Ten cool products to check out, including a hanging speaker, Paradigm's compact 2.1 theater speaker system, a portable charging station and a high-end soundbar from AudioXperts that we can't wait to review.
Register to win a ZVOX 580 SoundBase (MSRP $599.99) we are giving away.
"Now you can get room-filling home theater sound - without a room full of speakers and wires. The ZVOX Z-Base 580 is a complete surround sound system - including dual powered subwoofers - all in one cabinet. Just place the 580 on a piece of furniture, place your flat-panel TV on top of the ZVOX system, connect one wire...you've installed a high-performance home theater system in under 10 minutes."
There was a time long before the Twilight era when vampires were stylishly suave, spoke with heavy European accents, resided in palatial gothic stone mansions, and didn’t get their wardrobes from Abercrombie & Fitch. Based on the popular cult soap opera from the late ’60s that ran for more than 1,200 episodes, Dark Shadows tells the story of a young 18th century aristocrat, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) who foolishly spurns the love of a vindictive witch ironically named Angelique (Eva Green). Proving that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Angelique places a curse on him and his entire family line. After witnessing his beloved fiancée take a suicide plunge off a seaside cliff while under a spell, Barnabas is condemned to be a vampire and then promptly sealed in a coffin and buried. And you thought your ex was a raving psychopath.
Magnavox brought the first Laserdisc player, the VH-8000, to market in late 1978, but Pioneer was the company that put the format on the map. Its first player, the VP-1000, debuted in the U.S. in 1980, and later in Japan. I doubt Pioneer ever thought Laserdisc would threaten VHS and Betamax’s dominance in the mass market; Laserdisc was targeted to high-end buyers.
Procella Audio, a Swedish company specializing in high-performance speakers for home theaters, professional studios, and screening rooms, prides itself on building speakers that can play 24-bit/96-kilohertz program material at THX reference levels with full dynamic range. Its latest model—the P6V—can be used for main-channel applications in small- to medium-size rooms 10 to 20 feet deep and is rated to produce a maximum continuous output of 110 decibels, 116 dB peak. Impressive, considering the P6V is only 18.5 inches tall, 11.4 inches wide, and about 5 inches deep, which also means it can be mounted on a wall (brackets included) or, when used as a surround speaker, concealed in an architectural column.
Everything worth knowing about teenagers in the 1980s is found in John Hughes’ 1984 directorial debut, Sixteen Candles. This is a perfect movie, capturing it all in just two days in the life of 16-year-old Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald). Sam’s 16th birthday is the day before her older sister’s wedding, and it starts out anything but sweet. Her entire family is so consumed with the wedding details, they forget. Sam heads to the back-to-school dance saddled with her grandparents’ Asian exchange student Long Duk Dong, in love with impossibly sweet campus hunk Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), and chased by relentless freshman geek, Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall). Hilarity, revelations, and romance ensue.
Price: $300 At a Glance: Renders 5.1 signals as "7.1" • Multiple digital inputs, no analog • An easy form factor to live with
The valley between most televisions' woeful onboard audio and the glory of a full-on 5.1-, 6.1-, or 7.1-channel audio system is a broad one indeed, and wending its way through the middle like some bittersweet creek is the much-maligned soundbar. Once dismissed by the techno-elite as home theater for the lazy, the soundbar has since evolved into a viable compromise bet ween…well, something great and nothing at all.
Video streaming may be growing in popularity but sales of Blu-ray discs and DVDs still accounted for 61 percent of home-video spending on movies in 2012, according to the latest statistics from market research firm The NPD Group.
Does video streaming play a role in how you experience TV and movies at home? If so, take part in this week's Home Theater Poll and let us know which service you use most.
HT Poll: Which Service Do You Use Most for Streaming Movies and TV?
At Home Theater, we’ve long been fans of set-up DVDs and Blu-ray discs that allow you to tune your television or projector for the optimum image. Now, just in time for the Super Bowl, THX has launched a mobile app designed to help sports fans and movie lovers do just that.
“THX tune-up” is an iOS app for iPad (2 and higher), iPad mini, iPhone (4 and higher), and iPod touch (Gen 4 and higher). To commemorate the Big Game and assist as many as possible of the 7.5 million people expected to purchase a new set just for the occasion, THX is offering the app as a free download from the iTunes store through Monday, February 4th. After that, it’ll cost $1.99. An Android version is expected to be released next spring.
Before your inner geek gets too worked up, neither the THX tune-up app nor any set-up disc...