I hope you all will join us, if you’re in LA, for the Home Entertainment Show 2006. It’s at the Sheraton Gateway next to scenic LAX. If you want to see me make a fool of myself, I’ll be leading a panel discussion on Saturday at 2:00.
HES2006 is over, but here are a bunch of shots from the show. I met a bunch of great people, and despite the labor Contributor John Higgins and I put into the show (with the HTGamer Gaming Pavilion), I can’t wait for next year. Check out the shots in our Galleries.
While there was no pricing or availability info, Hitachi’s 65-inch 1080p plasma sure was pretty. They also were showing a 42-inch 1920-by-1080 panel. While the necessity of that resolution in a panel that size is dubious at best, it was cool none the less. It uses ALiS, so it’s possible to call this a 1080i plasma.
Hitachi has a line of products in Japan called WOOO. You read that right. The WOOO line of DVD Recorders with hard drives is about a stylish product I’ve seen. It looks like a BMW M1. The shot here is the version with a Blu-ray drive. I doubt we’ll see either here.
In 2001: A Space Odyssey, we were introduced to HAL 9000—a plucky computer that likes long walks at night, organization, and things not named Dave. In 2010, we found out that we were going to need a bigger boat and that HAL had a sibling: Bob. Or it may have been Phil. It certainly wasn't Knight Industries Two Thousand. It turns out that four years after and five years before, a middle sibling has been discovered: PJ. (Lame, I know. I'm sorry.)
There is a lot of confusion for most people as to what they should look for when buying a TV. With the plethora of acronyms, abbreviations, nomenclatures, technologies, and other multisyllabic synonyms for "huh?" this is hardly surprising. While we feel, as you would expect, that prodigious study of Home Theater magazine would educate you to make an informed decision, we also appreciate the need for a boiled-down version for those new to the home theater world—the Cliffs Notes version, if you will. Well, let us oblige.
HP showed off their latest version of their MediaSmart TV. Unlike the last generation, this one has the entire MediaSmart bits all integrated into the TV (as in no more butt mounted box or rabbit ears). It’s 1080p, and has a revamped user interface (as you can see in the pic). They’re shipping now and are $2,099 for the 42-inch and $2,499 for the 47-inch.
I like to think of myself as a do-it-yourself kind of guy. I'd like to think of myself this way, but, in reality, this is not the case. I don't change my own oil (you want me to go under where?), I'm on a first-name basis with my mechanic (honestly, what Ford owner isn't?), and I call my landlord when the kitchen sink leaks (hey, that's why I pay rent). The two things I do myself are haircuts (thank you, King C. Gillette) and computers (sorry, no funny joke). I've been fascinated with computers since my parents bought me an Apple IIc in the mid-1980s. Since then, I've been modifying and building my own. A few months ago, some part of my brain came up with the idea to build a home theater PC from scratch—and make it silent. Keep in mind that this was the same part of my brain that thought it would be a tremendous idea to build a 13-foot-long subwoofer. Thanks to the deluge of e-mails I received after that piece (one—thanks, Mom) and the difficulty in finding a company that makes an HTPC (last count at CES, there were only 13,002 or so), I figured I'd design and build Home Theater's HTPC, the ugliest and quietest ever.
I must admit, onboard video and audio have come a long way. It used to be that they were just a line item on a features list. Now both are far more capable. Compared with what you can get as a separate card, though. . .well, let's say it's not worth comparing (although I did, of course).
It was way back in the June 2005 issue that I built an HTPC from scratch—I mean really from scratch, as in out of wood. For those of you who may have missed it, you can find it at www.hometheatermag.com under the GearWorks section. It was a great experiment, and it basically worked. I haven't felt any effects of the RF radiation of 3.6 gigahertz (there was no shielding), and the minimal amount of innards-securing hasn't been an issue. (At 54 pounds, it does not get moved much.)