Too much audio not enough video

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  • George Bellefontaine
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Jan 2001
    • 7637

    Too much audio not enough video

    This will probably make some of you hostile for a moment, but what I'm referring to is home theater magazines. They give a lot of article and review space to audio but very little to video - especially front projection which is my main interest. There are so many new projectors on the market- most of them digital- that I can't understand why their magazine's content is so off balance. Don't get me wrong, I love amps and speakers and everything else audio. I'd just like to see a more balanced approaced to everything HT in the mags I buy.




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  • Lex
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Apr 2001
    • 27461

    #2
    George, you may be right, but I have seen a lot of video stuff as well. Just last night, saw a big spread on the Zenith (30K) FP. Of course, I also saw audio stuff, and lots of it.

    Have you searched for a strictly video mag? Might be the ticket. But in general, I guess the mag's cater to what sells. Not as many of us can afford 30K projectors, all at once. Yes, I have more than that in my system. But NOT all at once. Rather, spread out over 3-4 years.

    Lex
    Doug
    "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

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    • George Bellefontaine
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Jan 2001
      • 7637

      #3
      Yeah. Lex, I saw that spread on the Zenith,too. What I'm getting at is you will usually see more than one receiver, amp or speaker reviewed in any given issue, but you'd be lucky to see even one FP reviewd, let alone two or three, per issue.




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      • JonMarsh
        Mad Max Moderator
        • Aug 2000
        • 15277

        #4
        Interesting thought, though I'm not sure I totally agree. The only three HT oriented mags I read regularly are Widescreen Review, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, and Home Theater Magazine.

        Occasionally I read The Perfect Vision, but most of the authors I respect and know from that mag have moved to Widescreen Review, inlcuding Greg Rogers and Bill Cruce, and I think also Bill Cushman.

        Now, almost every year, the major Japanese companies bring out new lines of RPTV's, but there's not really a lot of innovation in most of that product. And many of them are so bad out of the box that they're tired of getting beat up by the better reviewers. Hence, you don't see a parade of RPTV's through the mags (in the way you see new car model reviews), unless they've got a flagship model they want to make a spash with. Also, I suspect there's a perception in the mags that 32" direct views aren't all that sexy anymore, so you don't see "shoot out" reviews like there used to be 3-5 years ago.

        Front projection exists in two main areas: CRT, and digital. FPTV's are drivne more by the commerical installation market than anything else. New CRT projectors are essentially non-existent at this time, because of the move to digital projection- rather a shame, because digital projection does have a ways to go.

        Digital projection is still 80% or more installation and portable business projecters. I know a lot of people at work that have an Infocus they use for business; not a single one has a projector at home. Maybe I hang out with the wrong crowd, or the semiconductor company I'm in just isn't affluent enough- the average for coworkers is 32" direct view TV. About half have DVD. None have HDTV, of those I know.

        In new technology introductions, one area I was interested in was the new 1280X720 16:9 DLP engine from TI, to be used in Mitsubishi and Pansonic RPTVs, then maybe FPTV's. Judging by the first review, of a unit costing twice what a Sony 10HT costs, you shouldn't worry- it's a non-starter- bad color accuracy, bad contrast, bad scaler. The only product innovation it succesfully offered is that it's lighter than the tube CRT RPTVs, while only costing 2-1/2 to 3X as much....

        In "budget" 4:3 digital projectors, the Sanyo XP21 has been collecting a steadily growing following, but it's being discontinued shortly in favor of new, more expensive models emphasizing total light output- which is appropriate for business projectors, but usually not optimum for HT.

        Have you ever seen a calibrated Sony 10HT doing Powerpoint slides in XGA against a typical Infocus DLP? If you have any eye for color accuracy, you'll know quickly why most of the business projectors are not HT material- not remotely.

        Of course, let's not get into how bad most laptop displays are, either. The better desktop flat panel displays are pretty decent these days- good viewing angles, 300:1 or better contrast, and reasonable color tracking- laptops are driven by primarily one factor only, price, and that means quality takes a back seat. But I digress.

        Back to new projectors- one's it would be interesting to see reviews of include the Sony 11HT (don't hold your breath, distribution is limited), the Sanyo PLV-60 (rumored to be undergoing some firmware updates), and the Seleco and Yamaha models focussed on HD. Let's not forget the new Sharp 16:9. Most of the intersting ones (technically) are too expensive (well, that's relative, but when MSRP's climb over $10K, my eyes lose their focus.)

        And gee, a lot of folks I know would love to have the picture KennyG has with his NEC XG135's, but their significant other's would go through the roof (or put them out the window) if they suggested installing one of those beasts in their home.

        But you know, check out that RCA 38" direct view HD set. If you can get one that's OK geometry wise, (I've seen a few), it would make a great bedroom set- and at your typical Best Buy store, it's got the best picture in the house).

        Now, look how quiet things have been at the Audio Hideout at HTGuide- we're not bombarding you with tons of audio stuff, here! (unless you peek into Mission Possible DIY- that's where the audio action is here).

        Write your congressman, George, or at least your favorite magazine editor! Ask for the reviews you want on the new models you're most interseted in! And if you're lucky, and they have a review in the works, yours may be the letter they publish with those happy words "See the review on page 54, and thanks for writing."

        Best regards,

        Jon




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        • Lex
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Apr 2001
          • 27461

          #5
          Nice post Jon!

          again, I think it's the shere number of alternate audio/video components, and speakers, not display devices that make the writeups seem schewed at best, or slanted away from video.

          When you get to display devices, the number of selections is greatly reduced.

          Lex
          Doug
          "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

          Comment

          • Lex
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Apr 2001
            • 27461

            #6
            Nice post Jon!

            again, I think it's the shere number of alternate audio/video components, and speakers, not display devices that make the writeups seem schewed at best, or slanted away from video.

            When you get to display devices, the number of selections is greatly reduced.

            Lex
            Doug
            "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

            Comment

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