Darryl Wilkinson

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 26, 2004 0 comments
If you're the type who can't decide among all the disc formats (SACD, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, CD, MP3-encoded CD, and Laserdisc), Integra has just announced a six-disc DVD changer that's compatible with nearly every disc format on the planet. (Sorry, Laserdisc fans, but Integra didn't include compatibility with those venerable old 12-inch movie discs. Although you won't be able to watch your old disc collection in the new Integra changer, those discs still make great serving platters!) Integra's DPC-8.5 is built around a six-disc carousel tray that incorporates a unique blue illumination light, making it easier to see what's in the tray when the room lights are down low and you're trying to impress that special someone.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 26, 2004 0 comments
Ever had trouble matching a subwoofer to your main speakers and the room? Ever wonder, if Reese's can make peanut butter cups with the peanut butter on the outside, why can't someone make a subwoofer that's intelligent enough to make its own adjustments? If you have, then you can spend your life believing that Thiel Audio created their new SmartSub family of subwoofer products just for you. (The remainder of us will simply admire the technology in this collection that includes four new powered subwoofers, a SmartSub Integrator, and a pair of passive crossovers.)
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 19, 2004 0 comments
Of course, the world assumes that if you want a flat-panel TV that you'll want to hang it on the wall. Not according to Jeff White, President of Boltz USA. "Contrary to sexy television commercials featuring young 20-somethings fussing over which wall to hang their new, sleek, flat panel TV, we've heard from many customers who would much rather display their new toy on an attractive stand." (Personally, since as I young 20-something I suffered by watching TV on a miniscule 13-inch TV with rabbit ears and not even a Beta-tape VCR to keep it company, I feel that 20-somethings ought to be barred by law from owning a flat-panel TV until their 30th birthday. Think of it, as my mother used to say, as "character building"... But I digress.)
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 19, 2004 0 comments
Canton, the 31-year-old German loudspeaker company known for stylish, high-performance products, has joined the ever growing chorus of manufacturers offering slender, wall-mountable models specifically designed to complement flat-panel TVs. Canton's new CD300 Series loudspeakers combine technology derived from the company's high-end Karat line of loudspeakers with the sleeker, brushed aluminum look (a.k.a. "lifestyle design") of the CD100 series.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 13, 2004 0 comments
If you're like my son, no matter how big the hard drive is in your DVR it's not big enough. Humax USA announced today the nationwide availability of the T2500, the first TiVo Series2 DVR with a whopping 300 hours of recording capability. (Although it doesn't record HD, that's still over 12 days of continuous couch-potato bliss.) It'll cost you $699 for that kind of storage capacity; but when you compare it with what it would cost to 300 hours of Super Bowl commercial air time over the next 50 years, it's a steal. Since the T2500 (and the 80-hour T800) is a TiVo Series2 unit, subscribing owners can use TiVo's new Home Media features and online scheduling as part of TiVo's standard $12.95/month service package. The new features let you schedule recordings from any internet connection and move content between two or more TiVo Series2 DVRs in your home. You can also listen to music or view photos stored on your PC if you're so networkingly inclined. Now Humax just needs to release an HD DVR, and my son won't ever have to leave the couch.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jul 13, 2004 0 comments
Although it's too late to become eligible to submit a surround sound music release for the 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2005 if you're not already a member of the Recording Academy, fans of surround sound music will have a new award category - Best Surround Sound Album - to heatedly discuss around the office water cooler. While it's certainly not as exciting as Best Hawaiian Music Album, another new category to make its debut in 2005, it's good to see multichannel music getting more professional respect and attention. All genres of music for commercial releases on DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and SACD with an original mix of four or more channels are eligible. We'll know multichannel music has finally come into its own when a release wins both the Best Surround Sound and Best Hawaiian Music Album awards. Could a surround remix of Zamfir's (Master of the Pan Flute) Greatest Hits be next?
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: May 07, 2004 0 comments
More Marilyn . . . Well, sort of. It's been over 50 years since this quartet of modestly sophisticated comedy/dramas hit the silver screen to entertain post-WWII America. In those early years of the soon-to-be-booming 1950s, audiences might have had inklings that a certain young, blonde starlet might have a big decade ahead of her. More likely, ticket buyers were eager to see Claudette Colbert (Let's Make It Legal), Ginger Rogers and Fred Allen (We're Not Married), Monty Woolley and Thelma Ritter (As Young as You Feel), or June Haver and William Lundigan (Love Nest). You'd have no way of knowing that, however, from 20th Century Fox's packaging of these cinematic time capsules that capture an intriguing era of Hollywood movie-making that's forever gone. Marilyn Monroe's second-tier presence in this foursome of flicks is clearly the marketing angle that 20th Century Fox feels will mint new cash from old celluloid.
Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Dec 01, 2003 0 comments
The best thing to happen to home theater since the DVD.

Quick, what do your home theater system's remote control and your underwear have in common? (If your answer is that they both require batteries, I don't want to hear about it.) The correct answer is that they both need to be a comfortable fit (physically in the case of the underwear and ergonomically/functionally in the case of the remote) or else they'll annoy the hell out of you all evening long. Unfortunately, while the standard remote controls that come with most home theater components may be able to control multiple devices, when it comes to using them on a daily basis to operate an entire home theater system, they're usually about as cozy as a tight pair of burlap boxers.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Nov 10, 2003 Published: Nov 01, 2003 0 comments
2D is for armadillos in the middle of the road. Sensio's 3D processor grabs you by the eyeballs and won't let go.

No matter how much bigger your TV is than mine, no matter how much higher the resolution or how much brighter the image, there's one hitherto immutable aspect that both TVs have in common—the pictures on our respective TV screens are two-dimensional. They've got height. They've got width. But they ain't got depth. (Talk about flat-screen TV!) The final frontier of TV viewing is the third dimension; try as we might, watching a good 3D image on TV has always seemed about as impossible as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera starring in a performance of Verdi's Aida as a fund raiser for PBS.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Oct 01, 2003 0 comments
You can run wires, but you can't hide from the fact that today's in-walls sound better than ever.

If only Sheetrock dust were an aphrodisiac. After hacking and ripping my way through the installation of eight pairs of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers and one monumental pair of in-wall subwoofers, I'd be damn near the sexiest man alive. As it is, after the White Sands National Monument, my lungs are now the biggest repository of gypsum dust on the planet. Once again, I've risked life and limb to survey the state of the custom-install speaker industry and give you a feel for what your money can buy in terms of ease of installation, aesthetics, and—most importantly—sound quality.

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