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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 12, 2007 0 comments
An important feature of HDMI is its ability to carry both video and audio. If it passes this information in bitstream form, the receiver or pre-pro, rather than the player, decodes the various versions of Dolby Digital and DTS.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 10, 2007 1 comments
When you get that new speaker set you're going to need to configure and balance your system. The process described below describes AVRs, but both the features and steps you'll take are identical if you're using a "separates" system with a pre-amp/processor and power amp.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 10, 2007 0 comments
Loudspeakers may not be the hardest things in the world to shop for (cars win by a landslide), but the search hasn't gotten any easier in the past few years, as the decline in dealers offering serious demonstration facilities (particularly the big-box, warehouse stores) has reduced the opportunities for an ears-on audition.
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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.

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