Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 07, 2004 0 comments

TacT is a company with a mission. Their amps are all digital, and their 2-channel and AV preamplifier-processors are dedicated to solving the single biggest puzzle in home audio reproduction: the effect of the room.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 18, 2004 0 comments

CEATEC stands for Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, and is the largest Asian exhibition for the communications, information, and imaging fields&mdash;roughly equivalent to a Japanese CES. I recently had the opportunity to visit CEATEC Japan 2004 courtesy of Panasonic, which flew journalists from all over the world to Japan not only to visit the show, but also to attend a kickoff meeting for the Blu-ray Disc Association (see the <A HREF="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/news/101804bda">accompanying story</A>), find out more about Panasonic's products and future plans, and tour some of their Japanese facilities.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 18, 2004 0 comments

The first meeting of the new Blu-ray Disc Association, or BDA, a larger, more formally organized version of the original Blu-ray Disc Founders group, was held in Tokyo, Japan on October 4, 2004. It was formed to promote the Blu-ray format and finalize its technical standards.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 17, 2004 0 comments

I was mighty impressed by BenQ's PE8700 DLP projector, reviewed in the June 2004 UAV. Now its replacement, the PE8700+, has been launched, and it's no letdown. True, the price has gone up a couple of big ones over the PE8700's closeout price of $6000. But in compensation, the new model gives you the new Texas Instruments 16:9 DMD, the HD2+.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 17, 2004 0 comments

Despite the encroachment of progressive-scan component and DVI outputs from DVD players, and HD video displays with their own built-in deinterlacing and scaling, there is still a market for standalone video processors. They provide flexible switching. Many will convert inputs of all flavors to a single output format. And most CRT projectors still need a separate processor to upconvert standard-definition sources.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 15, 2004 0 comments

Two years ago, when I visited the B&W facilities in Worthing, England, I heard a demonstration of that company's then-new flagship, the Signature 800 ($16,000/pair). I salivated at the prospect of reviewing a home theater package anchored by these impressive speakers, but ultimately put off requesting them in favor of slightly more manageable and affordable designs.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 15, 2004 0 comments

At first glance, Pioneer's new flagship universal DVD player bears a close physical resemblance to its predecessor, the DV-47Ai. And like the earlier model, the new DV-59AVi also includes two i.LINK (IEEE1394) Advanced Resolution Digital Audio Interfaces. These are designed to carry the digital DVD-Audio and SACD high-resolution audio datastreams to select Pioneer receivers&mdash;and, perhaps, to other IEEE1394-equipped products, though cross-manufacturer compatibility is not guaranteed.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 15, 2004 0 comments

"Universal" DVD players are the new hot item for audiophiles who want it all. They still serve a niche market, but even casual buyers are beginning to run into them in Wal-Mart. One manufacturer, Toshiba, has even broken the $200 price barrier with two new models that were expected to be on dealers' shelves as we went to print. I'd be surprised if other companies didn't soon follow suit.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 27, 2004 0 comments

<B><I>Star Wars IV: A New Hope</I></B><BR>
<I>Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness. Directed by George Lucas. 123minutes. 1977 and 2004. </I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 30, 2004 0 comments

Of the several good test DVDs available for optimizing the audio and video performance of a home theater system, the best known are <I>Digital Video Essentials</I> and the <I>Avia Guide to Home Theater</I>. Either will guide a consumer, step by step if necessary, to get the most from his or her equipment, particularly the video. In fact, most serious videophiles probably own both DVDs, along with a copy of DVE's predecessor, <I>Video Essentials</I>.

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