Editors' Choice Awards 2001 Page 3
($25,999; reviewed by Joel Brinkley, January 2001)
The DVP-5000 may be expensive, but it's also an amazing technological accomplishment that you can read all about in Joel Brinkley's review in this issue. Also check out Tom Norton's review of the DVP-3000 in the November 2000 SGHT. The DVP-3000 is identical to the DVP-5000 in function and performance, but omits the ability to convert 1080i images to 1080p—the flagship feature of the DVP-5000.
($649; reviewed by Joel Brinkley, March/April 2000)
"The RCA DTC100 is the product everyone's been waiting for, and I can now tell you it was worth the wait." That about sums up Joel Brinkley's reaction to this combination terrestrial and satellite high-definition/standard-definition tuner. As long as your satellite choice is DirecTV, the DTC100 does it all, and does it superbly. Standard-definition broadcast, cable, and DirecTV signals are put out in line-doubled 540p form.
But the RCA's main attraction is satellite reception of DirecTV's hi-def channels—currently limited to two channels of HBO programming. Michael Fremer has watched this source extensively, and reports that, on the best hi-def transfers, the quality is stunning. For many consumers, the DTC100's only downside will be that its output is RGB, not component. But there are converter boxes that will provide the proper component output for most TVs, including one from RCA for $130, reviewed in this issue.
($3395/$2395; reviewed by Fred Manteghian, May 2000)
Compact, yet exceptionally solid and well-built, Proceed's 2-channel BPA-2 and 3-channel BPA-3 combine flexibility with exceptional performance. They're not particularly high-powered for their prices, but few users are likely to feel any obvious power shortage, particularly those who hand off bass chores to a separate subwoofer.
Fred Manteghian found that the BPA amps excelled at providing outstanding resolution of complex material. They sounded smooth but harmonically correct, with detailed, well-controlled bass. "While hardly inexpensive," Fred noted, the Proceeds could bring "more than just a taste of the high end into your home . . . with harmonic integrity, subtlety, and, above all, musicality."
B&K Reference 7250
($2498; reviewed by Michael Fremer, July/August 2000)
B&K has long specialized in electronics that offer value and performance, and the Reference 7250 5-channel amplifier, the company's most powerful multichannel amp yet at a rated 200Wpc, is a winner. It took a few days of operation before its sound opened up, but after that, the B&K's performance jelled beautifully. A fast, taut-sounding performer with muscular, well-damped bass and crystalline highs, the Reference 7250 provided superb clarity and detail.
The 7250's performance was first-class with any type of good program material, from music to film soundtracks. In fact, reviewer Michael Fremer concluded that you might well be happy with this amplifier for a very long time—"the rest of your home-theater life"—no matter what speakers you might upgrade to along the way.