Although the new DualDisc format - a two-sided hybrid disc with a CD on one side and a DVD-A on the other - has had a rough beginning, a recent announcement from Dolby and 5.1 Entertainment's Silverline Records label brings to light another benefit of the flipping disc.
Yamaha's remarkably trim DVD-S1500 manages to go beyond most other "universal" players. Of course it plays DVD movies plus DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD music discs, most varie-ties of recordable DVDs, and CDs with standard audio, MP3 files, or JPEG-format still images. But it also plays DVDs in the European PAL format on a U.S.-standard TV.
A few minutes into ColdMountain, a U.S. Civil War version of The Odyssey , the Union Army detonates massive explosives hidden beneath a Confederate encampment. To say that I flinched would be an understatement - diving for cover was more like it.
Despite the results of recent statewide elections banning same-sex marriages, consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers may not want to dismiss the gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) community quite so readily. A recent nationwide Harris Interactive/Witeck-Combs on-line survey found that the tallied responses are indicative of "the enthusiasm and affinity that gay and lesbian consumers have for electronic technology and their propensity to seek out the latest trends in consumer electronics and television." The survey looked at preferences for service providers (both cellular and TV) as well as HDTV ownership and intent to buy and HDTV.
Video-on-demand: The Holy Grail of the cable industry, VOD is getting a boost from underutilized ("dark") fiber optic networks. Early attempts at VOD were glitchy at best, but computer technology is increasingly making the service a reality via large-capacity servers that can offer thousands of hours of programming to thousands of digital cable subscribers. Many of the fiber networks are owned by telecommunications companies that lease use to cable providers. Cox Communications Inc., Time Warner Inc., and Comcast Corporation have all bet heavily on the potential of fiber optics to deliver more to their subscribers. "80% to 90% of the fiber installed during the telecom boom is still sitting unused," reports Peter Grant in a recent analysis in <I>The Wall Street Journal</I>.
The flat-panel "arms race" reached a new level in mid-December, with an announcement from Samsung's display manufacturing division that it had successfully created a 102" –diagonal plasma display panel (PDP).
When we select gear to review at Sound & Vision, we shy away from stuff that seems inferior or merely mimics what's already available. We look for products that represent an important trend or new development - whether a technological breakthrough, a leap in performance, or a bold design statement.
We all long for big, bodacious home theater systems. Unfortunately, many of us, especially urban dwellers, find ourselves shoehorning 100 pounds of gear into a 10-pound space. Some videophiles even resort to pitiful little satellite speakers the size of Ping-Pong balls.
Tannoy has been designing and manufacturing speakers in the United Kingdom for as long as anyone can recall. The word "Tannoy," in fact, is as generic in Britain as "Scotch tape" is here. If a Brit tells you that he just heard something on the "Tannoy," you're more likely to be in a train station than a hi-fi shop, and he's talking about an announcement on the PA system.