Lincoln and THX representatives brought a new MKS by our offices to give us a demonstration of the technology. This car not only features a hard drive-based navigation system, but it also offers Sirius Travel Link, which integrates traffic, fuel prices, and weather with the navigation system. Better yet, the THX audio system gets music from Sync, which lets you hook up just about any MP3 player. Using this system, you can tell the car which bands you want to hear. We subjected it to some of our standard testing tracks and found the listening experience to be very impressive. … Read more
The first time I met Tomlinson Holman was in the late 1970s, when he was in the high-end audio business. He designed electronics but went on to bigger and better things when he developed THX Sound for Lucasfilm. Later, I heard his experimental 10.2 channel sound system, and I came away with a whole new appreciation of his genius. Tom Holman is Mr. Surround Sound.
His newly revised book, Surround Sound, Up and Running provides an extensive overview on the subject. It was written for recording engineers and producers, but technically inclined home theater enthusiasts will gain new insight … Read more
I just spoke with a few of the people from THX involved in the development of the specification for the firm's new Display Certification, featured on the Panasonic TH-PZ800U and LG PG60 series plasma TVs, and when I asked them whether they'd be letting some of their test material and methods trickle down into disc form, they said "yes." According to THX's reps, the Blu-ray disc would be an expanded version of the THX Optimizer found on select DVDs, and would feature test material aimed at a less-technical audience than the only other full-fledged Blu-ray test disc available now, Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics, which is used extensively in CNET's own HDTV testing. THX didn't say when its disc would be available or for how much.
Surround sound is a no-brainer for movies and games--it helps you forget you're watching a two-dimensional screen, and immerses you in the action. Movie theaters have been incorporating it for well over a decade, and sound designers for games assume a 5.1 system.
But for music, surround sound faces a number of barriers. Listeners need new equipment--speakers, a 5.1-capable amp, and a player capable of playing either SACD or DVD-Audio discs. (DVD-Audio discs can be played in traditional DVD players, so home theater owners who've already set up their systems for surround sound can hear a … Read more
Following the footsteps of last year's Best of CES winner in the TV category, Samsung's FP-T94W series, LG this year is introducing its own wireless plasma TVs. The series is called PG70, and it includes the 50-inch 50PG70 and the 60-inch 60PG70. Yes, you'll still need to connect the power cord, but all those pesky audio-video connections can be moved to a separate AV transceiver box that networks with the panel over the 802.11n wireless standard. Judging from LG's claims regarding its similar wireless LCDs, the box can be set up to 50 feet from … Read more
Faced with the best car stereo we have ever heard at CNET Car Tech, we came up with a unique experiment to test it--we wanted to find out if we could shatter a wine glass through sheer audio force. The stereo that we like so much is the THX system in the Lincoln MKZ, an incredibly refined and well-engineered system that uses 14 speakers and a 600-watt, 12-channel amplifier. To break our wine glass, we first needed a tone at the glass' resonant frequency. We measured that by pinging the glass and recording the sound, then analyzing it with Audacity, … Read more
Prices of flat TVs have been plummeting around the world, but apparently no one has told that to Vidikron.
The high-end home theater equipment maker has stayed true to its niche with a 65-inch plasma for $19,995. It's got 1080p resolution and claims to be the first plasma with THX certification, according to Luxist, but is the price really worth it? Even if it does have an attractive black or brushed-aluminum frame, the price is still two or three times more than a 65-inch plasma from Panasonic.
Then again, if you do get one these, you can brag … Read more