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Discussion Starter #1
I never read them. Today I came across an issue and flipped through it while I was....... never mind. The ads are hilarious and the reviews are even funnier. I know a lot of you are in this business, so sorry- nothing personal.


The issue is from Nov. 2003. It starts out with a feature on 5 components (real specific category isn't it?).

Quote:
"1. Yamaha's newest babies... utilizes Yamaha's Digital Top-ART (Total Purity Audio Reproduction Technology) design concept to maximize digital sound quality"
LMAO. WTF does that mean? Let's see, overuse of the word digital... check. Fancy acronyms that mean absolutely nothing to anyone without any explaination... check. Find an excuse to say "maximize digital sound quality"... check.

Quote:
"... With a retail price of $999, the RX-V2400 features the new YPAO (Yamaha Automatric Paremetric Room Acoustic Optomizer) function, which automatically analyzes room acoustics, and then sets parameters for optimum sound quality at the listening position."
WOW! That is a mouthfull, isn't it. I think it's much easier to say, "for $50, using Radio Shack's SPL (Sound Pressure Level) technology, you can acomplish the same thing".

Quote:
"2. Purely Pioneer; PDP-5040HD; Fifty inches and over a BILLION colors...enough said."
No seriously, it really does say that.


Number 5. is MSN TV. I'm not even going to get into that.


Turn the page and I see an ad for Ultralink cables which, among other things, advertises "Light-Lock(R) Toslink interconnects." You've gotta be kidding me. It's bad enough that people claim differences between digital coax cables, but if this company can claim an optical cable is better I truely live in the land of fraud.


Next page is an artical called "A November to Remember". Wait, isn't that the name of a car ad campaign I heard a million times?? Oh yeah, it was Lexus and it was December. Who pays these people again? Anyways, the article is about car audio systems!?! This is a HT magazine. But whatever, I like checking out custom hi-fi rides. I was into that stuff in college. Alpine, MB Quarts, etc. Unfortunately this is an article about STOCK AUDIO SYTEMS!!! Wait. I'm only on page 24. It gets better.


Flipping past the Runco ad, there's a Bose ad on the next page. No comment.


The Philips ad tells us about "Pixel Plus technology". Actually it tells me nothing about it, other than to visit the website to learn more. I'll pass. I don't need to remember every company's made up name for the work "scaler".


This is the best part. On page 36 I come to an new article entitled:

Quote:
"High-resolution Home Theater Projectors Under 5,000 bucks... It's About Time!"
Neither words, nor silly net-acronyms like "ROTFL" do justice to how I felt reading this. Needless to say, it covers every digital projector under that price including the HT1000. Not ONE mentions the native resolution and the contrast ratio is only mentioned in the DLP models. I can't believe people are actually expected to pay $3.99($5.99CAN) for this contracted advertising?


The next page is a JVC amp/receiver ad with a picture of Bonnie Raitt explaining how thanks to this unit she doesn't need to go to the studio anymore to hear her music in surround sound or some garbage like that.


There's an article showing off a family's San Diego house. They actually have a Runco CRT which looks like a Barco 808 (and I'm sure it is). It's nice to see a CRT, but of course it's ceiling mounted and there's no hushbox. I'm sure the picture is quite nice, but I'll take my XG w/ hushbox over it anyday. Aside from saving myself the cost of a new car, I experience HOME Theater, not AIRLINE Theater.


That's about it. A couple more features on HT owners (one DLP FP and the other plasma). The back cover has a slick ad for "Goldmund". It looks like a jewelry ad but I think they're some kind of audio component- not sure. They're pretty looking though. It just says they're Swiss made. I personally like the way my components look better- hidden and out of sight.


The ads are ridiculous but at least they pay for you to read them, not the other way around. When the magazine itself is nothing more than a PR machine, it drives me through the roof.
 

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See, most print materials charge the customer for the cost of the paper its printed on, and charge the advertisers the cost of writing the content. This is why the articles focus on the commerical segment, and not pointing out how big the used HT market is (digital or CRT projectors, audio equipment, etc) and how much of a value someone looking for a bargain can get in the used market.


Not to mention accurately reporting on what they actually are covering, like talking about how important native resolution is, and what the native resolution of each model is, and what price ranges a consumer would expect to find a certain resolution panel (based on the covered devices at least).


My wife got me a subscription to SGHT almost a year ago, and she's regretted it ever since. Not long after I found this forum, bought HT gear, and have taken over large parts of the house. :) If it wasn't for SGHT, I never would have gotten the bug to try and find a way to build an HT within my budget. Of course everything I learned came from here, SGHT is however entertaining to read.


