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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Besides reading AVS Forum, I have been buying home theater magazines. I personally like the reviews in Perfect Vision. I like the writing style, examples they use, and the choice of projectors they evaluate. I wish it came more often then once every two months. Thats my two cents. What do you think?
 

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I subscrbie to "Home Theater", but like all my other magazines, I'm horribly behind. However, the odd thing is that when it came time to buy a projector, and I had it narrowed down to the InFocus X1 and the Sony VPL-HS20, I scanned every issue and couldn't find a review of either one. Yet, they review two or more projectors per issue. I don't get it, since the X1 and HS20 are two of the most popular projectors out there. I might let it lapse unless I start finding useful information between the covers.

///[email protected]
 

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My theory is that mags like Home Theater let their reviews be dictated by the advertisers. Ever notice how inexpensive the price of that magazine is? That's because they have so many advertising dollars coming in. I also believe that the advertisers present the products that they want tested and reviewed. I don't think that someone from HT Mag goes out and buys this stuff for reviewing. Sony is probably more interested in selling TVs than pjs because that is their bread and butter. They'd rather you spend $6k on some large TV than $3k on a pj.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dithermaster
I subscrbie to "Home Theater", but like all my other magazines, I'm horribly behind. However, the odd thing is that when it came time to buy a projector, and I had it narrowed down to the InFocus X1 and the Sony VPL-HS20, I scanned every issue and couldn't find a review of either one. Yet, they review two or more projectors per issue. I don't get it, since the X1 and HS20 are two of the most popular projectors out there. I might let it lapse unless I start finding useful information between the covers.

///[email protected]
 

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Widescreen Review. Although I don't subscribe anymore because I think one of their contributing editors is a complete idiot. And the DVD technical quality reviews read like a broken record. BUT, the projector reviews by Cushman and Rogers are very good.


All the other major magazines save perhaps the Perfect Vision, which I am not very familiar with, are pretty much jokes across the board, IMO. Home Theater, SGTHT, S&V.... all crap......
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have been buying almost every copy of several magazines including Home Theater, Perfect Vision, Sound & Vision, and Digital TV. I want to believe the reviews, but I have seen manufacturer comments at the back of the magazine for some of the reviews. So now I'm not sure.


I kind of agree with Jeff's comment above, but if you have 100,000 customers paying $5 for each edition, that's a signficant amount of money. I guess the magazine publishers should share with the readers their relationship with manufacturers. Are reviewers getting free equipment or do they buy the equipment on their own? If they get the equipment for free, what then? Should we not trust them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have read the good review of Sony HS51 from WSR and have read the good reviews from Sweden in a recent shoot out. I just wished the Sony HS51 was available for purchase.


I just went to the bookstore this weekend and bought the most recent issues of Sound and Vision and Home Theater magazine. While I'm still even more skeptical now of the reviews there are other nice things to read in the magazines, including home theater installation tips and comparison of the different HD display technologies (CRT, LCD, DLP, LCOS, and etc.).
 

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I know they don't test projectors, but I have always liked Consumer Reports because they don't take any advertisments. But most people on these forums say they don't know what they're talking about, so I guess you can't win. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
While reading this month's Home Theater magazine I came across an article regarding enhancing the sound quality of your home theater. The article described how he would improve the sound quality of three different rooms by moving speakers, adding walls, and etc. One thing I noticed that in all of the recommendations the author had recommended wall and ceiling acoustic panel treatments. I thought that a bit odd that each room required acoustic panel treatments, but at the end or the article I find out that the author is president of one of the acoustic panel treatment companies he recommends (he does recommend others). I felt like throwing my magazine away, this just doesn't seem right.


Lonnie
 

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I was recently interviewed for a Magazine article on a product our company uses. I asked the writer what it was for and what she told was very interesting. She was ghost writing for the company who makes the product. And they are submitting the article to the magazine!


I didn't bother saying anything negative about the product because I knew it wouldn't get printed. I think it will end up just reading like an ad.


I have noticed that most magazine articles are not much more than someone re-writing the company's press release. They don't really read like a real review.


The only two I bother reading are Widescreen review and What used to be called Stereophile Guide to Home Theater.


Most magazines have a philosophy that you should not waste space for a bad review, therefore all reviews are positive.


The two magazines I mentioned are the only ones I have seen where you will find any negative comments in the reviews. There testing procedure seems very thorough as well.


I have bought several SGTH "Recommended Components" in the past and they have all been outstanding!


My biggest gripe is that they rarely do reviews of things I can afford. When I first got into home theater several years ago every review featured a $20,000+ projector and a $10,000+ Line doubler!


I'm glad I found AVS! I was able to get $30,000 performance for
 

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The problem I find with the magazines is that they are all geared toward the more high end projectors that are "officially" marketed for home theater....meaning the cost begins at $5000 and goes upward.


I get a lot more useful information from this forum, where people are adapting the low end projectors for use in home theatre....and in the process identifying the hidden gems like X1, PB6100/6200, etc, etc.
 

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I personally know an Editor and staff writers for some of the largest Perf. Car (Muscle Car) Magazines around.

A couple of mutual friends (Editors and mine) were going to put together a Turbo kit for a truck and sell it (start up company).


The deal offered them by the Magazine was this: Buy a full 1 page ad, write your own review of said product and after some minor editing, they will print them both, side by side.


Bottom line is that advertisers start to pull their ads if said Magazine writes a negative review. Or they just don't renew their ads.


