Archive for the ‘Home Theater Players’ Category

Selling my Pioneer DV-47ai to Raise Blu-Ray Money

Monday, November 24th, 2008


The time has finally come for me to jump on the Blu-Ray band wagon with my discovery of the Samsung BD-P2550 (finally a player that can decode all HD audio formats over its analog 7.1 outputs so I don’t have to invest in an HDMI capable HT receiver, plus HQV DVD upsampling all for $350).

Unfortunately, like every other middle class American, I cannot afford this new player without trying to sell my beloved Pioneer DV-47ai Universal Disc player. Boo. I guess I’ll have to settle for vinyl (heh) and uncompressed digital computer audio.

I’ve posted a classified ad for the Pioneer DV-47ai on Audiogon. Go check it out if you’re interested in great digital audio playback, I’ve sweetened the deal with a set of Black Diamond Racing Cones v3 and some SACDs and DVD-As. I have more pictures of the Pioneer at Flickr.

This Blu-Ray deal better be worth it. I spied the Samsung at the local Best Buy and was not impressed by its build quality: no heft, ports askew, fan, and a captive power cable. I’ll let you know how I like it after the holidays.

Popularity: 30% [?]

Why I Need an HDTV Capable HTPC

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

I miss HDTV.

Last year I gave up my HD satellite STB as part of a household cost cutting plan. I only had the box downstairs on the big screen and never watched it for two reasons: warming up my projector and turning on my whole home theater system didn’t fit with my desire for instant TV gratification and the STB had no time shifting/PVR facilities (essential to any TV viewer but more so if you have kids that don’t appreciate midwest prime time).

Recently, I caught a glimpse of HDTV and thought, “Wow, that looks really good, much better than my upscaled DVD video, I should really finally build an HTPC.”

Before dropping any money into video cards and large hard drives I wanted to assess my current HTPC (home theater personal computer) capabilities:

Continue reading Why I Need an HDTV Capable HTPC

Popularity: 20% [?]

Sling Catcher Media Extender Cares About the Consumer

Friday, January 12th, 2007


On the heels of my AppleTV disappointment, I discover Sling Media’s new media extender: Sling Catcher, announced at CES.

Sling’s co-founder, Blake Krikorian, thinks the Catcher will succeed where all other “limited” media extenders have failed:

The Slingcatcher won’t be limited at all, he says, and will let you take “anything you have on your laptop, any type of media, any Web site, or Web-based video and project it wirelessly at the push of a button onto your television set. I can go to any site, any video content, any formatted content and get it to play on my big screen TV. That’s a huge difference between what we’re doing and what others are doing.”

via Engadget

Continue reading Sling Catcher Media Extender Cares About the Consumer

Popularity: 8% [?]

AppleTV – Too Crippled for a $300 Media Extender

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007


“What’s on TV? Just about everything you’ve got in iTunes…”

Apple released the final specs on its AppleTV (formerly iTV), and I’m super disappointed.

Its hardware is impressive for a media extender:

  • AV out: HDMI and Component Video, Optical and stereo RCA audio (HDMI audio too?)
  • Network: Ethernet, 802.11 n a/b/g
  • Storage: 40 GB HDD.
  • Intel processor (video on the chip?)
  • Small and slim form factor that follows the Mac Mini’s rounded corner square design and lateral dimensions

Neat, sounds like an impressive media extender that can deliver up to a 720p video signal to your home theater over a robust wireless connection. So why am I so disappointed?

Continue reading AppleTV – Too Crippled for a $300 Media Extender

Popularity: 14% [?]

im in ur dac, clippin ur t00nz

Friday, December 29th, 2006

0 dBFS+.

Ever heard of the above digital audio condition? No? Me neither until I was reading a review of my Panasonic S97 HDMI DVD player by Christine Tham on Audioholics. 0 dBFS+ is illegal (in digital audio). It is a distortion of an audio signal above the absolute digital audio amplification level ceiling of 0 dB. It can hide on your CDs from the original mastering (loudness wars), appear when your digital music files are “normalized” (like iTunes’ and your iPod’s “Sound Check”) and be introduced by an upsampling DAC while converting the signal to analog.

Continue reading im in ur dac, clippin ur t00nz

Popularity: 17% [?]

Sanyo PLV-Z3 LCD Projector Settings

Friday, June 9th, 2006

I feel good about my home theater set up when I can go into a high end dealer and feel unimpressed with their demo rooms. I watch the usual African savanna HD stream projected onto a 120" diagonal fixed screen by a $30,0000 Runco front projector and line doubler combo and sigh. I know what I have at home is better for a fraction of the cost because I’ve tweaked my front projection system to a higher level than intended by the manufacturer.

I also lose confidence in mainstream home theater magazines when a casual reviewer pans my projector for flaws that are easily overcome with a color correction gel filter, a Colorvision Spyder2PRO monitor calibrator and careful manipulation of user and service menu settings. The magazine’s editorial dogma may skew their opinions toward the lowest common denominator (L.C.D.), Joe-Best-Buy, but it doesn’t speak to me.

Continue reading Sanyo PLV-Z3 LCD Projector Settings

Popularity: 28% [?]

HD DVD Launch – Top Titles that Geeks Wish They Could Buy

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

At Frye’s over the weekend I saw two half shelves worth of HD-DVD software. This is only remarkable because I had not been to an electronics superstore recently to see such a display. I know they’ve been out for weeks or a month or a I don’t care.

The HD-DVDs were grouped at the end of the anime section just before the nature and historical videos. I can’t remember the first weeks or months of DVD’s launch but it was probably just as pathetic (I remember only seeing Eraser and Twister DVDs for a year before I cared about DVD as a source of entertainment). The discs were packaged in the same clam cases as normal DVDs, the "HD-DVD" banner at the top was the only tip-off. Blockbuster!/must buy! titles included: Rumor Has It, The Chronicles of Riddick, Van Helsing, Swordfish, Doom.

Continue reading HD DVD Launch – Top Titles that Geeks Wish They Could Buy

Popularity: 9% [?]

My Optoma Graywolf 92 in. 16×9 Projection Screen made me #1: Buy a New DVD Player

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

When you watch all your DVDs at 92 inches diagonal you can clearly see all of the flaws serious DVD reviewers, like Widescreen Review and DVD File, gripe about. Since the install of the front projection system last fall I’ve had to modify my setup in the following way.

Continue reading My Optoma Graywolf 92 in. 16×9 Projection Screen made me #1: Buy a New DVD Player

Popularity: 12% [?]