Computer monitors using thin, flat LCD panels are on their way up in size, as evidenced by Samsung's 21-inch (diagonal) 211MP and 24-inch 241MP (shown). Depth is only 2 5/8 inches with the stand, which can be removed for wall placement. Both monitors are HDTV-ready and have a built-in NTSC tuner and RGB+H/V, component, composite, and S-video inputs as well as a VGA input. The viewing angle is said to extend to 170°, and contrast ratio is rated as 500:1. Maximum resolution on the 211MP is 1,600 x 1,200 pixels, while the 241MP's is 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. A built-in zoom can magnify any part of an image up to 17x. The supplied speakers can be affixed to the sides of the display. Prices: 211MP, $4,999; 241MP, $6,999. www.samsungusa.com, 800-726-7864
Allison Acoustics went out of business in 1989, but now its acclaimed speakers are being produced once again by a new company, with veteran speaker designer Roy Allison again serving as chief acoustic engineer. The product line is led by the Allison One, which he created in 1974 and updated in the 1980s. The new One has the same three-way design with a 10-inch woofer, a 3 1/2-inch midrange driver, and a 1-inch tweeter on each of two sides of the triangular cabinet, which is designed to be placed as close to a wall as possible. Frequency response is rated as 36 Hz to 20 kHz +1, -3 dB. Finished in your choice of cherry, walnut, oak, or other hardwood veneers, the speaker measures 19 x 41 3/8 x 11 inches and weighs 75 pounds. Price: $6,000 a pair. www.allisionacoustics.com, 877-813-5878
Looks aren't everything, but they count for quite a bit with Philips. Its attractive DVDQ50 DVD player is not only a mere 3 inches tall but also has two component-video outputs, one of them offering progressive-scan images with 2:3 pulldown. The player can read both CD-Rs and CD-RWs, even MP3 files. Built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders provide 5.1-channel sound through the multichannel analog output, and if you don't have surround speakers, TruSurround processing will simulate them. There are also coaxial and optical digital audio outputs. A bit-rate indicator lets you know just how many little ones and zeros it takes to create the image you're watching. Price: $499. www.philipsusa.com, 800-531-0039
In the ARQ2-Pro, its next-generation digital audio server, ReQuest Multimedia has added the option of storing music as uncompressed wav files and has also provided coaxial and optical digital outputs. And now when you want to enter artist and title data for a recording, you can first check the onboard CD Lookup database before visiting Gracenote.com. You rip songs from the built-in CD player to a hard drive of at least 40 gigabytes (GB), which holds about 300 hours of MP3 audio encoded at 128 kilobits per second (kbps). Prices: with 40-GB drive, $2,950; with 60-GB drive, $3,500; with 100-GB drive, $5,000. www.request.com, 800-236-0802
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