WIDESCREEN REVIEW (April) - A feature story on the Broadcast Flag questions FCC decisions allowing unprecedented control by Hollywood forces over the final viewing or time-shifting of broadcast programming. The product reviews for the month include Yamaha's DPX-1200 Digital Cinema Projector, Arcam's AVR300 Surround Sound Home Theatre Receiver, Belkin's PF30, PF60 Power Conditioner, Console & HT cabling, and the various AV systems using in the publication's hardware and software reviews are listed. Awards given by the American Society of Cinematographers are featured, and a story on the CEA's support for a hard cut-off date for analog TV-casting.
WIDESCREEN REVIEW (March) - The incredible superhero family The Incredibles graces the very red front cover of the issue, and there's a story on the animation feature inside (which just was released on DVD). Other cover stories: HD DVD & Blu-ray Disc - a CES Progress Report, and What Makes a Display HDTV? Product reviews of Samsung's HLP-P5063W HD Monitor and PSB's Platinum Series Speaker System. There are over 45 DVD reviews inside. Other component reviews: Toshiba 42HP84 42-inch Plasma TV, Hsu Research Ventiloquist Speaker System, Morel Supra Speaker System. Paul Sweeting writes on "Is a Single Unified HD Format in the Cards?"
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (February/March) - The 20th Anniversary Victoria LE speakers and 12.2 subwoofer are on the cover and this is the 200 Product of the Year Awards issue. The editors pick their top hi-res digital disc players and there are five in-depth reviews of players: Meridian G08, Marantz SA-11S1, Denon, Simaudio and Esoteric. The control unit and amplifier in Meridians G series are also reviewed, as are a new Magnum-Dynalab FM tuner, Goldring Turntable, Manley phono preamp, integrated amps from Chord, Edge and Musical Fidelity and speakers from PSB and McIntosh. HP has assembled a new Super Disc List, discovered some exceptional SACDs, and there is a feature on the best boxed sets of 2004.
THE PERFECT VISION (March/April) - A scene from Spiderman 2 is on the screen of a 7-inch-deep RPTV from InFocus, called An On-Wall HDTV Breakthrough. Other big stories are a Mega-DVD Player Survey, HD On DVD Is Coming!, World's Best AV Receiver? (Lexicon RV-8 Review), Best-Looking DVDs of the Year and more than 25 DVDs reviewed. Five HDTVs are reviewed: LG's DU-42LZ30 42-inch LCD Integrated HDTV, Hitachi's 42HDX61 UltraVision 42-inch HD Plasma Display, SMI2 HT300 E DLP Front Projector, Samsung SP-H700 DLP Projector (+ InFocus). The Ayre DX-7 DVD Player, Mordaunt-Short Genie 5.1 speaker system and Stewart Filmscreen GrayHawk RS Screen are also reviewed. Sony's Mike Fidler and Toshiba's Joie Sally are interviewed about the two possible HD DVD formats. The Insider News discusses the huge number of 1920x1080 res HDTV sets to be introduced later this year.
THE PERFECT VISION (January/February) - Uma is engaged in killing Bill on the new Mitsubishi DLP HDTV on the cover and reviewed inside. This is the Best of the Year Awards issue. There is a feature on new HDTV displays (above $5000) from Sony, RCA, Toshiba, Sharp & Optoma. Mirages revolutionary Omnisat speaker is covered, as well as AV receivers from Pioneer and Arcam. In the software section 25 DVDs are reviewed. Other reviews inside: Genesis 6.1 speaker system, Focal Chorus S multichannel speaker system, Gefen Ex-Tend-It HDTV switcher and DVI repeater, PSB Image T55 speaker system, DVDO iScan HD hi-res video processor.
DVD ETC. (March/April) - Hot New Theater Products for Any Budget is the major cover story. The Test Center evaluates the Yamaha 7.1 channel AV receiver, MBL 7.1 Surround Cinema speakers, V Inc. Vizio 42-inch HD Plasma display, Thiel Viewpoint speakers, sub and passive crossover, DVDOs iScan video scaling engine, and outdoor speakers from JBL, Infinity and Polk. Other cover reviews are JVCs 26-inch LCD display, Energys act6 sub/satellite system, Onkyos THX Universal disc player and BENQs 23-inch LCD widescreen PC monitor. There is a look at Adobes Encore software for production of 5.1 DVDs.
