General Home Theater News

Oct 11 2006

News - HELIOS H4000 HD Upscaling DVD player

If you need something to hold you over until the HD discs come down in price, it might be worth looking into the Helios H4000. With support for every format under the moon including DVD, CD, MP3, WMA, MPEG4 and DivX, the H4000 is worth its price tag. Also worth noting, it can output 11 different resolutions (including 1080p) over its composite, S-Video, HDMI and VGA connections.

From the article:

Say for instance a person wants to output 1080p over component, this player can do that (just like its older brother) or perhaps a higher-end A/V owner wants to output the signal to an external video processor at 480i via HDMI, that's kosher too. All in all there are eleven different resolutions the H4000 can output over the composite, S-Vid, component, HDMI and VGA jacks. We hear ya if the whole HD DVD/Blu-ray battle is just to scary right now to jump feet first into at least a $500 investment, but maybe the $169 tag on the H4000 will be a tad easier to swallow when the player is released on October 17.

 

Oct 10 2006

News - Hitachi’s New Interpolation Methods

"Say you have yourself a video at low-resolution, and want to upconvert it to a higher resolution for display on a higher-resolution television or monitor. That’s not hypothetical at all - it happens all the time when you display anything except HD on your HDTV. When you watch regular SD cable programming on your HDTV, your television (or maybe some processor between the cable feed and the television) has to take the incoming signal and convert it up to the resolution that your HDTV supports. Same thing goes for all those DVD movies collecting dust on your shelf (”I’ll watch them one day!”). Right now most processors just double up the pixels to make the image displayable in HD. Or quadruple. Or more, depending on the source and destination. That’s all well and good, but there’s got to be a better way."

Apparantly, that's just not good enough for Hitachi. Do they find a better way? Keep your fingers crossed & read the rest here.

Oct 10 2006

News - Stewart Introduces FireHawk G3 1080P Screen Engineered For 1080P Projectors

Stewart Filmscreen Corporation(r) (Booth 350)-the industry leader in precision projection screen technology in the home cinema and commercial markets-introduced its new FireHawk G3 1080p screen material today at CEDIA Expo 2006. FireHawk G3 1080p-the next generation of Stewart's most popular home cinema projection screen-is the first screen specifically designed for 1080p projectors and source material.

FireHawk G3 1080p is aimed squarely at the latest projection technologies emerging at CEDIA. The long-promised true 1080p projectors are here. Pixel density is improved and the high-quality content is more transparent than ever before. This means that the screen must also disappear in concert with the pixel structure. The goal is to deliver depth, contrast, color, and resolution with enough excellence that the delivery system is not detectable.

 

Read the rest here.

Oct 10 2006

News - RazorVision HDMI video cable

Friends don't let friends buy expensive gimmicky A/V cables. The Razorvision from Belkin is about as bad as it gets with claims of improving your picture and bringing back lost detail. The $249 cable features "video processing" to bring out these qualities you never new you missed.

From the article: 

We honestly have to say that these $249 cables are not for those looking to get the most accurate picture. The do produce a brighter, more vivid experience but by no means is it a technical better image. Take a look at the images below though and maybe the 'enhanced' picture is just what you are looking for.

razor_box

 

Oct 09 2006

News - Google buys YouTube for $1.65 BILLION

Wow....um....don't know much to say other than wow. $1.65 Billion dollars in Google Stock now belong to YouTube. They say they're going to keep GoogleVideo alive, but I don't really see that seriously happening as they're the exact same product.

Way to go YouTube guys...feel free to buy me a Porsche :-) 

Oct 07 2006

News - HT Guys Podcast # 108

Nothing like finding a new podcast to brighten up one's day. The HT Guys not only have a great podcast, they alos give a great summary for those not wanting to read rather then listen. This week they cover a few news items from the last few days, talk about standard def DVD and a review of the Yamaha RX-V59.

Listen to the podcast:

From the article:

We'll bet that many of you did not know that there almost was a format war over DVDs back in early 1990's. It was Philips and SONY backing something called MultiMedia Compact Disc going against Super Density disc which was backed by Toshiba, Time-Warner, Matsushita Electric, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Pioneer, Thomson, and JVC. Sound familiar? Many people credit Lou Gerstner of IBM for bringing the two camps together to create DVD avoiding another format war similar to VHS vs Beta.

DVD players and discs first appeared in the US in March of 1997 five months after their Japanese introduction. They showed up in Europe a year after that and two years later in Australia. The first DVD that was released was Twister in 1996.

Oct 06 2006

News - Super Audio CD catalogue tops 4000 titles

If nothing else comes out of the article, it is interesting to note that you will be able to play a SACD in a PS3. Not much else to report excpet for the fact there are now 4000 SACD's available for purchase.

From the article:

You still might not be able to find them readily in stores, but the SACD catalogue now boasts 4000 titles. According to specialist site sa-cd.net, the accolade of 4000th Super Audio CD title falls to Chesky Records with its John Abercrombie and Eddie Gomez jazz release, Structures. Says Yushi Igarashi, General Manager, of Sony Audio’s Super Audio CD Project, “Chesky has been at the vanguard of Super Audio CD’s development as a creative distribution medium.” The label has stated all its new releases will be single inventory Super Audio CDs. Predictably, the biggest supplier of Super Audio CDs is SonyBMG. Despite a failure to capture the public imagination, Sony says it is committed to popularizing the format. “We continue to introduce an ever expanding range of players in a number of categories,” says Igarashi. “we have integrated DSD audio processing within the Sony VAIO PC range and Super Audio CD will be a standard playback feature within PlayStation 3.”  

 

Oct 02 2006

News - Onkyo's upconverting DV-SP504 gold DVD player

With this news story coming across my desk, I just realized I have not made a news category for traditional DVD/CD players. I'll file this under General news for now. Getting to the story at hand, Onkyo is releasing a new upconverting DVD player to replace the DV-SP502. Format wise, expect it to support DVDs, CDs, SACDs, DivX, MP3 and WMA files. The downside is that it is not a networked player. The upgrade comes mainly in the form of HDMI, 1080i upconversion and Onkyo's Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry system.

From the article:

It also adds Onkyo's VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) system, which'll supposedly work its magic to remove noise and make your music and movies sound as good as they can. Look for this one to set you back about $370 when it drops November 15th.

Sep 13 2006

News - Dolby Pro-Logic II

Getting started out in the Home Theater addiction hobby can be quite daunting. Sometimes we all need a bit of the Sesame Street approach to get started. This week, the HT section of about.com, is brought to you by the surround sound format Dolby Pro-Logic II. Similar to other Dolby formats, it is 5 speaker + 1 subwoofer format. However, Pro-Logic II simulates a 5.1 setup and other formats such as Dolby Digital are encoded directly to 5.1.

From the article:

Dolby Pro-Logic II technology can create a "simulated" 5.1 channel surround environment from any two channel source (such as stereo CDs and Vinyl Records) as well as from a 4-Channel Dolby Surround signal.
Although not a discrete format, such as Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS, in which each channel goes though its own encoding/decoding process, Pro Logic II makes an effective use of matrixing to deliver an adequate 5.1 representation of a stereo film or music soundtrack.

 

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