LGA rarity among plasma TVs, LG's DU-42PZ60 widescreen set has a built-in high-definition TV tuner to receive over-the-air HDTV broadcasts, eliminating the need for an outboard tuner. The 42-inch set has a pixel count of 1,024 x 768, with a rated contrast ratio of 1,000:1. You can feed external high-def signals through its DVI (Digital Visual Interface), VGA, and component-video inputs, and a Faroudja DCDi deinterlacer chip helps convert standard TV images to smoother progressive-scan video. There are also composite- and S-video connectors for standard-definition signals. The picture-in-picture feature lets you view a high-def program next to an image from any other input or a program from the built-in standard TV tuner. Price: $7,999. www.lge.com, 877-993-6484
Isn't it about time to put VHS permanently behind you? Sharp's DV-HR300 DVD/hard-disk recorder can do everything your VCR does and more. The 80-GB hard disk holds more than 100 hours of programming, and VCR Plus+ makes it easy to time-shift shows. You can also capture video directly to DVD, recording on either write-once DVD-R or rewritable DVD-RW discs. A FireWire (i.Link) port lets you digitally transfer camcorder footage to the hard disk or to DVD. The HR300 can also play CD-Rs and CD-RWs with MP3 music files as well as Video CDs and DVD+R/RW discs. Price: $800. www.sharpusa.com, 800-237-4277
With its seven independently powered channels, Integra's DTA-9.4 power amplifier is ready to juice up an entire home theater, including two back surround speakers. Each channel is rated to deliver 120 watts into 8 ohms or 240 watts into 4 ohms. The DTA-9.4 is a digital amplifier, with independent circuits for each channel. Proprietary Vector Linear Pulse Width Modulation technology is said to clean up incoming analog signals, reducing pulse noise. Balanced XLR inputs and RCA jacks are on the rear panel, as well as heavy-duty speaker outputs; all connectors are gold plated. A 12-volt trigger eases hookups to control systems. Price: $3,000. www.integrahometheater.com, 800-225-1946
Ideally, controlling a multiroom system should be easy. In-wall keypads can help, but Russound's UNO-IR2 adds extra convenience with its 12-character LCD readout. The display tells you which source the remote zone is tapped into at the moment and gives you visual cues when you make adjustments. The LCD's backlight is switchable between green and amber, and the buttons are backlit as well. An infrared sensor routes commands to the main system from a remote control, such as Russound's optional UNO-LRC1 ($79). Codes for 1,000 different components are stored in the UNO-IR2, and you can program more. The double-gang wall plate is available in white, almond, bone, brown, and black. Price: $349. www.russound.com, 603-659-5170
The components in Meridian's G Series are loaded with proprietary processing and connectors for a "digital theater" experience. The G98 DVD player (top) has an MHR Smart Link, which allows a direct digital connection for DVD-Audio signals, as well as Dolby Digital or DTS, to compatible Meridian gear like the THX Ultra2-certified G68 preamplifier/controller (bottom). The G68 has a DSP (digital signal processing) system that automatically adjusts the audio output to match room acoustics. Its radio tuner can display Radio Data Service information, and all eight channels have standard RCA and balanced XLR outputs. Both components have silver all-metal chassis with black-glass accents and RS-232 ports for interfacing with a control system. PC software to help with setting the gear up is provided. Prices (depending on configuration): G98, $5,995 or $6,495; G68, $6,995 or $8,995. www.meridian-audio.com, 404-344-7111
Have a cozy space in need of a slim video display? V Inc.'s 20-inch Vizio L6 LCD television will probably be able to squeeze in. The 4:3 screen's 640 x 480-pixel resolution makes it an "enhanced-definition" (EDTV) monitor, meaning it can accept HDTV signals but can't display them at full resolution. Digital TV signals can be fed through the set's component-video, DVI, or VGA inputs. It has a picture-in-picture mode, letting you watch a show from the built-in standard tuner beside one from another input. Images are said to be uniformly bright at viewing angles up to 160°. Stereo speakers flank the screen, and the TV comes with the pictured swivel/tilt stand. Wall-mounting gear and DVI cables (in varying lengths) are optional. Price: $999. www.vinc.com, 714-962-4848
Newcomer Sapphire has introduced its first fleet of speakers. The flagship of the line is the ST3 tower, a ported three-way speaker nearly 4 feet tall. It has a pair of side-firing 8-inch aluminum woofers and a pair of 5 1/4-inch midrange drivers flanking the 1-inch tweeter on the front baffle. The tweeter's rigid, low-mass design is said to result in clean treble performance. Frequency response is rated as 20 Hz to 20 kHz ±3 dB, sensitivity as 93 dB. The biwirable speaker measures 6 1/2 x 46 x 17 1/4 inches and is finished in black ash vinyl. It weighs 65 pounds. Price: $1,499 a pair. www.sapphireaudio.com, 877-297-9479
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