Darryl Wilkinson

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 29, 2005 0 comments
The doors to the Home Entertainment 2005 show officially opened to the public in Manhattan Friday, and five floors of the New York Hilton were jammed with attendees. It's truly an international, multicultural event. I personally heard at least five languages being spoken - English, French, Spanish, Audiophilish, and Wowish (none of which am I fluent in). Here are some highlights of what could be found the first hectic day of HE2005 (and the press day that preceded it).
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 25, 2005 0 comments
Evidently, Polk has a thing for XM Satellite Radio. About six months after they introduced a stand-alone, home-component XM tuner (the XRt12), the speaker company is pulling the wraps off of a new XM-ready tabletop entertainment system called the I-Sonic. Sure, you might think it's just a new compact stereo system designed to sonically kick the you know what out of you know which (heavily advertised) tabletop system from you know who. (And who am I to say that you're wrong?) But a quick look at all of the I-Sonic's features and capabilities makes it appear to be something more - you know, the kind of thing your grandmother could use but will still impress the heck out of your more techno-sophisticated friends.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 23, 2005 0 comments
Those of us still mourning the imminent and unstoppable demise of VOOM, the ill-fated HD-centric satellite service, are being offered a reduced price on a second chance at HD nirvana from DIRECTV. Although it's small consolation to the thirty-some thousand VOOM devotees who are at this moment longingly stroking their VOOM remote controls and asking, "Why? Why me?", at least it's something.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 16, 2005 0 comments
Normally the disclaimer* comes at the end, but why hide uncomfortable news? When it comes to home entertainment equipment and someone starts talking about a piece of gear being "wireless", they don't mean "wireless" - they mean "nearly wireless". Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about Panasonic's new rear-speaker wireless-ready home theater systems. Oh, by the way, "wireless-ready" means you'll need an optional piece of gear to make the system nearly wireless. (But don't let that put a barbed-wire fence around your lofty goal of having free-range wireless chickens. There ain't no totally wireless lunch from any company in this neck of the woods, pardner, but that don't mean you can't dream...)
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 06, 2005 0 comments
After a short pit stop, HDNet and NASCAR are once again putting the pedal to the metal. Both organizations jointly revealed the schedule for the second season of NASCAR's HDTV package to be telecast by HDNet. The pioneering HD network will feature a total of 20 live HD telecasts from NASCAR Grand National Division races. The NASCAR Grand National Division (for those living in blue states who have no earthly idea what we're talking about) includes two independent NASCAR series, the Busch North Series and the West Series (the West Coast's oldest stock car racing circuit), which feature drivers competing using identical race cars. (Well, they're not exactly identical or we wouldn't be able to tell them apart.) HDNet will provide additional coverage of some races from NASCAR's AutoZone Division. With each car in the race powered by a 350 to 358 cubic-inch V-8 engine and weighing a minimum of 3,300 pounds, the series of telecasts will be a high-definition orgy of minimum miles per gallon and maximum emissions. (Oh, what the heck. We all need something to keep our minds off the ever escalating price of gasoline.)
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Apr 06, 2005 0 comments
In a market that's rapidly becoming crowded with LCD TV suppliers, manufacturers need to do something to differentiate themselves - preferably something other than simply lowering the price. (Although, all other things being equal, a lower price sure gets our attention.)
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 26, 2005 0 comments
Although more and more high-definition displays now come with integrated over-the-air terrestrial Digital TV tuners (and some with Digital Cable Card slots), there are still plenty of HDTV Monitors with no Digital TV tuning capabilities whatsoever sitting in people's living rooms. At some point, be it 2006 or 2106 depending on when the FCC and Congress have the gumption to mandate that all analog TV broadcasting must cease and desist, owners of tuner-less HDTV Monitors will need to add some sort of DTV tuner if they want to enjoy all the glorious entertainment that local network television affiliates so graciously provide to a thankful and devoted public (in return for sitting through endless and insufferable advertisements).
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 26, 2005 0 comments
I was wrong. (It's not the first time, but it is the first time I've publicly admitted it.) Before satellite radio (first XM and then SIRIUS) blasted off and began broadcasting, I thought it had about as much chance of succeeding as the Red Sox had of winning the World Series. (Oops...) After all, other than truckers and traveling sales reps with lots of ground to cover, who would want to pay for the privelege of listening to the radio? I even gave (what turned out to be) bad financial advice concerning the prospects of satellite radio to a drummer in a Texas rock band who told me he'd included XM Radio in his stock portfolio. (A drummer with a stock portfolio? I should have known right then that I'd totally lost touch with reality.)
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 15, 2005 0 comments
It's unlikely that you've got hours and hours of HD video sitting on your computer's hard drive - although you might if you're the proud owner of a HDV camcorder (from JVC or Sony) or you've invested in an HD PCTV card for your computer and have been recording over-the-air HDTV broadcasts for the past umpteen months. On the other hand, you're more likely to have a slew of high-res images courtesy of your megapixel digital still camera. However, as my wife is forever explaining to me, having lots of great pictures (and video) stored on your computer is nice; it would be nicer (much nicer), though, if they could actually be viewed by the family in some way that didn't involve jockeying for space and hunching over a small computer screen. As I've discovered over the years, you ignore your significant other at your peril.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Mar 08, 2005 0 comments
Unless you're a full-fledged (or even a budding) audio/videophile for whom performance is everything (and I'm not implying there's anything wrong with that), at one time or another you've faced the tough choice of sound and picture quality versus aesthetics, decor, and ergonomics (sometimes referred to as SAF or Spousal Acceptance Factor). Three introductions from Onkyo are intended to provide performance without ruining potential romance.

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