Shane Buettner

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Shane Buettner  |  Aug 28, 2012  |  0 comments
Chinatown is an impossibly perfect movie from the glory years of the 1970s, when great filmmakers were routinely working within the Hollywood system. Consider that Chinatown’s 1974 Oscar competition was Coppola’s The Godfather: Part II and The Conversation, and you get the idea. Robert Towne’s complex but tightly woven screenplay, set amid L.A.’s 1930s water wars, is a clinic on screenwriting. Every detail is of great consequence as the misdirection peels away and the baser, more painful truths are revealed, culminating in a haunting, unforgettable ending that starkly reveals the cynicism of the film’s title.
Shane Buettner  |  Aug 03, 2007  |  0 comments
Since front projection has become a much more affordable proposition, its popularity has swelled in recent years and continues to be a growth category in the industry.
Shane Buettner  |  Sep 13, 2009  |  0 comments
This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Chord Electronics’ Chordette Gem is a really cool USB DAC. But as cool as that is, that’s not even what’s coolest about it. Have an iPod Touch or iPhone? Yeah, me too. I opened my iPhone's BlueTooth settings and saw the Chordette right away and paired it with a 4-digit code expertly supplied by Sumiko’s Norbert Schmied (granted, it was the 1-2-3-4 default, but my man was all over it). Right away I was playing tunes through the stereo speaker system connected to the Chordette over BlueTooth (and Light Sabers, Star Trek phasers, and other, um, iPhone app related sound effects, some of which may have been regarded as unsavory). We don’t need no stinking white cables! $799 and you’re living the dream!
Shane Buettner  |  Sep 14, 2006  |  0 comments

Toshiba wasn’t satisfied with introducing two new HD DVD players. Also announced were two new flagship REGZA LCD flat panels to the new and exclusive Cinema Series Pro Line. The 42” 42LZ196 will retail for $3,399 with the 47” 47LZ196 at $4,599. Both sets will be available this month. Both sets boast full 1920x1080 resolution.

Shane Buettner  |  Apr 06, 2007  |  5 comments

I'm sure all of you have read by now that in a move to improve its financial performance, Circuit City canned 3,400 sales assistants and will be replacing them with lower paid employees. If you haven't, check out Mark Fleischmann's take <A HREF="">here</A>.

Shane Buettner  |  Feb 03, 2007  |  5 comments

In an effort to outperform the original, sequels invariably spend more money, have more explosions, more action, more stunts and more special effects. In this spirit I suppose it's inevitable that Kevin Smith's <I>Clerks II</I> would turn to bestiality (er, "interspecies erotica") in an effort to go where even the original <I>Clerks</I> hadn't gone before. The original did feature necrophilia as a set piece after all. And there's also a hilariously wrong homage to <I>Silence of the Lambs</I> here that anyone who sees this film will never forgive Kevin Smith or Jason Mewes for.

Shane Buettner  |  May 13, 2007  |  0 comments

Cinepro was here at HE 2007, and had everyone talking about its demo. And talking loudly, because after hearing the Cinepro Mighty surround system odds are you weren't hearing anything else unless you'd brought earplugs too!

Shane Buettner  |  Nov 13, 2010  |  22 comments
Answering a reader letter for a recent print issue provided an opportunity to look at how the flat panel TV has evolved since the demise of the best flat panel TVs yet devised, the gone but hardly forgotten Pioneer KURO line of plasmas. These sets looked better, and the measurements demonstrated that in many key respects, they were in fact better than the competition. In blacks and contrast, objective and subjective, we’ve not yet seen their equal let alone their better. My question is whether anyone is really trying any more. The KURO in a short time built an incredible reputation and brand equity and identification. To this day, when readers email me about these sets, they say “KURO,” not Pioneer or Pioneer Elite. That mark stuck with people. When the KURO walked the Earth the other manufacturers were forced to catch up. Within a short time LCD flat panel manufacturers had to answer, and they did. LCDs improved dramatically, primarily through the advent of full array local dimming. Blacks and contrast with LCDs suddenly stood where no LCD had stood before. When the KUROs were here it seemed LED backlighting with local dimming and the performance increases it afforded LCDs were the next big thing. But the KURO went away. Edge lighting came about and is far more prevalent than full array local dimming, making TVs almost iPhone thin. But these sets don’t compete with local dimmers in blacks and contrast and have uniformity issues that may bother purists. The full-array local dimmers are now apparently confined to premium models from LG and Sony, with only VIZIO offering more affordable models. Since thin has been in, there’s also been a massive fixation on Internet streaming apps and of course, 3D. Rumors persist that engineering talent from project KURO now resides at Panasonic, and that the next KURO-like performance will emerge from there. Panasonic’s latest plasmas are definitely the closest we’ve seen from plasmas, but they’re not quite at KURO level in blacks and contrast even though Panasonic has a full suite of Internet apps and excellent 3D.
Shane Buettner  |  Sep 13, 2009  |  Published: Sep 14, 2009  |  4 comments
Things are tough all over. This man is the prettiest model that Definitive Technology could afford to show off its new Mythos XTR-50 ($799 each). Bada-bing. Actually that’s Definitive’s man in charge, Paul DiComo. The new XTR-50 is Definitive’s answer to the flat panel’s ongoing bout with anorexia. Although the speaker also ships with attractive table-top stands, the XTR-50’s wow factor is its shocking 1.6” depth, which is all the more startling when wall-mounted around one of the latest wafer-thin flat panels. Wall mounting is ultra simple with the supplied brackets, and they can be oriented horizontally or vertically (even the Definitive logo detaches and re-attaches to match). Now all you need is a flat panel that doesn’t look fat when surrounded by two or three XTR-50s.
Shane Buettner  |  Jan 26, 2011  |  3 comments

Build Quality
Price: $3,997 At A Glance: Forward Focused Bipolar Array provides spectacular soundstage, imaging, and focus • Built-in powered subs bring the bass slam for movies and music • Big speakers, big sound, small footprint

Bipolar, Refocused and Refined

Living bipolar isn’t an unfortunate state of mind at Definitive Technology; it’s a chosen philosophy. And stretching further, it’s perhaps even a reason for being. Founded in 1990, Definitive is a stalwart brand and a staggering success story in the CE business. Definitive has made compelling entries in the speaker market in recent years with speakers as diverse as its flat, sexy Mythos XTR-50 on-walls and its ultraslim, floorstanding Mythos STS. But the bipolar Super Towers, which include built-in powered subwoofers, are still the flagship line. To this day, much of Definitive’s brand identity is those tall, sleek, and big-sounding black towers. The reason you’re reading this review is that the bipolar Super Tower series has now been completely redesigned and reborn.