Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 10, 2007 0 comments
Speakers are available in a bewildering variety of styles, sizes, and technologies. On the technical side, the vast majority are conventional box designs using one or more drivers—most commonly a single cone woofer for the bass and midrange, a single dome tweeter for the treble, and a crossover network to divide and route the appropriate frequencies to each. The speaker cabinet, or box, which can be either a sealed or ported design, is not merely a cosmetic touch; it is a key element in the design. Without a properly designed cabinet, even the best conventional woofer would simply flap in its own breeze and produce little or no bass.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 05, 2007 0 comments

Spending a lazy summer afternoon running wires around the room to hook up a 5.1-channel speaker system is not a favorite family activity. Polls have shown, in fact, that most consumers who buy home-theater-in-a-box systems never even hook up the surrounds. Or if they do, they put them up front, further apart than the left and right speakers! Of course, that doesn't apply to owners of more advanced systems. Or does it?

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 03, 2007 0 comments
You want the big screen experience. That means a projector and, obviously, a screen. Yes, you could just aim the projector at that white wall, or a neatly-pressed sheet. You'll get a picture, and the video police won't show up to drag you away to an ISF re-education camp.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 30, 2007 1 comments

We've been, and continue to be, big supporters of getting a video display properly calibrated. We do it in our reviews because it shows us best that a set is capable of. Just as significant is the fact that if you just present only the out-of-box result in a review, you're trying to hit a moving target. Different samples will differ, perhaps significantly, because manufacturers can't perform anything more than a rough setup on the production line. The average consumer won't notice the difference in the store, and it takes too long (and costs too much) to perform a tight calibration for everyone just to satisfy the discerning customer.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 22, 2007 0 comments

Samsung was first to market with a Blu-ray player in mid 2006: the <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/706dsamsungbd/">BD-P1000</A>. While it's no secret that that player drew serious criticisms from us, and others, it's also true that the first batch of Blu-ray titles did it no favors.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 19, 2007 0 comments

It's been a busy, hot, sad, exciting, confusing, jumble of a month here at <I>UAV</I>, and there's a lot to catch up on. Rather than post several separate, shorter blogs at once, I'll mash them all together.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 12, 2007 0 comments
The $499 BDP-S300 is an important product, giving Blu-ray some much needed traction in the affordable player category. Combine that with recent news from rental powerhouse Blockbuster that it is expanding Blu-ray titles in its stores (at the expense of HD DVD in most cases), and the BDP-S300 looks like a no-brainer.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 12, 2007 0 comments

The price of machines that will play Blu-ray or HD DVD high-definition discs is coming down. The drop is faster on the HD DVD side of the battle lines, but at $499 Sony's new BDP-S300 is half the price of its (still available) first generation <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/1206sonybdps1/">BDP-S1</A>.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 09, 2007 0 comments
A good flat panel with a punchy image, good color and detail, an excellent remote control, and a tempting price.

When HP introduced its first line of televisions, after years as a leader in home computers, it featured both flat panel and rear projection sets. Now, however, the company sells flat panel LCD and plasma designs exclusively. Its two new LCD models are both 1080p. Its two plasmas are both 768p—an odd number that originated in the computer world and manages to linger on, at least in plasma designs.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 08, 2007 0 comments

HDMI connections, combined with a pristine source and a great display, can produce beautiful images, perhaps the best ever available to consumers. But the format has not been trouble free. Even if we ignore consideration of which version of HDMI we're dealing with, and the length limitations of the connections, more than a few videophiles have had problems getting HDMI some combinations of source, display, and switcher to work together.

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