Thomas J. Norton

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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—with prices to match—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="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/news/041405DRM/">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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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 24, 2005 0 comments

<I>TJN takes a look (and listen) at a system consisting of four recently reviewed products: the Revel Performa F32 speaker system, the Sony STR-DA9000ES A/V receiver, the Marantz DV8400 DVD player, and the Sony VPL-HS51 video projector.</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 17, 2005 0 comments

QuickMotion. SmartShutter. Dark Detailer. Plush Imaging. Plush720p. Plush1080p. DeepField Imager. SharpEdge. Buzzwords were flying faster than you could swat them at Mitsubishi's April 2005 line show in Orlando, Florida. Journalists were flown in from all over the US to view the latest Mitsubishi televisions, loaded with these exciting&mdash;or at least exciting <I>sounding</I>&mdash;features.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 13, 2005 Published: Apr 14, 2005 0 comments

Digital rights management (DRM) was one of the hottest topics to be discussed at the recent Digital Hollywood conference, held March 31, 2005, at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in (where else?) Santa Monica, California. DRM is a key issue holding up the finalization of the specifications for both HD DVD and Blu-ray, the two competing contenders to become the next-generation optical-disc format.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 10, 2005 Published: Apr 11, 2005 0 comments

By itself, the Pioneer Elite PRO-505PU, the company's premier plasma display, is just a video monitor with a DVI input. But it's only sold in a package with the Pioneer Elite PRO-R05U Media Receiver. When linked together by two cables (one of them a DVI video connection, the other to send control signals to and from the panel), the two pieces form an integrated system, designated the Elite PRO-1120HD Plasma Display System.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 10, 2005 0 comments

It's no secret that the original DVD release of <I>Titanic</I>&mdash;about a zillion years ago in DVD time&mdash;was a technical dud. Oh, it looked okay, and the excitement of actually being able to put it on your very own shelf to watch whenever you wanted kept the disappointment to a low simmer. But it was released during the period when studios were just beginning to adopt the anamorphic or "enhanced for widescreen" format. Unfortunately, <I>Titanic</I> was not a beneficiary of that superior technology. As ordinary letterbox transfers go, it was among the better ones. But it wasn't what it should have been.

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