Home Theater Reviews

Canton AS 120 SC Subwoofer Review

canton as 120 This awesome 12″ powered sub gets run through its paces by the guys at HT mag.

Check out the results…
“Ratings: Canton AS 120 C Subwoofer

Build Quality: 93
• Extremely solid, dense construction
• Real wood veneer

Value
: 90
• Room compensation is a plus
• High-quality finishes are usually more expensive

Features: 91
• Spikes and feet with silicon-absorbing pads are included
• Three-setting room compensation help tailor subs output
• Flat and filtered low-level outputs
• Four-language “Rosetta stone” instruction manual for polyglots

Performance: 90
• Easily holds its own with demanding material
• Not Earth-shattering but very musical

Ergonomics: 90
• More than 23 inches tall means there ain’t no hiding it
• Room compensation and power switches are easy to reach

Overall Rating: 91
For the music and movie lover with desire for performance that is higher than the average gear buyer’s, Canton’s AS 120 SC will bring classy looks and great bass that will elevate the entertainment from most step-up home theater systems. ”

Looks like a great choice for the midrange audiophile…


Canton AS 120 SC Subwoofer Full Review

Pioneer VSX-72TXV Receiver Review

pioneer VSX-72TXVHome theater mag takes a good look at this Pioneer A/V receiver.

Here are the findings:

Build Quality:
93
• Quality internals
• Solid build

Value: 94
• A lot of bang for the buck at this price
• Rare and valuable tricks you won’t find anywhere else

Features: 97
• All the standard bases covered, and much, much more
• Rare tricks like iPod and XM radio inputs and MCACC automatic calibration system

Performance: 93
• Warm, inviting sound
• More musical than most midpriced receivers

Ergonomics: 97
• MCACC does it all for you—and quite well
• No problem if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, thanks to a quality remote and graphic user interface

Overall Rating: 94
The VSX-72TXV does a whole lot, and it does so very well. It’s got the performance and tweakability to keep seasoned audio veterans happy and the approachability and user-friendliness to win over even the most technophobic. There’s hardly a stone left unturned.

This is a great unit, worthy of a solid home theater experience.



Full Review

Review: VIZIO P50HDM Plasma HDTV

vizio p50hdm hdtv 50 inch plasma Wow, a 50 inch plasma HDTV for less than $2700. Here is a review of the Vizio P50HDM, from personal tech pipeline.

The Good:
“The picture is everything you’d want in an HDTV monitor, although you’ll want to play with the settings a bit, the defaults are a bit dark. The unit will display 4:3 material in a variety of ways, either letterboxed, stretched, zoomed or panaranomically stretched (which leaves the center relatively undistorted while stretching out the edges.) It performed well, even in a well-lit room, putting out an impressive amount of image power.”

The Bad:
“There are only a few dings I can make against the unit. First, the remote makes you toggle between the doubled up inputs (HD1, then HD2, for example.) This is a pet peeve of mine, because it means you can’t program a remote with macro capabilities to set up your home theatre for a given setup. If you’re already on HD1, sending the command again is going to switch you to HD2. In other words, the remote is state-dependent. Also, the connectors are a bit awkward to get at (one of the downsides of wall-mounted displays.) ”

This is not the most in-depth plasma hdtv review, but it sounds like this model is worth a look.


Personal Tech Pipeline | Review: VIZIO P50HDM
Found: engadget

Dell W2600 LCD HDTV Review

dell w2600 lcd HDTV
IGN took a look for us at this 26 inch LCD HDTV. Though it’s not the biggest home theater screen, while selling around $999 (see below), this may be a good solution for those looking for a slick HD display for their xbox 360 next gen experience. Not to be confused with the Jimi Hendrix exp… ah nevermind.

Options for HD capable displays get pretty broad at price points above $1,700 (CRTs, DLPs, and low end Plasmas), but for those not yet ready to invest thousands in a new TV, the W2600 will let you get your foot in the high-definition door and your money’s worth out of your future XBox 360 and Playstation 3.



Full Review

Review: Mitsubishi HC3000

mistubishi hc3000 The latest and greatest under 3 grand for DLP projectors is the new Mitsubishi HC3000.

This machine just started shipping, and some reviews are starting to trickle in.

So, what’s the buzz all about? This thing has a native 720p resolution, the first DLP projector at that resolution to retail under $3000.

It’s also the first front projector to use the all new BrilliantColor tech from Texas Instruments. BrilliantColor uses a new chipset and color wheel design for, well you guessed it, more brilliant color. (tough stretch, that)

Being brand-spanking new, you won’t find this gem much less than the $2995 retail right now, maybe 100 bucks off. The other consideration, is this is a new machine with new tech – there may yet be some gemlins to indentify and eliminate from this product and its manufacturing.

Projector Central’s Review Conclusion:
“The Mitsubishi HC3000 may be viewed as a breakthrough product in the world of DLP technology for having pushed 1280×768 resolution to the lowest price points yet.

The pixel matrix of 768 lines, which is rare at this time in home theater projectors, adds a valuable dimension for those who wish to use their projector for both video and data display, as XGA and WXGA computer signals can be viewed in their native unscaled, and/or uncropped formats.

The BrilliantColor feature brightens up the picture and is an added benefit for most types of viewing material.

Overall, the HC3000 is a solid, impressive projector. We would have liked to see a longer zoom range and physical lens shift, features that would make the HC3000 more adaptable to a wider array of installation challenges and less dependent upon ceiling mounting.

Nevertheless, for those who have a room and seating layout into which the HC3000 can be accommodated with ease, it is an excellent product that will be able to deliver years of beautiful home theater entertainment.”


