A/V Veteran

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 09, 2006  |  0 comments

Sharp dressed up its booth with some of the tallest Japanese ladies I've ever seen.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 09, 2006  |  0 comments

Sharp is working on this Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese translation device. It translates both written and spoken language, though is still fairly rudimentary in its ability to handle complex communication. We're not quite up to Star Trek's universal translator yet, but you can see it coming.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 09, 2006  |  0 comments

So did the puppet image in the last photo turn into a Sumo wrestler? Not quite. I couldn't snag a screen shot if the puppet because of a strange interaction between the screen image and my digital camera (FM reported the same thing). But for some reason this photo came out OK. The image on the SED's screen wasn't his blue; that's a camera issue.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 09, 2006  |  0 comments

The SED demo included this puppet performance (this is a direct shot of the live action, not a screen shot from the SED) so we coulde compare live vs Memorex.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 09, 2006  |  1 comments

The Tokyo-based CEATEC, held each fall about this time, is sometimes referred to as Japan's CES. While the analogy doesn't fit when applied to finished goods (the show is far smaller in that respect than even the CEDIA Expo, much less CES), it certainly does apply if you include component parts. You can roam the eight or so exhibit halls and find all sorts of things, from cell phones to capacitors to integrated circuits. There was even a small, lonely booth off to one side with high-end audio goods on display. The exhibitor's there had obviously confused CEATEC with the annual Tokyo High-end Audio Show, scheduled for later this month.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 30, 2006  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2006  |  1 comments

I leave tomorrow for a week in Japan, courtesy of Sharp. We will, of course, visit Sharp factories, but another main event on the trip is CEATAC, the annual "Japanese CES." It actually isn't anywhere near as big as CES, but it is a show with a unique flavor all its own. And while I'm not sure we'll see anything we didn't see at the recent CEDIA Expo, you never know. Products are often introduced in Japan before they're exported overseas.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 20, 2006  |  1 comments

I uploaded my final blogs from CEDIA Expo 2006 on Tuesday. I returned Sunday and had intended to post them early Monday, but United Airlines delayed my luggage until Monday afternoon. It was very thoughtful of United to help me avoid schlepping home bags loaded with brochures, notes, my camera card reader, and the power supply for my laptop. They even hand delivered them to my home for me.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 10, 2006  |  1 comments

It's that time of year again. A nip in the air. The trees changing color. Well, OK, September is a bit early for either of those annual events, and in any case we rarely experience them in LA, but you get the idea. Fall is coming, and with it thoughts of new high definition programs, new formats, new video displays, new audio gear, and all that other indoor stuff that was pushed into the background by beaches, barbecues, and way too much of that unhealthy fresh air and sunshine.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 27, 2006  |  2 comments

The August 2006 issue of <I>Popular Mechanics</I> devotes one entire page (!) to HD DVD. The main feature of the article is a comparison between HD DVD and the standard disc played back on a much less expensive, upconverting DVD player (an $80 Philips).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 18, 2006  |  4 comments

It has long been rumored that Sony is readying a new, lower-priced SXRD front projector to slot in under the current VPL-VW100. Now those rumors, while not yet confirmed, have more substance. The new projector is codenamed Pearl, and may have the official designation VPL-VW50. (The internal codename for the VPL-VW100, Ruby, has stuck as a name for that projector, though it appears in none of Sony's promotional materials). If the rumors pan out, the new projector will be introduced at the 2006 International Funkausstellung in Berlin in early September, and most certainly will have its official U.S. launch at the 2006 CEDIA EXPO in Denver two weeks later.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 01, 2006  |  0 comments

There's an interesting story behind the photo of the Samsung rear projection set that appears on the home page and in the product review. As most of you know, such photos are almost never taken directly from a television showing an actual image. Instead, the image is inserted later into a blank screen photo of the set using a computer program, most often Photoshop. This program allows nearly any photo to be resized and reconfigured to fit a television screen originally shot at any angle.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 25, 2006  |  0 comments

Denon has reported that audio component sales, long declining, increased significantly last month (June). Not coincidentally, the company's own sales increased by double digits in the past year to the point where, in dollar sales, it holds the second place market share in the receiver/amplifier/tuner category (after Yamaha).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 08, 2006  |  2 comments

A few years back everyone was wondering if our civilization would come crashing down around our keyboards. All of our computers stored the year as a two-digit number, and 00 did not compute. Best case: Aunt Ellie wouldn't get her airline reservation in time for that visit, or better yet might end up in Sri Lanka. Worst case: an extinction level event.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 25, 2006  |  First Published: Jun 26, 2006  |  6 comments

It's hard to fight the notion that an upconverting DVD player works some kind of magic on the lowly, standard definition DVD. I've written about this before, but if recent Internet forum traffic is any indication, the confusion continues.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 13, 2006  |  1 comments

The gear has been packed back up and the rooms cleared. The demo material has been tossed into suitcases, destined to end up in an obscure corner of each exhibitor's factory, the place where overplayed and now unloved recordings go to die. And copious notes have been made on what worked and what needs to be improved.

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