equipment reviews
This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
ZenWave Cables and SurgeX ZenWave Edition Review
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0 Headphone Amp & Preamp Review
iFi Micro iUSB 3.0 & Gemini USB Cable Reviews
Marantz M-CR611 Network CD Receiver Review
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Monday, 01 October 2007 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Vidabox LUX Home Theater PC
Introduction Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s most adventurous media rooms. HTPCs are being offered by some larger mainstream manufacturers, as well as smaller, specialized manufacturers, such as Vidabox, that focus on the “HT or home theater” portion of HTPC. Microsoft’s incorporation of media features in their Vista operating system all but ensures that PCs will remain in our home theaters. Vidabox, LLC is based in Garden City, New York, where co-founders Steven Cheung and Sergio DeAlbuquerque remain hands on in day-to-day operations. Vidabox was founded to design and build premium quality media centers and home theater PCs. The LUX model reviewed here is toward the higher end of the line. The LUX that is running in my home theater right now is different from every other HTPC that I have seen to date, in that it supports both the HD DVD and Blu-Ray formats. Niveus, a well-regarded competitor in ...
Sunday, 01 July 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Vizio VM60P 60-inch Plasma HDTV
Introduction Perhaps not since the industrial revolution has rapid technological growth been as commonplace as it is in today’s red-hot flat-panel HDTV marketplace. Less than five years ago, a 42-inch plasma was a $20,000 toy only for the wealthiest. Today, seemingly anyone and everyone with a club is heading down to Costco, Sam’s Club and any number of mass market retailers to buy a big, beautiful, flat HDTV for prices that seem impossibly low. Leading this “video for the people” movement is, without question, Vizio. Vizio as a brand is working on becoming a household name, like Sony, Panasonic or even Kirkland, continuing to release plasma and LCD displays that seem to defy the laws of economics. Take, for instance, their former top dog, the P50, released less than two years ago for what was at the time an amazingly reasonable ...
Friday, 01 December 2006 ,  Written by Adrienne Maxwell
Vizio GV46L 46-inch LCD HDTV
Introduction Keeping up with LCD’s evolution hasn’t been easy. It’s hard to believe that, just a few short years ago, the big-screen LCD was confined to the drawing board. It arrived on the HDTV scene with a bang and an explosive price tag, to boot. Some speculated LCD wouldn’t be able to compete with plasma, cost-wise, in the big-screen market. So far, that has proven true in the 55-inch-and-above realm. However, in the 40- to 50-inch range, LCD is coming on strong, and prices are dropping … fast. One of the companies that has helped usher in the era of affordable big-screen LCD is Vizio, also known as V, Inc. Just as it did with plasma several years ago, Vizio has introduced a line of LCDs with solid performance and a nice complement of features, for a price that makes them impossible for flat-panel-hungry consumers to ignore. At the top of the line is ...
Wednesday, 01 November 2006 ,  Written by Kevin Miller
Vidikron Vision Model 50 DLP Video Projector
Introduction Without question, front-projection video is where it’s at if you truly want to recreate the theatrical experience at home. It’s all about cinematic impact, and you just don’t get this kind of experience with big box micro-displays or even the biggest plasma screens available today. A number of different technologies are vying for your hard-earned dollars in the front-projection arena: LCD (Liquid Crystal Display, which is transmissive) and its variant LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon, which is reflective technology), and DLP (Digital Light Processing, based on chips made with micromirrors from Texas Instruments’ also reflective technology). I am a fan of DLP, primarily because of its better black level performance, which yields better contrast ratios. Vidikron, a high-end display manufacturer, has both LCoS or what is known as D-ILA (Digital Image Light Amplifiers) and DLP projectors in their line of front-projection systems. Their new Vision Model 50 lies directly in the middle of their front ...
Sunday, 01 October 2006 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Velodyne SMS-1 Subwoofer Management System
Introduction It is not often that a product comes along that can either make a complex process one button simple or provide the tweaker with nearly unlimited adjustments in the pursuit of perfect sound but the Velodyne SMS-1 does just that. A couple of years ago Velodyne launched their Digital Drive series of subwoofers which included a digital signal processor, microphone, parametric equalizer and digital servo controlled subwoofer. The Digital Drive subwoofers received rave reviews including from’s own Christopher Zell. The Velodyne SMS-1 at $749 incorporates many of the features of the Digital Drive series, except of course the servo controlled subwoofer. The Subwoofer Management System features a full suite of controls housed in a svelte 1 rack unit high black box. The unit itself measures 2 inches high by 16.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep and weighs 17 pounds and is rack mountable. The front panel features an LCD in the center and ...
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