|  Nov 17, 2005  |  0 comments

Intrigue in the format war continued Wednesday with the Blu-ray Disc group announcing that while it would allow mandatory managed copy, it would not (for now) adopt iHD-based interactivity. Hewlett-Packard (HP) had officially requested that the Blu-ray group incorporate both technologies, which are supported by Toshiba's HD DVD format and are key reasons that Microsoft and Intel have thus far supported HD DVD and not Blu-ray Disc.

Chris Lewis  |  Nov 17, 2005  |  0 comments
A new page—or is it the first page—in the annals of Japanese-Danish collaboration.

It's a true testament to the international character of home theater, circa 2005, that so many of our Spotlight Systems include equipment from different countries—which usually provides a convenient opening angle in the process. Some of these worldly connections have been easier to make than others, and I already thought I was stretching things in our August 2005 issue by trying to come up with a compelling storyline for England and Japan. This time, I'm officially stumped. If you can come up with an introduction-worthy link between Japan and Denmark, then consider yourself truly educated in world affairs. I certainly like to imagine a band of Vikings and a band of Samurai trading blows on the battlefield, but, somehow, I don't think that ever happened. It's possible that these two countries squared off on a soccer field at some point, but I'd be the last person to know about that. Maybe this is finally a sign that I should stay more focused on what we're all really here for anyway—what these countries do when they get together in the listening room. Point taken.

Chris Lewis  |  Nov 17, 2005  |  0 comments
A fresh look at form and function.

One thing you can't say about speaker designers and manufacturers is that they haven't been busy over the last 10 to 15 years making drastic changes to the standard speaker form. There may have never been another period like it in the annals of speakerdom. What you can debate, however, is what the driving force for all of this change has been. It strikes me that a good portion of it has been aesthetically and ergonomically motivated, and far less of it has been geared toward making speakers sound better. Now don't get me wrong—I'm not here to trash flat panels, in-walls, wireless speakers, or anything else. Some of these designs can sound very good, despite their inherent compromises, and they are getting better as they mature. They all have their purposes, and many of them have well served people who may not otherwise be interested in speakers outside of those in their televisions, or those folks who aren't willing to give up floor space to accommodate speakers. But special congratulations must be given to those speaker makers who, either through new technologies and designs or not, are actively trying to improve the sound quality of such designs. This quest is as important now as it has ever been.

Fred Manteghian  |  Nov 17, 2005  |  0 comments

2005 is a banner year for air travel for me. I’ve flown to Indianapolis for CEDIA, California for a cousin’s wedding and Florida four times for vacations and business. I know, I’m hardly a jet-setter or one of many people I meet in my travels who earn my sympathy for being away from home more than they’re not, but still, for <i>me</i>? A banner year.

Michael Antonoff  |  Nov 16, 2005  |  0 comments

Not too long ago, if you wanted to record an HDTV program, you had to take a quaint step back in time and use a VCR - a digital VCR, but still a VCR. Today, there are a number of hard-disk options for recording HD, but if you want to save the program so it won't be accidentally erased from the hard drive, you have to resort to - you guessed it - a VCR.

John Sciacca  |  Nov 16, 2005  |  0 comments

By nature, we're attracted to cool stuff, and A/V cabinetry usually isn't that cool. When somebody says, "Check out that rack!," component storage isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But your system needs to have a place to call home. Before deciding where you're going to put your gear, here are some things to consider.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Nov 15, 2005  |  0 comments
In a turn of events that’s as bizarre as it is disturbing, a major music label’s overzealous attempt to protect its content has widened the great divide that increasingly separates the music industry from consumers. Sony BMG’s boneheaded misuse of hacker technology has potentially compromised the security of millions of PCs, inspired a bunch of computer viruses, provoked class-action lawsuits, caused a firestorm of protest in online forums, and even attracted veiled criticism from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 15, 2005  |  0 comments
Affordable bass-in quantity with quality.

For many years, European speakers-especially bookshelf models-have had the reputation for their inability to produce the quantity of bass that the majority of ears on this continent like to hear. Canton's AS subwoofer line-a range of powered subs aimed at providing affordable, yet substantial bass response to the sector of masses seeking better-than-average performance-ought to help lay that old notion to rest for good.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 14, 2005  |  0 comments
Perhaps you're thinking, "Hey, that new Xbox 360 looks pretty hot," along with the thought, "Man, how many remote controls do I need to figure out in order to use my home entertainment system?" It might just be, then, that the idea of adding a remote control for the Xbox 360 into your living room will be too much for your precarious state of mind.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 14, 2005  |  0 comments
Sony's PSP (PlayStation Portable) can now utilize Sony's LocationFree technology.