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More from Robert A. Fowkes

Technology

Revisiting the Component Approach to Audio/Video in Today’s Home Theater Market

By Robert A. Fowkes • Apr 16 2009, 4:24pm

Over two years ago I wrote an article titled A New Approach to Components in a Digital Audio/Video World to share my thoughts regarding equipment options in Home Theater and related electronics. At that time I outlined the reasons that components might provide a better overall solution to an all-in-one box in terms of upgradability, performance and sometimes even price. Basically, the upside focused on the ability to upgrade as needed without replacing perfectly adequate and functional parts and the downside involved more boxes and wires than the alternative. While that's a gross simplification of the whole hypothesis you can review the entire argument by referring to the original article.

The basic principles of that paper still apply but a lot has changed over the past two years...

Technology

Home Theater Concepts: Is a 1440x1080 HD Camcorder Inferior to a 1920x1080 HD Camcorder?

By Robert A. Fowkes • May 16 2008, 4:08pm

The question has been raised regarding how good 1440x1080 resolution from HD camcorders is when compared to "full" 1920x1080 resolution devices. While it is technically accurate to say that 1920x1080 images contain more pixels than 1440x1080 images the actual appearance to the native eye is not as different as logic might make you think. And the choice of "1440" as the resolution in the horizontal direction in a "1920x1080" world is not an arbitrary number but carefully selected due to

Technology

The Wonderful and Sometimes Confusing World of HDMI Connections

By Robert A. Fowkes • Feb 15 2008, 5:03pm

HDMI (which stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface) was developed to accommodate the emerging HD digital technologies which have now entered the mainstream of home entertainment. It was planned as a "one wire" digital solution to both audio and video requirements. It is also one of the most confusing connection technologies available to the general public - especially when people hdmi(3)are used to more traditional interconnectivity. As HDMI attempts to do what it was designed to do, part of the process involves the pieces of the puzzle communicating with each other (sometimes referred to as "handshaking"). This two way communication causes...

New Products & Equipment

A New Approach to Components in a Digital Audio/Video World

By Robert A. Fowkes • Dec 13 2007, 3:23pm

Remember when Home Entertainment life was much simpler? All you did was to sit back and turn on the TV to watch programs. Or, if you remember TV before the days of remotes you turned on the TV and then sat back unless you had a young son who was your human remote. Carrying this one step further back (as this writer remembers) there was actually a time when you only listened to programs for your nightly entertainment. Fibber McGee and Molly anyone? In any event, in the 1950's to somewhere in the 1980's "Home Theater in a Box" was just that for most people - the family television.

A handful of audiophiles (I was building kits in the early days) had stereos by the late 50's and we knew about audio components - a pre-amplifier, an amplifier and speakers which produced wonderful sounds from our sources - usually records and reel to reel tapes. (Yes, I also had a wire recorder for a time. I also have an Edison cylinder or two gathering dust.) But as interest in components grew so did the de ...