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.
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.
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.
Competition in the computer business has heated up over the past few years, with companies slashing prices to the bone in order to move product. You can now get a PC with a speedy processor and huge hard drive for only $399, and they'll undoubtedly cost less than that by this time next year. What's a forward-thinking computer company to do?
(Photos by Tony Cordoza) Sometimes just watching TV isn't enough. There I am, sunk deep into the couch, remote in hand, when a Happy Days episode comes on. Suddenly, I'm seized by a fierce desire to know as many details as possible about Pat Morita, the actor who plays Arnold, owner of the drive-in restaurant where Potsy and his posse hang out.
Roaming the packed halls of CES 2003, I'm not surprised to see a continuation of many of last year's video trends. Flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs are everywhere. Tube-type HDTVs, though upstaged by their slim, wall-hanging cousins, are still around and selling at increasingly attractive prices.
When Apple introduced its lower-priced line of iMacs in 1998, it made a big step toward its goal of getting Macintosh computers in the hands of a wider range of users. The line has undergone a number of changes since then, with new iMacs sporting everything from psychedelic candy-color cases to powerful built-in video editing capabilities.