Peter Pachal

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2007  |  0 comments

NEW TRADITION Kevlar woofer cones, Nautilus tweeters, elegant lines - these are definitely B&W speakers. But there's a twist: The VM6 integrates the company's trademark components into a thoroughly modern design. It's only 4 inches deep, just enough for the tweeter's tapered tail to fit, so high frequencies sound free and clear.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2007  |  0 comments

UPCONVERT, MARK DOWN Now that your piggy bank is empty since you blew all your savings on that 1080p HDTV, you probably don't have much left for a receiver. Good thing Pioneer's VSX-917V won't set you back too much, and it's totally ready for your HD set with its two HDMI inputs. So don't feel bad about splurging on that HD DVD player either.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2007  |  0 comments

GREAT OUTDOORS Too many people coming over for movie night? Move the festivities outside with the Backyard Drive-In screen, ready to serve up your flick on a huge screen after about 10 minutes of setup. Just park a projector in front of it, and your entertainment is stretched out on a 12-foot viewing area - 18 feet for the extra-large version.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

HARBORING MUSIC These days, an iPod dock and $3.98 might get you a grande latte at Starbucks, but Escient has a dock model that qualifies as a premium blend. The FP-1 doesn't just stream your iPod music - it completely integrates it into the company's FireBall Music Manager, combining those songs with any tunes you have on servers or PCs.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

TOUCHES OF CLASS If you suspect those cheapie plasmas at Costco must be missing something, you're right . . . and it's all found in Pioneer's PRO-940HD set. An arsenal of technologies - including a crystal emissive layer, glare-reducing filter, and improved phosphors - gives you the deepest contrast possible.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

HIGH-DEF CRED A nice side effect of everyone going gaga over 1080p displays is that 720p gear is more affordable than ever. Case in point: Sanyo's PLV-Z5 projector, which will fill your wall or screen with 100-inch HD images for less than 2 Gs.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

PIXEL FACTORY DVD isn't as exciting as it used to be, but Oppo's DV-981HD player still manages to impress. After all, you don't find a Faroudja video processor for upconverting video to 1080p format in any old bargain-basement machine. And with the HDMI output, hookup to your cutting-edge flat-panel TV is seamless.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

BIT PIPELINE One thing about HDMI - the supposed be-all and end-all of HDTV connectors - is that it's one of the most rapidly changing standards in A/V history.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

THE RIGHT PROTOCOL Vibe has its own take on whole-house audio: The system uses IP (Internet Protocol) to communicate between components. Music on the Vibe AS1-1250/6 server, which stores as many as 1,250 uncompressed CDs, streams digitally over your network to up to six rooms.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

LEAN AND SO MEAN The leading 58-inch plasma panel costs 5 grand and can't even display a 1080p signal without downconverting it to 720p. Seems like JVC's got it all figured out with its new slim HD-ILA LCoS HDTV. For $3,300, you get a crisp 58-inch 1080p screen in a cabinet just 10.8 inches deep that goes flush against a wall and can even be wall-mounted.

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