AUDIO VIDEO NEWS

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Peter Putman  |  Sep 09, 2003  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2003  |  0 comments
CBS and ABC raise the bar for live HDTV.

High-definition television has certainly moved along in fits and starts since the first digital-TV stations came on air in 1997. There's been a steadily increasing flow of prime-time programming and movies, a tantalizing season of Monday Night Football, increasing amounts of sports coverage, and numerous PBS documentaries and nature programs. Along the way, there have also been some compelling programs, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Masters and U.S. Open tennis, the NCAA Final Four, and three Super Bowls. More than a few prime-time shows have grabbed us by the throat, including NYPD Blue, C.S.I., JAG, Alias, ER, and Law & Order.

HT Staff  |  Jul 31, 2003  |  0 comments
PSB
You know that a product is going to be good when the designer is also the company's founder. Such is the case with PSB's new Platinum Series, designed and developed by founder Paul S. Barton. The line includes seven new models: the T8 and T6 towers, M2 minimonitor, C4 and C2 center channels, S2 bipolar surround, and SubSonic 10 subwoofer. The PSB Platinum T8, the flagship tower, uses three 8-inch woofers, two 4.5-inch midrange drivers, and two 1-inch tweeters. The front tweeter faces forward, while the other tweeter is rear-firing. The midrange drivers and front tweeter are arranged in a D'Appolito array. According to the company, this arrangement produces a large horizontal and vertical sweet spot with outstanding clarity. The enclosure measures 10.5 by 46.5 by 16 inches and is available in black ash or cherry, with a die-cast aluminum base, top, and side extrusions. The T8 is available at a suggested retail price of $6,500 per pair.
PSB Speakers
(888) 772-0000
www.psbspeakers.com
HT Staff  |  Jul 31, 2003  |  0 comments
DVD: The Guru—Universal
Audio: 2
Video: 3
Extras: 2
Are there any excuses for a movie like this? The self-proclaimed romantic comedy The Guru doesn't elicit the faintest smile as it plods through a mediocre storyline that's studded with unentertaining musical sequences. We're forced to sit though the story of Ramu (Jimi Mistry), an Indian guy who dreams of a grand life in the United States buy instead gets stuck working in a restaurant once he arrives. In a desperate attempt at stardom, he takes a job on a porn flick and befriends his costar (Heather Graham), who gives him more than enough sage advice on love and sex. He then turns that advice into a career of his own—a fake sex guru for lonely rich women. Unfortunately, if there's anything entertaining here, I don't see it. They lost me when Ramu stripped to his underwear and did Tom Cruise's Risky Business number in Hindi.
HT Staff  |  Jul 30, 2003  |  0 comments
High-definition television got a big boost from two major sources in July.
 |  Jul 27, 2003  |  0 comments

Flat screens are the hot item in video displays, and Thomas J. Norton reviews one of the hottest screens available, the <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/showarchives.cgi?137">Fujitsu Plasmavision SlimScreen P50XHA10U high-definition plasma</A>. TJN notes, "The new Fujitsu goes for just under $11,000 and may well represent the state of the art in 50" plasma displays."

Barry Willis  |  Jul 27, 2003  |  0 comments

Hollywood studios, independent production companies, and video store owners are whistling all the way to the bank, thanks to a resurgence in rentals driven by the increasing popularity of the DVD format. Rental revenue increased 4% during the first six months of 2003, according to figures recently released by the Video Software Dealers Association (<A HREF="http://www.vsda.org">VSDA</A>) (VSDA). The upswing is the first for rentals in years. According to research conducted by the <A HREF="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com"><I>Hollywood Reporter</I></A>, in the first half of the year, the home video industry has exceeded $10 billion in revenue and should top $22 billion by December 31.

Barry Willis  |  Jul 27, 2003  |  0 comments

<A HREF="http://www.fcc.gov">Federal Communications Commission</A> (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell has been rebuffed twice recently by the US House of Representatives.

 |  Jul 20, 2003  |  0 comments

Plasma screens have not taken over the market yet, as Michael Fremer notes in his review of the <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/showarchives.cgi?135">Hitachi Ultravision 65XWX20B rear-projection CRT HDTV</A>. "If space is a constraint," says MF, "be prepared to spend at least twice as much for a smaller screen" with plasma. If you've got the room, then according to MF, the Hitachi may be the way to go.

 |  Jul 20, 2003  |  0 comments

Canon, Sharp, Sony and JVC have teamed up on proposed specifications for high definition digital videocassette tape.

 |  Jul 20, 2003  |  0 comments

<A HREF="http://www.dolby.com">Dolby Laboratories</A> is celebrating multiple Emmy Awards nominations for eight television programs that are produced in Dolby Digital 5.1.

HT Staff  |  Jul 18, 2003  |  0 comments
DVD: Basic—Columbia TriStar
Video: 4
Audio: 4
Extras: 3
John Travolta oozes duplicitous charisma, Connie Nielsen adds international gravitas, and Samuel L. Jackson shouts a lot in this confusing tale of a military exercise gone wrong, and its aftermath. Or was the entire fiasco was just an elaborate ruse? This labyrinthine-for-its-own-sake, utterly unsatisfying would-be thriller is too complicated to be entertaining and too much of a trifle for most audiences to care.
HT Staff  |  Jul 18, 2003  |  0 comments
Apex
If you have the living-room space for a monster of a display, check out Apex's GB65HD12W 65-inch rear-projection TV. In addition to its 65-inch-diagonal, 16:9-shaped screen, this display offers features galore. A 3-D Y/C comb filter, scan-velocity modulation, dual-tuner PIP, automatic digital convergence, and 3:2-pulldown correction are all on board. This flexible display has an adjustable native resolution of 480p, 720p, or 1080i. The GB65HD12W's connection suite includes component, S-video, composite, and DVI video inputs, analog stereo inputs, monitor outputs, and an RF antenna jack. You get a whole lotta TV for the not-so-steep price of $2,000.
Apex
(909) 930-1239
www.apexdigitalinc.com
HT Staff  |  Jul 15, 2003  |  0 comments
Couch potatoes with an insatiable urge to record will love Panasonic's new DVD recorders. Announced July 14, the DMR-E100H and DMR-E200H both will feature 120GB and 160GB hard disk drives, respectively. With its 120GB hard disk drive the new DMR-E100H can record up to 160 hours of video in EP mode. The E-200H can record up to 212 hours of video on its 160GB hard drive. The recorders will also include slots for SD memory cards and PCMCIA slots for other types of memory. Both new machines will make their Japanese debut in August, with an autumn date set for the DMR-E100H's global debut.
 |  Jul 13, 2003  |  0 comments

<A HREF="http://www.discovery.com">Discovery HD Theater</A> is celebrating its one-year anniversary with 25 hours of new high definition productions this season.

 |  Jul 13, 2003  |  0 comments

Michael Fremer provides us with a primer on ribbon drivers in his review of the <A HREF="http://www.guidetohometheater.com/showarchives.cgi?133">Piega P5 LTD surround speaker system</A>. Noting that the Piega is the latest in long line of neo-ribbon designs, Fremer says, "whether or not these are true purist ribbons, pseudo-ribbons, or a hybrid isn't important. What's important is the sound."

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