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Home Theater Dec-11

Home Theater magazine takes the mystery out of home entertainment electronics. Every issue of Home Theater is packed with in-depth coverage of home theater developments in HDTV, DVD and more, previews of hot new products, objective product reviews and comparisons, including specs, ratings and opinions, DVD reviews, technical language translations into English and much, much more! Create an incredible home theater experience with Home Theater!

United States
AVTech Media Americas, Inc.
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are there ipads in heaven?

In the 11th hour, as we were scrambling to put this issue to bed and I began wondering what I might write for this month’s Prologue, the sad news broke about the passing of Steve Jobs at the young age of 56. I couldn’t help but break away for a short while to watch the news shows and sat mesmerized by the flashback video clips showing his amazing string of accomplishments in a way-too-short 35-year career at Apple, NeXT, and Pixar.It seems like it’s getting harder these days to find anyone who doesn’t own an Apple product. I myself learned of Jobs’ death via a push notification on my iPhone from CNN—a text bulletin sent by the news service because someone at Apple, presumably Jobs or others helping him realize…

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WE WELCOME QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. E-mail them to editor@hometheater.com. Please note: Be sure to check the FAQ page on our Website (HomeTheater.com) to see if we’ve already answered any questions you might have. Questions about the features and functions of a particular product are best directed to the manufacturer. Questions about what product you should buy are best directed to a dealer who knows all the details of your system, your preferences, and your personal habits. All submissions are considered the exclusive property of Home Theater magazine and Source Interlink Media. Due to the volume of mail that we receive, we regret that we cannot respond to every letter.Zoom Zoom!Thanks so much for the explanation of constant image height (“Constant Image Height: The Nitty Gritty”; Elite Osprey review, October 2011),…

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blu-ray parties hard at five years old

In the spring of 2006, I reviewed the first Blu-ray player to reach U.S. shores—a Samsung model—and the first handful of BD releases, all from Sony Pictures. Format-war vets may recall that it wasn’t an auspicious start for Blu-ray. The player was initially plagued by a bad engineering decision that left an image-softening noise-reduction circuit permanently active. Even after that got fixed, the first discs mostly looked grainy and washed out—not even close to the silky and rapturously colorful HD DVDs we’d been watching for several months before Blu-ray hit the market.Blu-ray eventually got its house in order on both the hardware and software side, vanquished HD DVD, and this year celebrated its fifth anniversary. More than 300 million discs have now been sold, along with 100 million players (a…

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retro chic

Bob Carver just won’t go away. After coming to prominence in the 1970s by designing the Phase Linear 700 power amplifier (350 watts RMS per channel), he founded Carver Corporation. There, he patented his Sonic Holography stereo enhancement circuitry and his Magnetic Field switching amplifier designs. Later, after starting Sunfire, he became known for built-like-a-tank high-end separates and most notably for his remarkable True Subwoofer compact sub—a 12-inch cube that delivered the most powerful bass that had ever been heard from a box so small. The True Sub, and its various off spring and copycats, spawned a whole new product category.Now, he and his former Sunfire colleague Bob Farinelli (founder of automation pioneer Elan) have emerged from retirement to get back to basics, so to speak. Their new company, Bob…

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this just in

Texans Like In-Home Energy displays: portable devices that link with smart meters to report energy use. A joint study of 500 users by CenterPoint Energy and the U.S. Department of Energy found that the devices have prompted 71 percent of consumers to cut energy use, starting with turning off lights...Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi are combining their struggling HDTV-making subsidiaries into a new company, Japan Display. It would manufacture small to midsized LCD panels and develop thinner and higher-resolution displays...SRS and JVC have joined up to build SRS StudioSurround HD into JVC flat-panel HDTVs. Features include volume leveling, vocal separation, dynamic adjustment of dialogue, and “immersive front-rendered surround sound”...U.S. HDTV Shipments are projected to grow just 2 percent this year, while global shipments will be down 3 percent, says DisplaySearch. Those…

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do i look dead to you?

Here’s a classical-music-lover alert, and just in time for your holiday shopping: High-resolution classical discs are alive and healthy and hiding out at Naxos. As we went to press, the September 2011 catalog listed no fewer than a dozen SACDs from small European classical labels such as Audite, CPO, CSO, and Sono Luminus. That doesn’t look like a dead format to me—just a sleepy one. Even more enticing are the two Blu-ray titles, both featuring Antonio Wit and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in works by Schumann (“Scenes from Goethe’s Faust”) and Szymanowski (Symphonies Nos. 3 & 4). This is one of the labels I look to for high-resolution demo material, so don’t be surprised if one of these titles pops up soon in an audio equipment review. ■…