Many home theater experts contend that the proper place for a center channel speaker is directly behind the screen, as in a commercial theater. Such arrangements require perforated screens that are acoustically transparent but visually reflective, an arrangement that can wreak havoc with some fixed-pixel projectors. Annoying moire patterns can result from the relationship between a projector's image elements and the holes in a perforated screen.
Apex If you have the living-room space for a monster of a display, check out Apex's GB65HD12W 65-inch rear-projection TV. In addition to its 65-inch-diagonal, 16:9-shaped screen, this display offers features galore. A 3-D Y/C comb filter, scan-velocity modulation, dual-tuner PIP, automatic digital convergence, and 3:2-pulldown correction are all on board. This flexible display has an adjustable native resolution of 480p, 720p, or 1080i. The GB65HD12W's connection suite includes component, S-video, composite, and DVI video inputs, analog stereo inputs, monitor outputs, and an RF antenna jack. You get a whole lotta TV for the not-so-steep price of $2,000. Apex (909) 930-1239 www.apexdigitalinc.com
We won't even begin to suggest that $10,500 is just pocket change that everyone has lying around. However, when you realize that Dwin's TransVision 3 projection system features both a projector and a video processor, the word value might come to mind. The company says that the separate-component design offers greater installation options and reduces double video-signal processing. The 720p DLP projector uses Texas Instruments' Mustang/HD2 DMD technology and Prism Free Optical light-path architecture for maximum picture contrast. The Carl-Zeiss zoom lens allows for a throw distance from 1.41 to 2.1 times the screen. Meanwhile, the digital video processor accepts 10 video inputs: two DVI with HDCP, two RGB, two S-video, two component, and two composite. It also delivers 720p DVI signals to match the projector's native resolution.
(818) 239-1500 www.dwin.com
Looking for a sexy touchscreen to finish off that custom install? Niles' new IntelliPad TS-1 Ci touchscreen keypad uses the latest LCD touchscreen technology for a new level of elegance and control convenience, the company says. Use the TS-1 with Niles' multizone systems to distribute audio and video to destinations within your home. The hard keys are backlit, and your favorite function keys, which give you one-touch access to your favorite radio stations and satellite channels, are clearly labeled. The TS-1 features both manual and PC programming using the free software. With the white faceplate, the unit measures 5.19 inches wide by 4.5 high. The TS-1 will cost you $550.
(305) 238-4373 www.nilesaudio.com
Now this is what we call a deal. With JBL's new Cinema Vision system, you get a 7.1-channel loudspeaker package, a 50-inch plasma HD monitor, and an A/V system controller that includes a five-disc DVD-Audio/-Video changer, a surround receiver, and a digital amplifier. The 16:9 monitor works with the A/V controller to automatically display any video source in widescreen mode. The A/V controller has a rated power output of 100 watts times seven, and the JBL Digital Link maintains all-digital audio and video signal paths. Each speaker uses multiple 5.5-inch woofers, along with a 0.75-inch titanium-laminate dome tweeter. The Cinema Vision is available as a system only, for $15,000.
(516) 496-3400 www.jbl.com
Ellula Some things in life are just so much fun that they hardly need explanation, and Ellula's HotAir inflatable multimedia speaker is one such thing. The HotAir is compatible with any type of computer or portable music source, including personal CD players and MP3 players. With a little help from a connection kit, gameheads can even use these speakers with most gaming consoles. Do the HotAirs sound good? At $49 each, why not grab a couple and find out? Ellula (646) 935-0912 www.ellula.com