Thomas J. Norton

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 22, 2022  |  0 comments
At the height of European colonial ambitions in Africa, two of Great Britain's key colonies there were Cape Town, at Africa's southern tip and, north of there, Natal. The latter abutted Zululand. The Zulus, a powerful warrior nation, was created from local tribes conquered earlier in the century by the iconic Zulu chief, Shaka. )...This superb 1964 film Zulu...depicts ...the battle of Rorke's Drift...It can still be viewed via streaming, but instead I seriously recommend the 50th anniversary Blu-ray release (in the red jacket shown above). The stereo audio on this disc is satisfactory though underwhelming. But its widescreen videos is exceptional...
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 09, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1900

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Superb HDR
Outstanding contrast
Wide viewing angle
Minus
No Dolby Vision
Frustrating menus

THE VERDICT
An appealing price for what is essentially a new and ground-breaking application of OLED is almost as much of a surprise as how much Samsung has upped the ante on what we can expect from an OLED HDTV.

We've become so accustomed to what an OLED TV can do that we risk reciting its benefits in our sleep. Great black levels, check. Viewable with little picture change from as far off center as you might want to sit, double check. Bright enough for modestly lit to very dark rooms (but not a sun porch!), check. High prices? That too. But in the past few years, nothing dramatic has muscled its way into the OLED world, though prices have slowly become less intimidating—until now. Samsung, which for years resisted joining the OLED TV parade, has developed a relatively radical way to build an OLED display with Quantum Dot Technology.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 02, 2022  |  0 comments
A recent 650 mile drive round trip, with a stay at the far end of unknown length, sent me scurrying to my bookshelf to select a few titles that I hadn't yet read, and that's when I rediscovered Keepers, sub titled "The Greatest Films, and Personal Favorites, of a Moviegoing Lifetime by Richard Schickel.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 19, 2022  |  0 comments

System
Performance
Build Quality
Value
Subwoofer
Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE (with subwoofer): $8,610

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp, clear sound
Nice depth
Tight imaging
Excellent fit and finish
Minus
Needs a subwoofer for movies

THE VERDICT
Monitor Audio’s longstanding reputation of delivering great sound and solid value remains very much intact with the new Silver 7G speaker series.

I've reviewed many Monitor Audio speakers over the years. When I lived in California, I reviewed the Silver 10s. Later, after I moved east, I bought a pair of the Silver 10s (actually three of them—long story), and when Monitor released a proper three-way Silver Series center speaker, I acquired one of those, too. When other speakers aren't in-house for review, that Silver trio becomes the core of a Franken-system that includes surrounds, overhead Atmos speakers, and subwoofers from other brands.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 18, 2022  |  0 comments
After a long, hot summer (in more ways than one!), the audio and A/V show season recently kicked off with the annual CEDIA Expo. CEDIA stands for the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association, and as the name implies, it caters to attendees in the business of installing custom home theaters and media rooms. As such it also offers a wide range of training sessions to supplement its trade show exhibits.

In recent years CEDIA has moved beyond traditional A/V gear and into peripheral products such as home automation, security, and home health assistance — areas a custom install company might find useful in expanding its services. But traditional audio and video are still CEDIA's core attractions, and in showcasing both current and new products it draws a huge contingent from the A/V press.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 04, 2022  |  3 comments
Readers new to the home theater universe might not be aware that the Blu-ray video disc format wasn't always the only game in town. Back in the late aughts it was engaged in a brief but hard fought format war with a similar competitor for the consumer's high definition dollars: HD DVD.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 20, 2022  |  0 comments
A few blogs ago I commented on the 1954 movie, The Egyptian. In the '50s, the introduction of CinemaScope inspired, or rather demanded, epic tales in a genre often referred to as Swords and Sandals. Many of them, but not all, were set in the ancient world, typically Egypt or Rome. Here we look at a few more of those classics.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 06, 2022  |  0 comments
Quantum dots have been used in TVs since 2014 but what are they and what do they do? Let's find out.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 18, 2022  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $7,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Deep blacks
Exceptional resolution
Dynamic tone mapping
Minus
So-so remote control
Dense owner's manual

THE VERDICT
With its exceptional overall performance, JVC's DLA-RS1100 projector defines the law of diminishing returns where increasingly subtle improvements command dramatically higher prices.

True native 4K projectors have only been widely available — and reasonably affordable — for the past few years. Prior to that, most home projectors used a process called "pixel shifting" to produce 4K images: A 2K imaging device first presents half of the pixels in each 4K frame, shifts the image by less than the distance of a single pixel, and then displays the other half of the pixels. All of the pixels in the 4K source appear on screen — just not at the same time. The shift takes place so rapidly that it is undetectable to the human eye.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 16, 2022  |  5 comments
I've written early and often about where the current mania for streaming will take us, and the slow, possible demise of packaged media. Yes, new and re-releases on disc are still common, to which anyone who follows the website The Digital Bits website can attest. But what does the future hold for disc-based entertainment?

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