Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 28, 2005  |  0 comments

DisplaySearch, a global video-display market-research and consulting firm, last week hosted their annual HDTV Conference, a two-day affair devoted to—you guessed it—HDTV. Held at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California, this year's conference began with a keynote address by Mark Cuban, founder of HDNet, which will be broadcasting their recording of the event in September and October.

Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 27, 2005  |  0 comments
More and more PC fanatics have grown to appreciate the computer as a television, fully exploiting the kick-ass video potential of even a run-of-the-mill PC monitor, first for viewing then for timeshifting/recording and even burning those recordings to DVD. The ATI TV Wonder Elite ($149) has it all covered. A surprisingly complicated chain of technology is necessary to achieve this amount of functionality at this level of quality, although it is all ultimately transparent to the end user, with a very user-friendly interface to boot. The TV Wonder Elite (TVWE) is also designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.
Gary Frisch  |  Aug 26, 2005  |  0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 4
Extras: 3
A generation before Captain Kirk and company, there was Jonathan Archer, first captain of the Starship Enterprise, heading with his crew of true space pioneers to explore strange new worlds. It's 2151, and Archer and his officers have a distrust of transporters, phased pistols, and Vulcans, who have subjugated humans' efforts in space for the 100 years since Zefram Cochrane invented the warp drive.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 26, 2005  |  0 comments
In the simplest possible terms, Steve McQueen had "It." Truly, women wanted him, and men wanted to be him. Maybe it was the eyes, the sense of intensity he conjured, or the impression that he knew something we didn't. Or perhaps it was his physicality, the grace with which he performed his own stunts, combined with his ease and outright glee with props. Warner has assembled some hard evidence of the actor's elusive mystique in their recent Essential Steve McQueen Collection, a grouping of souped-up reissues and new-to-DVD titles.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Aug 26, 2005  |  0 comments
Imagine the score for a 33-minute film noir with nonstop action. That's Béla Bartók's The Miraculous Mandarin in a nutshell, although it's actually a one-act dance suite. The story concerns three thugs who use a young woman as bait to rob a series of victims, culminating in the Mandarin. They murder him—but not before he consummates his passion for the girl. The plot had enough sex and violence to get it banned immediately upon its 1926 debut in Köln, Germany.
Geoffrey Morrison  |  Aug 26, 2005  |  0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 4
Extras: 4
I am a big Get Shorty fan. The dialogue, the acting, and the plot all just exude a coolness that is never struggled for, just achieved. The thought of a sequel seemed a little odd, but knowing that it is based on the Elmore Leonard sequel novel, I had high hopes. The end result was admittedly funny but nowhere near the quality of the original. The story takes place a few years after Get Shorty, and Chili Palmer is deciding to get out of the movie business. After a friend gets murdered, he decides to get into the music business instead. Far too many jokes are rehashed, but that in itself isn't the problem. Whereas the original was an effortless cool, this movie tries too hard to be cool—and rarely succeeds. Far too much time is spent on the (admittedly excellent) secondary characters, with Chili himself just kind of showing up to drive the plot along. The effect, though, highlights two of the best aspects of this movie: the Rock and André 3000. These two absolutely steal the movie, and this disc is worth a rental just for them. There are many musician cameos, but, unlike in Get Shorty, where actor cameos are natural (as in, they can act), the musician cameos are often awkward and distracting.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 25, 2005  |  0 comments

On August 4, 2005, Infinity invited a number of journalists to their home at the Harman International corporate campus in Northridge, California, for a tour of the facilities and a sneak peek at their latest speaker line, dubbed Cascade. Why are you only hearing about it now? Because Infinity embargoed the information until August 25.

 |  Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments

The HDTV Jungle High-def channels are widely available and prices for HDTVs continue to drop. But there's still the problem of too many TV types to choose from. The Solution

Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments

Silicon Optix, a leading developer of video-processing technology, has now made its <I>HQV Benchmark</I> test DVD available to consumers. <I>HQV Benchmark</I> lets anyone objectively evaluate the picture quality of various video products, including HDTVs, DVD players, and video scalers before the purchase.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 22, 2005  |  0 comments

At a press event in Pittsburgh, PA, last week, Sony announced two new rear-projection SXRD televisions. Previously available only in the company's upscale Qualia line, SXRD now enters a wider market. The 60-inch KDS-R60XBR1 and 50-inch KDS-R50XBR1 Grand Wega designs, at $5000 and $4000 respectively, are still priced toward the high-end, but they are now in direct competition with top-of-the-line sets using other digital display technologies.