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Fred Manteghian Posted: Oct 07, 2007 6 comments

Well, DirecTv's new high definition channels are here and, er, what the heck were they thinking? On TNTHD, a station that existed as channel 75 before the hoopla and is now also shown on 245, "Save the Last Dance" is being shown in 4x3 stretch mode. Sci-Fi's high def incarnation is showing Merlin, a movie that was only shot in 4x3 (but at least they're not stretching it). USA is showing "Law & Order: CI" on their high def station properly, but in a weird-aspect challenged pillow box (black bars on all four sides) on their regular definition channel. A&E's has some high def shows that they're cropping and then stretching to 16x9 judging by the look of it. Only TBS's high def baseball game looks good enough that it gives me nothing to complain about – except that fact that the Yankees are losing.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 25, 2007 0 comments

"<i>Our chief weapon is greater capacity...greater capacity and more manufacturer support
… more manufacturer support and greater capacity. Our *three* weapons are more manufacturers and greater capacity…and higher content availability…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Blu-ray consortium…. Our *four* …no… *Amongst* our weapons…. *Amongst* our weaponry…are such elements as more manufacturers, greater capacity….I'll come in again.</i>"

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 10, 2007 0 comments

Michelle Kessler who covers technology for USA Today has a <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2007-09-09-electroni... target="new">great little (short) read</a> on price sensitivity in today's electronics marketplace. It's not how high of a mountain you shout from after all. It's how far the people listening are willing to tilt back to hear you.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 08, 2007 0 comments

THX is working a new connect-the-world project, code named Blackbird. Having seen how easy it is for the general public to mangle their picture and sound with all the new toys they've been acquiring recently, Blackbird presents a solution for the three cardinal sins of home theater, by sending metadata in the form of control signals through HDMI to all Blackbird enabled devices in the chain.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 08, 2007 0 comments

This is a pretty good shot of the JVC RS1 projector with an anamorphic lens by Panamorph giving it a 2.35:1 image. Video processing was done in the Anthem D2 processor and sequence from Phantom on Blu-ray looked really good.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 08, 2007 0 comments

The LG 71PY1M plasma may have a great 1080p picture, but along with the 65" Fujitsu, the price just seems ridiculously high. $14,999, sorry, that's the most I could afford.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 08, 2007 0 comments

NHT has come a long way, or a different way, or, whatever. Their A/V pre/pro, bundled with five speakers, two self-powered subs, five 4-channel amps (one for each speak), plus, uh, wires I think, goes for $40,000! Each of the amp's channels is responsible for one of the four drivers in each speaker, so there is no crossover in the speakers themselves. Of course, in the middle of the convention hall you couldn't get much of a feel for the systems sound. I would have liked to have heard an isolated room demo.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 08, 2007 0 comments

Shane already nailed the Epson Cinema Pro 1080 UB ("Ultra Black") demo. It was amazing to see this kind of performance from an LCD. I'll add that Epson might be claiming a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, but that's with what has to be an awfully aggressive auto-iris in play. Kevin Miller, whose work continues to amaze, flew without a net using the chipset's native contrast ratio of 4,500:1, which is pretty outstanding on its own.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 08, 2007 0 comments

Ron Phone was deep in discussion when I wandered by and I didn't disturb as I was in a rush too, but I did snap this picture of their pre/pro. I've had great things to say about Sherbourn amps in the past but was disappointed when I saw this pre/pro had no HDMI switching on back. Good thing I checked <a htref= "http://www.sherbourn.com/PDF/PT-7010A/PT-7010ADataSheet.pdf" target="new">their website.</a> The PT-7010A will have a separate HDMI switcher, controlled by the processor via an RS-232 port, for, hopefully seamless operation.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Sep 08, 2007 0 comments

I got a chance to see the Statement D2 pre/pro from Anthem up close. I like the 4 HDMI inputs but I'm already starting to think 5 or even 6 would be appropriate for the next gen. Marketing manager Mark Aling told me their new room equalization software is now available and will be integrated into the D2. It adds a couple of hundred to the price, bringing it up to just under $7K. Unusual is Anthems recognition that every EQ mic shipped with a pre/pro or receiver is inherently different from each other mic, so they actually cut a CD for each microphone / serial# combination and their software recognizes where compensation is needed to overcome the sample to sample variation between microphones. I doubt you'll ever see that level of detail from a mass-market receiver manufacturer, but in a "statement" product like the D2, it really sets Anthem apart from the pack. If you already own a D1 or D2, you can get the upgrade by contacting your dealer.

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