- As seen on the Gadget Guru's
Web Site -
HDTV and Home Theater Furniture
-- Q: I am in a state of total confusion and hope you
can help. My current projection television is on its last legs
and needs to be replaced. With all of the talk of HDTV, do I
buy a standard television now or wait for HDTV?
A: My immediate answer is
to tell you to go out and purchase a new standard (NTSC) television
now. That is unless your name is Gates or a Rockefeller and can
afford to fork over the $7,000+ that's needed to buy a HDTV set.
But remember even if you purchase a new HDTV set now, you won't
be able to receive digital signals without the addition of a
set top converter box. These beauties have been quoted anywhere
from $500 to $5,000 - and that's on top of the price of the HDTV
itself! The good news is that existing televisions (both direct
view and projection) will benefit from HDTV signals with the
addition of the aforementioned box or even a HD-DSS receiver
(yes, there will be one). For instance, I just purchased a RCA
32-inch ProScan, and while it's not capable of receiving true
1080i HDTV, its existing NTSC pictures will be enhanced by upcoming
digital signals with the addition of a digital converter box.
Keep in mind that although HDTV will eventually replace the current
NTSC standard, those days are far off in the future. Right now,
a good projection TV or tube-based set will not only survive
but also thrive in the digital era.
Q: Although I enjoyed your
recent piece on audio/video furniture, I'm one of those "gear
heads" who needs twice the component and storage space.
Surely someone makes A/V furniture for people like me. Can you
A: I feel your pain. As
a fellow "gear guy", my modus operandi when it comes
to storing all my home theater components has always involved
tearing down walls (and my bank account as well) and installing
custom cabinetry. Having recently moved into a new house, and
after experiencing the sticker shock from the in-wall construction
estimates, I quickly began searching for standalone A/V furniture
that would suit my expansive needs. I was looking for furniture
that could not only hold my existing stuff, but, with one eye
on the future (read: HDTV), grow to hold a digital widescreen
television as well. To my surprise, I found a group of fellow
aficionados who had started a company for the very reason you
and I and all the other component junkies seek -- Storage, storage
Called Diamond Case, this company's
Theater-Tech System One Entertainment Center (Model No. TT-300)
and matching audio cabinet (Model NO. TT-200) is a gift from
the gear gods. It holds televisions up to 45-inches including
many of the soon to be released 16:9 format HDTV's. This way
you can put a 40-inch direct view or 45-inch tabletop projection
television in it today and a wide screen model tomorrow. It has
room for a whopping 18 components and 12-adjustable retractable
drawers as well. There's also space for your theater's center,
left, right and center channel speakers. The system is all housed
inside a maple wood exterior with hideaway pocket doors for the
center module (TV, speaker and the like) and interchangeable
left and right door panels (your choice: wood, smoke glass or
grill cloth) for a customized look. For maintenance and hookups,
all modules have removable back panels, an "Air Chimney"
ventilation system with offset back panels for vertical air flow,
a 3-inch wire access channel with entry/exit slots to organize
and conceal cables and casters for mobility.
What truly makes this system unique
is that it is customizable - meaning you take the initial specs
and have the factory modify it for your needs. This allows you
to create media storage and component space that is right for
you and your lifestyle. The folk's at Diamond Case will then
build the furniture to order and get this, ship it fully assembled
to your door.
The whole system measures 90-3/4-inches
wide by 25-3/16-inches deep by 53-7/8-inches tall. The center
cabinet interior measures 40-7/8-inches wide by 39-1/4-inches
tall and has an adjustable shelf for the center channel speaker
and a doublewide storage drawer below the TV for videotapes,
CDs and more. Fully configured, the system sells for $5,000.
It comes in four finishes (champagne, fruit wood, cherry and
black). For more information, call (800) 616-5354.
by Andy Pargh
(review copied from Gadget Guru's
web site, originally found at http://www.gadgetguy.com/AX001021.HTML)