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Posted: Dec 15, 2006 0 comments

In the years I've been covering consumer electronics I haven't seen anything like the introduction of Sony's PlayStation3 game console. The thing is a bonafide rock star. At the PS3's gala introduction in San Francisco gamers who had been camping out on the street for days actually cheered as an 18-wheeler with a full police escort rolled up carrying the game consoles, which went on sale at midnight and sold out Sony's initial US run of 150,000+ units within minutes.

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Posted: Dec 14, 2006 0 comments

The Associated Press has reported that Sony is sticking with its target of having six million PlayStation3 game consoles shipped to retailers by March, the end of the fiscal year. Further, Sony claims it will also meet its goal of having two million PS3s shipped by the end of this calendar year.

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Posted: Dec 10, 2006 0 comments

If you've been reading <I>UAV</I> regularly you know that the remaining first generation Blu-ray disc players scheduled for release this year are just starting to trickle in. <I>UAV</I> has recently posted its takes on <A HREF="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/1106panasdmpbd10/">Panasonic's DMP-BD10</A> and <A HREF="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/1206sonybdps1/">Sony's BDP-S1</A>, and rest assured that a full review of Sony's PlayStation3 is being fact-checked by Sony and will appear soon.

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Posted: Dec 10, 2006 0 comments

LCD flat panels have been marching steadily on your local electronics stores and, according to the sales numbers, into a lot of homes. Although plasma got an early lead as the hot flat panel technology, LCD is catching up. Early on, larger LCDs were compromised in performance and very expensive compared to plasmas at 42" and above, but no more. LCD is rapidly moving into price parity with plasma in larger screen sizes and performance has been steadily increasing.

Posted: Dec 08, 2006 0 comments

In one significant way, the Blu-ray Disc format got off to an even more inauspicious start than the rival HD DVD format. <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/706dsamsungbd/">Samsung's BD-P1000</A> player was the first, and for months, the only BD player on the market. It had shipped with a Noise Reduction circuit cranked up to 11, softening the picture substantially and actually increasing the noise in the image by several orders of magnitude. On top of that, many BD titles released over the last several months have been surprisingly variable in image quality, even compared with broadcast HD. In short, a lot of the BD titles released so far just don't look very good.

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Posted: Nov 30, 2006 Published: Dec 01, 2006 0 comments

Epson has announced its new flagship home theater front projector, the PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080p. As the model name suggests this three-chip LCD is a full-on 1080p front projector, but the real news is that when the projector goes on sale in January 2007 the street price is $4,999. Plummeting street prices on three-chip 1080p projectors is a trend I think we can all get with!

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Posted: Nov 26, 2006 0 comments

In the wake of the nearly simultaneous introductions of Sony's Blu-ray capable PlayStation3 and the HD DVD external drive for the Xbox 360, some answers are already coming in on the impact these gaming consoles are going to have on the format war as a whole. And so far, aside from radically altering the install base of hardware for both formats, the gaming rigs are playing a big role in moving HD software off the shelves too.

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Posted: Nov 19, 2006 0 comments

Toshiba's representatives contacted us this week to let us know that the $499 HD-A2 second generation HD DVD, originally due in stores in November, is now looking at an early December release. The high-end $999 HD-XA2 remains on target for a December debut.

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Posted: Nov 19, 2006 0 comments

Once upon a time Pioneer Elite was <I>the</I> choice for a serious enthusiast in the market for a CRT-based RPTV. They had the best out of the box image there was, and in fact, I often felt as a calibrator that I was seldom offering more than a touch-up on those sets. They were great sets, and priced to match that high level of performance.

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Posted: Nov 19, 2006 0 comments

Sony took official ownership of CEDIA 2006 on Day 1 when it officially announced the VPL-VW50 SXRD front projector. Sony had previously lit the world on fire with the VPL-VW100<A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1205sony/">"Ruby"</A>, a fully outfitted three-chip 1080p SXRD projector with a retail of $10K, which was significantly less money than the premium single-chip 720p DLPs that ruled the day when it was released in Fall 2005 (not to mention that is a full two-thirds cheaper than Sony's first SXRD front pro, the <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/504sony/">Qualia 004</A>).

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