Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 01, 2010  |  1 comments
Optimizing your sound, one step at a time.

Getting all the pieces for that new system into your room is just the first step to home theater bliss. You’ll need to set up the A/V receiver’s inputs, position the speakers, and configure the AVR’s speaker adjustments for balanced sound before you get to movie time. I’ll frequently refer to your AVR, but the steps will be identical for a separates system with a surround processor and power amp.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 11, 2010  |  0 comments
Price: $7,250 At A Glance: Clean highs, neutral mids • Mid- and upper-bass prominent • Small but potent subwoofer

Well Centered

These days, most major speaker manufacturers know how to produce a good speaker. But only a few manage to hit all the marks simultaneously: great engineering, great sound, and fair pricing. British speaker manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins has long been a leader in that hunt.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 04, 2010  |  3 comments

I could argue that the opening salvo of this report was delayed because I wanted the entire piece, which will appear in periodic postings over the next few weeks, to appear in 2010. Or that I figured no one would be watching during the holidays, tied up as they were with festooning the house with LEDs, pondering whether to send real cards or new e-cards (when you care enough to e-mail the very best), or spending hours lined up for <I>Avatar</I>.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 07, 2009  |  0 comments
Price: $2,700 At A Glance: Best blacks yet from Panasonic • THX certified • Excellent value • Superb off-axis performance

Plasma Brings the Juice

For many reasons, not the least of which is the sheer brightness that grabs eyeballs on the showroom floor, LCD HDTVs now outsell plasmas by a significant margin.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 30, 2009  |  0 comments
Price: $4,500 At A Glance: Deep blacks • Excellent resolution • Full range of color adjustments • Local-dimming LED technology

Back to the LED Future

Samsung, it appears, is going LED in a big way. Thirteen of its LCD sets in the 6, 7, and 8 Series use LEDs for back-lighting instead of CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lights), which until recently have been nearly universal in flat-panel LCD HDTVs.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 27, 2009  |  0 comments

Last week the History HD channel broadcast the multi-part documentary </I>World War II in HD<I>. Most of the footage was in color, dredged in an exhaustive two-year search from private collections or the back shelves of dusty museum storerooms. (Rumors to the contrary, it was not found in an Area 51 warehouse next to a crate with an ark in it.)

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 18, 2009  |  7 comments

It all started when I wondered what kind of audio I'd hear from the Blu-ray players I had on hand if I used them from their analog outputs. Most Blu-ray player reviews treat audio playback as a given. But is it?

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 02, 2009  |  0 comments
Price: $2,900 At A Glance: Unique 20-step calibration option • Crisp image with vivid color • Mediocre black level • THX certified

Calibration Sensation

The drop in the prices of flat-panel HDTVs during the past few years has been dizzying. While the news about this may be noisiest on the LCD side, the footsteps you hear are plasma racing back to stake its claim to the booty.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 26, 2009  |  0 comments
Price: $12,999 At A Glance: Fast calibration, accurate color • Superb detail • Video processing under par

Dynamic and Detailed

In these days of increasingly improved LCD and LCOS projectors, new DLP models seem to be few and far between. Some manufacturers have cut back on their premium DLP projector offerings (Sharp), and some have eliminated them altogether (Yamaha).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 14, 2009  |  0 comments

The 2009 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest was held earlier this month in Denver, Colorado, as it has for several years now. While my main beat these days is home theater, both for <I>Ultimate AV</I> and, increasingly, for <I>Home Theater </I> magazine, once an audiophile always an audiophile, so I was anxious to find out what was happening in the world of hair-shirt Hi-Fi.

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