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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 12, 2009 3 comments

The video world woke up last Friday to the news reports that Pioneer Electronics, long a leader in consumer video display technology, was getting out of the video display business. At first, the reports did not come from Pioneer itself, but rather from news agencies (first in Japan, later overseas) that put two and two together and concluded that they really did equal four.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 09, 2009 0 comments
Founded in 1972, UK-based Monitor Audio has long produced speakers that offered good value, from its low-end Bronze line, starting at around $325 for a pair of two-way bookshelf models and extending up to $4500/pair for the company's priciest Gold Signature model. Even that is not an outrageous price for an upscale design in today's speaker market. The number of current speaker lines topping out at over $20k/pair, however, would be alarming if it weren't counterbalanced by excellent speakers selling for a fraction of that price.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 02, 2009 0 comments

I watched a lot of television growing up. But I was also a passionate reader. Okay, more often than not what I was reading was a Radio Shack catalog or the latest issue of the now-defunct <I>Audio</I> or <I>High Fidelity</I>. But sitting at least a dozen feet away from my parents' 21-inch console television with all the room lights on, it was easy to divide my attention between the book&mdash;er, magazine&mdash;and the latest episode of <I>Gunsmoke</I>.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 21, 2009 0 comments
Price: $3,299 At A Glance: Unique audio design • Inaccurate color tracking • Blacks measure better than they look

LCD Picture, Widescreen Sound

Many of today’s flat-panel HDTVs can look amazingly good. But when sets frequently offer similar features that differ mainly in name, it’s hard for any particular model to break loose from the yada, yada, yada sameness of the pack. That is, unless the manufacturer can convince the consumer that its Super Dynamic Image Enhancer is something he’s just gotta have.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 12, 2009 0 comments
Price: $2,700 At A Glance: Exceptional color adjustments for excellent color • Outstanding resolution • Punchy image but disappointing black level • THX Cinema mode is inaccurate

Calibrator’s Delight

LG may be one of the world’s largest LCD makers, but the company is still very much in the plasma game, with an updated lineup of six plasma HDTVs.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 30, 2008 4 comments

You know who you are. You're an experienced <I>Ultimate AV</I> reader with friends who just bought a new flat panel HDTV for the holidays. They've had it delivered and set up by Crazy Zeke's TV and Refrigerator Superstore.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 29, 2008 0 comments
Price: $5,000 At A Glance: State-of-the-art black level and shadow detail • Superior color and HD resolution • 480i video processing could be better • Poor off-axis viewing

XBR Goes LED

LCD flat panels now dominate the television marketplace. But despite their popularity, they have been notably inferior to the best plasma sets in the depth of their blacks and the quality of their shadow detail.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 22, 2008 0 comments
Price: $1,700 Highlights: The price is right • Accurate color • Crisp, dimensional image with excellent resolution • Poor black level and shadow detail

Features
At 61 inches diagonal, the Samsung is the smaller member of this two-set match-up, but it’s still considerably larger than most comparably priced flat panels. Also, like the Mitsubishi, you’ll be surprised at how light it feels. Even better, the price will also be light on your wallet.

The set provides an adequate number of inputs, including a WiseLink port—Samsung’s name for the USB connection that lets you view JPEG photos, listen to MP3 audio files, and input possible future firmware upgrades.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 22, 2008 0 comments
Price: $2,999 Highlights: Accurate color • A high contrast ratio with convincingly deep blacks • Bright, punchy, dimensional image

Features
With its 65-inch (diagonal) screen, the Mitsubishi WD-65835 is the second from the largest set in Mitsubishi’s full-featured Diamond line. But it’s a lot lighter and more maneuverable than you might expect.

The set offers a full array of the usual video and audio connections. Plus, it includes the increasingly common USB port for viewing your JPEG photos. There is no RGB computer input. You can only connect a computer via a digital link to one of the HDMI jacks.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 24, 2008 7 comments

A small but vocal segment of the video business, and of video enthusiasts, believes that HD on a disc&#151;that is, Blu-ray&#151;is merely a stopgap. Soon, they are certain, we will all get our HD movie fix via Internet downloads.

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