A few years ago I used to cut out some of the really funny ads in computer trade magazines and hang them on posters in my office. I made sure they didn't show what company was marketing the product, or what product it was. Folks always found them amusing once it was no longer an "ad" and wondered "what were these marketing droids on when they thought this would make me purchase whatever it is they are hyping?". I've long since given up this hobby though, too many examples of stupidity...
 

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I would have to strongly agree about the HT mags. A good chuck of their content is just a manufacturer classifieds. You know, maybe the problem is that I should be reading the HT mags from 10 or 15 years past when they may have talked about my projectors. :D
 

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I picked one up once... It was talking about "absolute requirements for ANY home theater".... one of them was "A television 27" or larger".


I'm sorry. 27"??? Home theater?!? give me a break.


- David
 

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I've been a HT subscriber for several years now. Yes, as my knowledge of home theater has grown, through my own research and this board, the magazine has become less important to me. I read the articles and generally enjoy it for what it is. If I want up to the minute reviews of DVD releases I hit the internet. I look at it this way, the magazine does expose me to some products or lines of products that I may otherwise not read about on this or other home theater related websites. I try to remember the pre/pros, amps, etc that they review so that I can keep an eye out for them on the used market.

For people that populate this boards the magazine is probably too "beginner", but we all had to start somewhere.
 

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Some of the mags do have some good content but the ads are a problem but ads anywhere are a problem. Folks pay to puff themselves and or their products up and at the same time, as lie of omission, hide their soft underbellies. This is the way of the world. Except for WSR I get them for decorating and design ideas but that's it. This forum is an order of magnitude more powerful than the HT mags for information.


Art
 

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Quote:
quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"... With a retail price of $999, the RX-V2400 features the new YPAO (Yamaha Automatric Paremetric Room Acoustic Optomizer) function, which automatically analyzes room acoustics, and then sets parameters for optimum sound quality at the listening position."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




WOW! That is a mouthfull, isn't it. I think it's much easier to say, "for $50, using Radio Shack's SPL (Sound Pressure Level) technology, you can acomplish the same thing".
How do you do Parametric sound equalization with an SPL meter?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by plain fan
I look at it this way, the magazine does expose me to some products or lines of products that I may otherwise not read about on this or other home theater related websites.
No offense, but to me, not seeing it on this or any other home theater websites is usually a sign........


- David
 

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There's other HT websites?


:D


I like to read SGHT for their reviews of $20k+ systems. Usually entertaining, especially after they saw Reference Imaging's system almost a year ago.
 

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WD-40, you misread the article. The 27" minimum is for the DOGhouse...:)


Curt
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Lifter
I never read them. Today I came across an issue and flipped through it while I was....... never mind. The ads are hilarious and the reviews are even funnier. I know a lot of you are in this business, so sorry- nothing personal.


Turn the page and I see an ad for Ultralink cables which, among other things, advertises "Light-Lock(R) Toslink interconnects." You've gotta be kidding me. It's bad enough that people claim differences between digital coax cables, but if this company can claim an optical cable is better I truely live in the land of fraud.


When the magazine itself is nothing more than a PR machine, it drives me through the roof.
Say Lifter


Unfortunately, you are right on the money here. Read enough magazines and you are sure to find references to "burning-in" optical cables, very sad indeed. Worse yet, you can bet next months' rent check that the editors of these magazines are comfy in the pockets of their primary advertisers. TPV earned my personal wrath a couple years ago by printing an article entitled "We Test All the Finest DVD Players This Month", or some crap like that. My not very complimentary e.letter in reply reminded TPV that they had tested no HTPCs in their effort, therefore the lads at TPV had no clue what the finest DVD players might offer! They responded and asked me if I wanted to write about HTPCs for them, but I had bigger fish to fry and therefore declined.
 

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There is a lot of snake oil to be sold out there.


Hand rubbed temperature stabilized gold blend fiber optic oxygen free noise isolated monsterous cable and ball bearing component spiked gold plated isolators are a neccesity don't you know.


Where would we be without these things?


