Audio and home theater dealers will tell you that the biggest obstacle to getting a sound system into customers' homes is overcoming their objections about the size of the speakers. Big boxes, no matter how stylish, are simply unacceptable to some people. If you are one of them, Anthony Gallo Acoustics has just what you're looking for.
The great advantage of a home theater system in a small room is the nice feeling of intimacy it offers. The disadvantage is that most suitable loudspeakers don't offer good bass response, depriving you of many of the visceral thrills built into movie soundtracks.
Entry-level single-disc DVD players have hovered around the $200 price point for more than a year now. Carousel-type CD changers can be found below $150, but DVD changers are generally well above $500. Zenith intends to change all that with its new $350 DVC2550, a carousel DVD changer with DTS and Dolby Digital capabilities.
Big, bright, and beautiful: that's Panasonic's new PT-52DL10. The rear projector set is a 52"-diagonal HDTV with a 16:9 aspect ratio, with images provided by the latest Digital Light Projection (DLP) technology from Texas Instruments. The combination is "the highest picture quality available in rear projection televisions," according to a recent Panasonic announcement. With properly decoded signals---as from the optional set-top decoder box, the TU-HDS20---the PT-52DL10 will display both 1280I and 720P images.
Business travelers often find themselves a captive audience for airlines movie offerings. Sharp Electronics now has a lightweight key to entertainment freedom: the DV-L80U portable DVD player. Sharp claims the player's 8" screen is the largest LCD of its type---more than 30% larger than that of the new unit's predecessor---and in widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio.
Desktop theater has been taken to a new level by Samsung Electronics with the introduction of the SyncMaster 240T, claimed to be the world's first HDTV-ready 24" analog/digital LCD monitor. The dual-mode analog/digital monitor will debut at the Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, November 13-17.
Last January, Runco International took a bold step by building an affordable lightweight projector incorporating Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology. The sub-$10K VX-101 was among the first affordable projectors using TI's single-chip device, with near-high-definition results.
The computer is already an integral part of most technophile's lives, but has yet to make its presence felt in the home theater realm. That may change with the introduction of a DTV receiver card for PCs from San Jose, CA-based Global Telemann Systems.
Home theater for one---or "desktop theater" as it's sometimes known---has been taken to the next level by Zenith Corporation with the ZLD15A1, a 15.1"-diagonal high-definition capable LCD television/computer monitor.