A motherload of great products passed through the February/March 2006 issue, resulting in six adds to The List. Among them are Pioneer's 50-inch Elite plasma, JVC's new 70-inch HD-ILA rear projector, and Control 4's affordable whole-house music/automation system.
This month, Denon's no-holds-barred DVD-5910 replaces the DVD-3910 as our pick for the ultimate DVD player (at least till introduction of an HD disc format). We've also listed a trio of XM2go portables from Pioneer, Tao, and Delphi as well as the new Xbox 360 game console. As for deletions: Pioneer and Denon have replaced their PDP-4350HD plasma and AVR-3805 receiver, respectively.
This month our nod for the best video recorder goes to Pioneer's DVR-633H-S hard-drive/DVD combo, which knocks off the Lite-On LVW-5045. We've added Sony's 50-inch SXRD HDTV, but RCA's $8,000 Profiles 720 DLP set drops out despite its 7-inch depth - it can't compete with $4,000 1080p DLPs.
Samsung The latest DLP big screens from Samsung are led by the HLR5688W, which measures 56 inches (diagonal) and boasts a native resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Yep, that's enough for ultra-high 1080p (progressive-scan) resolution, folks.
PioneerEvery listening room has its own shape, size, and furniture - all of which affect sound. With the supplied microphone, Pioneer's thrifty VSX-815 receiver will automatically adjust its five-band equalizer to customize sound to best match your digs.
The Consumer Electronics Show is all about firsts, but some of this year's bordered on the freakish. Samsung unveiled a flat-panel TV with a 102-inch screen - that works out to 31 square feet of plasma real estate. Or how about $75,000 for LG's 71-inch plasma set?
Toshiba Connect Toshiba's RD-XS52 DVD/hard-disk recorder to your TV by its digital HDMI output, and it'll upconvert standard-def video from TV programs, DVDs, and even camcorder footage to the 1080i or 720p HDTV formats.
When we select gear to review at Sound & Vision, we shy away from stuff that seems inferior or merely mimics what's already available. We look for products that represent an important trend or new development - whether a technological breakthrough, a leap in performance, or a bold design statement.