Joel Brinkley

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Jan 04, 2004 0 comments

Five years ago, Panasonic produced the very first DTV receiver set-top box. All of the company's succeeding generations of these products have been among the best. The latest incarnation, the surprisingly small and inexpensive TU-DST52, is no exception.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Nov 24, 2003 0 comments

Faroudja has long made among the very best video processors—the company virtually invented the industry. NEC has made outstanding plasma televisions for several years. Combining an NEC plasma that incorporates several important Faroudja enhancements with a top-of-the-line Faroudja processor and selling them as a package was an inspired idea that presented me with an intriguing product for review.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Oct 06, 2003 0 comments

Denon has a long history of making first-rate components at reasonable prices, and now comes their entry in the burgeoning market for universal DVD players. No company, it seems, can fail to have one of these players in its lineup these days, and at $999, Denon's DVD-2900 is among the least expensive. Yet it still includes all of the must-have features one expects in a high-end player.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Aug 14, 2003 0 comments

VInc. is a new company with a filial relationship to Princeton Graphics, a maker of computer displays and a line of commercial DTVs. The companies share a major investor in William Wang, and V Inc. has ambitious plans for the world of consumer electronics.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Jun 05, 2003 0 comments

They've almost become ubiquitous, these 16:9, 34-inch direct-view HDTVs. When the first one came out in 1999 from Sony, it cost $8000, in part because it was the only direct-view HDTV available. In the five years since, most other manufacturers have jumped into this market. Prices have plummeted, and the general quality of the offerings has soared (although that original Sony remains the best one I've ever seen). Most manufacturers are now offering third- or even fourth-generation products in this category.

Joel Brinkley Posted: May 28, 2003 0 comments

As I write this, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is nearly upon us. While HDTV remains the big story in home theater, DVD still commands a lot of attention. And one sure hot-ticket item is the "universal" DVD player—one that plays most audio and video formats, particularly DVD-Audio and SACD. While we expect to see new universal player contenders at CES 2003, there are already several models on the market to choose from. Pioneer was first, with the DV-47A. Marantz followed up a few months later with the DV-8300. And now, from Integra (a division of Onkyo), we have the DPS-8.3.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: May 24, 2003 0 comments

More than a year ago, Zenith shook up the world of plasma televisions by introducing the DPD60W, the first 60-inch model&mdash;a behemoth that seemed to fill up a room. For Zenith, it was a statement product and a wonder to behold, though its performance problems held it back from the first rank of plasma displays (see the review in the January 2002 <I>SGHT</I>, also available archived at <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com">www.guidetohometheater.com</A>).

Joel Brinkley Posted: Mar 10, 2003 0 comments

Sony and Zenith have enviable records in the world of DirecTV and digital television set-top boxes. Sony's first such product, the SAT-HD100, was among the best on the market, with topnotch performance and a host of enviable features. That receiver, along with one by Panasonic, were the two most sensitive I had ever seen. And while the Sony had some problems, among them a noisy fan and the lack of aspect-ratio control, last year I judged it the best of a troubled lot.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Feb 15, 2003 0 comments

Anyone in the market for a digital television receiver in recent months might have found them hard to come by. Manufacturers stopped making older models early this year when they began working on newer ones with updated features and receiver chips. Because most digital receivers these days also double as DirecTV tuners, one factor motivating this retooling was DirecTV's decision last year to make DVI the official digital-connection format for the service, forcing manufacturers to provide new receivers with DVI outputs.

Joel Brinkley Posted: Jan 01, 2003 0 comments

Sony has produced first-class DVD players ever since their first one, the DVP-S7000, was introduced early in 1997, just after the format was launched. At that time, the S7000 was the company's only offering. Now, of course, Sony makes a full line of DVD players, and many include the capability to play Super Audio CDs as well.

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