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Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 26, 2005 0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 4
Extras: 1
Despite some unfortunate '70s style curses, Rocky is a simply timeless tale of the American spirit, and the start of something big: The second installment is a little heavier-handed but still wildly satisfying. The rest become more cartoonish—the Cold War–themed IV is almost laughable now—until the franchise flamed out with V.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 15, 2005 0 comments
Sliced bread, move over.

The exhilaration surrounding established digital audio and video formats tends to plateau over time, until some pseudo-genius somewhere figures out a way to make the technology fit into our pockets, and then pulses quicken anew. The portable MP3 player has become the must-have gadget for the masses. Portable DVD has become even sexier, with larger screens and enhanced feature sets, but a new crop of slimmed-down audio- and video-to-go devices is poised to change everything...again.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 24, 2005 0 comments
One of the most realistic World War II videogames ever created, Call of Duty: Finest Hour (Activision) presents an often frantic, unsettling true-to-life series of exploits on the frontlines at the peak of WWII. We are among half a dozen soldiers on Russian, British, and American campaigns that take us to Russia, North Africa, and Germany on both vehicle- and infantry-based missions. T-rated for its graphic imagery, the story unfolds movie-style with a musical score by The Incredibles’s Michael Giacchino; single player or up to 16 online. The PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions offer Dolby Pro-Logic II audio while GameCube and Xbox deliver progressive scan video, and Xbox alone packs Dolby Digital 5.1-channel sound.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 14, 2004 Published: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments
Another step toward family bliss.

While the wife and I haven't quite reached a peace accord on the matter of our abundant remote controls, one source of marital friction has recently been downgraded to a non-issue: When once we clashed over dwindling recording space on our DVR, Humax has now given us 250 gigabytes, the most in any TiVo, which is frankly more capacity than we know what to do with. The T2500 TiVo Series2 digital video recorder is the Korean company's first consumer electronics product marketed in the United States, under their Humax USA brand. Although Humax is a major global manufacturer of satellite set-top boxes, this single-tuner recorder is not a DirecTV receiver, so you must provide it with a signal from either cable or a satellite box.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 15, 2004 0 comments
DVD is not only the king of the home theater, the benefits have been trickling down to the portable realm for years now, raising both the standards and the subsequent expectations of mobile power-users. Here are three of the most innovative and enjoyable products to come our way.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 19, 2004 0 comments
I've spewed countless compliments upon this movie, or more accurately the DVD, in the print magazine over the past year, and like a good consumer my fondness eventually gives rise to the question, "What else can I BUY?" Not all of my favorite movies have Star Wars in the title, and some (Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October) have yielded precious little tie-in merchandise, and so when an unusual product like the Old Century Master and Commander game is released, I am compelled to take note.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 12, 2004 0 comments
Two years ago I had the immense pleasure of reviewing Logitech first 5.1-channel speaker package with Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, their flagship Z-680, in the January 2003 issue. While maintaining the $400 price point and those 500 tremendous watts—enough to truly transcend the computer and invade into the home theater—Logitech has introduced a successor, the Z-5500 Digital.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 07, 2004 Published: Nov 01, 2004 0 comments
No, really: It's a computer!

Savvy readers might be familiar with Alienware. Their built-to-order gaming PCs are as famous as their functional and distinctive cases that prevent dust and birds from nesting between the circuit boards. Taking those two strengths into the living room, Alienware has introduced a Media Center Edition PC like no other, the DHS-321 Digital Home System. This box, which approximates the look of a consumer electronics component in black-anodized, brushed aluminum, runs the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 operating system.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 08, 2004 0 comments
The latest videogame based specifically on the most recent Arnold Schwarzenegger (who apparently recorded only a portion of his in-game dialogue) action sequel, Terminator 3: Redemption, is the first I've ever seen (and heard) to offer such a distinct hierarchy of audio formats across each of the three major consoles. (I'm a Home Theater guy, sadly this is one of the first details I look for on the package.)
Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 15, 2004 Published: Oct 01, 2004 0 comments
Why I can never watch Super Speedway in my home theater again.

Even I can't believe how far I'll travel for a great home theater demo. Hidden up in the cold, cold reaches of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is the headquarters of D-BOX Technologies, which features the coolest faux living room in North America. I aimed to try their Odyssee motion simulator firsthand. My brother told me that home theater gear depends upon the demo perhaps more than any other product, and this was never truer than with the Odyssee.


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