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Thursday, 01 March 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sunfire Theater Grand Processor V
Introduction Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I pull out all the stops by fully decorating the house, buying enough candy to put a normally healthy adult into diabetic shock and generally reveling in the fun of dispensing goodies to those in need. It is possible Bob Carver felt the same emotions when he designed the Sunfire Theater Grand Processor 5. Available in a black or silver finish, the TGP-5 is designed to be the hub of a high-end, high-performance home theater, providing all the flexibility and connections you could need. Offering HDMI switching, video transcoding, an integrated AM/FM tuner, the ability to handle seemingly any surround sound format and direct stereo bypass for two-channel listening, as well as extensive options for controlling an independent second zone, few processors in the world of home theater offer what this one does, especially for its modest retail price of $3,499. The TGP-5 provides both single-ended and balanced outputs ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sony BDP-S1 Blu-ray Player
Introduction This early in the development of the Blu-ray format, amidst a format war with rival HD DVD, Sony’s first player hits the market as one of the few real-world options for people looking to play back 1080p video on their HDTVs. Priced at $999, the Sony BDP-S1 competes with offerings from Samsung and Panasonic, as well as the hard-to-get Sony Playstation 3 game console. Included with the player is a copy of The Fifth Element (Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment) on Blu-ray. A free Blu-ray movie, Talledega Nights, also accompanies Sony’s Playstation 3 game console. The Sony BDP-S1 came to my house the same day as Sony’s new 70-inch SXRD rear-projection TV, the KDS-R70XBR2, so all at once I was fully up for 1080p. I quickly unpacked the Sony player from its box and Styrofoam packing, unwrapped it, placed it in my rack and swapped its digital connection with that of another of my DVD ...
Thursday, 01 February 2007 ,  Written by Ken Taraszka, MD
Sunfire Theater Grand 7400 Multi-channel Amplifier
Introduction Power. Grown men have spent their entire lives fighting and even dying for it. We often associate power with size and weight, but can be fooled by the little guy whose abilities can drop the largest of men. Bob Carver is known for packing amazing amounts of power into the smallest and lightest of boxes with his amplifiers, and it seems Mr. Carver has empowered yet another “little guy” with his new Theater Grand Amplifier 7400. As president of Sunfire, Bob Carver has been a major player in the audio industry since 1970, when he founded Phase Linear, and he has kept pace with the rapidly changing business throughout the years. His advances in amplifier technology are legendary and his new top of the line seven-channel amplifier, the Sunfire Theater Grand Amplifier 7400, puts out a rated 400 watts per channel into eight ohms into all seven channels, and doubles down to 1600 ...
Monday, 01 January 2007 ,  Written by Kevin Miller
Sony KDL-46XBR2 LCD HDTV
Both Plasma and LCD flat panel TVs have been plummeting in price in recent months, and the two different display technologies are locked in a heated battle for your hard-earned dollars. The one obvious advantage that LCD technology has over plasma, at least in the short term, is the resolution. Enter Sony’s latest technological tour de force, the KDL-46XBR2 flat panel LCD HDTV. LCD flat panels have been available with their highly-touted 1080p resolution for some time now, and the Sony KDL-46XBR2 delivers this resolution and more for your viewing pleasure. Plasma panels are only now just arriving with 1920 x 1080 resolution, and definitely carry a major premium in price over their LCD competitors. This new Sony has many things to recommend it in terms of picture quality and performance but, like everything else in video, it also has its shortcomings. Design The panel is quite unique in its design and, as with many Sony ...
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Samsung HL-S6187W 61-Inch DLP HDTV
Introduction So, you want a big screen experience in your home, but a 50-inch plasma won’t quite cut it and you don’t have the Benjamins for something bigger. To make matters worse, your room isn’t quite suited for front projection, or you can’t justify to your significant other why heavy blackout drapes or gray walls is a good idea. What is one to do? Get yourself a rear-projection DLP, that’s what you do. Rear projection DLP HDTVs offer most, if not all, of the features of their plasma and projection brethren with fewer drawbacks and lower prices. Rear projection DLPs come in a wide range of sizes, from 40 inches on up and, thanks to the wizards over at Texas Instruments, they’re shallower than ever, with an average depth around 15 inches, making them easier to place in and about the home. To top it off, rear-projection DLP TVs are way cheaper than their ...
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