Living as I do in a suburb of LA, it's hard to avoid movie news. The local rag, the <I>Los Angeles Times</I>, is awash in it. Its theater listings take up an entire section of the paper, which on Friday and Sunday can feature huge, double-page ads for major releases. So if a movie opens to big notices and reviews, good or bad, it's hard to avoid hearing about it around here.
As with many projector manufacturers, Epson's product line is heavily oriented toward business applications. In that respect, the company is consistently at or near the top in worldwide sales. But Epson also occupies a significant and growing share of the home-theater market.
Korea-based LG, which absorbed Zenith a few years back, is one of the world’s largest flat-panel HDTV manufacturers. The company is working on some exciting new stuff, including plasmas that meet the new THX video specifications. LG will also produce LCDs that employ local dimming, a technique that improves the black level and contrast of LCD sets. Some of these models will be in stores by the time you read this, or by the fall season.
A recent article on the <I>Electronic House</I> website offered three reasons to avoid jumping onto the Blu-ray bandwagon—at least for now. One of the arguments—that Blu-ray quality is still inconsistent—read as follows:
Modern display technology is becoming ever more complex. When I bought my first color television at Jurassic Electronics, it was a small 19-inch CRT job from Zenith. Remember Zenith? That set soldiered on for more than 20 years, the last eight or so performing second-string bedroom duties to a sleek new 25-inch Sony Profeel with a (drum roll, please) separate TV tuner. Both sets were CRTs. Remember CRTs?
Although Planar has a significant presence in the video-display business, it's relatively new to the home-theater market. The company first popped up a couple of years ago at a major trade show with some intriguing prototypes. Since then, it has expanded its home-theater resume by acquiring Runco and Vidikron, and all three brands maintain their separate identities under the Planar umbrella.
I recently spent a weekend cleaning up my home office, the retreat where I write much of my deathless prose. I hadn't rummaged through some of my files for several years, but had to make room for the piles of new stuff that have managed to build up to the point where I couldn't find things. This sorting process invariably takes longer than you plan, as you find things that require instant action (as they did two years ago) and others that demand to be re-read and enjoyed again.