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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 06, 2008 Published: Mar 07, 2008 9 comments

So now we have a single HD disc format. Hallelujah. No more excuses for sitting on the fence. No more "my upconverted DVDs look almost like high definition" claptrap. The clouds will part, angelic choirs will sing, and…oops, wrong blog.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 27, 2008 0 comments
This year, as last, Sony held its annual line show at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas. While it is intended primarily for dealers—which explains the introduction of everything from televisions to digital voice recorders, computers, cameras, cell phones, and alarm clocks (in short, everything you'll see featured in Sony movies later this year)—the press was brought in to have the first look.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 19, 2008 9 comments

The ship has sailed. The hero is riding off into the sunset as the fat lady sings her closing aria. She sees the handwriting on the wall for her final curtain. The end is near.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 10, 2008 0 comments

LCD flat panels may be the hot ticket in the TV market these days, but plasmas shouldn't be counted out by any means. For example, they offer superior off-axis viewing and generally better black levels. Not only that, large plasmas are often less expensive than LCDs of similar size.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 03, 2008 0 comments

When it was introduced at the 2006 CEDIA Expo, Sony's VPL-VW50 redefined the entire front-projector price structure. Of course, a few other manufacturers were ready with their own new projector announcements at that show, but the VW50—which came to be widely known as the "Pearl" after the company's code name for the project—generated the most buzz.

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

It's already a month into 2008, but never too late to make predictions for the coming year or so—predictions of things that probably won't happen in the way we expect. If anything is certain, it's the uncertainty of the future. The volatile world of consumer electronics is no exception.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 28, 2008 0 comments
A cease fire or a bridge too far?

Months ago, when Samsung announced its BD-UP5000 dual format player, there appeared to be no end in sight to an ugly format war that threatened the future of high definition on a disc.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2008 2 comments

Founded in Worthing, England in 1966 by the late John Bowers, B&W (more formally known as Bowers and Wilkins) is now one of the best-known names in the industry. While the average man in the street might wonder when the car manufacturer started making speakers if you mention B&W, it's one of the first names that comes to an audiophile if asked to make a list of the top speaker companies in the business. And unlike many of its competitors, B&W makes only loudspeakers—unless you count its new iPod speaker system as a major departure.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 12 comments

Dome in this case doesn't mean a tweeter diaphragm, but rather Focal's new "Lifestyle Luxury" speaker package, consisting of small, two-way satellite speakers in a rounded enclosure together with a small, separate sub. The satellite is shown here. It's used for every channel, including the center. The tab is $1475 for a 2.1 channels and $2495 for a 5.1-channel system. The "Dome" satellite speakers themselves are available separately for $750/pair. Available in April.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 05, 2008 5 comments

The bombshell dropped yesterday, the day before I was to drive to CES. And I don't mean the deluge that hit LA and tested the leaks in my roof (they still work!). It was Warner's decision to go Blu-ray exclusive starting this coming May. Why they aren't doing so immediately is a bit of a puzzle, but is likely due to contractual obligations and to keep from scrapping product already in the pipeline.

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