LATEST ADDITIONS

 |  Dec 22, 2005  |  0 comments

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) made good on its <A HREF="http://ultimateavmag.com/news/111705hpbluray">threat</A>, announcing that it will support HD DVD as well as Blu-ray Disc as the next generation optical disc format. HP had previously supported Sony’s Blu-ray Disc format exclusively, but has apparently jumped ship over the Blu-ray Disc Association’s (BDA) refusal to adopt the iHD interactivity layer into Blu-ray’s standards.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Dec 22, 2005  |  0 comments
So little, yet so big.

Flat-panel TVs—both plasma and LCD—are wall candy. I've never heard anyone say, "I'm going to buy a plasma TV because the picture looks so much better than what you get from a (fill in your favorite display technology acronym here) projection TV." Nope. People buy flat-panel TVs for one or more of three reasons: they're thin; they're cool; and, boy, do they make your friends RGB with envy. Half a millennium ago, I'm sure that people who could afford it covered their walls with the finest tapestries for exactly the same reasons. Is it any wonder then that panel after panel goes into homes with teeny, tiny, embarrassingly little home-theater-in-a-grocery-bag speakers next to them—or simply with no speakers at all? I blame the salespeople (or lack thereof). I blame the imperialistic, aggressive TV manufacturers who would have us all on bended knee in subservience to the great, glowing flat-panel on the wall. (Talk about must-see TV. . .) And I blame AM talk radio for convincing people that the idea of really good audio cohabitating with nice video is just another wacko liberal concept that will undermine this country. (Yeah, I have issues.)

Fred Manteghian  |  Dec 21, 2005  |  0 comments

There’s no better way to make yourself seem foolish than by trying to predict the future, but if I limit myself to one year, how far off can I be?

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Dec 21, 2005  |  0 comments
A "budget" Panasonic plasma HDTV?

I must admit, I was a bit skeptical. Or perhaps wary is a better description. Thirteen months ago, in these very pages, I reviewed a stellar Panasonic plasma, the TH-42PX25. It had the best black level and contrast ratio to date for a plasma. We even gave it our Best Flat-Panel Display RAVE Award for 2005. It was $6,000. A mere year later, its replacement model—the TH-42PX500U—has almost identical specs and is $3,500. My penchant for sushi notwithstanding, I was expecting something fishy.

Chris Lewis  |  Dec 21, 2005  |  0 comments
Quality drivers in quality cabinets equals quality sound—at a nice price.

It's easy to find your eyes dazzled, and your mind befuddled, by the outpouring of new speakers over the last few years, particularly those of the nontraditional variety. In-walls, plasma-friendly speakers, and even flat-panel speakers are all the rage with the general public. This is hardly a bad thing—anything that can get people to recognize that the speaker realm extends far beyond the two-dollar paper drivers in their televisions serves a valuable purpose. Many of these people may also come to realize that, at this point, most of these recent unconventional designs embody some degree of compromise, and they hopefully won't fall victim to the dreaded anything-that-is-new-is-better philosophy. It is true that manufacturers are getting more out of unconventional designs than ever before. But, generally speaking, the best speaker sound still comes out of old-fashioned cone drivers and dome tweeters in cabinets with the proper interior and exterior qualities, along with the proper space for them to do their work.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Dec 21, 2005  |  7 comments
Sorry, but I just can't get excited about the Xbox 360. I know many of you lump gamers together in some sort of homogenous, pasty, bunch, but in fact there are many sub-categories. In my mind, there are two main genera in the gamer family; console, and computer. I, am one of the latter.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 21, 2005  |  0 comments
Let's face it, i-anything is pretty hot now that the iPod has become the fastest-growing product in consumer electronics. Sales of MP3 players shot up by 255 percent during the first eight months of 2005, and you can bet Apple's smallest and prettiest child was the driving force behind that dizzying growth. Enter Klipsch, one of the few good speaker brands you're likely to find in a national chain store. Now that the the company's iGroove is playing on my desk, I'd say Klipsch deserves its piece of the pie.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 20, 2005  |  0 comments

"Buy any 61-inch or larger Samsung HDTV or any Samsung 1080p HDTV and receive a high definition, upconverting DVD player."

Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 20, 2005  |  3 comments
Let's face it, i-anything is pretty hot now that the iPod has become the fastest-growing product in consumer electronics. Sales of MP3 players shot up by 255 percent during the first eight months of 2005, and you can bet Apple's smallest and prettiest child was the driving force behind that dizzying growth. Enter Klipsch, one of the few good speaker brands you're likely to find in a national chain store. Now that the the company's iGroove is playing on my desk, I'd say Klipsch deserves its piece of the pie.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 19, 2005  |  0 comments
The Xbox 360 Is All Around Us

We offer facts, figures, and first impressions of Bill Gates and company's latest (and quite major) step toward providing Microsoft with a foothold in the world's living rooms. We look at games and accessories here, too, with a full review in the March 2006 Home Theater Magazine.

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