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This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
Eastern Electric Mini Max Supreme DAC Review
DH Labs Mirage USB Cable Review
SOtM sHP-100 Headphone Amplifier & DSD DAC Review
Marantz PM5005 Integrated Amplifier & CD5005 CD Player Review
Musical Fidelity M6si Integrated Amplifier Review
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Wednesday, 01 November 2006 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Sony Premium 60 GB Playstation 3
It was surreal on Friday November 17, 2006 a day that will live in infamy for gamers across the USA, to actually lay my hands on a virgin Sony Playstation 3 system. Eager customers waited as long as an entire week, camping outside of stores nationwide to be sure they would be first in line to experience Sony’s answer to the Microsoft Xbox 360. With a reported one hundred million PS2 units sold worldwide, Sony supposedly would only be rolling out a measly 300,000 PS3s on launch day, with about another 100,000 shipping to stores and online retailers before the end of 2006. By video game standards this is a miniscule number; however, what will be of great interest to home theater enthusiasts who have been watching the HD DVD versus Blu-ray format war is the fact that more Blu-ray players landed in the homes of US consumers in one day than had ...
Friday, 01 September 2006 ,  Written by Tim Hart
Classé Delta Series CDP-300 Universal Player
Introduction With so much media focus on the recent releases of HD DVD and Blu-ray, one could possibly see the demise of the current DVD hardware set just on the horizon. But early adopters beware: HD DVD is suffering from some brutal (perhaps even fatal) growing pains to overcome maladies such as painfully slow load times, frequent and amazingly frustrating reboots and excruciating integration issues with existing home theater systems, thanks to the fact that movie studios have forced HD DVD players to constantly have an HDCP handshake, which is at the root of most of people’s connectivity and switching issues. Blu-ray is better, but still suffers from many problems, including a lack of RS232 control, reported and admitted problems with the video output (even though it looks pretty good) and the fact that HDMI 1.3 offers as much as twice the video bandwidth going to your set. At this point, who could blame anyone ...
Saturday, 01 July 2006 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray Player
Introduction Format wars. Everyone hates them, but they are a fact of life and HDTV owners who long for more performance than DVD has to offer are smack dab in the middle of a dilemma. Blu-ray or HD DVD – that is the question. Sony has never fared well in past AV format wars (remember Betamax, Mini-Disc and SACD?), but they are betting on their new Blu-ray technology big time. HD DVD rolled out several weeks prior to the Blu-ray launch; the players have so far received cheers for their picture and jeers for their glitchy performance and sloppy interfaces. The mixed reviews have left the door open for Sony’s format to swoop in and impress. The first player to hit the streets is the $999 Samsung BD-P1000. Being the only Blu-ray player commercially available at the time of this review (other than the players available in Sony VAIO computers), the obvious comparison ...
Saturday, 01 July 2006 ,  Written by Bryan Dailey
Toshiba HD-A1 HD DVD Player
Introduction Cracking open the box of my first HD DVD player, I can’t help but think back to the days of the VHS vs. Betamax and DVD-Audio vs. SACD format wars. With the pending release of Blu-ray, the competing high-definition disc format, many consumers are taking a “wait and see” attitude about which one will be the champion of the high-resolution disc. Blu-ray players are going to be in the $1,000 to $1,500 range. However Toshiba is the first to market with their HD-A1 and HD-XA1 players, $499 and $799, respectively. Those thirsty for more HD content have braved the format war controversy and picked up these Toshiba units, which were virtually impossible to find in their first few weeks of release. However, this was partially due to a small inventory rollout from Toshiba. The company tentatively dipped their feet in the water with this player and the initial reports from consumers, AVRev.com staffers and ...
Thursday, 01 June 2006 ,  Written by Jeremy R. Kipnis
Toshiba HD-XA1 HD DVD Player
Introduction With tremendous hype and noted delays, HD DVD players have hit the market, allowing consumers to see HD movies from a commercially available disc for the first time. Two players mark the launch of the format: the Toshiba HD-XA1 ($799.95) and HD-A1 HD DVD ($499.95). The launch is a cautious one, with reportedly only 15,000 units being shipped for the first run of players, leaving stores like Sears and Best Buy to sell off their small number of players relatively quickly. Initial software offerings are quite pleasing, with Warner Bros. correctly featuring “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Last Samurai” alongside Universal’s “Serenity” (apparently alternating with Warner’s “Million Dollar Baby,” which came out the following week, due to a mastering concern by the producers). Also available in the second week (Tuesday, April 25) were releases that included Universal’s “Apollo 13” and “Doom” for a total of six HD DVD titles at the end ...
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