During most of our recent tests of HDTVs, we've attempted to use them with a Scientific-Atlanta 8300HD cable box supplied by Time Warner connected via an all-digital HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) hookup. We often end up looking at a screen displaying an imperious message typical of cable-company communications: "Your HDTV does not support HDCP.
Some readers shy away from the "in the lab" boxes in our test reports, probably because it's hard to judge what represents desirable performance if you don't have a lot of experience with the kinds of figures we publish.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Modern consumer electronics is so modular in design and construction that you could almost invent a new component category using the old Chinese-restaurant formula: choose one technology from column A and another from column B.
No home-entertainment technology in years has been as eagerly anticipated as the upcoming Blu-ray and HD DVD high-definition disc systems. In fact, the last time we techie types were this excited about something new was when the CD was introduced.
Hardly a week passes when we don't receive one or more letters from readers who seem to be in a panic about the difference between 1080i and 1080p HDTVs. All of their concerns arise from the desire, sometimes bordering on the obsessive, to get the best possible resolution from their sets.
There are high-priced major-league baseball players (is that redundant?), and then there are the Mark McGuires and Sammy Sosas - players whose abilities and accomplishments leave even their overpaid teammates in awe. The same holds true as you approach the stratospheric reaches of high-end A/V receivers.
A format war over a high-definition disc format now unfortunately appears inevitable. The all-but-formal declaration came at the Blu-ray press event on the first day of this year's Consumer Electronics Show (also see Rich Warren's article, "Next-Generation DVD").
This CES saw the official introduction of what used to be called the IBOC (in-Band, on-channel) terrestrial digital radio system, freshly renamed HD Radio (for high-definition) by its promotor, iBiquity.
Confused about which audio codec to use to encode music for your portable player? Drowning in the alphanumeric soup of AAC (iTunes/iPod), MP3, and WMA (Windows Media Audio)? Want to guarantee that you'll get the best possible sound out of your hard-disk collection of ripped CDs?