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David Vaughn Posted: May 25, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/taken.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>One of the best action movies I've seen in a long time offers a great picture and kick-ass audio. The AVC encode reveals phenomenal shadow detail and offers a razor-sharp image. The audio is just as impressive with an enveloping surround stage, first-rate frequency response, and pervasive ambience.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 20, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/taken.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is an ex-CIA agent trying to reestablish a relationship with his 17-year-old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). Against his better judgment, he bows to pressure from his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) and signs a release enabling her to spend the summer in France. She's not even in country for 24 hours when she's kidnapped and sold into a slavery/prostitution ring. Utilizing his special skills, he tracks down her kidnappers and metes out justice in order to rescue his daughter.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 20, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/trek6.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Since <i>Star Trek</i>'s debut on NBC in 1966, it has become one of the most indelible franchises in entertainment history. Although the original series only lasted three years on network TV, Roddenberry's universe spawned five more TV shows&#151;<i>The Animated Series</i>, <i>The Next Generation</i>, <i>Deep Space Nine</i>, <i>Voyager</i>, and <i>Enterprise</i>&#151;and 11 feature films, the most recent being the wildly successful reboot by J.J. Abrams.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 19, 2009 Published: May 20, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/trueblood.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>I didn't connect with this HBO original series based on the books by Charlaine Harris, but the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is to die for. The score features a full-bodied sound, the dynamic range is impressive, and the creative sound design utilizes every speaker in the room. Quiet passages reveal crickets chirping, and dialog is never strained. The video is solid, but I'm focusing on the audio for this Ultimate Demo.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 19, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/trueblood.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is a sweet and innocent waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana, who has the ability to read minds. When we first meet her, she has difficulty tuning out her various customers and their crude thoughts, but when Bill Compton enters the restaurant one night, she's instantly attracted to him for one reason&#151;she can't hear his thoughts because he's a vampire, and for once in her life, she can get through a date without knowing how badly the guy wants to sleep with her.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 15, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/TOS1.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Even older films and TV shows can look great on Blu-ray, and Season One of <i>Star Trek</i> is a perfect example. Of course, the series was broadcast in standard definition, but it was shot on 35mm film, which has far more resolution than even HDTV. Paramount remastered the Blu-ray discs from the film prints, allowing them to reveal the cheesy sets and props in excruciating detail. By contrast, the audio wasn't all that great to begin with, and there's not much that can be done about it, so these discs are video demos only.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 15, 2009 0 comments
Every Pixar release so far has looked outstanding on Blu-ray, and A Bug's Life is the perfect movie to debut our new Ultimate Demo series. The image has impeccable detail in both foregrounds and backgrounds to show off your display's capabilities, and the audio is just as impressive in both scenes highlighted below.

Early in the film, the grasshoppers, led by Hopper, arrive at the ant hill for their food offering. When they can't find it, they invade the hill to confront the queen.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 14, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/paycheck.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Michael Jennings (Ben Affleck) is a genius engineer who has his memory erased after every project to keep the clandestine projects he works on secret. When an old friend offers him a huge paycheck in exchange for three years of his life, Michael reluctantly agrees. But when he's finished with the project, instead of the $90 million promised, he's left with a group of unrelated objects as clues to discover the truth about the previous three years.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 14, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/machinist.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Trevor Reznick (Christian Bale) hasn't slept in a year, and when we first meet him, he's in a darkened bathroom staring into a mirror looking like a man who's been to hell and back&#151;because he has. Why is he so tormented and why can't he get any sleep?

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David Vaughn Posted: May 14, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/batman20.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>As a young boy, Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) witnessed the murder of his parents in Gotham City. As he matures into a man, criminals begin to rule the streets of his beloved city, and the only way to fight back is to become Batman, a vigilante hell-bent for revenge.

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