Working with Architects
July 1, 2005

Integrating with the masters of the house By Janet Pinkerton Cruise the online portfolios of award-winning architects and you'll find residential designs that look jarringly unlike the prize-winning home theaters or media rooms found in CEDIA circles. These residential designs often feature soaring, clean lines, huge windows that bring the outside in, massive stone fireplaces, a complete lack of visual clutter and a myriad of acoustically brutal surfaces. You might see a lone plasma display starkly placed over a mantle, with nary a speaker in sight. It makes you wonder how people who live in these houses watch movies with all that ambient light

Connectivity's New School
June 1, 2005

Digital A/V connectors like HDMI and IEEE 1394 simplify hookups and improve signal transfers. But are they future-proof? When a federal court this spring put the nix on an FCC requirement that video equipment start implementing a broadcast flag copy protection scheme, the sighs of relief among consumer electronics manufacturers were not just an affirmation of the consumer's right to record. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, manufacturers were also relievedthat they would not need to re-design their products' connectors. By Cliff Roth Digital video and audio connections have numerous inherent advantages over analog connections. They're virtually impervious to noise pickup, and signal quality doesn't

The Death of TiVo?
April 1, 2005

Will the DVR pioneer go belly up, or has it just begun to fight? By Cliff Roth When TiVo announced last month that it had signed a deal with Comcast, America's largest cable TV operator, to offer TiVo-equipped set-top boxes, the stock price of the struggling PVR/DVR innovator shot up by almost 50 percent, from about $4 to $6. Talk about lowered expectations: back in 1999, two years after TiVo began operations, its stock price peaked at $75, and regularly traded between $30 and $45. What happened? Although it arrived in the era of the dot-com boom, TiVo was a different animal, a consumer

SED The New Screen on the Block
March 1, 2005

Looking for a lofty vision? A new display technology called SED promises to not only be the next big thing in flat panel hang-on-the-wall TV, but to replace and all-but-eliminate everything that has come before, by offering better picture quality at a lower price. Despite the seemingly ever-expanding array of new thin screen and projection display technologies˜plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, OLED, etc.˜good old-fashioned 50-year old color CRT technology remains the gold standard of picture quality. So what if you could take the front surface of a CRT-type display, using the exact same phosphors as conventional TV sets, and eliminate the depth by using a

Mitsubishi WD-52825
January 1, 2005

We've seen quite a few DLP rear-projection sets over the past year or two, both in our testing area and at retail. While the viewing angles and form factors of these sets are a welcome improvement over traditional CRT-based rear-projection technology, we've more than once been turned off by the picture artifacts frequently seen on single chip models, including unnatural, oversaturated colors that stand out on a fluorescent showroom floor, but can look cartoonish and offputting in a home theater setting. Mitsubishi's WD-52825, however, is an exception to what we've come to expect from this category. It's unquestionably one of the best implementations of

PC vs. CE?
November 1, 2004

Last month, Microsoft made its largest push yet to gain a foothold in the living rooms and entertainment centers of America with its announcement of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, along with complimentary products and services from third parties such as Dell, HP, Gateway, Toshiba's Digital Products Division, D-Link, Linksys and Netgear. The press, the analysts and the hardcore geeks went into their predictable tizzies—and granted, the sight of Bill Gates lounging with Queen Latifah at the press conference was truly mind-bending. But mainstream America, distracted by presidential politics, baseball playoffs, everyday life and its iPods, barely shrugged. However, the products that emerge

New Big-Screen Display Technologies
October 1, 2003

iFire's TDEL technology involves a low-cost and high-yield manufacturing process. By Cliff Roth The writing on the wall suggests TVs will be on the wall, in more homes than ever. Everybody wants these new flat screens, but even with prices dropping to the $3,000 ballpark for entry-level models, they're still a bit steep for most homes. The challenge now is the ability to produce flat screens cheaply — something most major manufacturers, and even some scrappy start-ups, are frantically working on achieving. Long Live Plasma? Plasma screens were at the cutting edge of big-screen display technology when the concept of the hang-on-the-wall TV

October 1, 2003

By GRANT CLAUSER Yes, friends, Vidikron is back, though the products that brand has been formerly associated with are long gone, replaced with updated technology and a new distribution strategy. With projectors like the Vision One, Vidikron, formerly an Italian company, earned praise even from director Martin Scorsese. Yet the company fell on sour times, and the name seemed doomed to disappear. About a year ago, the revered brand was acquired by one of its fiercest rivals, Runco International. This is the first Runco-produced product to bear the Vidikron brand. While the old Vidikron was known for large, celestially priced three-gun CRT

The 2003 Excite Awards
August 1, 2003

Congratulations to the 2003 Excite Award Winners: AUDIO Audio Disc Player Denon DVD-9000 Krell SACD Standard Audio Server Marantz Opus AudioReQuest Tera Multichannel Processor Meridian 861 Lexicon MC-8 Multichannel Amplifier Elan D1200 Integra RDA-7 Multichannel Receiver Pioneer VSX-49txi Marantz 9300 Multi-Zone Controller Xantech MRC88 Russound CAV6.6 Multi-Zone Receiver B&K CT-610 Niles ZR-8630AV Floorstanding Speakers Tannoy Sensys DC-2 Legacy Whisper Bookshelf Speakers KEF Model 201 Paradigm Monitor 5 Mini Speakers Totem Dreamcatcher Pinnacle Quantum Subwoofer Velodyne CHT-10 SpeakerCraft BassX W-10 In-Wall Speaker Paradigm SA-35 Meridian DSP420 On-Wall Speaker Mirage OMNISAT Jamo A210PDD In-Ceiling Speaker Sonance Elipse 2.0 LCR Parasound C-70 Outdoor Speaker Boston Acoustics