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Kim Wilson

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Kim Wilson Posted: Oct 06, 2011 6 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $250 At A Glance: 5.1-channel, 3D compatible • iPod/iPhone & Bluetooth compatible with optional adapters • Compressed Music Enhancer restores frequency response of MP3s

The Yamaha RX-V371 offers some excellent features for an entry-level A/V receiver. To keep the cost down, however, there are significant compromises, such as the lack of an onscreen display and auto calibration for an easier and faster setup. Also, spring-loaded speaker terminals for the center and surround channels prevent the use of higher-end cables. Once it is set up, the unit's sonic performance is good—in fact, surprisingly good for an AVR at this price point.

Filed under
Kim Wilson Posted: Sep 29, 2011 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $229 At A Glance: Low cost • 3D passthrough • Supports all current audio codecs • No onscreen display, networking, auto calibration, video upconversion • Spring-loaded speaker terminals

The audio and video performance of the Sony STR-DH520 is more than acceptable, especially given it's price and ability to pass 3D content, decode all current audio codecs, and deliver a full seven channels of amplification. However, setup and operation are limited by the features it lacks. If you can live with only five channels, there are other choices that offer similar performance, 3D compatibility, an on-screen display, and auto calibration. Step into the $400 price range and you will find increased value compared with the STR-DH520.

Kim Wilson Posted: Sep 16, 2011 0 comments
Photos by Michael Graydon Pictures

As we've demonstrated so many times, Home Theater isn’t just about the A/V products; it's about the entire design. This month's theater is an example of a project starting from the interior design and worked its way out from there. The homeowner hired renowned Robyn Clark from Toronto, Canada, to handle the classic-contemporary décor throughout the house, which was then translated into the design of the home theater and a special music lounge.

Kim Wilson Posted: Sep 06, 2011 3 comments
Treat your room right, and it’ll treat you the same.

If you’re serious about your home theater, you’ve probably spent a lot of time agonizing over what gear to buy. But what about the room itself? Even with extremely high-end gear, you can’t achieve optimum audio performance without paying attention to the acoustics. Without room treatment, expensive speakers can sound awful, but even moderately priced speakers in a properly treated room can sound terrific. Some experts even say the speaker system and electronics contribute only 50 percent to your system’s overall sonics—with the room responsible for the other 50 percent. If you’re not factoring in acoustics, your system might sound only half as good as it could—and should.

Kim Wilson Posted: Aug 15, 2011 3 comments

Performance
Value
Build Quality
Price: $799 At A Glance: Exceptional sonic performance for the price • Coherent soundfield • Good fit for small rooms • Extreme volume can cause distortion • Lacks depth and punch of larger systems

The ProCinema 600 5.1 speaker system is small, compact, and unobtrusive, capable of blending into any environment. This sub-$1k system effortlessly provides a highly coherent surround field in a small room without degrading the sound quality, even at relatively high volumes. Using patented technology, the system delivers surprisingly good bass and midrange for a sat/sub system. Yes, it lacks the sheer depth, high impact, and fine details of more expensive systems with larger drivers and enclosures. But for basic home theaters in multi-purpose spaces, it not only gets the job done, it performs quite admirably for its size and cost.

Kim Wilson Posted: Jun 07, 2011 0 comments
We marvel at how thin flat panel TVs have gotten and it stands to reason that these lighter, thinner sets would usher in a new wave of mounts and lifts. Naturally, mounts have gotten smaller and lighter offering some unique designs that were not possible with previous generation sets. Lifts conceal your TV when you are not using it, offering even greater creativity and integration into your decor. These eight models will hold, lift, tilt and swivel your TV for optimum viewing in any location.
Kim Wilson Posted: Jun 01, 2011 1 comments
You feel like you are walking into someone's home but this is actually a systems integrator's Experience Center. These recreations of a modern living room, dining room, bar and dedicated theater demonstrate to customers all the technologies that are possible from automated integration that is controlled by an Apple iPad to cabinets with lifts that hide your TV when not in use.
Kim Wilson Posted: May 11, 2011 1 comments
Years in the consumer electronics industry, this homeowner was able to design, build and install this incredibly detailed theater with all the latest bells and whistles. If this is the future capability of DIY theaters than his Star Trek inspired theme is certainly appropriate.
Kim Wilson Posted: Apr 25, 2011 2 comments
Buying furniture for your AV components and HDTV can seem like a daunting task with all the choices available and like any type of furniture there are all types of styles, designs and sizes. Here are six of our picks for AV furniture that fit a variety of styles and budgets.
Kim Wilson Posted: Apr 18, 2011 1 comments
Coming up with a unique, never seen, theater design takes some creative genius, such as this one-off theater that is both eye-catching and surreal. The theater walls are custom printed fabric panels from photographed images of the Jersey Shore, creating the effect that the theater is in the middle of the beach.

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