Joel Brinkley

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Joel Brinkley  |  Apr 11, 2005  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/headshot150.jb.jpg" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=196 HSPACE=6 VSPACE=4 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>My office made a small change last month. For all the 70 people who spend much of their days working at their computers, the company decided it was time to "upgrade" our monitors to flat-screen LCDs. Like most of corporate America, we had been using CRT computer monitors for decades. But somewhere in the bowels of the company's system-support offices, somebody got the idea that LCDs were easier on the eyes than CRTs. Or so they said.

Joel Brinkley  |  Oct 06, 2003  |  0 comments

Denon has a long history of making first-rate components at reasonable prices, and now comes their entry in the burgeoning market for universal DVD players. No company, it seems, can fail to have one of these players in its lineup these days, and at $999, Denon's DVD-2900 is among the least expensive. Yet it still includes all of the must-have features one expects in a high-end player.

Joel Brinkley  |  Oct 17, 2004  |  0 comments

For two decades now, Danish manufacturer Dynaudio has been known for making superb speakers in small cabinets. No, such designs can't produce the robust bass that larger speakers can muster&mdash;that's a simple factor of physics, not of design. But Dynaudio's track record should intrigue anyone interested in buying a compact speaker.

Joel Brinkley  |  Nov 24, 2003  |  0 comments

Faroudja has long made among the very best video processors&mdash;the company virtually invented the industry. NEC has made outstanding plasma televisions for several years. Combining an NEC plasma that incorporates several important Faroudja enhancements with a top-of-the-line Faroudja processor and selling them as a package was an inspired idea that presented me with an intriguing product for review.

Joel Brinkley  |  Dec 11, 2005  |  0 comments

Remember the day when plasma televisions were unadorned monitors? You had to connect it to a VCR to watch conventional television, and of course HDTV required another outboard tuner box. Any sound would have to come from your own sound system. Plasmas had no speakers or amplification of any kind. Just a screen and a picture. With no features to speak of, these plasmas had remote controls that offered four or five buttons, and that's all. And for that you paid $8,000 or more.

Joel Brinkley  |  May 15, 2005  |  Published: May 16, 2005  |  0 comments

Stand-alone DTV tuners may become an extinct species in the not-too-distant future, when the government's mandate to include one in almost every television takes effect in the months ahead. But for now, several million people own high-definition monitors that cannot receive free, over-the-air digital broadcasts without an outboard box. Some of these monitors are still for sale. As an example, Fujitsu still sells plasma monitors.

Joel Brinkley  |  Sep 23, 2006  |  1 comments

The advertising brochures for Infinity's new Cascade line of speakers tell much of the story. The speakers are pictured nestled snugly up against a plasma TV, the center channel mounted on the wall. The stylized shot is from above, to show that the speakers are barely deeper than that ultra-thin TV. These are speakers designed for acceptance by both the enthusiast and the spouse.

Joel Brinkley  |  May 28, 2003  |  0 comments

As I write this, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is nearly upon us. While HDTV remains the big story in home theater, DVD still commands a lot of attention. And one sure hot-ticket item is the "universal" DVD player&mdash;one that plays most audio and video formats, particularly DVD-Audio and SACD. While we expect to see new universal player contenders at CES 2003, there are already several models on the market to choose from. Pioneer was first, with the DV-47A. Marantz followed up a few months later with the DV-8300. And now, from Integra (a division of Onkyo), we have the DPS-8.3.

Joel Brinkley  |  Dec 07, 2001  |  0 comments
For years now, Lexicon has been a darling of home-theater owners, particularly those who care most about their components' performance and least about cosmetics. The home-theater preamp-processors that Lexicon has made in the last five years—the DC-1, DC-2, and MC-1—have been among the best-performing products of their type. But their plain-Jane appearances do not make them stand out for comment when uninformed friends come over to have a look at your equipment.
Joel Brinkley  |  Sep 21, 2004  |  0 comments

Digital Light Projection televisions are racing to become the new standard of the digital age; several companies have embraced them with the fervor of the converted. Plasma and LCD televisions are making their own bids for dominance. But these days, most manufacturers are saying little about CRT-based television, which remains the biggest-selling technology&mdash;by reason of price, picture quality, and consumer familiarity.