DVD ETC. (January/February) - This is the 2004 Top Choice Awards issue and the Seinfeld crew is on the cover to promote a review of their DVD sets. Unlike the other pubs' awards, there are no mini-reviews of the components - just a reference to which past issue they were reviewed in. New video games for 2005 is another special feature. The directors interviews are with Danny DeVito and Chris Carter. A buyers' guide focuses on DVD/VHS Combo and single-disc players. The Test Center tests: Humax DRT800 Tivo/DVD Recorder, V Inc. Bravo D2 DVD Player, speakers from MB Quart (Vera Ensemble) and PSB (Image Series), an NAD AV receiver, a portable DVD player with a 10-inch screen from CyberHome, and many different cables.
THE SENSIBLE SOUND (January/February) - The cylindrical SVS PC-Ultra Subwoofers are on the front cover, and described by Howard Ferstker as "the best and most sensible standalone 'super' subwoofer I have ever reviewed." Over 100 CD of jazz, classical and pop are reviewed. Components covered: Benchmark DAC1 Converter, Delphi SKYFi SA 10000 Radio, Thiel CS2.4 speaker, Tyler Acoustic Linbrook monitor speakers, Virtual Dynamics cables.
HDTV ETC. (February/March) - Stacked on the front cover are two plasma tabletop displays - that of V Inc., which comes with Thiel speakers, and a Toshiba 42-inch. Under them is the DVDO iScan HD video scaler also reviewed by The Perfect Vision. Special features include Is HDTV Complex Enough?, HD-DVD Coming Soon. The Buyers Guide is on Hi-def receivers and the Test Center tests the Video ReQuest System, which is a special controller for a DVD Changer. The Hi-def Home Theater section looks at Philips 42-inch Ambilight Plasma, NECs HT1100 budget projector (but still $4000!), and KEFs Instant Theater for under $1,500 (thats the HTiB speaker set with the two speakers that look like Super 8 movie cameras with very large lenses). A Programming Guide to new HD for 2005 is also provided.
SOUND & VISION (February/March) - Plasma vs. LCD is the title of a cover feature. 3 Bargain HDTVs, Feature-packed DVD Recorders (from Sony, Philips and JVC), Satellite Radio in Your Pocket, and How to Avoid Setup Screwups are some of the article features, and there is a special report on the high-def DVD. Cover components reviewed are Sonys high-def DVD player, a Hitachi Plasma HDTV and Mini speakers from Mirage. The Sonos multizone digital music system is reviewed and there is a quick take on Polks XRt12 XM Radio tuner. Ken Pohlmann writes on DVD-A & SACD M.I.A.
STEREOPHILE ULTIMATE AV (January) - The InFocus 777 ScreenPlay 3-chip DLP projector is on the cover and reviewed in depth. Over 50 recommended video components are rated and reviewed, and Sharp's Aquos LC-45GX6U integrated 1920 x 1080 LCD HDTV is reviewed. Special feature articles are Sci-Fi on DVD, and Test Your Home Theater IQ - the latter by Stereophile's founder J. Gordon Holt. Other reviews: Mitsubishi HC2000 front DLP projector, V Inc Vizio RP56 DLP RP HDTV, Projectiondesign USA Action MK II front DLP projector. Michael Fremer writes an homage to a 20-year-old NAD 20-inch TV.
HI-FI NEWS (March) - The cover photo looks like a scene from Star Gate, with a futuristic pyramid sitting in a desert environment. Turns out it is Nagra's "mysterious" new amp - the PMA Pyramid 100w Monoblock - evaluated along with its matching PL-L preamp. (They loved the preamp but found the amp too lean-sounding.) Other cover stories: The Story of Surround Sound, Arcam DV29 DVD-A player, Wilson MAXX 2 speaker, Townshend universal disc player, PrimaLuna tube integrated amp, Hovland HP200 tube power amp and matching Sapphire preamp (called "a piece of electronic sculpture"), Final 400i electrostatic panel speakers with S100 woofer, and the Transfiguration Temper V MC cartridge. Other reviews inside: Monopulse 3 speaker, Whest dap-10 CD analogue processor (admitted to be a difficult-to-categorize unit; working on the harmonics of signals only over 35K!), NHT SB2 speaker, Supra cables.
