Artison is a new speaker company with more going for it than just a clever name. It also boasts an impeccable pedigree (creator Cary Christie was a founder of industry pillar Infinity), some classy, smart industrial design, and a well-considered answer to the puzzle of how to mate plasma TVs with serious home theater speakers.
Back in hi-fi's golden age, there used to be hot debates over "East Coast" vs. "West Coast" sound - no doubt a tame forerunner of the hip-hop wars of the '90s. East Coast speakers were thought to be smooth and mellow, with "concert-hall" sound best suited to classical music and jazz.
Many of us yearn to own a glistening flagship receiver: the prestige . . . the state-of-the-art performance . . . the vast array of features . . . the satisfaction of knowing that you own the very best. But flagships can be prohibitively expensive, as well as awkwardly large and extremely heavy. Ask any admiral. And then there's the complexity issue.
A plasma TV has become one of the most desirable items on the planet, and owning one confers a certain amount of social status. Case in point: a friend of mine recently visited the palatial Long Island house of a certain hip-hop star, who had hung more than twenty of the things on his (presumably gold-plated) walls.
Sure, DVD players are a dime a dozen these days. And even at the cheapest of prices, you can expect perks that were reserved for high-end players just a couple of years ago, like a progressive-scan component-video output. Amazing. But what if you want to spin more than one disc?
When I first started writing about TV - instead of just watching it - I had the privilege of attending an eye-opening demonstration of high-end projectors. The corporate host had set up a series of these light cannons in a room and proceeded to show the same scene from Shakespeare in Love on each one.
They say that "reality TV" programs where people marry someone they just met or jockey for advantage in competitions by playing naked have injected new life into television. But for me, it's high-definition TV that has made tube-watching fun again.
Flatness is what it's all about today when you go shopping for home theater gear - and I'm not talking frequency response. Now that plasma and other flat-screen TVs rule, depth - the kind measured in inches - has become the kiss of death for anything that might share the light from the screen, like speakers.
Turning DVDs with Pioneer's DVR-810H is so simple my dog could do it (true, he is a German shepherd). That's because the deck is also a TiVo hard-disk recorder, and it restricts any DVD burning to dubbing what's already on the hard drive. In other words, it doesn't give you the flexibility of a standalone DVD recorder, but it's ridiculously easy to use.
For a lot of reasons, a DVD recorder equipped with a hard-disk drive makes a lot of sense. Sharp's stylish DV-HR300, which contains a drive with an 80-gigabyte (GB) capacity, is a good example of the advantages of such an arrangement.
High-tech wonders like the DVD and Dolby Digital get much of the credit, but the home theater revolution owes just as much to a more mundane development: compact, affordable subwoofer/ satellite speaker systems.
With the proliferation of flat-panel LCD and plasma televisions, plus all the rear-projection models using LCD, DLP, and even LCoS technologies, it's easy to overlook the good ol' cathode ray tube, or CRT.
Also, Side Effects, Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics: The Public Enemy, The Petrified Forest, Little Caesar, White Heat, True Bloods: Season 5, Beautiful Creatures, Parker, The Last Stand, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle.