Darryl Wilkinson

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jul 19, 2004  |  0 comments
Canton, the 31-year-old German loudspeaker company known for stylish, high-performance products, has joined the ever growing chorus of manufacturers offering slender, wall-mountable models specifically designed to complement flat-panel TVs. Canton's new CD300 Series loudspeakers combine technology derived from the company's high-end Karat line of loudspeakers with the sleeker, brushed aluminum look (a.k.a. "lifestyle design") of the CD100 series.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jul 13, 2004  |  0 comments
If you're like my son, no matter how big the hard drive is in your DVR it's not big enough. Humax USA announced today the nationwide availability of the T2500, the first TiVo Series2 DVR with a whopping 300 hours of recording capability. (Although it doesn't record HD, that's still over 12 days of continuous couch-potato bliss.) It'll cost you $699 for that kind of storage capacity; but when you compare it with what it would cost to 300 hours of Super Bowl commercial air time over the next 50 years, it's a steal. Since the T2500 (and the 80-hour T800) is a TiVo Series2 unit, subscribing owners can use TiVo's new Home Media features and online scheduling as part of TiVo's standard $12.95/month service package. The new features let you schedule recordings from any internet connection and move content between two or more TiVo Series2 DVRs in your home. You can also listen to music or view photos stored on your PC if you're so networkingly inclined. Now Humax just needs to release an HD DVR, and my son won't ever have to leave the couch.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jul 13, 2004  |  0 comments
Although it's too late to become eligible to submit a surround sound music release for the 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards in February 2005 if you're not already a member of the Recording Academy, fans of surround sound music will have a new award category - Best Surround Sound Album - to heatedly discuss around the office water cooler. While it's certainly not as exciting as Best Hawaiian Music Album, another new category to make its debut in 2005, it's good to see multichannel music getting more professional respect and attention. All genres of music for commercial releases on DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and SACD with an original mix of four or more channels are eligible. We'll know multichannel music has finally come into its own when a release wins both the Best Surround Sound and Best Hawaiian Music Album awards. Could a surround remix of Zamfir's (Master of the Pan Flute) Greatest Hits be next?
Darryl Wilkinson  |  May 07, 2004  |  0 comments
More Marilyn . . . Well, sort of. It's been over 50 years since this quartet of modestly sophisticated comedy/dramas hit the silver screen to entertain post-WWII America. In those early years of the soon-to-be-booming 1950s, audiences might have had inklings that a certain young, blonde starlet might have a big decade ahead of her. More likely, ticket buyers were eager to see Claudette Colbert (Let's Make It Legal), Ginger Rogers and Fred Allen (We're Not Married), Monty Woolley and Thelma Ritter (As Young as You Feel), or June Haver and William Lundigan (Love Nest). You'd have no way of knowing that, however, from 20th Century Fox's packaging of these cinematic time capsules that capture an intriguing era of Hollywood movie-making that's forever gone. Marilyn Monroe's second-tier presence in this foursome of flicks is clearly the marketing angle that 20th Century Fox feels will mint new cash from old celluloid.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Dec 01, 2003  |  0 comments
The best thing to happen to home theater since the DVD.

Quick, what do your home theater system's remote control and your underwear have in common? (If your answer is that they both require batteries, I don't want to hear about it.) The correct answer is that they both need to be a comfortable fit (physically in the case of the underwear and ergonomically/functionally in the case of the remote) or else they'll annoy the hell out of you all evening long. Unfortunately, while the standard remote controls that come with most home theater components may be able to control multiple devices, when it comes to using them on a daily basis to operate an entire home theater system, they're usually about as cozy as a tight pair of burlap boxers.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 10, 2003  |  Published: Nov 01, 2003  |  0 comments
2D is for armadillos in the middle of the road. Sensio's 3D processor grabs you by the eyeballs and won't let go.

No matter how much bigger your TV is than mine, no matter how much higher the resolution or how much brighter the image, there's one hitherto immutable aspect that both TVs have in common—the pictures on our respective TV screens are two-dimensional. They've got height. They've got width. But they ain't got depth. (Talk about flat-screen TV!) The final frontier of TV viewing is the third dimension; try as we might, watching a good 3D image on TV has always seemed about as impossible as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera starring in a performance of Verdi's Aida as a fund raiser for PBS.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Oct 01, 2003  |  0 comments
You can run wires, but you can't hide from the fact that today's in-walls sound better than ever.

If only Sheetrock dust were an aphrodisiac. After hacking and ripping my way through the installation of eight pairs of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers and one monumental pair of in-wall subwoofers, I'd be damn near the sexiest man alive. As it is, after the White Sands National Monument, my lungs are now the biggest repository of gypsum dust on the planet. Once again, I've risked life and limb to survey the state of the custom-install speaker industry and give you a feel for what your money can buy in terms of ease of installation, aesthetics, and—most importantly—sound quality.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Dec 19, 2002  |  Published: Dec 20, 2002  |  0 comments
Just how does the StudioCinema 350 speaker system find that mystical balance between high performance and low price?

I used to wonder why I felt such an affinity for so many of Definitive Technology's speakers. What is it, I asked, that gives these slender, sock-smothered sirens their perennial appeal? Is it magnetism? (Well, surely, they use magnets, but that couldn't be it.) Is it the sexy allure of not being able to yank off a speaker's grille cloth to reveal what's hidden underneath? (Instead, you have to gently coax the soft sock covering down, slowly undressing the speaker. It's an act best done in the privacy of your own home after the children have gone to bed.) Maybe it's some secret, arcane knowledge inherited from the Knights Templar (promising riches, wealth, and speakers with popularity beyond reason)—or possibly it's from an earlier era, gleaned from chiseled hieroglyphics on the ancient stone walls of the pyramids at Giza (regaling in an afterlife filled with music and movies).

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Aug 05, 2002  |  Published: Aug 06, 2002  |  0 comments
After billions of years of evolution, Mother Nature still needs a proper soundtrack.

As a Home Theater reader, you probably fit into the fine category of people for whom music and movies are a big part of life. I'm willing to bet that, when it comes to electronic entertainment, you think inside the box. Well, I guess it's more like two boxes: your home and your car. Sure, no self-respecting Home Theaters reader feels complete without a DVD player and full-blown home theater in his or her living room, and most of you probably couldn't live without a CD player in your car. But how many of you have come to realize that Mother Nature's soundtrack could use a little assistance (especially if you happen to be, like me, an environmentally challenged city dweller)?