Peter Pachal

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

Take a good look at that rack (the one above, wise guy). Notice anything missing? If you said shelves, you'd be wrong - Soundations F1 equipment racks ($949 in black, blue, or red, $999 in cherry) don't need any. Instead, adjustable "fingers" support your gear while preventing it from vibrating at resonant frequencies.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

If you haven't made the jump to HDTV yet, here's a great reason to get with the program: the very affordable Dish Network ViP622 HD satellite receiver/DVR ($299). Not only will this magic box let you tune into HD shows (satellite and off-air), but it also packs a hefty hard disk for recording up to 25 hours of them (or 180 hours in standard-def).

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

You hear a lot about how good speakers look on a wall. What you don't hear is that wall mounting can affect a speaker's performance. Good thing the PSB VisionSound VS300 speakers (center and front, $749 apiece) have special circuitry to compensate for any ill effects (a switch defeats it for off-wall mounting).

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

0604_new_elan_xm_200Can't get enough satellite radio? The Elan XM-R3 XM radio tuner ($1,550) was made just for you. The rack-mountable unit has a trio of XM tuners onboard so you can stream separate XM channels to three different rooms in your house simultaneously.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 02, 2006 0 comments

You've gotta wonder what Freud would say about all these TV makers trying to outdo each other with the biggest screen. Then again, you also have to admit that an 80-inch plasma TV is never just an 80-inch plasma TV - not when it's the biggest you can get. Taking plasma into the 80s is the (holy crap!) $150,000 Samsung HP-R8082, whose screen has 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 02, 2006 0 comments

Sure, the Onkyo CS-V720 minisystem ($400) is willing and able to serve as a DVD/CD player, but this sleek little number doesn't merely spin discs. It's also XM radio-ready, which means that when you get an XM Connect & Play antenna ($20) and a subscription to the satellite service ($12.95 a month), 160 channels of music, sports, news, and more will be at your fingertips.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 07, 2006 0 comments

Sony has re-established itself as a visionary TV maker with its SXRD models (see "Editors' Choice"), a variation of the difficult-to-manufacture LCoS technology. The first SXRD front projector, the Qualia 004, cost about $30,000.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 07, 2006 0 comments

For the most part, DVD players have migrated to the two ends of the price spectrum: no-frills players that cost less than a pepper steak, and mega-high-end machines with a list of processors so long it's like browsing the Tokyo phone book. But Harman Kardon is hanging onto the middle ground with the DVD 47 ($399).

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 06, 2006 0 comments

Artison is all about melding speakers with home décor. No surprise, then, that it's now offering an in-wall surround speaker, the LRS-IW ($700 a pair). But this model has a couple of notable twists. First, it has a speaker enclosure that mounts inside the wall, so the wall cavity won't screw up its sound.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 05, 2006 0 comments

Even if you don't see the dock connector on the side, one look at the gloss-white finish of Kensington's SX 2000 speaker ($160) will tell you that it has to be an iPod something or other. Fitting any iPod with a dock connector, the 16-inch-wide transportable speaker uses NXT SurfaceSound technology, which produces sound by vibrating a flat panel.

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