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Joel Brinkley

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Oct 30, 2005 0 comments

Sony's new flagship "ES" DVD player is the fourth in a proud line whose first progeny arrived seven years ago. The prices have remained relatively stable through all that time. Any changes have generally been price declines, while performance and features have improved, model after model.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Sep 11, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>I was in Beijing for work a few weeks ago, and one free morning I wandered down the street toward the Forbidden City to do a little shopping. As usual, a virtual army of street hawkers greeted me with pirated DVDs by the handful. In previous trips I paid no attention, but this time I decided to have a look. After all, they cost just $1 each. So out of curiosity I decided to buy a few as a journalism experiment, since I write about issues like this.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Aug 07, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Here's a piece of really bad news for all 10 million of us who own digital television sets that are more than six months old. You won't be able to watch the new high-definition DVDs in high definition unless you buy a new TV. Whose to blame for this? Hollywood, of course.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Jul 17, 2005 Published: Jul 18, 2005 0 comments

We all know Outlaw as the company that builds and sells sophisticated pieces of audio/video equipment exclusively through the internet at prices that are hard to believe. And no device in a home-theater system is more sophisticated and complex as the preamp/processor. So it was with great interest that I agreed to look at the company's new entry in this market, the Model 990, a 7.1-channel processor that sells for the more than agreeable price of $1099.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Jul 11, 2005 0 comments

Sony's $30,000 SXRD front projector, the <A href="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/504sony/">Qualia 004</A>, was hailed as a breakthrough technology when it came out last year. Now comes this rear-projection SXRD model at somewhat more approachable price&mdash;$13,000. No doubt, that is still a breathtaking cost for a television set. But as high-end TVs go, this one may be worth it.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Jul 03, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>I live in Washington, DC, and as the old adage goes, the Union is most secure when the Congress is not in session. Well, Congress has been in session more or less continuously for the last few weeks, and, as usual, little good has come of it, even in the home-theater arena. But I've been in Washington long enough to have coined my own truism about life in the nation's capital: Beware any trade group that says it is performing a public service. Usually it is serving only itself.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Jun 05, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><I>Everyone who visits this site knows that high-definition DVDs are nearly here. Most everyone also knows that, like many great advances in consumer electronics, a format war seems almost certain to doom this one.</I>

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Joel Brinkley Posted: May 16, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>These are days of uncertainty and foment in the world of digital television. Everything seems to be in flux&mdash;except the sales figures for digital TVs. They are on an inexorable climb north. But consider some of the other debates festering under the glitter that manufacturers like to throw into the air.

Joel Brinkley Posted: May 15, 2005 Published: May 16, 2005 0 comments

Stand-alone DTV tuners may become an extinct species in the not-too-distant future, when the government's mandate to include one in almost every television takes effect in the months ahead. But for now, several million people own high-definition monitors that cannot receive free, over-the-air digital broadcasts without an outboard box. Some of these monitors are still for sale. As an example, Fujitsu still sells plasma monitors.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Apr 11, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>My office made a small change last month. For all the 70 people who spend much of their days working at their computers, the company decided it was time to "upgrade" our monitors to flat-screen LCDs. Like most of corporate America, we had been using CRT computer monitors for decades. But somewhere in the bowels of the company's system-support offices, somebody got the idea that LCDs were easier on the eyes than CRTs. Or so they said.

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