NASA Taped Over Moon Landing – Unbelievably, NASA didn’t have the sense to preserve the original videotapes of moon landing live TV transmission. The agency has admitted in embarrassing fashion that it erase the Apollo 11 moon landing footage years ago to reuse the videotapes. Hollywood restoration studios have come to the rescue. Using four copies NASA scrounged up from around the world, Lowry Digital of Burbank – who have restored Casablanca and other classic films – did the restoration for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. The firm’s president stated “this is by far and away the lowest quality.” It is in black & white, with no plans to colorize it since the moon is mostly gray anyway. He acknowledged that the digital remastering could encourage those conspiracy theorists who believe that NASA faked the moon landing on a Hollywood set. He said if it had really been a conspiracy, NASA surely would have created higher-quality film.
The Truth About Audiophiles? – A new international hi-fi site – www.nonamehifi.com – encourages audiophiles to list their favorite discs on a page of the site. The heading reads: “Music is a subjective personal pleasure: hence please make sure to share only Audiophile Grade Records here – not the music that you like.” Enuf said…
Samsung Adds High-End Blu-ray HT System – Several manufacturers have been offering budget-level HTiB (Home Theater in a Box) audio systems to go with entry-level Blu-ray player sales for a low cost home theater setup. That includes Samsung, but they have now introduced an enhanced $800 system – the HT-BD3252. It sports narrow tall-boy speakers for the front left and right channels, and the surround speakers are wireless. The amp/control center has two HDMI inputs instead of just one, to make it easy to connect other HT components using HDMI without a splitter box. The system has an Ethernet port and streaming media services from Netflix, Blockbuster and Pandora, plus Profile 2.0 on the Blu-ray player and onboard decoding of both Dolby’s and DTS’ lossless Blu-ray audio codecs. If you want a wireless Net connection, you can purchase a Samsung USB Wi-Fi dongle for $80. (But a wired Ethernet connection is always more reliable; personally I just purchased a 50 ft. cable for the Ethernet connection from my office computer to my Samsung display.)
Thorough Test Finds Plasma Still Superior to LCD – Home theater site DisplayMate.com rounded up a collection of 2008 displays from top-brand-name manufacturers for a shootout. They included eight LCD panels, two plasmas and a CRT Sony professional HD Trinitron Studio Monitor as the reference standard. Although plasma is less energy efficient, more expensive, and seems to be leaning toward obsolescence, and LCD has been greatly improved, the test of the carefully-calibrated displays found that the plasmas still had the superior image display. It also found that the specs for most LCD displays published in advertising are highly suspect. For example, most manufacturers claim unless you are seated at 2 degrees from the edge of their screens you will see a perfect image. This was found to be nonsense for all current LCD displays. The contrast ratio specs were also pumped up. The best LCD ratio found was 2000:1, whereas a Panasonic plasma display had 3842:1. The site’s advice was to enjoy plasma while you can because this could be its last generation.
Texas Instruments Makes Lamp-free 3D Projectors Possible – More than 30 manufacturers will have 3D Ready video projectors on the market soon as result of Texas Instruments’ DLP products. They make possible the first high-brightness lamp-free data projectors using LEDs, designed to address the needs of classrooms and conference rooms. The DLP chip’s extremely fast switching speed of its micromirrors allows for the simultaneous display of left eye and right eye images required for creation of a 3D picture in the brain. Projector maintenance is lowered by not having to replace the lamp or clean filters. The DLP technology can also be used with lamps as well as LEDs; a recent demonstration proved that it can provide more than three times the lamp life of other projection technologies. Expanding the digital cinema industry to the classroom, 3D can offer more realistic and dynamic teaching.