Boston Acoustics' new slogan is "Play Smart." The smart part means choosing good-sounding speakers. The play part means having a little fun while you do it. That's where the Horizon Series speakers come in. First introduced at CEDIA and available now, the series consists of a number of bookshelf and floorstanding models to accommodate many budgets and room types. Midnight (black) and Mist (white) are the two basic color options; however, for an additional cost, the Boston P.O.P (Personal Option Plan) lets you tailor the speaker grilles in a variety of colors to match your dcor. The cabinets’ rounded edges and soft-touch finish add to the fun. Also shipping this month is the matching $400 HPS 8Wi, a wireless subwoofer with an 8-inch woofer and 150-watt amplifier that operates over the 2.4 GHz band.
So you've saved up your pennies and are ready to buy a swanky new 32-inch LCD HDTV. You've picked out the perfect place on the wall to mount the TV; its streamlined aesthetic complements your room's clean lines and minimalist approach. Before you head to the local retailer, ask yourself one important question: Have you also picked out the perfect place to put all of those clunky boxes that feed signals to your flat-panel beauty?
If you're willing to step up around $1,100, your LCD options increase dramatically, with plenty of choices from the big names in the TV business. One such option is Toshiba's $2,600 42LX196. The most obvious feature upgrade is the move from 768p to 1080p, but that's not all this TV brings to the table. It boasts a well-rounded features list to suit a wide variety of setup needs.
What distinguishes a good universal remote from a great one? A good remote controls all of your components the way you need it to; a great one controls those components the way you want it to. Customization and advanced functionality are the keys, and UEI's NevoSL universal controller has both. The NevoSL's software-based programming and UEI's extensive code database combine to produce an excellent home theater controller, but this product's real strength lies in its ability not just to control but to create a converged home.
Several years ago, I attended a David Copperfield show in Las Vegas and was invited onstage to be a part of one of his magic tricks. Sadly, it wasn't anything exciting, like being levitated or sawed in half. He just guessed my phone number after I wrote it down on a piece of paper and quickly burned up the paper. (No, he never did call.) Still, it was fascinating to try and figure out how he did that trick and the other more-impressive ones I witnessed that evening.
It is not too surprising that ViewSonic has decided to make a push into the home theater projection market. The company has a healthy lineup of business projectors and has watched other projector manufacturers successfully transition over to the HT side. But is anyone else surprised that a company known primarily for LCD TVs and monitors would go with DLP for their new line of home theater projectors? Maybe it's just me.
The entrance of computer companies like Dell and Hewlett-Packard into the HT space has raised a few eyebrows. Will the computer giants drive home theater prices down into the realm of computer componentry or, instead, drive themselves out of the HT arena?
Some of you may think that I call the LVM-42w2 a "true HD monitor" because I've finally acquiesced to the HDTV conspiracy theorists who insist that only 1,920-by-1,080 displays like this one should be labeled HDTVs. Don't worry—I plan to support 1080i and 720p a bit longer.
It seems like, every week, a new company appears on the LCD scene. Try as we might to keep up with them all, some will admittedly never make it into the pages of the magazine; we just don't have the space. Every once in a while, though, a new company releases a product that demands our attention. WinBook's 40D1 is such a product.
Following up the release of their ultra-sleek Zeppelin iPod system, Bowers & Wilkins is continuing their push into the lifestyle audio arena with the new wireless Liberty audio system. At the heart of the system is the CP1 console, which has a built-in DVD player and touchscreen control panel. The speaker line features powered tower, bookshelf, and center-channel models, as well as a distinctively curvy subwoofer, that you can mix and match. The main console communicates with the speakers wirelessly over a closed, proprietary 2.4-gigahertz network, and the system's designer claims a low latency of 12 microseconds to ensure that the integrity of the soundfield remains intact. The Liberty system sports eight channels of amplification and provides the freedom to configure those channels however you please, whether it’s a 7.1-channel HT setup, a 5.1-channel setup with second-zone stereo, or even four stereo zones. The Liberty is scheduled for release in the summer of 2008, for an estimated price of $15,00 to $18,000.