Peter Pachal

Peter Pachal  |  May 04, 2006  |  0 comments

From a $200 bookshelf model to a 3.5-foot-tall tower ($1,800 a pair), NHT's new Classic speakers have gloss-black finishes that stand out and curves in all the right places. But in redesigning its Super Audio speaker line, the company went for more than just good looks by tailoring the speakers' sound for home theaters.

Peter Pachal  |  May 04, 2006  |  0 comments

COOL FACTOR It's nice to see other portable media players keeping up with the iPod, and Toshiba's gigabeat S Series has comparable video chops: a crisp 21/2-inch screen with 320 x 240-pixel resolution.

Peter Pachal  |  May 04, 2006  |  0 comments

Everybody wants a flat LCD or plasma TV to hang on the wall, but punching holes for cabling can be a pain. Mizzico has its "Superb Wiring Solution" for this quandary: the WS-18, an 18-inch-long wiring channel ($89) that attaches to the wall between your TV and component rack (assuming it's right underneath), hiding any unsightly cables.

Peter Pachal  |  May 04, 2006  |  0 comments

At $1,700, Sony's HDR-HC3 high-def camcorder is just $100 cheaper than the previous model, but it still takes a step forward by being the first HD cam with an HDMI output - the digital video connector most common on new HDTVs.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2006  |  0 comments

Take a good look at that rack (the one above, wise guy). Notice anything missing? If you said shelves, you'd be wrong - Soundations F1 equipment racks ($949 in black, blue, or red, $999 in cherry) don't need any. Instead, adjustable "fingers" support your gear while preventing it from vibrating at resonant frequencies.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2006  |  0 comments

If you haven't made the jump to HDTV yet, here's a great reason to get with the program: the very affordable Dish Network ViP622 HD satellite receiver/DVR ($299). Not only will this magic box let you tune into HD shows (satellite and off-air), but it also packs a hefty hard disk for recording up to 25 hours of them (or 180 hours in standard-def).

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2006  |  0 comments

You hear a lot about how good speakers look on a wall. What you don't hear is that wall mounting can affect a speaker's performance. Good thing the PSB VisionSound VS300 speakers (center and front, $749 apiece) have special circuitry to compensate for any ill effects (a switch defeats it for off-wall mounting).

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2006  |  0 comments

0604_new_elan_xm_200Can't get enough satellite radio? The Elan XM-R3 XM radio tuner ($1,550) was made just for you. The rack-mountable unit has a trio of XM tuners onboard so you can stream separate XM channels to three different rooms in your house simultaneously.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2006  |  0 comments

As convenient as it is to have music and video on things like iPods and cell phones, there are always times when you want some seriously big sound. That's where the Zvox Mini portable speaker ($200) can help.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2006  |  0 comments

For the past few years, the trend in speaker design has been to make models that blend into the environment - from super-flat on-wall speakers to paintable in-walls that disappear entirely. But the Energy RC-Mini speakers ($200 to $250 each) scream that loudspeakers can be beautiful!

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