Sony KDS-R60XBR1 Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Rear Projection

sony 60 sxrd KDS-R60XBR1 Here is yet another review of Sony’s KDS-R60XBR1 SXRD rear projection beauty. This unit is one of the most popular as well as its 50 inch SXRD twin.

Cnet give this gem 8.8 out of 10 (Excellent) with an Editors’ Choice badge.

The good: Relatively deep, clean blacks; accurate color decoding and flat grayscale; full HDTV resolution; excellent feature package; generous connectivity, including PC input; extensive picture adjustments.

The bad: Blacks are not quite as good as those of the best DLP rear-projection sets; inaccurate primary colors; cannot accept 1080p signals.

The bottom line: By today’s standards, the Sony KDS-R60XBR1 is expensive, but its fabulous performance and feature set make it well worth the price for early adopters.

HDTV on the Sony KDS-R60XBR1 looked awe-inspiring. In particular, HDNet via the HDMI input from our DirecTV HD satellite feed was remarkable.

Thanks to the 1,920×1,080 resolution, visible details were breathtaking.

A 1080i multiburst pattern from our HDTV signal generator was reproduced cleanly at the HDMI input, indicating that the set is giving you all the resolution from 1080i HDTV sources–not something all 1080p HDTVs can claim.”

Yet another thumbs up for this set.
Full Review

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Canton AS 120 SC Subwoofer Review

Filed Under: Audio, Home Theater Reviews

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

: 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

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Microsoft and CableLabs Announce Agreement to Enable High Definition Digital Cable Programming on Windows Media Center PCs

Filed Under: Home Theater News, HTPCs (Computers)

windows xp media center edition
Future Versions of Media Center PCs to Receive Digital Cable Programming without the need for a Cable Set-Top Box

Microsoft Corp. and Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs®) announced they have reached an agreement that will allow Microsoft and PC manufacturers to bring to market digital-cable-ready Windows® Media Center-based PCs in the holiday 2006 time frame.

These Media Center PCs, capable of supporting a CableCARD5 module, will allow consumers to enjoy one-way cable programming, including premium high-definition cable content, on their personal computer and throughout the home on compliant network-connected devices, such as Xbox 3605, while protecting cable operators’ investments in high-value content in a digital environment. Microsoft is working closely with CableLabs to document final approval of Windows Media® Digital Rights Management (DRM) as a content protection technology for OpenCable5 products that receive one-way cable content under the terms of this agreement.

Continue Reading “Microsoft and CableLabs Announce Agreement to Enable High Definition Digital Cable Programming on Windows Media Center PCs”

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Pioneer VSX-72TXV Receiver Review

Filed Under: Audio, Home Theater Reviews

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

Here are the findings:

Build Quality:
• 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

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LG 50PB2DW 50 Inch Wireless Plasma Wins Award

Filed Under: Home Theater News, Plasma and LCD Displays

LG logo
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has awarded LG with the “Best of Innovation” stamp in the Digital Display category.

The award goes to the new 50-inch Wireless Plasma HDTV Display, model 50PB2DW.

This unit will be on display at the 2006 CES in Las Vegas on January 5th-8th. Looking forward to more info on this piece of technology.

You heard it here first…

Press Release

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Review: VIZIO P50HDM Plasma HDTV

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

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

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All Xbox 360 Titles Available at GameFly

Filed Under: HD Gaming, Home Theater News

gamefly xbox 360 rentals All Xbox 360 titles are to be available at Gamefly for the system’s November 22 launch. The currently have 33 games in the system.

Current most popular games at GameFly, as reported by teamxbox.

1 Call of Duty 2
2 Perfect Dark Zero
3 Quake 4
5 Need for Speed: Most Wanted
6 Dead or Alive 4
7 Condemned: Criminal Origins
8 Project Gotham Racing 3
9 Madden NFL 06
10 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Join GameFly for a 10 day free trial. Pick the games you want to play, and Gamefly sends them to you via postal mail.

The games come with a free return mailer. When you are ready to return a title, simply seal it up in the mailer and put it in your mailbox for pickup.

I use GameFly myself and love the service. It’s like Christmas at the mailbox once a week.

Start your free trial here.

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Congress to Subsidize Those without HDTV Sets

Filed Under: HDTV Local, Cable, Satellite, Home Theater News

Oh boy, here we go. It seems like every time our Government gets involved with anything tech, they end up not quite “getting it.”

I’m getting that weird vibe now…

The federal government wants to pay for some U.S. residents to be able to watch television — the only question is how much.
The Senate’s budget bill, which passed last week, contains a $3 billion subsidy for owners of televisions that are not ready to handle the eventual transition to digital television.
The House budget bill, which ran into trouble Thursday but which will be on the floor this week, contains slightly less than $1 billion.

Both bills set a date when broadcasters must return their current licenses and instead broadcast a digital signal on a different part of the electronic spectrum.

The subsidy would go to pay for converter boxes, which would take the digital signal from the broadcasters and convert it so that it can be displayed by analog TVs. Televisions hooked up to cable or satellite would not need the converters, nor would televisions capable of receiving a digital signal.

Something tells me that 1-3 Billion could be put to much better use. But what do I know?

News Article
via TVsnob

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Dell W2600 LCD HDTV Review

Filed Under: Home Theater Reviews, Plasma and LCD Displays

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

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Call of Duty 2 Xbox 360 Review Roundup

Filed Under: HD Gaming

call of duty 2 xbox 360
The top war game on the xbox 360 has earned some high marks on the reviews front.

Check them out:

1UP – 9.0 Outstanding
Call of Duty 2 [is] the complete package. Online and off you get swept up in visceral thrills as good as any summer blockbuster movie. And like those, you won’t come away impressed by its thought-provoking drama or brilliant character portrayal…but you will have a big smile on your face. Review

GamePro – 5.0/5
Frankly put, Call of Duty 2 is simply breathtaking. The game runs standard in 720p with strikingly realistic detail on weapons and walls, emphasized by normal mapping, exceptional shading and lighting, specular highlights, and some absolutely phenomenal particle effects. Review

GameSpot – 8.8 Great
Call of Duty 2 is just about everything you’d hope for and expect from a next-generation first-person shooter. Its varied campaign, excellent sound and gameplay design, and generally good AI make it a worthy successor to the original game on the PC. Review

NextLevel Gaming – 92/100
This is a must-have game, bottom line. Unless you so despise shooters that you’re willing to buy every other launch title but this simply because it’s an FPS, you must pick this up when you get your system on Tuesday. Review

TeamXbox – 9
Judging by the overall package of Call of Duty 2, the Xbox 360 will have a long life as the alternative to high-end PC gaming. Infinity Ward has created a PC game for the 360 (with better graphics than the PC version to boot) and managed to include not only next-gen sounds and graphics, but also gameplay features that were basically impossible on the old hardware. Review

This title definitely looks like a winner. War is one of my favorite genres, I can’t wait to get my paws on this one.

< ---Buy it here or rent it online at GameFly.

(10 day free trial – games sent to you via mail for free)

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