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Video Accessory Reviews

OmniMount LEDP75 Wall Mount Kit for Flat Panel HDTV's

OmniMount LEDP75 Wall Mount Kit While at CEDIA last September, I witnessed a demonstration of the OmniMount LEDP75 wall mount kit and was fascinated with the ease of installation and the uniqueness of the design. From the initial cutting to mounting took the technician about 15 minutes. The fact that they were also giving away a free LCD flat panel from Samsung did not dissuade me from watching the demo either. (No…I did not win).


ClearStream Micron Over-the-Air Indoor DTV Antenna

ClearStream Micron Antenna A recent search on DTV stations in the San Francisco Bay Area listed all the channels within 100 miles of San Francisco. The list was long. Many transmitter locations were far away, so I was not going to receive all the channels. But still, the count was healthy. The site even listed several stations that are not broadcasting yet, but had either applied for or had received approval by the FCC. The ClearStream Micron Over-the-Air Indoor Antenna is designed to pull in those distant stations. Does it work?


JVC GZ-HM400U High Definition Video Camera

jvc-gz-hm400u-video-camera-teaserUp until the past year, the sensors in HD video cameras were just barely enough in pixel count (2,073,600) to get 1920 x 1080 video. That has changed now, and camera manufacturers are putting sensors in their HD video cameras that have a much higher pixel count. The main reason is so that consumers can take high resolution snapshots with their video cameras, similar to the high resolution photos they can get from dedicated digital snapshot cameras. The serendipity is that the high resolution image can be downsampled to 1920 x 1080 rather than there being only just over 2 megapixels to start with, and this gives a sharper video image. The JVC GZ-HM400U is just such a camera, with its 10.3 megapixel sensor. Have a look at our review to see how it performed.


JVC GZ-HM1 High Definition Video Camera


JVC's GZ-HM1 follows on the HM550, but adds a few more features, such as external microphone inputs. JVC's latest series of consumer high definition video cameras continue to set standards in resolution and image quality.


Panasonic AG-HSC-1UP 3-CCD 1080p High Definition Video Camera

panasonic-ag-hsc1up-camera-teaserPanasonic's AG-HSC1UP High Definition Camcorder has 3 CCDs, records at 1080p in the AVCHD format, and comes with a portable hard drive to transfer your videos when you fill up the included SD memory card that holds about 1.5 hours of video recorded at the highest quality (13 Mbps). It has a 12x optical zoom, and is very compact.


Kordz EVO, EVS, and EVX HDMI Cables

kordz-hdmi-cables-teaserHDMI cables have two basic issues that are somewhat different than with audio cables, namely that they tend to be much longer, and also, the HDMI connector has turned out not to be very robust. So, if the HDMI cable that came with your new HDTV or DVD player is not doing the job for you, Kordz makes cables that will deliver the goods under any conditions. We review here their pure copper model, the EVO, as well as the EVS which has a thin coating of pure silver, and the EVX, which has a thicker coating of silver.


Next Generation Home Products Remote Extender

extender-small-fig1I love products that solve irritating problems simply and inexpensively.  The Next Generation Home Products Remote Extender is one such product.  With a five-minute installation you can eliminate the need to point your remote control at your gear.  You can also control components in closets or even in other rooms.  The best part is any remote that accepts AA or AAA batteries can be converted in seconds.


JVC GZ-HM550 High Definition Video Camera

jvc-gz-hm550-video-camera-teaserJVC's new GZ-HM550 has full 1920 x 1080 resolution, records up to 2 hours, 57 minutes in its highest quality mode, has a built-in 32 GB SD card, and is the smallest high definition video camera we have ever tested. At $799.95 MSRP, it will not only fit in your shirt pocket, but won't strain the wallet in your hip pocket.


CalMAN Video Display Analysis System

CalMAN Projector Calibration SystemIf you want to get the most accurate picture from your television or projector you need to calibrate it.  The question then becomes – do you hire a professional or do it yourself?  It is now quite feasible to do your own calibration with tools that don’t cost much more than a pro calibrator’s fee.  The product that is squarely at the forefront of this market is CalMAN from SpectraCal.  CalMAN is a package that can be used by anyone interested in display calibration from the hobbyist to the professional.



Emotiva X-Series A/V Cables

emotiva-x-series-cables-teaserEmotiva, which started out marketing amplifiers, expanded to include preamplifiers, SSPs, speakers, and now, to complete the line, a complete series of cables. These include coaxial analog RCA, coaxial digital RCA, digital Toslink, balanced XLR, HDMI, and speaker cables. They come in two models, one being the X-Series that we review here, and the Ultra-Series, which is the entry level. I found the cables to be extremely well constructed, with gold-plated contacts, and rugged enough to be man-handled through the typical maze of wires that we all have behind our equipment racks. The sound in my reference system using the Emotiva cables was excellent. The prices are very reasonable, and are a better value than what I see in blister packs at various mass market electronic stores.


ButtKicker BK-Kit-4 Wireless Tactile Transducer

buttkicker-kit-teaserButtKicker has been making tactile transducers (shakers) for several years now. These are devices that make your chair, couch, or floor vibrate when low frequency material is playing. They were always very powerful, and in fact, more intense than many consumers wanted. You could always just turn down the volume, but then, you were paying for high power shaking that you were not using. So, ButtKicker decided to produce a shaker that is smaller, with less maximum shaking potential, and include a smaller amplifier. The BK-KIT-4 is the result.