Chris Chiarella

Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 02, 2002  |  Published: Sep 03, 2002  |  0 comments
A bigger hard drive, a little time, and you're halfway there. I'm a lucky guy. My wife and I have had only one major squabble since the beginning of the year, and it was about sharing the space on our personal video recorder's rapidly filling hard drive. My problem: I've fallen behind in archiving and deleting my keeper episodes. Hers: She waits too long to watch her recorded Ally McBeal, Buffy, and Friends, and the PVR automatically purges them. Although many possible solutions exist (Ally was cancelled, thankfully), the simplest would be to add a larger hard drive. Compared with the purchase of a newer, higher-capacity PVR, this approach is quite economical, and it's a project that a home theater buff with some electronics/computer expertise can tackle.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 05, 2002  |  Published: Aug 06, 2002  |  0 comments
Time marches on. DVD software has steadily improved in its half-decade history, so you'll see lots of recent releases on this year's best-of list. The never-ending tide of discs keeps our perspective (while subjective) in a constant state of flux. Time, DVD's evolution, and the chance to plumb the most elaborate discs' untold depths have yielded some modified rankings from last year's list. As for our criteria, the film itself must be good, or at least good enough—or even so bad that it's back to good. Given DVD's storage potential, few movie-only discs made the cut. Picture and sound quality are essential, as are quantity, value, and originality of extras. Our comments cut right to the chase; so, if you want further insight, why not rent or buy the discs we list below to find out for yourself what makes a great DVD?
Chris Chiarella  |  May 09, 2002  |  Published: May 10, 2002  |  0 comments
This Samsung flat-panel multimedia monitor raises the bar on the high end.

Many of my coworkers in New York City tend to sum up flat-panel LCD monitors as "cool," a concise but shallow understatement. Flat panels are the envy of big-ass CRTs (and their owners) everywhere, a sexy combination of performance and space economy in an inspiring "Where's the rest of me?" form. They are also getting better and less expensive by the minute.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 31, 2001  |  Published: Feb 01, 2001  |  0 comments
Budget receivers can make anyone a home theater meister.

I'm a simple man. As I travel this great land of ours, for both business and pleasure, most of my conversations with others sooner or later lead to two topics: movies and their inevitable offshoot, home theater. I rarely discuss the specifics of what I'm packing at Rancho Chiarella; rather, I listen to the wide-eyed yearnings of the hard-working Everyman who dreams of experiencing all that a respectable A/V system can deliver. For so many of the folks I've talked with, an affordable home theater receiver is the key to their wish fulfillment.

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