Joel Brinkley

Joel Brinkley  |  Jun 17, 2007  |  0 comments

Like many of you, I assume, a welter of remotes sits on the table next to my TV watching chair. Among them are remotes for the TV, the preamp/processor, the DVR, three DVD players, a CD player ... nine in all.

Joel Brinkley  |  Jun 12, 2007  |  0 comments

Who can forget <I>Seven Years in Tibet</I>? In the early days of DVD, almost ten years ago, it was one of the first great releases. It offered stunning picture quality with video imagery that took full advantage of the top-of-the-line production values. The move is "panoramic." It shows vast Tibetan vistas, as well as exotic and colorful religious dress of the era – the late 1930s and early 1940s. Eventually, Sony even put out a "SuperBit" version, which was said to have even better picture quality.

Joel Brinkley  |  May 30, 2007  |  2 comments

<I>Smokin' Aces</I> is a thriller-action film full of suspense and quite satisfying. I liked it, and I had not seen it before the HD DVD arrived. The studio calls it an action "comedy." But don't look to this movie for laughs.

Joel Brinkley  |  Apr 17, 2007  |  1 comments

From the time it was first announced all the way through the previews, reviewers and the general public alike roundly derided the idea of another Rocky movie. Stallone, now 60, still boxing on-screen?

Joel Brinkley  |  Apr 09, 2007  |  0 comments

The Interpreter is a "diplomatic thriller," if such a thing is possible. And, having been a diplomatic correspondent for several years, I can tell you, the thrills, on the rare occasions they can be found, are wholly intellectual. And so it is with this movie. It offers a long, long windup to a fairly tame denouement.

Joel Brinkley  |  Jan 21, 2007  |  0 comments

Panasonic's video division has staked its life on plasma televisions. So far it looks like a pretty good bet. Sure, the company sells flat panel LCD and rear projection LCD and DLP TVs. But newspapers, magazines and televisions are host to countless Panasonic ads for plasmas and nary a one for the other technologies. And have you seen Panasonic promotions for an "LCD Concierge" service like one offered for its plasmas? All of this is paying off. Panasonic sells one-third of all plasmas sold in the United States &ndash; more than any other company.

Joel Brinkley  |  Sep 23, 2006  |  1 comments

The advertising brochures for Infinity's new Cascade line of speakers tell much of the story. The speakers are pictured nestled snugly up against a plasma TV, the center channel mounted on the wall. The stylized shot is from above, to show that the speakers are barely deeper than that ultra-thin TV. These are speakers designed for acceptance by both the enthusiast and the spouse.

Joel Brinkley  |  May 14, 2006  |  0 comments

VIZIO always offers surprisingly good products at extraordinary prices, and this new 42-inch plasma is no exception. It is loaded with features and comes at a price that used to be far, far below the competition. It lists for $1,699.99 and was on sale in March (for the NCAA basketball tournament) at about $200 less.

Joel Brinkley  |  Feb 12, 2006  |  0 comments

Trust me. You have seen this Panasonic plasma before. At the airport, bowling alley, department store, maybe even at a car wash. This is a professional model plasma, sold typically to businesses for utilitarian use, like departure-gate displays at the airport. But these models also hold something of a mystique for people like you and me, and as a result they have developed a cult following. And after looking at this one for a few weeks, I can see why.

Joel Brinkley  |  Dec 11, 2005  |  0 comments

Remember the day when plasma televisions were unadorned monitors? You had to connect it to a VCR to watch conventional television, and of course HDTV required another outboard tuner box. Any sound would have to come from your own sound system. Plasmas had no speakers or amplification of any kind. Just a screen and a picture. With no features to speak of, these plasmas had remote controls that offered four or five buttons, and that's all. And for that you paid $8,000 or more.