My first encounter with the BeoLab 5 was on an international audio-press tour of the Bang & Olufsen factory in Streuer, Denmark. It's out in quiet, flat, farm country something like the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. But our introduction was anything but staid.
Photos by Tony Cordoza As much as we'd all like to own a flagship model receiver, they aren't for everybody. Though well equipped and high powered, they tend to be massive and extremely expensive. If you set your sights just a little bit lower - especially when it comes to power - you can get an awful lot of receiver for substantially less money.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Anyone interested in an ultra easy-to-set-up home theater system usually has only one recourse: a system-in-a-box, comprising a combination DVD player and A/V receiver, five satellite speakers, and an optimistically designated "subwoofer." The weakest links in most of these systems are generally the speakers.
Photos by Tony Cordoza Just when you thought you had mastered the intricacies of video connectivity-having sorted out composite video, S-video, and the two flavors of component video (interlaced and progressive-scan)-V Inc.'s Bravo D1 comes along to make life complicated again.
Most of the Samsung DVD players we've tested have had something "different" about them. There were, for example, a couple of models with Nuon game-playing capability, and the last one we looked at could reproduce still pictures stored on Memory Stick flash-memory cards.
This CES saw the official introduction of what used to be called the IBOC (in-Band, on-channel) terrestrial digital radio system, freshly renamed HD Radio (for high-definition) by its promotor, iBiquity.
Finding a product that performs better than its price would lead you to expect is always a pleasure for a reviewer. Toshiba's SD-4800 is just such a product-a relatively inexpensive DVD player that's packed with all the latest features. For example, it plays DVD-Audio discs through its multichannel analog outputs, which also serve for Dolby Digital playback.
Within seconds of firing up Miramax's DVD release of the classic Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night, I knew that the Fab Four had been deep-sixed by the new set's producers. The image quality is excellent-the movie appears for the first time in a widescreen (1.66:1) video transfer-but the music is another story.