Back during the analog TV era, a well-regarded manufacturer offered me a rear-projection set—not for review, just for my own use. I turned it down. I didn’t want one of those big, butt-ugly things in my living room. In later years, RPTV went high def, slimmed down, and became the best buy in big-screen TV in terms of inches per dollar. But that wasn’t enough to save it. In the closing jingle-bell months of last year, the one remaining RPTV manufacturer pulled the plug, and the product category quietly passed into history.
At a press conference in Manhattan today marked by celebrity guest appearances of super model Kate Upton, Super Bowl quarterback Eli Manning, and super-rapper Flo Rida, Samsung officially introduced its 2013 TV line and availability for a new F8500 super plasma. Along with Panasonic’s much anticipated ZT plasma series that will debut soon, the F8500 is said to represent a new level of performance for a category that remains much beloved by A/V enthusiasts as the gold standard for image quality.
Simultaneously, Samsung announced that its 85-inch Ultra HD model, the UHD-S9 first shown at CES (photo above), will be available for preorders on the Samsung.com Web site at the end of March.
The results of last week’s survey are in. We asked what your next A/V entertainment upgrade will be and 198 of the survey’s 1,411 respondents said they’re holding out for a hybrid 4K/OLED TV like the one Panasonic is promising (shown).
Video projectors that reside in the ceiling have long been a fixture of high-end home theaters and are usually accompanied by a screen that retracts into a wall-mounted sleeve or disappears behind a curtain—everything controlled by remote control. Flat-panel TVs can benefit from the same sort of crafty concealment.
Conventional circuit boards and their metallic tentacles may be on their way out—someday. Scientists at Oxford University have developed a new kind of sealed “metaboard” by embedding copper coils into a conductive layer. This meta- board can transfer data and power using magneto-inductive waves instead of wires.
Ever wondered what it takes to create one of Hollywood’s fabled creatures? The Stan Winston School of Character Arts is offering free three-day trials to anyone who want to sample the craft of monster making without committing to a long-term online subscription plan.
The new Kindle Fire HD tablets have a big plus that’s in danger of being overlooked. And that’s Dolby Digital Plus. When Amazon’s literature boasts about “exclusive Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers for crisp, booming sound without distortion,” Dolby Digital Plus is what it’s talking about.
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.
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.
Amazon has added Compact Discs to an existing trade-in program that already embraces Blu-ray, DVD, games, books, and electronics. There are two categories: Like New, for unscratched discs with original packaging and artwork in mint condition; and Good, for playable discs with light scratches and other disc or packaging blemishes. Send your stuff to Amazon, with free shipping, and a virtual gift card will be credited to your account. Trade-in lucre might be anything from $1.40 for Adele’s 21 to $5.30 for the Special Edition of Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick 2 to $35 for the 13-disc Rolling Stones box set. Of course, some people like having physical media in their libraries, and others may want to keep their audio-codec options open for future reconversions. But if you really hate all that plastic—so much that you want it gone now—here’s your chance to get rid of it and get paid. Amazon will gladly let you consume the credit as new downloads. Search eligible items on amazon.com.