Just dipping your toes into the home theater waters? Home Theater editor-in-chief Rob Sabin lays out the basics of home theater in plain English in a recent interview on Real Estate Today Radio, the syndicated radio show of the National Association of Realtors. Listen to the segment here.
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value
Price: $3,000 At A Glance: Superior 2D color and adjustability • Crisp resolution • Outstanding value
Epson is one of the world’s most prolific projector manufacturers, serving both the business and home markets. The company’s current flagship home theater model, the PowerLite Pro Cinema 6020UB, sells for $4,000. But for $2,700, you can buy the PowerLite Home Cinema 5020UB. The latter omits the spare lamp, ceiling mount, additional warranty year, and all-black case that come standard with the 6020UB.
One of silent film’s biggest stars, Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), enlists the talents of a down-on-his-luck Hollywood screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden) to help edit a screenplay she wrote in hopes of launching her big comeback. Little does Gillis know, the poor lady is off her rocker. But when you’re broke, you have to take work when you can get it. The pair watch her old movies with her trusty butler—who hides his own dirty secret—at the helm of the camera, but the more time Gillis spends with the ex-starlet, the more he becomes accustomed to the lavish lifestyle she provides him.
Moonrise Kingdom is another witty charmer from writer/director Wes Anderson, this time with a bittersweet tinge of youth’s passing in 1965 New England. The protagonists are two troubled 12-year-olds who run away to marry in the wilderness of insular New Penzance Island. Suzy’s parents are miserable, insufferable lawyers (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray). Suzy sees a lot (often through binoculars) and has discovered her mother is having an affair with the island policeman, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis). Sam is an orphan with outstanding wilderness skills, who resigns from his Khaki Scout troop (in writing!) and is not invited back to his foster family if found. His only family is the troop of Khaki Scouts led by the well-meaning but overmatched Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton).
Hollywood special-effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen died May 7 in London. He was 92. While not a household name, Harryhausen is know for his work on such classic films as Mighty Joe Young (1949) and Clash of the Titans (1981). In his memory we present Chris Chiarella's 2008 interview with Harryhausen.
Until we’re able to use our minds to reliably control our A/V gear, most of us will continue to use a conventional remote handset to operate our equipment. But apps that that can turn a smartphone or tablet into a home theater remote control are becoming popular. Take a moment to respond to this week’s HT Poll and tell us how you control your gear stack. And if you use a remote control app, tell us what you like and don’t like about it in Comments.
Do you use your smartphone or tablet to control A/V gear?
Yes, for my TV only
1% (11 votes)
Yes, for a few A/V components
25% (207 votes)
Yes, for all of my A/V gear
10% (83 votes)
No, but I’m thinking about finding an app and checking it out
12% (102 votes)
No, I don’t see the point
13% (106 votes)
No, I love my pile of manufacturer-supplied remotes
11% (92 votes)
No, I love my programmable universal remote that controls all of my gear
Power cords. Three-prong adapters. Wall-wart power supplies and USB chargers with their thin, inevitably tangled cords. Running out of available outlets. These are all things I hate. Hell, even polarized plugs annoy the crap out of me. Let’s just say that when wireless power transmission – or power-harvesting devices – ever becomes a reality, I’m going to be a particularly happy individual. (If only Tesla were still alive…) In the meantime, the previously mentioned assortment vexing electrical necessities are things we all have no other choice than to deal with.
Fortunately there are plenty of devices out there that are specifically designed to lessen the pain of dealing with power cords and power supplies...
As part of its 40th Anniversary celebration, NAD Electronics has announced three compact, “eco-friendly” digital audio products, including an update of the iconic NAD 3020 integrated amplifier, one of the best selling hi-fi products of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Audio Performance Video Performance Features Ergonomics Value
Price: $1,000 At A Glance: Built-in Wi-Fi • Bluetooth with supplied dongle • Rudimentary room EQ
Sherwood can fairly lay claim to a slice of audio history. Born in Chicago in 1953, it was one of the great American brands of home audio’s infancy. Its vintage tube amps still sell on eBay as affordable alternatives to more sought-after brands like McIntosh and Marantz; some folks make a hobby of refurbishing them. Its early solid-state stereo receivers also have a modest following.
Price: $40 (wireless pocket keyboard additional $40) At a Glance: Android operating system • HDMI Stick connects directly to TV • Potentially unlimited content • Best keyboard/mouse remote available for any media player
Favi’s SmartStick is not, as many call it, a Google TV. Instead, it is a dongle (stick) that connects to an HDMI input on your TV and runs the Android operating system. Typically, smartphones and tablets have Android, but this is the first streaming Android dongle for your TV. And herein lies the problem. While most Android apps made for tablets can be downloaded to the SmartStick, they are not designed for a TV streaming device, and they don’t work when you try to use them.