Well, it took a little longer than expected, but here's what we've been working on. It's, admittedly, a little rough around the edges. Now that we have the bugs worked out, the next one will be a lot better. As for the host, well I can’t see him getting any better…
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.
After a rocky start with the flawed-out-of-the-box Samsung BD-P1000 player, Blu-ray finally hit the stores for real at the turn of the year with several new players. These range from the top-of-the-line Pioneer BDP-HD1 ($1,500), to Philips' the more sedate BDP9000 ($1,000), to the Sony PlayStation 3 ($499 or $599).
They made a Miami Vice movie with no pastel colors or Jan Hammer? I’m sorry, you lost me. At least there is a Ferrari (a gray one). Michael Mann fashioned this movie like his “gritty” past few movies, such as Heat and Collateral, enough so that it has very little in common with the TV show (at least the good years). Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell do passable jobs as Rico and Sonny, but they can’t save this movie. After 20 minutes, I had no idea what was going on, and not in the way that would make me want to watch more.
Before Sam Raimi made his trillions on the Spider-Man franchise, he made a different trilogy of films, starting with The Evil Dead and ending with this classic here. The story follows Bruce Campbell as Ash, who is sucked through time and space to 13th-century England. In order to get back, he needs to acquire the Necronomicon ex Mortis. He botches the job and unleashes an army of undead. If it sounds ridiculous, it is. It’s also hysterically funny. You don’t need to have seen The Evil Dead or Evil Dead II to get this movie, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
Despite my, and others', repeated assurances that you don't need 1080p on a 42-inch display, that seems to be what people keep concentrating on. Such resolution is wasted on a small screen (unless you're sitting on it). But, in this "mine has more resolution than yours" world, I guess such competitive behavior is inevitable. So, what about the displays that can take advantage of 1080p? Sure, depending on where you're sitting, an RPTV can do so. But, with all the concessions to price, brightness, and market competition, you still won't be getting everything out of the signal. There are a few flat panels that would work. In a size that would let you see 1080p from any distance, though, you'd be looking at the price of a good Mercedes. So, that leaves front projection.
Oddly enough, I’ve seen this movie a bunch of times, at least in its original form. Kneel before Zod! Most of this movie was shot concurrently with the original Superman, but the producers took it away from director Richard Donner and made it more comic-bookish by putting it into the hands of a new and mostly disliked director, Richard Lester. The punished trio from the beginning of the first movie break free and decide to take over Earth. Superman does what he does and makes Terrence Stamp cry.
To test your display's performance, you'll need not only specialized test generators and measurement devices, but also actual video material. After all, just because a display measures well doesn't mean it's anything you want to look at. For that matter, there are no objective measurements for things like scaling and deinterlacing. For consistency, we try to use the same or similar test DVDs (and now HD DVDs) for our testing in each display review and in our video Face Offs. If you want to see how your TV stacks up—or you wonder what we're talking about every month—here are most of the test discs we use and why we use them.