Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 03, 2002 0 comments

Until recently, the beer-budget options available for equipping a home theater with a projection system were severely limited. You either bought used or you settled for a projector designed primarily to serve the business market. Both approaches saved money, but neither was ideal. You can luck out buying used gear—a car holds its value far longer than a video projector—but you can also get burned. A business projector can perform reasonably well at home, but it won't be optimized for home applications and often lacks important features, such as full control of aspect ratio.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 19, 2002 0 comments

<I>Voices of Michael J. Fox, James Garner, Corey Burton, Claudia Christian, Phil Morris, Don Novello, Leonard Nimoy, John Mahoney, Jacqueline Obradors, Florence Stanley, David Ogden Stiers, Cree Summer, Jim Varney. Directed by Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS (English), Dolby Surround 2.0 (French). Two DVDs. 95 minutes. 2001. Walt Disney Home Video 23835. PG. $39.95.</I>

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 13, 2002 0 comments

When I reviewed Toshiba's TW40X81, the smallest (40-inch) RPTV in Toshiba's first full line of HDTV-ready sets, I raved about its picture quality (SGHT, March/April 2000). I was so taken with it, in fact, that I bought the review sample. I still use it, but a lot of video displays have bobbed under the bridge since then, and Toshiba is now two generations beyond that earlier design. The company's smallest rear-projection set is now the 42-inch-diagonal 42H81. But the 50H81, at 50 diagonal inches, is only slightly more expensive, and has the advantage of a significantly larger picture in a still (relatively) manageable cabinet. Like all HDTV-ready sets, it can display hi-def broadcasts, but only with an optional, outboard HD tuner.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 05, 2002 0 comments

<I>Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Michael Biehn, Powers Booth, Robert Burke, Dana Delaney, Sam Elliott, Stephen Lang, Joanna Pacula, Bill Paxton, Jason Priestly, Michael Rooker, Jon Tenney, Billy Zane, Charlton Heston; narrated by Robert Mitchum. Directed by George P. Cosmatos. Aspect ratio: 2.35 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, THX. Two DVDs. 134 minutes. 1993. Touchstone Home Video 23118. R. $29.99.</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 14, 2002 0 comments

<I>Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Brendan Gleeson, William Hurt. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Surround (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (French). Two DVDs. 145 minutes. 2001. DreamWorks Home Entertainment 89567. PG-13. $29.99.</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 24, 2002 0 comments

<I>Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Alec Guinness, Tom Courtenay, Siobhan McKenna, Ralph Richardson, Rita Tushingham. Directed by David Lean. Aspect ratio: 2.35 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French). Two discs. 200 minutes. 1965. Warner Home Video 6557. PG-13. $29.98.</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 17, 2002 0 comments

<I>William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Majel Barrett, Persis Khambatta, Steven Collins. Directed by Robert Wise. Aspect ratio: 2.35 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0. 136 minutes. 1979. Paramount Home Video 08858. PG. $29.99.</I>

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 13, 2002 0 comments

Veteran readers of <I>Stereophile Guide to Home Theater</I> and <I>Stereophile</I> will know that my longtime reference speaker for 2-channel playback has been the <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com//551/">Energy Veritas V2.8</A>&mdash;it's capable of dominating a room in a way that few other speakers in its price range can. For years now at trade shows, I've badgered Energy to produce a suitable center-channel and surrounds, but what Energy has had in the works the last few years were not additional models to fill out a home-theater setup based on the V2.8, but a complete new Veritas line. Everything about the current flagship of that updated and expanded range, the Veritas V2.4&mdash;from drivers to cabinet&mdash;is new, and many of those new developments are carried over to the full Veritas line.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 10, 2002 0 comments

<I>Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey. Directed by Richard Rush. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital Surround EX, DTS-ES, THX. Two discs. 130 minutes. 1979. Anchor Bay Entertainment 04526. R. $34.98.</I>

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 24, 2002 0 comments

Kenwood's new Sovereign line features three DVD players. The DV-5700, a 5-disc carousel model, is compatible with most consumer-format 5-inch optical discs: DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, CD, and MP3. SACD is the most obvious omission, but not much else is left out. There are onboard Dolby Digital and DTS decoders for that shrinking group of consumers without such decoders in their surround processors or A/V receivers.

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