Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 19, 2005 0 comments

Most consumers think of a projection screen as that rickety, stand-mounted contraption the AV clubber set up in the classroom when you were about to see a boring video, film, or slide show—pop quiz tomorrow. It was white, slightly sparkly, squarish, and nobody gave it much thought except when the teacher tripped over it on the way to the blackboard.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 06, 2005 0 comments

Even as DVI and HDMI were being adopted by video manufacturers as the digital links of choice, one limitation of these connections was already well known: they don't like to be used in long lengths. The generally accepted limit for an unassisted digital video cable of this type is about 5 meters or just over 16 feet, particularly with high-definition sources.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 01, 2005 Published: Jun 02, 2005 0 comments

In separate line shows held in San Diego and New York, Hitachi announced their new video line last month. Most of the models will begin appearing in stores before the start of the annual fall holiday buying season.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 01, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>George Lucas is a fan. I don't mean of <I>Star Wars</I> (though he is, I suspect, that, too); rather, he's a fan of digital cinema. And he wanted his magnum opus, <I>Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith</I>, to play in digital on the biggest screens in the world. That covers a lot of territory, but the screen at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, which measures 32 by 86 feet, just might be the biggest anywhere.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 30, 2005 0 comments

When Fujitsu announced a high-end LCD projector, my first reaction was a stifled yawn. After all, until recently, home theater LCD projectors had been limited to the low end. Yes, they sometimes offered very good value for the money, and we've given good reviews to more than one of them over the years. But an LCD projector priced like a new car, in competition with 3-chip DLPs and high-end LCoS projectors, seemed far-fetched. Even more surprising was the fact that Fujitsu was known in the home video market for plasma displays, not projectors.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 22, 2005 0 comments

In today's hotly contested home theater market, the big consumer-electronics manufacturers are grabbing an increasingly important slice of the pie. Their new, big-boned receivers&mdash;with prices to match&mdash;approach (or sometimes exceed) the performance of most separates. The competition is fierce, with those mega-corporations using their marketing clout, engineering expertise, and production efficiency to built better products, but smaller companies can still compete. They're fighting back with separate pre-pros and power amps that trade on their traditional strength: sound quality.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 22, 2005 0 comments

Albuquerque, New Mexico, sounds like a strange place for a video manufacturer to hold its annual new-product launch, but Toshiba knew what they were doing. The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, about 10 miles north of the city, was a great spot not only for taking in the sun, but for checking out what Toshiba R&D has been up to for the past year. While the east coast press contingent seemed a little overwhelmed by the mountain and desert vistas, 90-degree May temperatures, cloudless blue skies, and 5000-foot thin air, it was all old hat for me, having lived 50 miles further north, in Santa Fe, from 1990 to 2000.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 30, 2005 Published: May 01, 2005 0 comments

As Scott Wilkinson and I stood in line at Kennedy airport last week for a taxi to take us to the Hilton Hotel for Home Entertainment 2005, Scott noted that the Hilton was on the Avenue of the Americas. I told him not to tell the cabbie that; he'll think we're tourists. For a New Yorker, the Avenue of the Americas is simply 6th Avenue. They didn't rename 6th Avenue The Avenue of Home Entertainment for the show, but there's always next year.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 30, 2005 0 comments

I was born in New York and moved to Connecticut when I was 5, but I visited the city often over the next 20 years. The visits have slowed since I've lived far from the northeast US, so every time I come back, the milling throng of multicultural humanity crowding the sidewalks continues to surprise and amaze me. And on April 28, they all decided to crowd into the Hilton Hotel.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 25, 2005 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.tjn.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=194 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>One of the hot, media-centric topics these days is Digital Rights Management, or DRM. I touched on this topic in a <A href="">report</A> on the recent Digital Hollywood conference. Put simply but politely, it involves managing how and what an individual may do with program material to which others own the copyright. Put more bluntly, it involves how to keep the public from making copies that Hollywood considers illegitimate and thus deny Hollywood the income it feels would otherwise come from the sale of that material.


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