Viewing a good movie in a darkened room is an immersive experience. The image and sound command your full attention. Nevertheless, large numbers of potential buyers avoid projectors because they don't want to watch television and video in a completely darkened room. Many are infrequent moviegoers whose reference viewing environment is a domestic space, not a darkened theater. (There's an audio equivalent to this. I know audiophiles—<I>audiophiles</I>—who prefer watching movies with mono sound because they've been watching movies on their television so long that they consider surround—or even 2-channel stereo—to be a distraction!)
Sonic Solutions, a leading digital-media software developer, announced last week that it has founded the High Definition Authoring Alliance (HDAA), the first and only worldwide association of DVD authoring houses dedicated to facilitating the rollout of titles for release in the new high-definition HD DVD and Blu-ray optical disc formats. The HDAA is intended to increase momentum for successful introduction of the formats, ensuring the timely availability of quality titles by providing members with exclusive access to key information, HD-enabled tools, and comprehensive training.
At the award-presentation ceremony for its annual international design competition on July 4 at the Essen Aalto Theatre in Essen, Germany, the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen bestowed its prestigious "red dot label for high design quality" on six Sony products. Among a record number of 1857 entries in 12 product categories, the international jury selected the following Sony products: HDR-FX1E HDV1080i camcorder, Qualia 001 Creation Box (a video processor/upconverter that is not available in the US), <A href="http://ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/504sony/">Qualia 004 SXRD front projector</A>, Qualia 005 LCD flat-panel television, <A href="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/directviewandptvtelevisions/705sony/">Qualia 006 RPTV</A>, and DAV-SR4W wireless home theater in a box.
First there was the TV, and we saw that it was good. Then came cable and satellite, and we saw that it made TV better. Some years later, the digital video recorder (DVR) was born, and those who fell under its spell knew that it was as close to an electronic gift from God as was humanly possible. But now the sun is shining on the Slingbox, a device that, as the name suggests, slings TV (or other media) from your living room to locations far and wide; and - short of having a Digital TV tuner with a high-capacity DVR hardwired directly to your brain - this could be the best thing to happen to TV since, well, TV itself came along.
Sony's $30,000 SXRD front projector, the <A href="http://www.ultimateavmag.com/videoprojectors/504sony/">Qualia 004</A>, was hailed as a breakthrough technology when it came out last year. Now comes this rear-projection SXRD model at somewhat more approachable price—$13,000. No doubt, that is still a breathtaking cost for a television set. But as high-end TVs go, this one may be worth it.
"Name a product the 'Ultimate' anything and you've opened yourself up to a world of potential hurt and ridicule. The name's a boast and it's bound to instigate a challenge. That's what I thought as I unpacked Bob Carver's latest brag, months before this publication was renamed <I>Ultimate AV</I>, and I'm not changing my lead because of that."
Designers of surround sound receivers have a tough job. In a multikilobuck flagship model they can use the best parts, the most advanced signal processing, and the most elaborate construction to deliver the features and performance specs users want.