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Ron Williams

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Ron Williams Posted: Oct 05, 2002 Published: Oct 06, 2002 0 comments
High-tech meets classical art.

In the home theater display realm, "some day" has finally arrived. As you've read in past issues of Home Theater, the world of technology is advancing, and we're all the better for it. We now reap the benefits of the microchip's evolution. Several audio DSP chips offer improved sound processing, and advanced video-processing chips have helped display technology take large steps forward.

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Ron Williams Posted: Jul 11, 2002 Published: Jul 12, 2002 0 comments
An all-in-one plasma television.

There's a new wave in consumer plasma panels, and Sony's KZ-42TS1 is riding it. What makes this model different from all of the other plasma panels we've reviewed? The KZ-42TS1 is a self-contained unit with a built-in NTSC tuner and two stereo speakers incorporated into the bottom of the frame. This HD-ready WEGA model has a 1,024-by-1,024 resolution, is mounted in a panel measuring 30.125 inches high by 41.625 inches wide by 5 inches thick, and is framed by a 2-inch brushed-silver border.

Ron Williams Posted: Dec 29, 2001 Published: Dec 30, 2001 0 comments
Hitachi packs a lot of features into their conveniently sized 43UWX10B HD monitor.

Hitachi's latest addition to the HD market is the 43UWX10B rear-projection HD monitor, a 16:9 version of the 43-inch 4:3 set I reviewed back in February. Hitachi has taken a proactive approach in developing convenient-sized rear-projection displays for smaller home theaters: This unit's modest 20.625-inch depth and 39-inch height make it a great fit in a bookcase or for use in a small room, and the 43-inch screen is becoming a very popular size for rear-projection TVs and plasma flat-panel displays. I should point out, though, that this is a 16:9-shaped screen and 43 inches is its diagonal measurement, so it's not as big as you might think. Nonetheless, Hitachi has packed a lot in this small package. The 43UWX10B has many operational and engineering features that make this HD unit worth a closer look.

Ron Williams Posted: Nov 07, 2001 Published: Nov 08, 2001 0 comments
RCA's F38310 HDTV is an easy yet high-quality way to introduce your family to satellite and HD programming.

RCA, that good old standby brand name, is still around and doing well. About two years ago, the company's entry into the HDTV market, the F38310, made a big splash. I saw this display at the National Association of Broadcasters show in 1999, and I was surprised not only by the set's excellent picture quality but by the fact that such a big CRT display could produce that quality. Back then, RCA showed high-definition images through the Sencore video streamer, an early version of the unit I now use in my test lab. Of course, back then, the Sencore was about the only source for displaying 1080i demo footage, and no 720p material was available. Since then, RCA (now officially known as Thomson, although they still trade under the RCA name) has made improvements to the F38310. In keeping with Home Theater's general philosophy regarding product reviews, senior technical editor Mike Wood and I agreed to wait and review the new version of the F38310. It was worth the wait.

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Ron Williams Posted: Sep 30, 2001 Published: Oct 01, 2001 0 comments
Plasma technology is getting bigger, better, and cheaper.

Everything about flat-panel monitors is growing—from panel size to market size. A flat-panel display can utilize one of several different technologies, and Sony has chosen plasma technology for their newest flat panel, the PFM-42B1. Not too long ago, 16:9-shaped plasma displays measured only 38 inches and cost close to $18,000, but times are changing. Like all plasmas, the 42-inch PFM-42B1 is only a monitor—it has no built-in TV tuner. However, it does have one of the highest pixel counts of any plasma display on the market: 1,024 by 1,024. And, in order to get plasma technology into the home, Sony has priced this display at $7,999 for both the consumer and commercial markets.

Ron Williams Posted: Sep 04, 2001 Published: Sep 05, 2001 0 comments
Trying to make room in your life for HDTV? Philips has the answer.

If you're searching for a TV that offers the latest technological advances and will fit in the same space as your old NTSC TV, you've probably realized that finding one is no easy feat. As new widescreen HD monitors have begun to replace the standard 4:3 TV, some space issues have resulted. If a great wall unit or TV console is part of your room, you probably just want a new TV, not a decorator. Well, the wait could be over for those who are in the market for a small CRT HD monitor. Philips has introduced the 34PW9815 34-inch 16:9 HD monitor that incorporates several fun, new technologies into one small package.

Ron Williams Posted: Mar 31, 2001 Published: Apr 01, 2001 0 comments
Dig That DLP: Mitsubishi's WD 6500 DLP projection television brings digital technology home.

Taking advantage of new technology is always a good thing. It's even better when the base technology has a proven track record. Mitsubishi has entered the DLP-projection marketplace with their WD 6500, a 16:9, high-definition rear-projection television.

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