LATEST ADDITIONS

Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 28, 2006  |  0 comments
Spent almost everything on your HDTV? You can still afford a friend for it.

The war between competing next-generation, high-definition-quality DVD formats is still unfolding, a saga with more twists than an entire season of Lost. As I write this, manufacturers are still not offering specific product announcements or firm release dates. The problem is, HDTV is a reality right now. While the current over-the-air, cable, and satellite content is compelling and continuing to grow, I for one put the enjoyment of packaged media above all others, and I hate the thought that my HDTV's capabilities are often going to waste. What then to feed it?

John Higgins  |  Feb 28, 2006  |  0 comments
The power of the PC in your HT.

Back in the age of acid-wash jeans, my dad brought home our first home computer: a MacPlus with 512 kilobytes of RAM. I would stay up late into the night playing Zork and Planetfall, all the light radiating from its small CRT screen keeping me warm. We kept the beige box in the spare bedroom of my house, far from our TV room. My parents claimed it was so I would not disturb them as they watched the nightly news, but, in my mind, it was just the opposite. For years, the computer and television were in separate rooms so that the use of one would not interfere with the use of the other. Now 512 K has turned into 512 mega-bytes or more, and PCs are begging to be near the TV. Only recently, while reviewing games for www.htgamer.com, have I started integrating my own PC into my home theater. But it is still a rather bulky, unattractive proposition to permanently move my computer to my equipment rack. HP has an aesthetically pleasing solution that can act as the source hub for the home theater of the future.

Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 28, 2006  |  0 comments
Dual-core and other Intel technologies are a boon to heavy users of multimedia PCs.

One wife, two kids, and one cat later, it hit me: There are just not enough hours in the day. My leisure hours, like work, have become a matter of multitasking—watching a DVD in one window as I write a review in the other, downloading photos, and sending e-mails. I can no longer use the "I'm already busy" excuse since, frankly, I'm expected to walk and chew gum at the same time around here. And what of my poor PC, which is charged with performing all of the above and more? At least I know I'm not alone, here at wit's end, as the fundamental usage model has evolved and one-thing-at-a-timers have gone the way of the Timex Sinclair.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Feb 28, 2006  |  0 comments
In an effort to take the wind out of the sales of the HD DVD promotional armada heading to retail stores this month, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE), MGM Home Entertainment, and Lionsgate announced they're targeting May 23rd of this year to deliver the first batch of Blu-ray Disc (BD) titles at retail.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Feb 28, 2006  |  2 comments
TiVo may soon lower its hardware pricing to every consumer's favorite number: zero. The news came when CEO Tom Rogers addressed a Reuters technology summit on Monday. The free hardware would begin as a test. In exchange, service plans may extend longer and cost more. Why this, why now? TiVo is a publicly traded company under constant pressure from Wall Street. Once its main competition was RePlayTV but now it's up against proprietary offerings from cable and satellite companies as well as mainstream manufacturers. An especially hard blow was DirecTV's announcement last year that it would de-emphasize TiVo in favor of its own product. Smooth-talking Rogers is determined to defend and increase his subscriber base of four million: "We feel that the notion that TiVo has hit some kind of distribution wall and is no longer a growth animal is not the case." Coincidentally, he is the former CEO of Primedia, publisher of Home Theater.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Feb 27, 2006  |  0 comments
Digital camera pooping out on you? Duracell says its new PowerPix can power twice as many pictures as an ordinary alkaline battery. The PowerPix uses a new NiOx technology—that's nickel-oxy-hydroxide for those of you majoring in chemistry. Meanwhile, Panasonic makes the same claim for its new Oxyride batteries, compared to its own Alkaline Plus, adding that a new version will deliver three times as many pictures around the time the swallows return to Capistrano. Finally, Energizer says its e2 Lithium lasts seven times as long as competing alkalines and that e2s have replaced all the alkaline batteries aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Any of them should keep your remotes under control for years.
Ian G. Masters  |  Feb 26, 2006  |  0 comments

TOO-LOUD TV

Q. Why does the volume jump 20 dB whenever I switch from CBS to Fox News on my cable box? Shouldn't there be a standard broadcast volume to prevent us from blowing out our $2,000 speakers? William B. Fankboner Indio, CA

 |  Feb 26, 2006  |  0 comments

It's incredibly common for Hollywood blockbusters to come in way late and over budget, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised since Sony owns its own movie studio. An industry analysis by Merrill Lynch predicts that Sony's PlayStation3 could not only be delayed 6-12 months, putting off its US launch until late 2006 or early 2007, but also estimates that the gaming consoles are going to cost Sony nearly $900 per unit to build. These predictions started a firestorm across broad segments of the industry, as such delays would not only hurt Sony in the gaming space, but also would undoubtedly cost Blu-ray Disc some critical momentum in the next-gen disc format war. HD DVD players and discs are currently on schedule to hit retail stores next month.

Fred Manteghian  |  Feb 25, 2006  |  0 comments

My wife always wanted twins. I got her the next best thing: DWINs. Hanging on the ceiling is my DWIN HDP-500 CRT projector (wow, has it really been seven years already?), while on a table below and slightly behind it is the new DWIN TransVision 4 DLP projector. Actually, the new DWIN, like the old DWIN, is not just a projector, but a full projection <i>system</i> that manages all your critical video switching and processing needs. Seven years. I feel the itch.

Peter Putman  |  Feb 25, 2006  |  0 comments

As retail prices for plasma displays continue to decline, there appear to be some really good deals coming to market &ndash; mainly, plasma monitors sold under unfamiliar brands in big box stores and wholesale clubs. In particular, plasma monitors are of interest to buyers who already own a cable, satellite, or terrestrial DTV set-top box and don't particularly need an integrated tuner or CableCARD slot.

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