Mike Wood

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Mike Wood Posted: Nov 29, 2000 Published: Nov 30, 2000 0 comments
Mitsubishi's WT-46807 rear-projection television proves that the third time really is a charm.

While most manufacturers are working on their first or maybe their second generation of HD-ready products, Mitsubishi is releasing their third-generation line of displays. The WT-46807 is the first in this new line, and some great new features demonstrate how the company's experience has paid off.

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Mike Wood Posted: Nov 29, 2000 Published: Nov 30, 2000 0 comments
Last month, we explained our speaker measurements. Now, senior technical editor Mike Wood tackles the intricacies of video-display measurements.

It's only fitting that our video measurements be displayed in an obscure, almost-illegible triangle. Three-sided geometric shapes have always been somewhat mysterious objects, implying power or fear. Our measurements can do both. In this, our second attempt to explain to you, our faithful readers, what the ancillary boxes labeled "HT Labs Measures" mean, we'll discuss what our detractors call the triangle of death, why we use it in our display measurements, and what it means to you.

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Mike Wood Posted: Oct 28, 2000 Published: Oct 29, 2000 0 comments
We've often said that a projector is only as good as the processor that feeds it. The most expensive projector on the planet won't save your picture from a bad video processor. Until now, most people bought projectors and processors like dim sum: à la carte or piece by piece. With few exceptions, they would buy a projector from one company and a processor from another. Runco is looking to change all that by tailoring their processors to work with specific display devices so that you can get the most out of both.
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Mike Wood Posted: Oct 27, 2000 Published: Oct 28, 2000 0 comments
Wondering what those confusing charts in our gear reviews are really telling you about a product? Just ask senior technical editor Mike Wood. This month, he explains speaker measurements.

Unless you're looking at a powered speaker (with built-in amplification), the power-handling rating (which is often incorrectly referred to as the number of watts a speaker has) will tell you little about how the speaker integrates into your system, let alone how it sounds. This isn't to say that the spec is useless. After all, some people like to play music really loud—I'm talking head-near-the-speaker-stack-at-a-rock-concert loud. In those rare cases, this specification may be useful. However, for the rest of us, this is probably the least necessary information, even though it's usually the most common question we get about speakers.

Mike Wood Posted: Sep 03, 2000 Published: Sep 04, 2000 0 comments
Pioneer goes for the brass ring of high-end video with their new rear-projection TV. Most televisions are real dogs. I don't mean to be cynical (I just am); however, when you're used to high-end, front-projected images processed with good-quality video scalers, you become jaded by even the more-expensive video products being offered to the general consumer. It becomes a struggle to remind yourself that, hey, compared with what's available for the price, some of these sets aren't all that bad. Pioneer, however, has decided to take their Elite brand to the next level. The Lexus of the consumer electronics market has taken a stab at adding some real high-end features to its already top-end television line.
Mike Wood Posted: Sep 03, 2000 Published: Sep 04, 2000 0 comments
A four-way Face Off of 50-inch NTSC televisions.

In this age of high-definition/digital television, it might seem odd for us to be reviewing NTSC (aka analog) displays. After all, digital television (DTV) and its subgroup, high-definition television (HDTV), are the way of the future, destined to replace our analog NTSC system. However, even if you consider the current crop of digital programming adequate enough to warrant purchasing one of the newer, more-advanced ATSC (aka digital) displays, they're still fairly expensive. If you're looking to spend more than $3,000 on a display, we strongly suggest that you consider DTV or DTV-ready products. However, for those of us who didn't cash in our Internet stock options in time, there are some good deals to be had on big TVs, and, as usual, Home Theater is here to point you in the right direction.

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Mike Wood Posted: Aug 27, 2000 Published: Aug 28, 2000 0 comments
The Revox E-542 42-inch plasma monitor lets you custom-tailor your TV to your décor.

"WOW!" That was about the only word photographer Randy Cordero and I could muster as we took the bright-yellow-framed plasma set out of its shipping carton. Sure, we'd seen plasma monitors before, but none as striking as this one. We had specially ordered the E-542 in Ferrari yellow, for no other reason than because we could. Revox offers a number of different frames for the display to match your yacht, aircraft, or bedroom décor. It turns out that this isn't the only customizable option either.

Mike Wood Posted: Jun 25, 2000 Published: Jun 26, 2000 0 comments
Breaching the digital frontier.

Digital, digital, digital. The generic term for the numerical representation of sounds and images is definitely the buzzword for the new millennium. Samsung, a relative newcomer to the U.S. rear-projection market, has taken that buzzword to heart and taken a bold step forward, creating an almost all-digital chassis for their rear-projection displays.

Mike Wood Posted: May 26, 2000 Published: May 27, 2000 0 comments
The Philips 64PH9905 rear-projection HDTV is like a Weeble— it wobbles, but it doesn't fall down.

"Timber!" was the first word out of my mouth as we rolled Philip's high-definition television into our evaluation room. I could have sworn the TV was going to fall over and crush John, our burly assistant. Fortunately, the cabinet's attractively curved front baseboard makes the set more like a Weeble than a Suzuki 4 x 4 in a Consumer Reports road test. It didn't take more than a nudge from the back to make the TV lean forward; however, no matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't make it crash to the floor. Satisfied that John was safe from being squashed, I dissected the display's performance.

Mike Wood Posted: Apr 28, 2000 Published: Apr 29, 2000 0 comments
The Toyota of HD-ready TVs.

Just as Lexus is to Toyota, Elite is to Pioneer. Until now, most HDTVs and HD-ready TVs have come from the "elite" line of most manufacturers. The advanced technology initially required high sticker prices, which in turn warranted more-elegant products...until now. The SD-532HD5 from Pioneer is one of the first sets to come from a manufacturer's main line. With that comes the promise of more options in the way of more-affordable products.

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