Audio Video News

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HT Staff  |  Jul 30, 2000  |  0 comments
No projector, no screen, no giant box dominating the room--just a bright, clear picture hanging on the wall. It's the dream of many home theater enthusiasts, and Panasonic is helping to make it come true. The Japanese manufacturer has announced huge advances in contrast ratio––boosting it from a middling 400:1 to a mind-boggling 2000:1--and resulting in, the company says, brighter whites and darker blacks.
HT Staff  |  Jul 30, 2000  |  0 comments
Home theater fans looking for one component that will do everything should look no further than Denon’s new AVR-5800 receiver. With seven channels of high-wattage amplification, a subwoofer output, and high-resolution internal digital-to-analog converters, the AVR-5800 is also the first home theater product designed to accommodate DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, the recently-announced surround sound format from acoustic effects pioneer Digital Theater Systems.
 |  Jul 30, 2000  |  0 comments

According to figures released last week by the <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA), factory sales to dealers for digital television (DTV) displays for the month of June were 26,750 units, which the CEA claims is "the biggest sales month to date for DTV." The figures also show that the June figures brought DTV display sales for 2000 to 129,438, surpassing total display sales in 1999 (121,226). The CEA adds that these figures include DTV and HDTV display monitors that require the addition of a set-top box to receive digital broadcasts, as well as DTV and HDTV sets that include a DTV tuner. In addition, the CEA reports that 17,671 standalone set-top receivers have been sold to dealers since January 2000.

 |  Jul 30, 2000  |  0 comments

Although prices for high-definition displays have steadily declined in the past year, the equipment hasn't moved into the mass market in significant numbers. Home-theater specialty shops and their upscale clientele haven't yet had much of a "trickle-down" effect on rank-and-file consumers.

Wes Phillips  |  Jul 30, 2000  |  0 comments

M<I>ark Bourchardt, Mike Schank. Directed by Chris Smith. Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 (full-screen). Dolby Digital 5.1. 104 minutes. 1999. Sony Pictures 04702. R. $27.95.</I>

 |  Jul 30, 2000  |  0 comments

What do you watch on TV? When do you watch it? Soon 1500 volunteers will reveal all about their viewing habits as they embark on an unprecedented adventure in "big brotherism."

Jon Iverson  |  Jul 30, 2000  |  0 comments

Testifying last week before the House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection, <A HREF="">Consumer Electronics Association</A> (CEA) president and CEO Gary Shapiro described what he called a "successful consumer transition" to digital television (DTV), this characterized by broad product offerings, increased programming from alternative media sources, steady sales, and high consumer satisfaction with DTV products. But all is not rosy: According to Shapiro, broadcast-industry delays in delivering significant HDTV programming and the industry's potential misuse of the DTV spectrum to provide subscription data services could seriously slow the transition's current momentum.

HT Staff  |  Jul 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Not every home theater enthusiast has space for a big screen and a bulky projector. If your taste in home entertainment runs toward cozier rooms, perhaps you should look at a smaller high-definition CRT display, like the HD3298u from Konka.
HT Staff  |  Jul 28, 2000  |  0 comments
Not too long ago you had to fork over a grand or more for a high-performance DVD player. Pioneer has just sliced that ticket by more than half with their new DV-525, a player sporting 10-bit video processing and internal 24-bit/96-kilohertz digital-to-analog converters. The $425 player is said to offer "twice the picture quality of a VCR" and options "usually reserved for players costing much more."
HT Staff  |  Jul 28, 2000  |  0 comments
Audiophiles have long joked that the "spousal acceptance factor" for equipment is at its most insurmountable when it comes to loudspeakers--and they were only talking about a pair. Home theater buffs face an even bigger challenge: getting their mates to accept FIVE speakers and a subwoofer.
HT Staff  |  Jul 26, 2000  |  0 comments
Are stratospheric equipment prices bumming you out? Onkyo has something guaranteed to cheer you up: a new home theater receiver with multiple inputs, Dolby and DTS surround processing, five channels of high-current power, and an incredibly low price. How low? Try $330.
Lawrence B. Johnson  |  Jul 23, 2000  |  0 comments

C<I>harlize Theron, Bill Paxton, David Paymer, Regina King, Rade Sherbedgia, Peter Firth. Directed by Ron Underwood. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (letterbox). Dolby Digital 5.1. 114 minutes. 1998. Walt Disney 16538. PG. $24.98.</I>

Barry Willis  |  Jul 23, 2000  |  0 comments

Owners of digital television (DTV) products are extremely satisfied with their performance, but are unhappy with the lack of available programming in the new format, according to a survey conducted by the <A HREF="">National Consumers League</A> (NCL) and released July 21, 2000.

Barry Willis  |  Jul 23, 2000  |  0 comments

Blockbuster has seen the future, and it ain't video rentals&mdash;at least not the kind you pick up in person. The video chain has signed an agreement with Enron Broadband Services to begin offering video-on-demand, one of a host of entertainment services to be developed as part of a 20-year pact. The announcement was made July 19.

Jon Iverson  |  Jul 23, 2000  |  0 comments

A study released last week claims that in the next five years, smarter TV devices and content will dramatically change how viewers consume television programming. The result, according to a new report from <A HREF="">Forrester Research</A>, will be a significant shift in the business model for television: "Even as they drain $18 billion in ordinary TV advertising revenues, smarter devices will create $25 billion in new revenues from viewers interacting with their TV screens."