Mitsubishi HC3000 Full Review

[Via HD Blog

LG DVB418 Upconverting DVD Player Review

lg dvb 418 dvd player review

LG’s DVB418 is the big brother to the DVB318, which I have on a personal install. I love the DVB318, it upconverts to 1080i over component and the output is great, offering more detail than standard 480p.

Let’s see how the DVB418 fares under the eyes of designtechnica:

Pros
High end appearance and styling
Rich features and audio/video output options
Excellent picture quality

Cons
No indication of resolution or HDMI mode available remotely.
Memory card picture playback is extremely slow
No video enhancement from the up-conversion processing
Does not come with a cable (HDMI)

Conclusion
The LGDVB418 DVD player is feature rich, very attractive, and intuitive to operate. The picture quality was excellent with both Component Video output and HDMI output. However, we were not able to discern that resolution up-conversion added anything to the video quality. This may be due to the high quality of the Hitachi plasma display in all resolution modes or it could simply mean that the LGDVB418 does not use any signal processing tricks to enhance the video quality during the up-conversion.”

Bummer, too bad it didn’t live up the the 318’s reputation. I fully recommend the 318, it can still be found at retail:


Full Review – DVB418

Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK Review

Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK
Here is a decent review of Panasonic’s popular 50″ plasma hdtv. It lacks a tuner and aspect ratio control, but has great image quality.

Available under 3 grand (see “Best Deals” tab below), this set is a great choice.

The good: Relatively inexpensive; excellent black-level performance; accurate color decoding; solid video processing with 2:3 pull-down; independent memory per input; versatile PIP function; extensive picture adjustments; customizable inputs.

The bad: Does not include a stand, a tuner, or speakers; sparse input selection; doesn’t include a digital input; cannot change aspect ratios with HDTV sources; floats blacks.

The bottom line: Although it’s missing a couple of inputs, the Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK surpasses any 50-inch plasma we’ve reviewed in terms of image quality and overall value.”


CNET Review

Panasonic PT-AE900U LCD Projector Review

panasonic pt-ae900u review
Following up our first review of the Panasonic PT-AE900U LCD Projector from Audioholics, ultimate AV give us their take on this popular machine.

Pros
Film-like images with fine subjective color
Impressive blacks
Nearly silent operation (in Low lamp mode)

Cons
Non-defeatable sharpness enhancement in 480i and 480p
Some softness and grain
May not be compatible with some HDMI sources

Conclusion
$3200 may sound like a lot of money for a video display to those accustomed to buying a $500 TV every 10 years. But in the world of front projection, it’s relatively cheap. You can go cheaper, but at this price level you definitely get what you pay for.

And with the Panasonic you get a lot—a compact, quiet projector with fine color, solid black levels, no DLP rainbows, and a range of adjustments that is the equal of projectors costing several times as much. It definitely deserves a close look. ”

Here’s a more recent review as well
Full Review
Comparable to Sanyo PLV-Z4


Spotted at HD Blog

Sanyo PLV-Z4 Projector Review

Sanyo PLV-Z4
Here is a review on this new PLV Z4 LCD projector from Sanyo, from Projector Reviews.

This unit receives the “Hot Product” award, and generates a favorable review.

The summary findings are:
Pros
* Sharp image
* Good color accuracy, that can be improved with calibration
* 2:1 zoom lens for placement flexibility
* More range in the vertical lens shift, than in competing models
* Very quiet
* Extensive control of colors, image handling, and other settings
* Wide choice of preset modes work well from fully darkened rooms to those with significant ambient light
* Long warranty
* Two component video inputs in addition to 1 HDMI
* User saveable settings

Cons

* Poorer than average performance on low resolution signals (regular TV, VCR…)
* Remote control – cramped buttons, limited range
* Ability to resolve dark scenes, not quite as good as some competing projectors and more expensive DLP models
* Lamp life, at least Sanyo does not publish typical lamp life. Historically, older models seemed to have shorter lamp life than their competing products

Other

* Manual – good, actually better than average, but does not fully explain many of the adjustments and capabilities.
* Menus – easy to navigate, although engaging some features is slightly awkward (no big deal)
* Price Performance

“The Sanyo PLV-Z4 projector is an excellent choice, and should be one to consider if your budget is $2000+. Since its overall performance is extremely close to one or two other projectors, you may find that certain features, rather than image quality itself might be the reason to select the Z4 or another model.

In fairness, if you budget allows, there are projectors a cut above, starting at under $4000, but in its price range, the Z4 truly impresses.”

Full Review
Another PLV-Z4 Review
This projector is comparable to the Panasonic PT-AE900U

Westinghouse LVM-37w1 Review

Westinghouse LVM-37w1

PC Mag took a look at this 37 inch lcd unit, that sells for less than $1600.00. (See below for best deals)

“The 37-inch Westinghouse LVM-37w1 ($2,299 list) LCD TV has caught the attention of many display enthusiasts by offering native 1080p (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) resolution at a street price of under $2,000. And its two-megapixel resolution unleashes the detail of high-definition TV and PC content…

Pros
Dual DVI inputs. 1080p resolution. Good default color and image quality using DVI input.

Cons
No advanced color controls. Poor deinterlacer performance. Mediocre video-noise reduction and artifact suppression.

Bottom Line
The Westinghouse LVM-37w1 is an inexpensive 37-inch LCD TV that offers native 1080p resolution. This no-frills display shows impressive image detail when using either of its dual DVI inputs, but its treatment of analog video is less impressive. ”

PC Magazine
Via HD Beat