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Saturday, 01 April 2006 ,  Written by Kevin Miller
Mitsubishi HC3000 DLP Video Projector
Introduction There has never been a better time to take the plunge into a big-screen, front-projection home theater. Why, you ask? Two reasons: the products available have never been better in terms of picture quality and performance, and the prices have never been this affordable. A virtual plethora of front projectors are on the market in the $3,000 to $5,000 range, vying for your hard-earned dollars. The two technologies in front projection in this price range are LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and DLP (Digital Light Processing). I tend to prefer the latter over LCD, because DLP, when designed well, provides superior picture quality, due mainly to its better black-level performance, and its superior color saturation. Enter the Mitsubishi HC3000 1280 x 768 resolution one-chip DLP projector, which retails for $3,900. This projector utilizes the Dark Chip 2 DMD chip from Texas Instruments, a step down from the newer Dark Chip 3, which provides slightly better black-level performance. ...
Thursday, 01 December 2005 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Marantz VP-12S4 DLP Video Projector
Introduction Is the Marantz VP-12S4 the best single-chip DLP projector on the market? It is a question that has been asked many times before in many showrooms and many online home theater forums. The VP-12S4 at $14,499 is the latest and most expensive in Marantz’s line of VP-12 DLP projectors. The S4 builds upon the proven platform that has utilized the Texas Instruments HD2+ DLP chipset. The S4 uses the latest iteration, the DarkChip 3, which increases the fill factor by reducing the space between pixels. This chipset also features improved contrast and faster operating speed over the prior chipset (the DC2). Other major changes between the S3 and the S4 include the addition of a new lens option and a change from Faroudja to Gennum video processing. The VP-12S4 is a full-featured projector. In addition to the above described features, the S4 has three Konica-Minolta lens options to fit nearly every possible throw range, ...
Thursday, 01 December 2005 ,  Written by Jeremy R. Kipnis
Microsoft Xbox 360
Introduction As a hard-core gamer for over 30 years and a programmer to boot, both in the arcade and on PC and consoles over multiple platforms, I can say with authority that the true test of any new game system or technology is how much better it is then anything else that’s come before it. And, what does it cost for that performance improvement? Back in the 1970s, when there was almost nothing in video games to play, we were happy to upgrade from black and white to color or from Pong to Space Invaders. Even to go as programmers from Basic or Fortran to DOS offered significant improvements to gaming that a few years before were simply unimaginable. This is because computer power was at a premium, as it was throughout the U.S. Apollo missions to the moon, and arcade games circa 1980 like Donkey Kong, Tempest, Frogger, or Pole Position required the ...
Tuesday, 01 November 2005 ,  Written by Matthew Evert
Monster HTPS 7000 Home Theater Reference Power Source
Introduction Energy is a hot topic these days. From record oil prices to hybrid cars, it seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. What sometimes is forgotten is how antiquated and archaic the American power grid is. From corrupt companies like Enron ripping off California consumers to the frequent “brown-outs” that plague grids all over the nation, our AC power really isn’t that consistent when you get down to it. Some critics say it doesn’t affect your home theater system. They are crazy. Voltage dips, brown-outs and other AC maladies can cook top performing home theater gear in the worst cases. In better but fully unacceptable circumstances, bad AC power simply robs you of the measured performance you paid for in your TV, electronics and beyond. Enter Monster Cable, which has been making cables and power correction systems for more than ...
Monday, 01 August 2005 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Marantz DV9500 Universal Disc Player
Introduction The DV9500 is Marantz’s latest universal disc player, situated at the top of their line. The player boasts an impressive set of features in both performance and convenience. At $2,099, the DV9500 is not cheap, but there is much to set it apart from the $300 universal disc players found at your local retailer. Upon lifting the box, I immediately noticed that the DV9500 was a lot more substantial than most other single-disc transports at 18-and-three-quarters pounds. Once I opened the box and removed the player, which measured a fairly standard 17-and-one-sixteenth inches wide by four-and-a-half inches tall by 15-and-one-eighth inches, it was apparent that a lot of effort went into making sure that the chassis was solid and free of resonant chatter. Some of the DV9500’s numerous convenience features include the ability to read the following formats, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD-stereo and SACD multi-channel, DVD-R/RW, CD, CD-R/RW, SVCD, VCD, MP3 and JPEG discs. I think this ...
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