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Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 05, 2006 0 comments

If there's one factor limiting the wider acceptance of front video projection in the home it's the need to view the projected image in a darkened room. I can't count the number of times I've seen visitors to various on-line forums asking how well this or that projector works in a room with only partial light control. In <I>every</I> case, the answer should have included (but didn't always), "Not nearly as well as it will in a totally darkened room." The simple fact is that video screens reflect light, and if that light comes from something other than a projector—a partially covered window, perhaps—the screen doesn't care. Stray light, reflected off the screen, will inevitably degrade the richness and depth of the image. At worst, it will make it washed out and unwatchable.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 01, 2006 8 comments

With the HD DVD competition set to launch within a month, Sony invited members of the CE press to the Sony Studios in Culver City, California for an update on Blu-ray technology and a demonstration of that format's formidable capabilities.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 22, 2006 3 comments

It was the most ambitious do-it-yourself carpentry work I've done in five years, ever since I covered the windows in my home theater studio to shut out the light and minimize extraneous outside sounds. The latest project involved building a false wall directly in front of an existing wall, not only to conveniently hang an expected ongoing parade of flat panel displays coming in for review, but also to facilitate a planned series of on-wall speaker reviews. There's no question that on-wall speakers are a significant trend, and one that we can't continue to ignore here at <I>Ultimate AV</I>. As for in-walls, well, that's a project for the future.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 19, 2006 0 comments

While my <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/1205sony/">December 2005 review of this video projector</A> was complete in most respects, the absence of our Photo Research colorimeter (in the shop for repairs) did leave a few holes in the formal measurements. These were promised for this Part II.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 12, 2006 4 comments

Last week the local ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, KABC, became the first station in California (or so they said) to broadcast their local news programs in high definition. That includes the midday, late afternoon, early evening, and late night editions. And while that might not raise hosannas for a station whose idea of news includes shameless plugs for what's coming up that evening on <I>Dance With the Stars</I>, when you've got endless hours of news time to fill, what do you expect&mdash;an in-depth analysis of what's happening at city hall?

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 05, 2006 0 comments

Power amps get little respect in the home theater world. They're the heavy, black (or silver) boxes that sit somewhere in the dark, serving your speakers with a generous supply of power.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 02, 2006 0 comments

Steven Soderbergh's feature film, <I>Bubble</I>, premiered last week in high definition on HDNet. It also opened simultaneously in several dozen theaters around the country, all of them either Landmark theaters (owned by HDNet owner Mark Cuban) or independent art houses. Theater chains boycotted the film because in its simultaneous release on cable television, in theaters, and (this past Tuesday) on DVD, it represented a perceived threat to their box office revenue.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 29, 2006 0 comments

We're living through interesting yet complicated times in the video display business. The much-revered CRT is an endangered species, being replaced by a supermarket of different new technologies.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 25, 2006 5 comments

Broadcasters are getting serious about HDTV, and for that we're all grateful. But some of them, and their sponsors, still don't get it.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 22, 2006 0 comments

These days, you can't tell the players in television manufacturing without a scorecard. At every CES, including this year's, new names sprout like kudzu. Some are strange and unfamiliar. Others are old standards, but under new ownership. Many will be gone by next year.

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