Most folks shopping for a home theater receiver or amplifier are bound to have their eyes peeled for a single number: the power rating. Ideally, this spec will tell you how much juice a particular amp can deliver to a given set of speakers under normal conditions.
My first brush with home theater was in a large, dedicated room equipped with a top-shelf cathode-ray-tube (CRT) front projector, a Faroudja video processor, a 100-inch (diagonal) screen, and a killer sound system. Subsequently, I've measured every home theater experience against that one, making me a tough customer to please.
Passive 3D and edge-lit- LED come together in Toshiba’s affordable TV. While other manufacturers of 3D TVs make the case for which is better — sets that use active- or passive-glasses technology — Toshiba’s long-term 3D strategy is to dump glasses altogether.
Apple's computers have always been audio- and video-friendly, but the company has mostly left the home entertainment part of the equation up to third-party developers. Although an Apple hard-disk video recorder or music server has seemed like an obvious thing for Steve Jobs to trot out, year after year there's been nothing but new (and very welcome) takes on the iPod.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Up against the wall! That's the marching order being given to speaker designers by companies that want to offer systems to complement flat-screen TVs. With cabinets barely exceeding the 3- to 4-inch average depth of most plasma or LCD sets, some new speakers incorporate this directive literally.
One argument made by naysayers when 3D TV first arrived was that the feature would jack up prices for flat-panel sets. That did prove sort of true at first, but 3D was quickly folded into the general feature package for most TVs, leaving set prices to continue their downward trajectory. Case in point: Panasonic’s new TC-P55ST50. The first Panasonic 3D TV I reviewed 2 years back had a 50-inch screen and cost $2,600. But the company’s new P55ST50 3D plasma has a larger, 55-inch screen and costs around $1,600. Depending on how the rest of this review plays out, that could mean we have a serious bargain on our hands.
Sony's XBR series TVs have a devoted following, but some of the sets in the line tend to be priced higher than models with similar features from other set-makers. So if you're an XBR fan who is in the market for an HDTV with a really big screen, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the price of Sony's new 65-inch rear-projection HDTV monitor.