Until recently, movie fans on the go had to shell out a few grand for laptop computers with DVD playback capability. Such units typically weigh a several pounds and offer far more functionality than movie fans need.
Outlaw Audio has debuted its Model 1050, claimed to be the world's first 6.1-channel receiver to sell for under $600, a price point made possible by the use of Zoran's ZR38650 multi-format digital audio processor IC.
Space constraints are among the biggest obstacles retailers encounter when selling home entertainment systems. Many people object to the proliferation of equipment needed to play several different formats of video and audio recordings.
Improvement wrought by Sony and other manufacturers is bringing flatscreen monitors into territory they weren't originally intended to serve. First developed for commercial signage and public information display, flatscreen monitors---especially the type known as plasma display panels (PDPs)---have seen huge advances in contrast ratio and reduction of motion artifacts, to such an extent that they can be seriously considered by even hard-to-please home theater fans.
As former Chrysler chairman Lee Iococca used to say in the television ads, some companies lead and others follow. British manufacturer Meridian Audio Limited is one that has always lead in the effort to squeeze the most out of any given digital entertainment format.
Modular multichannel amplifiers solve plenty of problems for home theater fans: freeing floor space tops among them. An interesting new offering in this product category is the MDB1000 from Pennsylvania's Accusonic. A "Class H" amplifier weighing 60 lbs., the MDB1000 puts out 200 watts/8 ohms x 5 channels, ideal for almost all traditional surround sound systems.
If you count yourself among the legions of action movie fans who can't get enough of earth-shaking sound tracks, but also enjoy the occasional string quartet, B&K has just what you've been looking for. The Reference 7250's five channels each put out 200 watts of high-resolution power---one kilowatt total, enough to bring the police to your door with a request to cease and desist.
Tired of the slow rollout of HDTV? Got a growing library of DVDs? Been waiting in vain for the appearance of affordable HD displays? If the answer is "Yes," you may wish to tide yourself over with an inexpensive NTSC rear projector.
Among the many accolades being showered on the Loewe Aconda line of high definition televisions are "elegant styling" and "unsurpassed performance." The line was recently introduced by Sensory Science Corporation. With 1080i capability and RS-232 computer interfaces, the new sets are pushing the limits of CRT design.
Despite progress made by LCD displays and DLP projectors, among videophiles, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) still rule the roost. "Direct-view" sets, as they are often called, offer better brightness, contrast, and color purity than other types of displays, especially when used in well-lighted rooms.