Here's the thing about a sagging world economy, it puts a damper on the number of yachts being sold. Or in this case, the yachts of the plasma TV world. Pioneer, recognized by all as manufacturing the best plasma TV, at a price that naturally reflects its quality, is throwing in the towel, if <a href="http://forums.cnet.com/5208-7596_102-0.html?forumID=60&threadID=329158&m... target="new">this report</a> is to be believed. The Kuro line of plasma TVs is just a production run away from coming to a close and the planned switch to Panasonic glass to reduce cost is now also falling by the wayside.
Nope – this isn't another story about the Feb 17th analog cut-off designed to incite people living under a rock for the last few years into vigilante justice. Heck, I'm just as guilty of inaction as anyone else, because I still have no plans for that 13" glow box sitting on my kitchen counter (besides the set of ear plugs I keep in the night stand to block out Gina's screams when she goes down to make coffee and turns on the TV on that infamous day.) I was supposed to handle it. But like everyone else, I plan on taking no personal responsibility and will simply blame the gooberment.
Sure they look a little too “take me to your leader” for some folks, but maybe that's appropriate, because the sound from the Micropod SE speakers from <a href=" http://www.scandyna-speakers.com/" target="new">scandyna</a> is out of this world. These two-way speakers perch fairly discretely on my office credenza, doing something the 25 year-old JVC SW/AM/FM radio and a Grundig portable were never able to do – bring fine tunes (or is that iTunes?) into my office. Of course, you'll need a way to hook your iPod to the speakers and for this scandyna provides "the dock," as they state in their capital-letter-averse terminology.
I'll admit, when Circuit City proposed, and then shoddily implemented, something called <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX_(Digital_Video_Express)" target="new">Divx</a>, as an alternative to the just born and still struggling DVD format, I did wish things upon them that only Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent could have imagined. You know, things like "May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your shorts." Divx discs were designed around the rental model, except without the hassle of a return. Buy them for $4 and you could watch them for 48 hours after the first play. You could buy a few more days at a later date, or convert them to "silver" for some other higher price. In the end though, they would be unplayable landfill. Of course such Tom Foolery required a dedicated Divx player which, if you were foolish enough to buy one, would now join the discs at the landfill. I've never seen such corporate "hey-that's-a-great-idea-nah-forget-it"-ism before. In about six months, Divx had come and gone.
I get plenty of requests for AV advice from friends and acquaintances. Most of it comes from people who are really into the hobby. Often, these people already have a specific product in mind, and it's almost like they're testing me. Other folk really want you to agree with them in going with their wallet and picking up a cheap plasma at Costco because, hey, it's cheap. Well, sadly, I am not a walking talking dictionary. My first line of defense is to tell them they should check out the Buyer Guides on our web site(s). This, to many, strongly resembles work. I should do it for them and (sigh) I often do.
Back in the days when CRT front projectors roamed the earth, any serious home theater required a separate surround processor and amplifier. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon to find a Tri-Amplisauri from Parasound, Proceed, and others covering those three all-important front channels. Of course, technology has advanced significantly in the past decade. These days, unless you have some very special needs, you can’t go wrong with today’s powerful and reasonably priced one-piece receivers. Many have more amplified channels than Hillary Clinton has pant suits. Rotel makes a number of A/V receivers. I even reviewed one for UltimateAVmag.com a few years ago. But the separates I reviewed here are not simply a case of cutting the baby in half. This here is a new species.
Denver is one of the best cities on the planet, if you ask me. I'll really miss not coming here next year when CEDIA moves to Hot Lanta. Except for the 45-minute ride from the airport, Denver is completely convention-friendly. Transportation is cheap or free (the 16th Street Shuttle) and abundant. The weather, at least in early September, is nearly ideal. The commercial convention district is pregnant with possibilities, from restaurants to record stores, to absorb any free time your editor may not know you have. Hell, even the bums here are nice!
Both the Auditor M and the Cremona M are part of the Cremona series characterized by their grill cloth which consists of fabric like strings. $5,500-$6,000 for the Center and $5,895/pr for the Auditor M.