Most new A/V trends are slow out of the gate. It seemed like forever before high-definition TV got off the ground, and audio formats like DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD are still struggling for recognition. By contrast, radical advances in computer technology seem to take the world by storm at least once a year. First there was the Web, which bleary-eyed users accessed via sluggish dial-up modems.
Photos by Tony Cordoza The good old cathode-ray tube (CRT) is up against some stiff competition these days. Leading the charge are sexy flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs that can be mounted on the wall like a picture.
Photos by Tony Cordoza You've got to give credit to the guy who invented the six-pack. What a concept: six bottles, all strapped together in a bundle that can be easily toted from your local 7-11 to your fridge. Although not as portable as a bunch of brewskis, many home theater speaker systems adhere to a similar model.
Photos by Tony Cordoza With the popularity of flat-panel TVs exploding and companies straining to create speakers that will mate with the unobtrusive sets, it seems like the era of hulking home theater gear - towering speakers, massive subwoofers, video projectors hovering above your head like an F-15 - is over.
The following reviews appeared as "Reference DVD" features in the Movies section of Sound & Vision. Out of the 22 discs chosen for their exceptional audio and video from September 2000 through July/August 2003, I consider these five the standouts. BLUE CRUSH Universal
You hear a lot of buzz lately about how inexpensive digital TVs have become. Prices for big-screen rear-projection TVs (RPTVs) have leveled off to the point where even high-definition models cost about what analog RPTVs cost before TV started to go digital.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Cutting-edge tech your thing? Flat-panel plasma TVs are where the action is! Over the past few years, the image quality of these space-saving sets has improved tremendously, and prices have moved steadily downward.
Illustration by Turnstyle Imaging There was a time during television's black-and-white era when Andy Griffith's wholesome face dominated the airwaves, entire families dined in front of the tube with TV dinners balanced on their laps, and commercials hawked tasty, refreshing cigarettes. Hooking up your TV back then was easy.