A/V Veteran

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 31, 2007  |  8 comments

Sponsored by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment but involving all the major studio supporters of the Blu-ray format, a so-called "Blu-ray Festival" was held in Hollywood over the past two days (October 29th and 30th).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 02, 2005  |  1 comments

Earlier this week companies supporting the upcoming Blu-ray high definition disc format gathered at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles to give an update to the assembled press. The companies represented were Buena Vista Entertainment (Disney, Touchstone, Miramax), Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Panasonic, Pioneer, Dell, and Sony.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 06, 2007  |  2 comments

Judging from the DVD section in my local Costco, the hot items to put under the Christmas spruce this year are boxed sets of a television series. Not just single seasons, but the whole magilla. You can get everything from the <I>X-Files</I>, complete with a Sing Along (the writers are on strike, but not the songwriters), to <I>24</I>, with a Day Timer (11:00PM: Whip terrorists’ butts; 11:59PM: Leave on hiatus).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 15, 2007  |  3 comments

What we have here is one of those HDMI "features" that drives both consumers and reviewers crazy. I discovered it after my reviews of both the Samsung BD-P1200 Blu-ray player and the Toshiba 52HL167 flat panel LCD display had been turned in, ready for publication.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 23, 2007  |  4 comments

According to one industry source with whom I spoke recently, the odd communication problem reported on in <I>Part 1</I>, below, is an artifact of CEC. CEC is a new feature offered by many manufacturers that allows the user to control various components through their HDMI connections. Often, these operations are automated.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 21, 2014  |  0 comments
Some time back I was in the South Bay area of Los Angeles to pick up some gear at our California headquarters in El Segundo, some 30 miles from my home in the Valley (that’s the San Fernando Valley, the pre- and near post- WWII home to hundreds of western movie shoots and, more recently, to freeways, mega suburbia, and Valley Girls). Even Angelinos may not be aware that El Segundo got its name from being the site of the second Standard Oil refinery built on the West Coast. As far as I know there’s no town immortalizing El Primero or El Tercero.

But I digress.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
In case you haven’t already heard, some weeks back Samsung announced that it was buying Harman Industries...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 10, 2017  |  0 comments
If your taste runs to vinyl but even budget audiophile-grade turntables are priced beyond your means, Victrola has your number. For $200 this model can be yours. It's also available in other styles, but this one does the best visual imitation of a $1,000 audiophile design.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 10, 2017  |  1 comments
If your taste runs more to the all-in-one music system with a 30's vibe. This Victrola should do the trick, while leaving your friends slack-jawed at your "new" stereo.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 23, 2005  |  2 comments

I dropped in to my local Costco today after lunch to pick up a couple of new DVDs. (No, Virginia, we don't get free review samples for <I>all</I> the titles that come out.) The aisles were crowded with cartons containing new televisions, all of them plasmas, LCDs, and DLPs. I saw the same thing last week when I was in Fry's&mdash;a California chain well known for just about everything electronic and a few things that are not. The branch in my area gives the same amount of space to a giant, 10-foot ant suspended from the ceiling (not a real one&mdash;just in case you were wondering if I've been watching too much science fiction lately) as it does to the latest in big-screen TVs. With the boxes piled high and deep at retailers everywhere, it's obvious they're all humming <I>'Tis the Season to be TV Buying</I> and <I>Jingle Bills</I> (but no interest until 2007).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 13, 2018  |  0 comments
At CES 2018 Philips demonstrated its ColorSpark HLD LED (High Lumen Density) technology, which appeared to have the potential to considerably enhance the light output of projectors, among other applications. While we didn't attend their demonstration, several business and research-related companies did, including Insight Media and Display Daily. A link to the latter's article may be found here.

One significant issue is that this lighting technology isn't new...

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 08, 2014  |  0 comments
Late last month I visited the Harman research facility to compare three Revel floor-standing speakers: the Performa3 F208 ($5000/pair), the Performa3 F206 ($3500/pair), and the more upscale Ultima2 Studio2 ($15,000/pair). The venue was Harman's Multichannel Listening Lab, or MLL.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 09, 2005  |  0 comments

If you checked into our website this week (and of course you did, or you wouldn't be reading this!) you've noticed a whole new look. Access to you favorite sections will be easier, thanks to a more detailed top line. Loading time—we anticipate—will be faster. And, most important—there's a whole new layer of content.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 11, 2008  |  11 comments

Contrast: The ratio between the brightest part of the picture and the darkest.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 24, 2017  |  5 comments
Surge protectors, and even UPSs (Uninterupptible Power Supplies), are a good idea, but they’re no panacea. Here's why...

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