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Peter Pachal  |  Jan 05, 2007  |  0 comments

NEVER COMPROMISE Going with an HTiB system generally means settling for convenience over performance, but Onkyo's HT-S990THX bites off a chunk of both. Not only is the included receiver rated to deliver an impressive 110 watts to each channel, but the speakers have big enough woofers (5-inchers) to actually do something with that power.

Peter Pachal  |  Jan 05, 2007  |  0 comments

CLASS SYSTEM With budget receivers packing state-of-the-art features such as 7.1-channel sound and HDMI switching, any manufacturer that has the stones to charge two grand for one had better include some really shiny bells and whistles.

Peter Pachal  |  Jan 05, 2007  |  0 comments

MULTITASKER Although described as a "multimedia" projector, Canon's REALiS SX60 has a Home Cinema mode for when you want images to pop. Its rated 2,000:1 contrast ratio means nice, deep blacks, and the 1,400 x 1,050-pixel resolution is more than enough for 720p HDTV.

Jamie Sorcher  |  Feb 05, 2007  |  0 comments

May the flash be with you! For daily data transport, Star Wars fanatics can now stay on target with USB flash drives that are both practical and whimsical. Mimoco's Star Wars mimobots include a storm trooper as well as Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and R2-D2 & all designed to the exacting standards of Lucas Licensing.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 05, 2007  |  0 comments

CLEAR CENTER Nothing that special about supermodel-thin speakers (3.5 inches) made to match flat TVs . . . unless they're designed to give you three channels of sound from just two speakers.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 05, 2007  |  0 comments

TRICKS FOR THE TRADE Denon threw that conspicuous "CI" into this receiver's product number to let you know it has some special tricks for custom installers. Trick 1: Source renaming, so your front panel doesn't just have to say "DVD" - call your player "Philips 721" or even "Ralph" if you want.

Drew Thompson  |  Feb 06, 2007  |  0 comments

Microsoft makes it easy to morph your Xbox 360 into a high-def movie machine, thanks to its HD DVD add-on. Just plug it into your console, and you're ready to go. And at $200, it's less than half the price of the cheapest standalone HD DVD player.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 06, 2007  |  0 comments

CHEST-THUMPING SOUND You'd better be damn comfortable in your manliness before you hand your credit card over to buy a pair of FM-45s. The tower speakers from RBH stand almost 4 feet tall, and each has a pair of 8-inch woofers for intimidatingly deep bass. You may need to get the optional silver grilles ($70) just to make them look a bit more dainty.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 06, 2007  |  0 comments

FLAT CAT Other subwoofers may laugh at the SC-IW's unconventional design, but installers will love it, since the slim sub (3.4 inches thick) is made to fit perfectly inside a 2 x 4-foot studded wall. The driver module (that's the small part) can fire up or down, with a scoop aiming the bass into the room.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 06, 2007  |  0 comments

SCALE IT UP After laying down some serious coin for a 1080p HDTV, you're going to want to make sure you feed that puppy nothing but the good stuff. That means con-verting all your video signals to that grandest of HD formats, which just happens to be the solitary mission of Gefen's Home Theater Scaler.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 06, 2007  |  0 comments

GET YOUR TWEAK ON A first-ever for the high-end company, McIntosh's VP1000 video processor (top) has the goods to deliver two separate 1080p signals via HDMI. Control freaks will delight at the multitude of adjustments: Each input can store different picture settings for both output zones.

 |  Feb 06, 2007  |  0 comments
Doug Newcomb  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

MAKE MUSIC NOT WAR The car-stereo aftermarket has been engaged in guerrilla warfare with superpower automakers ever since the first Bose system salvo crossed the industry's bow.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

TOUCHES OF CLASS If you suspect those cheapie plasmas at Costco must be missing something, you're right . . . and it's all found in Pioneer's PRO-940HD set. An arsenal of technologies - including a crystal emissive layer, glare-reducing filter, and improved phosphors - gives you the deepest contrast possible.

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