Think of all the memories you want to save: your baby's first steps; your daughter's first wedding; your son's first red card in a soccer game; your mother-in-law's - no, you probably don't want to save anything to do with your mother-in-law.
Sometimes, solving a problem is as simple as knowing the right tool to use.
Gustave Flaubert was a realist and a perfectionist. No wonder he came up with this gem: "Happiness is a monstrosity! Punished are those who seek it." This might well be the mantra of anyone who seeks to put together a high-performance home theater. Unless you start with a set of blueprints and a lot of expertise, you're going to run into a few punishing problems on your way to home theater happiness. Fortunately, Wilkinson's First Law of Home Theater (mine, not Video Technical Editor Scott's) states: "There ain't no problem that can't be solved by throwing large amounts of money at it."
Despite rumors of a pending peace treaty, the possibility of a much desired agreement between the HD DVD zealots (led by Toshiba) and Blu-ray partisans (led by Sony) creating a single high-definition DVD standard look about as likely as the re-unification of North and South Korea thanks to multiple HD DVD-related announcements over the last few days.
Sunday is the day of the week when I like to sit back, relax, and ponder the unanswered questions in life. On the third and final day of the Home Entertainment show, I was startled to discover that both April Music and May Audio were here in the hotel. Was it by sheer coincidence, or was something more sinister going on? Then, of course, there's the follow up question of why April and May were the only months involved? What devious mastermind could be behind this - and does it have anything to do with fluoride in the water supply?
It wasn't a Saturday matinee; it was a Saturday Home Entertainment show - and there was even less elbow room in the hallways than during Friday's opening day. Squeezing edgewise into each room, those of us who were here to bask in the adulation of grateful readers discovered that we were yesterday's news compared to the equipment on display. (When, oh, when will the adulation begin...?)
The doors to the Home Entertainment 2005 show officially opened to the public in Manhattan Friday, and five floors of the New York Hilton were jammed with attendees. It's truly an international, multicultural event. I personally heard at least five languages being spoken - English, French, Spanish, Audiophilish, and Wowish (none of which am I fluent in). Here are some highlights of what could be found the first hectic day of HE2005 (and the press day that preceded it).
Evidently, Polk has a thing for XM Satellite Radio. About six months after they introduced a stand-alone, home-component XM tuner (the XRt12), the speaker company is pulling the wraps off of a new XM-ready tabletop entertainment system called the I-Sonic. Sure, you might think it's just a new compact stereo system designed to sonically kick the you know what out of you know which (heavily advertised) tabletop system from you know who. (And who am I to say that you're wrong?) But a quick look at all of the I-Sonic's features and capabilities makes it appear to be something more - you know, the kind of thing your grandmother could use but will still impress the heck out of your more techno-sophisticated friends.
Those of us still mourning the imminent and unstoppable demise of VOOM, the ill-fated HD-centric satellite service, are being offered a reduced price on a second chance at HD nirvana from DIRECTV. Although it's small consolation to the thirty-some thousand VOOM devotees who are at this moment longingly stroking their VOOM remote controls and asking, "Why? Why me?", at least it's something.
Normally the disclaimer* comes at the end, but why hide uncomfortable news? When it comes to home entertainment equipment and someone starts talking about a piece of gear being "wireless", they don't mean "wireless" - they mean "nearly wireless". Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about Panasonic's new rear-speaker wireless-ready home theater systems. Oh, by the way, "wireless-ready" means you'll need an optional piece of gear to make the system nearly wireless. (But don't let that put a barbed-wire fence around your lofty goal of having free-range wireless chickens. There ain't no totally wireless lunch from any company in this neck of the woods, pardner, but that don't mean you can't dream...)
After a short pit stop, HDNet and NASCAR are once again putting the pedal to the metal. Both organizations jointly revealed the schedule for the second season of NASCAR's HDTV package to be telecast by HDNet. The pioneering HD network will feature a total of 20 live HD telecasts from NASCAR Grand National Division races. The NASCAR Grand National Division (for those living in blue states who have no earthly idea what we're talking about) includes two independent NASCAR series, the Busch North Series and the West Series (the West Coast's oldest stock car racing circuit), which feature drivers competing using identical race cars. (Well, they're not exactly identical or we wouldn't be able to tell them apart.) HDNet will provide additional coverage of some races from NASCAR's AutoZone Division. With each car in the race powered by a 350 to 358 cubic-inch V-8 engine and weighing a minimum of 3,300 pounds, the series of telecasts will be a high-definition orgy of minimum miles per gallon and maximum emissions. (Oh, what the heck. We all need something to keep our minds off the ever escalating price of gasoline.)