HI-FI NEWS (February) - Described as egg-shaped excellence, the Eclipse Time Domain speakers grace the cover of this issue - just the thing for the audiophile who wants something that looks completely different. Flying Moles bargain digital amp is another review, plus a system matched components from Accuphase and Spectral. The Story of Stereo is Barry Foxs summary of early audio history, including binaural. (He obviously didnt know my first book had exactly the same title.) Other cover reviews are Krells affordable? KAV preamp/power amp combo, Audio Physics Tempo speakers from Germany, and a moving coil pickup from South Africa - The Blue Angel. The separate AVTech publication included has reviews of AV gear from Philips, Pioneer, Denon, InFocus, Mordaunt Short and Sky+.
BOUND For SOUND (Issue #161) - Opens with commentary by editor Martin DeWulf on the art of reviewing and the old question of Subjective or Objective approach, plus some other audio news. Reviews are of the Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD Player and the Fried Studio 7 loudspeaker.
MULTI MEDIA MANUFACTURER (January/February) - This professional journal has articles on chip manufacturer Wolfson, Smart Offshore Sourcing, Component Specs and Product Economics, and The SA 8000 Standard of working conditions. Larry Klein writes fondly about kits and Barry Fox touches on DCC, Cell Fi and Uploaders. New Chips on the Block reviews a headphone driver from TI.
AUDIO XPRESS (March) - On the cover this issue: Crossover Tips from a Pro, Affordable High-Quality Starter Kits (EB604/410 All-JFET Line Amp), Small French Speakers Are Perfect Fit; Kit-Building MTM Units from Vifa/Dayton, A Minimalist Look at Tube Amp Design, A Simple Music Library Preamp. Also inside: Nelson Pass on Current Source Crossover Filters, High End Preamp Part 2, Classifieds & Yard Sale.
AUDIO XPRESS (February) - Cover-featured articles: Transformer Myths Debunked, Driver Specs Made Easy, A High End Preamp for Todays Audiophile, Build a Complete Audio Setup Starting with a Tube Amp, Tweeter Fix for Vintage Horns, Protect Yourself from Shock Hazards, Standard for Testing Tubes, D.H. Labs New Cables.
SURROUND PROFESSIONAL (Vol. 7, Issue 3) - This is the official show program for the recent 6th Annual International Surround Conference & Showcase in Hollywood. "Musicians for Surround" has Herbie Hancock, Peter Frampton and others speaking on how multichannel music has changed the way they create. There is a directory of the exhibitors at the show and a listing of all the Surround Music Awards made at the event. "I Will Never Do Another Record in Stereo" is a resolve by producer Steve Harvey to work in multichannel forever. He also writes on The Practical Web Codec. Gear reviews include the DTS Pro Series Surround Encoder and Yamaha DM1000 digital production.
THE BAS SPEAKER (Vol. 26 No. 3) - The latest unadorned issue of the newsletter of the Boston Audio Society is chock full of interesting stuff you won't find in any of the other audio publications. Four past meetings are reported and discussed: one on the RPG Diffusor Systems, one on Earthworks speakers - who have some interesting observations on bandwidth and mics as well as on speakers, one on venue acoustics with David Griesinger and Leo Beranek, and one with a detailed story of the development and design of the new BeoLab 5 speaker system. The VC-9 Controversy is about whether SMPTE will approve MicroSoft's Windows Media Video codec for possible professional video useage. Titles of some of the Open Forum items: Mo' Better Surrounder Surrounder, Novel Simulcasts, Hi-Rez Overcomes - Doesn't Solve, Web Radio Free for All, Double-Resolution DLP, Greedy Studios Make DVDs Not So Special, Gasketed Klipschorns Unleashed, Time for a New Surround-Sound Standard.