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I went to the Widescreen Review open house on Saturday and would like to report how it went:


First off, the staff was very friendly and the facilities were excellent. The holosonic room was ASTOUNDING! 5 six foot tall Dunlevy speakers, plus a center channel for movies, as well as 2 six foot tall sub towers. Sound was impressive to say the least. I was fortunate enough to win the drawing to sit in the prime seat, where the entire system was tuned to put me in the sweet spot.


They had an Odyssee Motion Simulator, which was pretty cool. Although it was a bit distracting in some instances, such as when it was acting as a subwoofer at 30-50 Hz, but was more immersive when acting in a motion simulation fashion, such as when you were being slammed around in U-571 or when there was material to simulate the ocean waves on a ship.


The JVC D-VHS was better than the DVD in terms of color and contrast and looked a bit sharper than the DVD. Although it didn't look massively sharper than DVD, the DVD source was run through a scaler ($20,000 scaler at that, too!). Scenes where you could see a large patch of sky looked less dithered than when compared to DVD. They still had the digital look to them, but it was much closer to film than the DVD was. How much of that was due to resolution increases and how much was due to better color, I don't know.


The big drawbacks for me on the D-VHS are:


1) No way to record HD unless it is fed via firewire. I have already purchased plenty of HD equipment and will not be buying another $500+ HD receiver just so that I can record on a $1500 ($1300 w/discount) tape deck. That comes in at $1800-2000, which is above most people's price point for this function. Still, prices will come down in time, but I am not wanting to buy more decoders, effectively making mine obsolete.


2) I don't really see a rental market for this. Tape is expensive to mail, so a netflix solution isn't likely. Blockbuster won't want to carry them if there are only a few units in the market and there won't be more at $1500 a pop. As the titles are more expensive, there are many titles I wouldn't buy, but would be willing to shell out for on DVD.


The major benefit is the higher quality. Although it is tape, there are chapter stops, like DVD, so going to your favorite scene will be almost as easy as it is w/DVD, only it will take a little while longer. The benefits of the quality will outweigh the drawbacks of tape for most on this forum. The other drawbacks above are a bit more serious, IMHO.


I would highly recommend that if you have the chance to go the one of these functions, do it. This was the best home theater set-up I have ever seen and/or heard. For reference, this will be what I compare my home system to and I now have an idea of how good things can look. Their components weren't the best on the market, but they were damn close and the quality of calibration is excellent. Why just before we watched the clips, Joe Kane, formerly of ISF, was calibrating the video. Truly a great experience.


Mike Poindexter


PS: Who won the D-VHS and the Monster HTS-7000 power filter?
 

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Is Gary Reber as snobby as he SEEMS?


I say seems because of the language he uses in his editorials. I'm sure he's a nice guy but his verbage makes me curious.


Jeff
 

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Good to know.


Jeff
 
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