heavy bit-lifting? Nyko has stepped up and done something about it.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Apr 13, 2007 Published: Jul 13, 2006 0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 3
Extras: 4
OK now, I don’t say this very often, but this movie is messed up. It’s actually pretty good—don’t misunderstand—but this well-crafted tale of three impossibly obnoxious tourists on a budget takes many a dark twist, with lots of unapologetically graphic violence. It’s not for the faint of heart.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 05, 2006 0 comments
Producer/Engineer Elliot Scheiner is a driving force for 5.1-channel music.

After working with some of the biggest names in music, producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner—also a pioneer in and champion for multichannel music—wanted to take us for a ride. Working closely with Acura and Panasonic, Scheiner developed his namesake ELS 5.1 sound system, first for the Acura TL and now for Acura's new luxury SUV, the RDX.One of Panasonic's finest recently chaufferred me in a DVD-Audio-blasting Acura TL to Scheiner's secluded home studio to discuss the artistry, technology, and business of music.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 05, 2006 0 comments
5.1 speaker suites for every fragger.

We've long extolled the wonder and tangible benefits of 5.1 audio in the video-gaming realm. It is a major feature of the Sony PlayStation 2 and the Microsoft Xbox and is a mandatory element for all Xbox 360 games. While some folks simply drop a console into their fully equipped home theaters, many are new to 5.1, so I present here an assortment of exemplary powered speaker suites for video-game use.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 25, 2006 0 comments
Straight Shooter Director Doug Liman hits the mark every time.

In less than a decade, Doug Liman has established himself as one of Hollywood's most versatile—and successful—directors. He has nimbly moved from comedy to thriller to a unique hybrid of the two in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, soon to be re-released in a new, unrated DVD edition from Fox Home Entertainment. Here he talks about the challenges of making quality movies in a demanding business.

Chris Chiarella Posted: May 20, 2006 0 comments
A lot of sound from a little box.

As I speed-dial my cell phone to reach my wife in the kitchen, to ask her to bring me another Dr. Pepper, it hits me: People want it easy. Too often, however, "easy" and "home theater" don't mix, unless, for example, you have the means and the know-how to hire a good custom installer to hook up your gear and configure your universal remote. ZVOX clearly understands the critical anti-work ethic of home entertainment. Their original 315 Sound Console (in our April 2005 issue) connects to a TV or audio source with a comforting "Set it, and forget it!" philosophy, previously applicable only in the realm of Ron Popeil's famous rotisseries. ZVOX's goal is to deliver spacious home theater audio with only one cable connected to a single box.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 20, 2006 0 comments
Start clearing room on your desktop.

Video editor Geoffrey Morrison is a car guy. Me, I drive a Camry. It's 10 years old, and it does everything I need it to do. But I certainly appreciate the difference when I sit behind the wheel of, say, a BMW. That's kind of how I felt when I test drove Samsung's latest SyncMaster LCD monitor, the 244T.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 02, 2007 Published: May 02, 2006 0 comments
Video: 5
Audio: 4
Extras: 3
Disney’s love letter to dogs everywhere, Lady and the Tramp remains a sweet, funny adventure. This new 50th Anniversary Edition replaces the 1999 movie-only release, extensively restored, remixed, and remastered.

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