The Big Picture

Sort By:  Post Date TitlePublish Date
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 27, 2012  |  14 comments
I really enjoy watching the Academy Awards show, the 84th edition of which was held last night and broadcast to an audience of some 40 million viewers. The high-def image is beautiful, the staging is lavish, the music is live, and Jennifer Lopez always looks gorgeous. But the main reason I watch is that movies are the driving force behind home theater, and the Oscars are one of the driving forces behind movies.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 21, 2012  |  2 comments
As a musician, I've played for a number of modern-dance performances and classes, including classes taught by members of the renowned Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. So when I learned that Wim Wenders, director of Buena Vista Social Club, made a 3D movie about the late modern-dance choreographer Pina Bausch and her Tanztheater Wuppertal troupe, I had to check it out—especially since Pina has been nominated for an Academy Award as the best documentary feature of 2011.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 16, 2012  |  26 comments
Last night, I saw Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D—RealD, not Imax, which was showing Journey 2: The Mysterious Island instead. That Dwayne Johnson vehicle looks pretty bad from the trailers I've seen, but I bet the 3D is better than it is in the new Star Wars release.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 12, 2011  |  6 comments
Last weekend, I had the honor and privilege—not to mention the great pleasure—of guest hosting Leo Laporte's nationally syndicated radio show, The Tech Guy, while Leo was attending a conference called Le Web in Paris, France, and hobnobbing with the likes of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. I answered call-in questions about home theater for three hours on Saturday and again on Sunday for a listening audience of around a million! I also had a couple of very interesting guests on the show, including Oscar- and Emmy-winning composer Michael Giacchino, whose credits include Lost, Alias, Up, Star Trek, and Super 8 among many others, and film-restoration expert Grover Crisp, who's currently working on Lawrence of Arabia for theatrical and Blu-ray release.

Not only that, I answered more questions from the chat room during the commercial and news breaks, and it was all captured on high-quality video by the incredibly talented crew of TWiT, Leo's podcast network. The video of both days is available right here, so please enjoy this double dose of home theater geeky goodness!

Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 09, 2011  |  23 comments
With so many products among our reviews that merit Top Picks status, I'd like to share with you my personal favorites from 2011. Of course, all of our Top Picks are worthy of your serious consideration, but these are the ones I'd buy if I was shopping for home-theater products in the entry-level, midrange, and high-end price ranges.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 17, 2011  |  0 comments
The daily deluge of news into my inbox included a very sad item yesterday. Insight Media, a display-industry analysis firm, reported that Samsung will not be making so-called "active retarder" 3D LCD TVs in collaboration with RealD. This approach places an active polarization-switching layer over the LCD layer, much like the polarization switcher placed in front of a projector lens in a commercial RealD theater. The viewer wears standard passive glasses, and the TV quickly alternates the polarization in sync with the alternating left and right images on the screen.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 13, 2011  |  4 comments
When you go to your local cineplex to catch a 3D movie, you are provided with glasses that isolate the left and right images for the corresponding eyes. I always assumed that the theater bought these glasses, resulting in higher ticket prices and an admonition to toss them into a bin on the way out so they can be reused. But Sony Pictures' announcement two weeks ago that, in May 2012, it will stop providing theaters with RealD glasses—which are used in the majority of commercial 3D presentations—belied that assumption.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 06, 2011  |  8 comments
A mere six weeks after stepping down as CEO of Apple and one day after the introduction of the latest iPhone, Steve Jobs passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His incredible, indelible legacy will be discussed endlessly on TV, on radio, and online in the coming days, and I won't try to summarize it here. Instead, I'd like to share the impact his work has had on my life, both personally and professionally.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 29, 2011  |  4 comments
A few months ago, Netflix separated the subscription plans—and fees—for its disc-by-mail and streaming services, essentially doubling the cost for those who want both. This caused the company to lose as many as a million customers, and its stock price plummeted. So how did Netflix try to salvage the situation? It renamed the disc-rental business, which is now called Qwikster. If you subscribe to both streaming and disc-by-mail, you'll have to go to two different websites, and you'll pay two different bills.

This move has most folks scratching their head, and it further fuels the anger of those who objected to the original rate hike, which could certainly lead to more customer defections. What was Netflix thinking?

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 10, 2011  |  8 comments
It's been almost 30 years since Steven Spielberg brought tears to the eyes of moviegoers with E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. Now, J.J. Abrams tells a very similar story for a new generation in Super 8, which opens today. This movie is being shown in 2D only, and like X-Men: First Class, I didn't miss 3D at all.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 09, 2011  |  0 comments

In addition to my own Home Theater Geeks podcast, I'm an occassional guest on Thirsty Thursday Tech, a podcast with Stephen Heywood and Slick from The Tech Buzz. Check it out!

Run time: 1:00:35

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 07, 2011  |  6 comments
On Sunday, my wife and I saw X-Men: First Class at the Pacific Theaters Glendale 18 in Glendale, CA. It was the first film presentation I've seen in a while, and I was a bit surprised that this movie is not being offered in 3D at all. And you know what? I didn't miss it at all.
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 27, 2011  |  1 comments
I know I'm a bit late to this particular party, but I had to share some of my observations about Thor, the latest movie adaptation of a Marvel comic-book hero. I actually saw it twice in 3D—once at an ArcLight theater with Xpand active-shutter glasses and again at an Imax theater with passive-polarized glasses.
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 27, 2011  |  1 comments
At SID 2011, LG Display had an interesting demo in its booth—a series of flat panels of different sizes and resolutions to show how these two parameters are related. To maintain a given amount of detail as the screen size increases, so must the resolution, even as the number of pixels per inch decreases. The two largest screens have 4K resolution, while the two smallest are 720p (roughly 1K). I was unable to find out why they had such different color profiles.
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 26, 2011  |  7 comments
After the Samsung reviewers' workshop at DreamWorks Animation last week (see my report here), we were treated to a preview screening of Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D. However, we were instructed not to publish anything about the movie until it opened on May 26—that is, today.