Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 06, 2008  |  0 comments
The One to Beat?

While LCD displays may dominate that video wall at your local Best Circuit Shack these days, don’t dismiss the benefits of plasmas. No company has put more R&D into plasma development than Panasonic, and it’s paid off. People may disagree about who makes the best plasma sets, but no one will dispute that Panasonic is in the thick of the action. When it comes to the breadth of its product range, Panasonic is the champ.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
In a dark cubicle, with no photos possible (or allowed), Panasonic demonstrated a prototype of a 4K flagship LCD/LED set planned for release later in 2014. Sited next to the now discontinued ZT60 plasma, it looked impressive. The LCD set had full-array LED backlighting, and appeared to have respectable off-center performance—as far as it was possible to tell in such a small space. One of the Panasonic reps said it had an IPS LCD panel—the LCD technology with the best off-axis performance.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  Published: Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Panasonic came up with a nifty solution to the problem of demonstrating 3D with glasses. The glasses are fixed in the vertical supports shown, which easily slide up and down to fit the height of the viewer.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
While some of the competition (particularly LG) went all out for OLED this year (though OLED was hardly the talk of the show, an honor reserved for 4K) Panasonic didn't make any OLED product announcements. But they haven't been sitting on their hands.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 13, 2014  |  0 comments
Parasound's new ZoneMaster 1250 12-channel amplifier couldn't have arrived at a better time. Of course the name suggests a custom installation with multiple zones, but it could be used to satisfy the demands of Atmos as well, supporting a multitude of ceiling and surround speakers in a variety of configurations. Any pair of channels can also be bridged. Without bridging, the power is rated at 50W per channel into 8 ohms, all channels driven. A bridged pair of channels is rated at 120W into 8 ohms and 200W into 4 ohms. I can conceive of a user bridging three pairs for the front channels and using the other six unbridged for a 5.2.4 Atmos setup.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Most of our budgets won't stretch to the $18,000/pair level of these floorstanders, but with their Nextel series drivers from Seas of Norway, each speaker with one 7-inch midrange driver, one 10-1/4-inch long excursion woofer, and a 1.1-inch HEXADYM™ magnet tweeter, the Pass Pabs SR-2s sounded mighty sweet.
Thomas J. Norton  |  May 04, 2006  |  3 comments

Will the prices of HD DVDs and BDs—the discs themselves, never mind the players)—keep the brakes on sales of the new format? If current trends continue, those of us with big DVD collections had better start saving up if we want to eventually replace them with HD DVDs and BDs (Blu-ray discs).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  0 comments
Onboard the starship Avalon, thousands of passengers and crew are bound for a new colony on a distant planet. They’re in suspended animation for the 120-year journey. But passengers Jim Preston and, later, Aurora Lane are awakened 90 years too soon—and the pods can’t be reconfigured to put them back to sleep.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 12, 2008  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/patton.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Released in 1970, <I>Patton</I> is the cream of the crop of World War II films released recently on Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox. The film won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. George C. Scott, in the title role, famously turned down the honor as he didn't believe in competing with other actors. That takes nothing away from one of the most compelling performances ever put on film.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
Wisdom Audio teamed up for its demo with Datasat (preamp-processor), Barco (projector) Seymour Screen Excellence, and HTE (Home Theater Environments), and likely others to whom I apologize for leaving out here due to my rapidly scribbled notes. The wide-ranging selection of program material was particularly noteworthy. 2K from Blu-ray, and no Atmos in sight, but it was excellent nonetheless (though the videophile in me whispers that the gamma was a bit too high, making for rather dark and contrasty images!). HTE deserves special mention for the most stylish room at the show, which should be evident from the picture above. But HTE is from Italy, so that's not surprising!