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Kevin Miller

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Kevin Miller Posted: Jul 14, 2003 Published: Jul 15, 2003 0 comments
One giant leap closer to CRT.

Marantz's VP-12S2, the company's top-of-the-line one-chip DLP projector, has a native resolution of 1,280:720 and utilizes the latest Texas Instruments HD2 Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) chip. This new chip offers a significant increase in contrast ratio and black-level performance over last year's VP-12S1 model. The VP-12S2's video processing also incorporates Faroudja's proprietary DCDi deinterlacing for video-based sources and 3:2 pulldown for film-based material. In fact, Marantz uses the full Faroudja chipset, which includes the video decoder, the video enhancer, the 2D comb filter, and DCDi. The latest Marantz DLP offering is definitely one of the top performers in its category.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Feb 11, 2003 Published: Feb 12, 2003 0 comments
Gateway has thrown down the gauntlet in the budget-plasma arena.

Plasma panel prices continue to drop precipitously as the technology gets hotter and hotter. Gateway, provider of digital-technology solutions, has entered the home theater market with the GTW-P42M102 42-inch plasma panel, which has a native resolution of 852 by 480 in progressive-scan mode. It's a perfect example of plasma's ongoing price reduction. The streamlined display is 25.2 inches high, 40.8 inches wide, and a very slim 3.7 inches deep, and it weighs less than 70 pounds. The handsomely designed set sports a silver finish with a small, dark border surrounding the screen. The GTW-P42M102's performance characteristics are a mixed bag; however, at a list price of $2,999, there's no denying that it's the best value by a country mile in the 42-inch-plasma-panel category.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Oct 05, 2002 Published: Oct 06, 2002 0 comments
The Marantz VP-12S1 1,280-by-720 one-chip DLP projector is certainly a contender for the best product in its category. The new crop of high-resolution, 16:9, one-chip DLP projectors delivers significantly better picture quality than the earlier 4:3-chip designs. The VP-12S1 is extremely well built, provides superb video processing for NTSC sources, falls in the middle of the category's price range, and therefore represents a really solid value.
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Kevin Miller Posted: Jun 11, 2002 Published: Jun 12, 2002 0 comments
�SIM2 enters the one-chip-DLP arena.

SIM2 is a large Italian projector manufacturer that has been making inroads into the U.S. video market for the last several years. The company is squarely behind DLP technology and has introduced a high-resolution 1,280-by-720 one-chip DLP projector as the most recent addition to their Grand Cinema line. The HT300 is one of only a few of these new one-chip wonders on the market and is the most attractive DLP projector currently available, with a design that reflects all of the heritage and flair of its Italian creators. It's housed in an attractive dark-gray case with a metallic high-gloss finish called gunmetal gray, which is the only color this handsome projector comes in. The HT300 is extremely compact, measuring 13.7 by 7.2 by 12.5 inches (L/H/D) and weighing a mere 12.1 pounds.

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Kevin Miller Posted: May 09, 2002 Published: May 10, 2002 0 comments
A new player in the home theater arena.

In the past few years, DLP technology has come a long way in terms of both picture quality and affordability. Not long ago, an entry-level one-chip 800-by-600 projector cost about $10,000. With the advent of the higher-resolution (1,024 by 768 and now 1,280 by 720) one-chip projectors, the front-projection world has become accessible to many more people. As the technology is rapidly becoming one of the hottest of the new fixed-pixel-display alternatives for both rear- and front-projection applications, new companies are constantly joining the DLP fold. InFocus—a company that, until now, concentrated solely on the professional business market—has entered the home market. The company's first offering is the ScreenPlay 110, a dual-mode one-chip DLP front projector with a resolution of 800 by 600 in the 4:3 mode and 853 by 480 in the enhanced-widescreen or anamorphic mode.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Jan 03, 2002 Published: Jan 04, 2002 0 comments
Welcome to a new era of DLP performance.

In terms of video performance, DLP-projection technology for home theater applications has just taken a major leap forward. Sharp's new XV-Z9000U is the first DLP projector based on Texas Instruments' new native 16:9, 1,280-by-720-resolution chip. This projector promises to radically change the front-projector market, as it offers unprecedented picture quality in its product category at a very reasonable price. At a list price of $10,995, the XV-Z9000U comes close to delivering the same picture quality as 7- and 8-inch CRT-based front projectors that range in price from $15,000 to $30,000. The XV-Z9000U is one of those rare products in the home theater industry that elevates its category to a performance level that many of us previously thought was unachievable.

Kevin Miller Posted: Sep 30, 2001 Published: Oct 01, 2001 0 comments
Switching scenarios for component video sources.

Switching component video sources is a double-edged sword. For a number of reasons, there's plenty of need for it; however, until recently, it was fairly expensive to do it well (read: without adversely affecting the video signal). Still, there are a number of scenarios in which video switching, transcoding, or distributing high-resolution video (particularly HDTV signals) is important.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Jul 31, 2001 Published: Aug 01, 2001 0 comments
Proof that plasma technology is evolving, Marantz's PD5010D plasma display is a solid HD monitor that's perfect for your wall.

In the last couple of years, plasma displays have become increasingly popular. The technology has also come a long way in terms of picture quality. Initially, plasma's biggest performance pitfalls were in the areas of black level and color accuracy. Thanks to recent technological advances, black-level performance has improved significantly, but it still has a long way to go. Another performance issue with plasmas is something called "false contouring," which manifests itself as crawling patches or blotches of noise.

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