Troy
 

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I think the worst of it is that the reviews are nearly devoid of useful technical info. When I was a teen I remember one of the mags had polar, waterfall, etc plots, at least 10-12 per speaker review. I was bewildered and had no idea what they meant. You're doing well today if you get a freq response plot. Almost never are the real shortcomings pointed out bluntly. People used to give Stereo Review a hard time, but think about how good it was compared to today's offerings. Yes, I was aghast at the $5k projector article, not one reference to resolution. I too get a couple of the mags, also for ideas and to prop up the PTO at the kids school :) Thank goodness they don't point out the great deals on CRT :p
 

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Or you can use the mags to prop up that wobbly table when you just don't have time to take it out to the shop in the garage and get it fixed. Probably because you are too busy enjoying your $5000 HT. :D
 

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I dno't give the rags the satisfactino. I sit at the bookstore to rifle through the pages of worthless garbage to find tidbits of less mediocre junk and then put them back on the shelf.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffY
How do you do Parametric sound equalization with an SPL meter?
You don't, you use an equalizer. So that's what it means, huh? How does that work? It comes with a microphone? I assumed it just adjusted volume levels for each speaker based on room dimensions. Anyways, I'm not dogging the product, I'm dogging the magazine for writing nothing more about it other than what you would find in an ad.


Also, this was not "Home Theater Magazine". I think this was called Home Theater Interiors or something. I'm sure HTM is better, so I'm sorry for generalizing.
 

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David, let me explain. I have absolutely no contact with anyone that owns or has owned Meridian products. If it wasn't for seeing and reading a review of their products in the magazine I wouldn't concern myself with reading topics on this forum about Meridian products. I also wouldn't have cared about CRT projectors except that I remembered their review of a Sony G90 a few years ago and decided to see what people were saying in this forum. Just some examples.


Spearce, you're right there really aren't other HT websites, at least not of AVS' caliber. I occasionally go to the HTforum, but it is more kin to light beer compared to here. And yes their reviews of $20k and up home theaters are funny to read. Especially when I think of Art's and compare it to what they consider "high end."
 

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HT-related magazines are not the only communications transport that is seemingly more of a vehicle for manufacturers and or dealers. Some websites on the subject are also not only proactive but nearly pushy in terms of being dealer-controlled and manufacturer campaigned.


No, I am not speaking of AVS.


I remember the stark difference in the late 1980's when I bought Starlog magazine regularly. I noted the amount of advertising and compared it to a newly discovered Cinefex. While one was seemingly more of a trade-mag vs. a common newsstand rag (and priced accordingly at 1:2), I found it worth paying for Cinefex than I did Starlog.


Unfortunately, I think that some trade-mags have their circulation (and corresponding subscription base) hindered by this, but then again it all depends on one's business model. Obviously a lot of the rags you find of the shelf trying to associate themselves to HT are nothing more than rag-quality (that's not an attempt to be nice, either).


Unfortunately, I think HT will need a deeper market penetration of 'serious' consumers (not just serious consumer percentages) before someone recognizes that there are people out there willing to pay $10-15 an issue for an ad-free journal.


I know the day that something comes across when I see a journal/magazine open up (literally) a projector or receiver to investigate the guts and report on the finding will I actually consider them a serious informational-provider. Unfortunately, I think that has some obstacles, some of them legal.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think home theater is becoming more and more a middle-class hobby, not just a hobby that the ultra-rich who get suckered into spending more than they need (whether they realize it or just don't care). I think the industry should embrace that by using technical language that is universal and standard. An industry where people do their homework and buy things based on logic. Kind of like the way the computer industry is.


Remember a whopping 10 years ago when most people did not have a computer in their homes? Now everyone has one, and when the industry blew up, people shopped with their brains. When people buy a computer, they know what kind of CPU it is, how much memory it has, etc. Very few intangibles. Even if they don't know, the brand they put their faith into doesn't use hype and pseudo-science to convince you they're better. You don't see Dell making nonsensical claims or using made-up words to make it sound like their computers perform better than anyone else's. They pitch good service, reliability, and fair price. As far as the product's performance, it's just like everyone else- they all have tangible specs that anyone can verify.


Anyone can look up benchmarks for a piece of PC hardware. They don't lie. Where are the websites that objectively compare test pattern results of the newest crop of RPTVs, or DVD players, or even cables for that matter?
 

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Geez we dont get anywhere near the variety here in australia of those sorts of publications.


My main complaint is yeah the "middle class" type comments, I buy maybe 2 a year when I have the upgrade bug and the yearn for my old CRT back after going digital, and usually they only depict setups with G90's and CINE 9's in harbour side mansion's and never seem to have the good old 1270 in a chipboard coffee table with a nice shag pile carpet rug to hide the cables.
 
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