equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
SOtM iSO-CAT6 LAN Filter And tX-USBhub Review
Simaudio 760A Power Amplifier Review
Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer & Surge Protector Review
Carot One Titta Earbuds Review
In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
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Monday, 01 September 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Samsung LN52A750 LCD HDTV
Introduction I recently saw a CE news headline that read something along the lines of, “Report states that HDTV manufacturers must add more features and interactivity to compete in the future marketplace.” I’m not sure anyone really needed an official report to glean that pearl of wisdom. As performance and price amongst the big-name brands become increasingly similar, features and design play a larger role in distinguishing one TV from the next. With its 2008 line of high-end LCDs, Samsung has gotten aggressive in both respects. The Touch of Color aesthetic aims to catch your eye on the showroom floor, while features like media streaming and RSS feeds give the “connected” user something to be excited about. Of course, features and design don’t mean much if the TV’s performance is sub-par, but that’s not a concern here. The 52-inch, 1080p LN52A750 ...
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
SmX Theater Solutions, Pro Line Screen
Today’s AV news is filled with information on the newest projectors and how they are breaking new performance / price barriers. Yet the press does not spend much time with the other major component of a front projection system, the screen. While perhaps not as sexy as the projectors, screens have come a long way as well. Manufacturers realize this and in fact, SIM2, a long recognized industry leader has recently announced that they will be distributing SmX screens in Europe.
Friday, 01 August 2008 ,  Written by Kevin Miller
Samsung SP-A800B 1-Chip DLP Projector
Introduction Samsung first showed their latest flagship front projector, the SP-A800B, at last year’s CEDIA show in September of 2007. Having used the previous 720p model, the SP-H710AE, as a reference for well over a year, I had very high expectations of the new 1080p-resolution one-chip projector. Now that I have had the opportunity to live with the SP-A800B for an extended period of time, and having run it through its paces, I can say with confidence that I am not in the least disappointed with its performance.  It is also beautifully designed and elegant-looking. When compared with my previous reference, the Samsung SP-H710AE, also designed by Joe Kane, the new 800B exceeds its predecessor in performance in a number of key areas. Of course, the 1080p resolution means you get more than double the number of pixels on the screen, ...
Friday, 01 August 2008 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Sharp LC-37D64U LCD HDTV
Introduction I think I’ve been spoiled by my job.  Over the past year, most of the TVs I’ve reviewed have fallen in the 46- to 52-inch range.  When I first unpacked this 37-inch LCD, my reaction was, “Aww, how cute. It’s just so … little.”  But the truth is, if I were actually buying a new TV, this is probably the screen size I could afford.  The price of flat panels has fallen dramatically over the past few years, but these TVs still aren’t cheap.  It’s one thing to say that $2,500 is a good deal on a new 46-inch 1080p LCD; it’s another to actually shell out the cash yourself. In the real world, a lot of people still shop in the sub-40-inch range and consider a 37-inch TV to be a big step up from their old 27-inch CRT.  ...
Friday, 09 May 2008 ,  Written by
Sony VAIO VGX-TP25E Home Theater PC
The Basics: Sony offers two Windows Media Center PCs that sport a unique form factor, with a small, round, glossy chassis. Both models have a 500GB hard drive and a disc drive that allows Blu-ray playback and has read/write abilities for DVD and CD. The VGX-TP25E is the higher-end edition of the two. It offers 4GB of RAM and comes bundled with two external ATI TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner modules, which connect to the PC via the USB 2.0 ports. Each module has a CableCARD, Clear-QAM, and an NTSC and ATSC tuner. The step-down VGX-TP20 lacks the ATI bundle (it has one internal NTSC and ATSC tuner) and offers only 2GB of RAM, but its $1599.99 asking price is substantially lower. The VGX-TP25E has two video output options (HDMI and VGA) and two audio output options (HDMI and optical digital). It ...
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