John J. Gannon

John J. Gannon  |  Mar 05, 2005  |  0 comments

Until recently, the home-theater speaker market seemed a calm, beautiful little pond—from nearly any vantage point, you could see all 200-plus speaker makers with their mostly predictable offerings. Products dropped in and out with minor ripples, and occasionally one stirs up a bigger wave. But seldom do things change so much that this placid pond can suddenly seem like a wide open sea of crashing waves, churning tides, and violent storms.

John J. Gannon  |  Jan 16, 2005  |  0 comments

"Rain, rain go away" was my mantra on the trek down to the annual audio-video Mecca; the forecasters were warning that the winter desert was set to deliver wet weather for the Consumer Electronic Show. I never thought my prayers would be answered so obliquely&mdash;Las Vegas enjoyed more than a few moments of <I>snow</I> on Friday of the convention. You could tell those who had never seen flurries of the chilly white stuff before: they wandered comically in circles with w-i-d-e eyes and slack jaws.

John J. Gannon  |  Jun 27, 2004  |  0 comments

Very few manufacturers can call themselves "traditional," but until now, no description has better fit Pioneer, with their dedication to high-performance CRT-based rear-projection displays. However, that's about to change: Pioneer is scheduled to convert their rear-projection CRT assembly facilities to the production of plasma displays in April 2004, finally leaving CRT behind. While there should be enough Pioneer Elite CRT RPTVs in the pipeline to last through the end of the year, you might consider this review an homage to Pioneer's CRT era. It's also a caution: If you've had your eye on an RPTV from Pioneer, the cupboard may be full now, but it won't be restocked. Ever.

John J. Gannon  |  Nov 10, 2003  |  0 comments

When I reviewed the Integra Research RDC-7 preamplifier-processor in our February 2001 issue, I waxed enthusiastic about the unit's promised upgradeability&mdash;on that issue's cover, we even tagged it "Ready for Y3K!" Amid the Dolby/DTS battles of a few years ago, when a new "must-have" surround format was sent into the fray every six months, such an upgradeable chassis was exciting and welcome.

John J. Gannon  |  Oct 24, 2002  |  0 comments

In the November 2000 <I>SGHT</I> I reviewed the HD800, an 8-inch CRT video projector from a Florida Internet startup called Theater Automation Wow!, or TAW. Phil Tuttobene and his crew promised then to "change the way America buys home theater." Since then we've seen the term Internet startup lose more than its sparkle, but TAW is still shining. They've succeeded in a tough marketplace&mdash;a high percentage of new companies fail in their first year of operation&mdash;but that same market has changed the way they do business. At first, TAW sold products directly to consumers; now, they work through a traditional dealer network, with 43 U.S. dealers. Not a bad start in less than 24 months.

John J. Gannon  |  Sep 02, 2002  |  0 comments

As the Greek mathematician Zeno stated more than 2400 years ago, traveling half the distance toward one's destination, then half of the remaining half, and so on, might mean that one never gets there. The ability to re-create visual reality on a video screen improves with each generation of whichever new technology you choose&mdash;LCD, DLP, D-ILA&mdash;but they seem to be merely continuing to halve the distance remaining from the still-unrivaled performance of the decades-old cathode-ray-tube (CRT) projector. Longtime readers might think that I sound a bit like a skipping CD, but even this late in 2002, the CRT video-projection technology continues to reign as the king of video fidelity.

John J. Gannon  |  Feb 24, 2002  |  0 comments

Wharfedale is a name that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue of the average American audiophile. It should. This British firm's long, distinguished history dates back to the early 1930s and includes a good number of industry firsts, including the use of ceramic magnets. Once one of the most popular brands of British loudspeakers on this side of the Atlantic, Wharfedale has enjoyed only limited exposure in North America in the past 20 years. By introducing cutting-edge designs at affordable prices, they're now obviously aiming to change that.

John J. Gannon  |  Dec 24, 2001  |  0 comments

We at <I>SGHT</I> are no strangers to Rotel products. In the October 2000 issue, Michael Fremer reviewed Rotel's RTC-965 surround processor/tuner with the RB-985 Mk.II power amplifier, and in February 2001, Robert Deutsch waxed enthusiastic about the RMB-1095 power amp. Both writers lauded these products' value, and RD spoke of Rotel's consistency in product and circuit design, something he'd noticed through the years. He declared the RMB-1095 "one of the best buys in a multichannel amplifier."

John J. Gannon  |  Feb 01, 2001  |  0 comments

Three decades ago, Alvin Toffler coined the term future shock to describe the malaise caused by the increased pace of new technology and information. Consumers of home-entertainment electronics experience some degree of <I>future shock</I> with every new technology: high-definition television, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and all these new surround-sound formats.

John J. Gannon  |  Nov 29, 2000  |  0 comments

Ever since the days of David and Goliath, the world has rooted for the little guy. In the underdog we invest our imagination and our collective hope: we want him to win&mdash;or at least put up a good fight. And every once in a while, the little dog gets to choose weapons that can skew the results in his favor. Such is the case with the newest entry in the residential CRT market, the Theater Automation Wow HD-800 CRT projector.