Chris Eberle

Toshiba 55WX800U 55″ LED Edge Lit LCD 3D HDTV

At the Consumer Electronics Show last January, every television manufacturer had at least one 3D-capable display in their booth. Over the next few months, new models trickled into the marketplace. Now that CEDIA has come and gone, the floodgates are officially open and every brand has at least one and in some cases multiple models to choose from. I attended CEDIA with the primary goal of securing as many 3D TVs as possible for review. Toshiba was kind enough to be the first to provide me a sample, the flagship 55WX800U Cinema Series 55" LED Edge Lit LCD HDTV.

Axiom Epic 80-800 Speaker System: M80v3 Tower, VP180 Center, QS8v3 Surround, and EP800v3 Subwoofer

When shopping for loudspeakers today, we assign many different criteria to our decision. Do we choose on price, sound quality, aesthetics, science or some other aspect? Of course a discriminating listener wants the best of all these worlds and there are many manufacturers ready, willing and able to deliver on all counts. Axiom is one who has been at their game a long time. In this review, we test their M80v3 Tower, VP180 Center, QS8v3 Surround, and EP800v3 Subwoofer.

Runco Q750i DLP Projector with LED Illumination

Since the first LCD units were pressed into service as home theater displays, digital projection has suffered from one limitation, the bulb. No matter the technology – DLP, LCoS or LCD – all digital front projectors use(d) either a UHP (Ultra High Pressure) mercury or xenon lamp as a light source. The use of LEDs as the light source in projectors is now emerging. Here, we review Runco's Q750i projector which has a single DLP 1920 x 1080 chip with an LED light source.

Pass Labs INT-30A Integrated Stereo Amplifier

For nearly forty years, Nelson Pass has been designing simple, high-performance electronics. In 1991, with twenty years experience under his belt, he founded Pass Laboratories which has since become among the most highly regarded companies for high-end power and integrated amplifiers. His design goals couldn't be more clear: power, simplicity and performance.

Dream Vision Starlight1 LCoS Projector

Dream Vision, an emerging brand in America, has been developing and marketing high-end models in Europe since 1996. In 1999, they became available on this side of the Atlantic when they introduced, with the help of Audio Plus Services, the world's first consumer-targeted DLP projector, the DL500. Today their DLP and LCoS designs offer cutting-edge features and most importantly, high performance. They've also made some of the most stylish projectors I've ever seen. Created by leading French industrial designers; their chassis' make a bold statement as a centerpiece in a modern media room. With unique options like fixed anamorphic lenses, Dream Vision has projection systems to suit a wide variety of home theater installations. In this review, we cover the Dream Vision Starlight1, which is a three-chip LCoS projector.

Optoma HD8600 Single-Chip 1080p DLP Projector

My favorite reviews are those of flagship products so I was understandably excited when the opportunity came to test Optoma's new HD8600 DLP projector. The HD8600 includes all of Optoma's latest features and advances. Topping the list is a special set of controls called PureEngine which include enhancements for detail, color and motion. This projector has joined its competitors in offering smoothing technology to eliminate the judder and motion blur inherent in 24 frames-per-second film content. Coupled with Pure Detail and Pure Color, you have at the call of the remote the means to add extra vividness and sharpness to picture if you wish. If accuracy is your goal, as it is mine, the HD8600 offers extensive adjustments for gamma, grayscale and a color management system.

Runco LS-5 Single-Chip 1080p DLP Projector

When one thinks of home theater, it's difficult not to think of Runco. Since 1987, Runco has been at the forefront of home theater video technology. Founder Sam Runco is even credited with coining the term "home theater. " They are one of a handful of companies that concentrate solely on video products. Their product line includes LCD and plasma displays, DLP projectors and even two new LED projectors. They also market a video processor and an in-wall rear projection system. Runco's current line of front-projectors includes 13 models that cover every kind of installation. The LS-5 reviewed here is designed for small to medium theaters with screens ranging from 72 to 120 inches. It has full 1080p resolution, via a single DLP chip.

Optoma HD8200 Single-chip 1080p DLP Projector

It seems every year projector prices fall a little more. The $4999 Optoma HD8200 single-chip DLP 1080p projector offers features and image quality that would have cost you over $10,000 just a few years ago. Though it has some stiff competition from JVC and Sony in this price category, Optoma has met this challenge with some unique motion processing and image enhancement features.

Samsung SP-A900B Single-Chip 1080p DLP Projector

What if a videophile were given total control over the design, production and distribution of a projector? You would expect a high degree of color accuracy, great optics, easy calibration for different screens and environments, no unnecessary features, consistent quality and of course a stunning image. Samsung has answered this question with the help of Joe Kane. The result of this collaboration has been a series of DLP projectors, the latest example being the SP-A900B.

Revel Performa F52 Tower Speakers, C52 Center Channel Speaker, S30 Surround Speakers, and Concerta B120 Subwoofer

In 1996 an announcement was made about a new speaker company being formed under the very large umbrella of the Harman brand. One could say a perfect storm was created when Harman committed their considerable resources, and Kevin Voecks; a protégé of legendary audio engineer Dr. Floyd Toole, was brought on as Head Engineer. Harman wanted a speaker brand to match the quality of its Levinson electronics. These speakers would be designed using pure science and only released to market when proven to out-perform the competition in double-blind listening tests. We know that brand today as Revel.

NuVision NVU65FX5 65″ LCD Flat-Panel HDTV

PRICE DROP AS OF 1-18-10. When shopping for an LCD panel, NuVision is not one of the first manufacturers that come to mind. Sold only through a network of CEDIA-member dealers, NuVision is firmly in the category of boutique brands. Their line of televisions are "built by connoisseurs for connoisseurs" to quote their website. Here, we review the NuVision 65" NVU65FX5, which is their 65" LCD Flat-panel HDTV. At an MSRP of $10,499 ($9,999 for black bezel version), it is a pricey HDTV. Read our review to see if it cuts the mustard at the checkout counter.

Focal Dome 5.1 Speaker System

Many loudspeakers today are marketed more for their ability to blend into a space or make an aesthetic statement than to provide high performance.  Since they are the most visible AV component after the television, sizes and styles vary as much as colors of the rainbow.  With many lifestyle products come compromises in audio quality; not so with the Focal Dome system.

Flagship Home Theater – Part 2: Anthem Statement D2v Audio/Video Processor and Statement A5 Five-Channel Power Amplifier

In Part 1 of Flagship Home Theater, I covered the video side with Anthem's LTX-500 LCoS 1080p projector and the Black Diamond II screen from SI Screens.  Now let's look at the other half of the home theater equation: the sound.  To round out my Flagship Home Theater experience, I tested the Anthem Statement D2v A/V Processor and A5 five-channel power amplifier.

Flagship Home Theater – Part 1: Anthem LTX-500 LCoS Projector and SI Black Diamond II Screen

Flagship Home Theater.  The very words evoke the highest quality in audio and video reproduction.  Anthem, a well-established maker of high end audio products has just released their first display, the THX-certified LTX-500 LCoS Projector.  Like their audio gear, Anthem is marketing this unit as a reference quality piece.  In their own words, "A full HD 1920x1080 ‘Reference' point of view… brings the scale and excitement of the Cinema experience home."  Have they achieved their goal?  Boy did I ever have fun finding out! In this review, which we call Flagship Home Theater - Part 1, I take a look at Anthem's top of the line projector, and also an SI Black Diamond II projection screen.