Unfortunately Magazines are a business and not a public service. For that you have to go to Consumer Reports, AVS and other 'Forums'.


Pretty much all of us here can give a rats ass about advertisers (well, except the ones here at AVS :D )


Fleaman
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by fleaman


Unfortunately Magazines are a business and not a public service. For that you have to go to Consumer Reports, AVS and other 'Forums'.


Pretty much all of us here can give a rats ass about advertisers (well, except the ones here at AVS :D )


Fleaman
Speaking of Muscle Cars, I used to spend a lot of time on the Corvette Forum. But now they have started to enforce the rule about posting links, or even naming venders other than the supporting venders. For me that pretty much renders the forum useless. They are just like a Corvette Magazine now. That is why I don't suscribe to any Corvette Magazines.


I hope this doesn't happen to the AVS forum.


~Jay
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jay M
Speaking of Muscle Cars, I used to spend a lot of time on the Corvette Forum. But now they have started to enforce the rule about posting links, or even naming venders other than the supporting venders. For me that pretty much renders the forum useless. They are just like a Corvette Magazine now. That is why I don't suscribe to any Corvette Magazines.


I hope this doesn't happen to the AVS forum.


~Jay
Well, until forums prevent the general public (members) from posting their experiences about the products they use, forums will always be a better source to me for un-biased (well, at least in a monetary sense) opinions on products.


Fleaman
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree that forums are better in almost all cases than magazines. I kind of hoped to get an expert unbiased opinion from a magazine, but as I am finding out that is probably not the case.


The one thing magazines have over a forum is you can't read a forum without a computer.


Lonnie
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lonniehansenjr
I agree that forums are better in almost all cases than magazines. I kind of hoped to get an expert unbiased opinion from a magazine, but as I am finding out that is probably not the case.


The one thing magazines have over a forum is you can't read a forum without a computer.


Lonnie
True.


But one of the BEST features that a forum has over the magazine is the 'Search' function.


Fleaman
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lonniehansenjr


The one thing magazines have over a forum is you can't read a forum without a computer.


Lonnie
but I do take my laptop into the bathroom ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The purpose of this thread wasn't to bash home theater magazines, but maybe we should.


I really want to know which home theater magazines have or do you read and what do you think about their reviews of home theater equipment.


Did any of you base a decision off one of these reviews from one of these magazines? If so, was the review correct?


Lonnie
 

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In my first reply in this thread I mentioned my two favorites. I'll explain further:


SGTH:

When I first discovered this mag I thought the reviews were just totally arrogant and out of touch with reality. Well....they may indeed be out of touch with reality, but their reviews compare everything with the best they have seen and the best theoretically possible. So when they review a $5000 projector they are comparing it to a $60,000 projector they have reviewed in the past. They are always pushing for more. The reviewers are enthusiasts who care only about performance.


I have bought the following items solely based on their reviews:


Sherwood Newcastle Receiver- It was one of $$$ rated recommended components. I was very happy with that. Performance was all they said it was. Ergonomics were not so great. I sold it after a few years because of a lack of features. My current Onkyo receiver was chosen based solely on features and ease of use. I got what I asked for, but the performance sucks.


SGTH $$$ recommended BagEnd Infrasub 18" subwoofer got a glowing review. I don't think I will ever need to upgrade this sub. It is both powerful and musical. Because BagEnd is not a consumer brand I was able to buy it at a pro audio store at a significant discount. In the SGTH review they said the $3000 Velodyne was the best, but the then $1200 Bagend was very close. I paid less than $1000.


I aslo chose the DVDO iScan based on price and the fact the every magazine gave it great reviews. I quickly replaced it with an HTPC. Line doubling was not quite enough for my projector.


There was a somewhat controversial issue of SGTH that was very helpful.

They had for the cover feature a comparison of center channel speakers. In that very same issue they was an article saying that all three front speakers should be identical! They gave an example of a double blind test where they had 3 identical $100ea. Radio shack speakers and 3 audiophile speakers with a non-matching center speaker. They were all behind a screen. They told the listeners that the Radio Shack speakers were some sort special new product called home theater 2000 or something like that. Every one seemed to agree that the audiophile speakers were somewhat more detailed, but the identical rat shack speakers were better because they were more seamless and created a more transparent audio system- they made the movie more enjoyable!


I took that advice and tossed out my center speaker and got one that was identical to the other two. I was amazed at the difference it made! All of a sudden the surround system disappeared.


Audio Video Interiors is fun to look at- the text is useless except for an occasional quality review, but the home and system are fun to dream about- I call it TVs of the Rich an Famous


Forum vs Magazine:


I have learned a lot more on this forum than I have ever learned in a magazine. But when it come to reviews you need to be weary of what you read on the Forum.


A good Magazine reviewer spends hours upon hours evaluating dozens of projectors. Often they will have several at once. They also have time to properly calibrate the projectors they are reviewing.


Forum members (with exception of the industry professionals here) usually are lucky to see more than a couple projectors before they buy something. Then often they end up defending their purchase making their review a bit biased.


I have been burned more often by forum advice than I have by a quality magazine review. SGTH seems as unbiased as you can expect.


Consumer reports may be unbiased, but they don't do the kind of detailed reviews we who are obsessed with home theater require.


Widescreen review has a lot of great tech articles- most of which are over my head! But the bits that I can understand are very helpful in causing discontent with the equipment I already own and cause me to desire stuff I can never afford!


So the magazines are great, and make me a poor man;)


~Jay
 
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