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News of two picture and sound enhancements for JVC’s 1997/8 season VCRs has reached HE’s ever-sensitive ears. The audio system is going to be called ‘Spatializer’; apparently it’s quite similar to the 3-D sound systems used on Hitachi and Sharp TVs.  It creates a pseudo spatial effect from stereo material, though it appears that it doesn’t work on Dolby Surround sources. JVC had considered calling it 3D Sound, but they felt it might be confused with their 3D Phonic system.


The new video improvement is going to be called 3R Picture System, the three ‘R’s standing for resolution and response recovery. Details are still a bit sketchy but we understand it’s most effective during playback, and works best on rental tapes. JVC had toyed with other names for the system, one proposal was TRI-R but that was rejected on the ground that it sounded similar to Sony’s Trilogic system. 



The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) say their message, that video piracy is wrong and a generally bad thing, is gradually getting through to the consumer. Their on-going efforts to crack down on pirates have had some impressive results. During one raid at Nutts Corner, in Co Antrim Northern Ireland, over 12,000 videos and thousands of CDs and cassettes were seized. Another operation in Essex netted 6,000 tapes, 200,000 labels and 247 video recorders, with those involved being sentenced to between six months and three years imprisonment.


Public attitudes towards piracy are changing. Two years ago a consumer survey concluded that one in three people would be prepared to buy a pirate video. The same study, carried out with the past few months, indicates that now only one in five people are prepared to take the risk, with 49 percent of respondents saying they would refuse to buy a pirate recording. FACT campaigns, currently running in cinemas and on all new video releases, point out that proceeds from piracy often fund other criminal activities, including pornography, drugs and terrorism. However, the most compelling argument for most people is that pirate videos are usually crap quality, that can damage their VCRs, and sellers are unlikely to be sympathetic to those wanting their money back...

FACT, telephone 0181-568 6646



Traditional video printers, that make hard copy prints from a video source, tend to be quite expensive -- a good one will set you back at least £1000 -- but now there’s a cheaper alternative, using colour inkjet printers. VIDEOcopy is sold as a stand-alone device for £235, or bundled with a Lexmark inkjet printer, for £411. It works in all three video formats (PAL, NTSC and SECAM), and hooks up to the source device (camcorder, VCR etc.), and TV using normal video connectors; a standard Centronics parallel or serial interface links it to a colour printer or PC. The device supports most popular inkjet printer protocols, including Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark, plus Colourgraph dye sublimation. It’s very easy to install and use; prints are made by grabbing a frame from the source input. This is shown on the TV, along with a menu-driven on-screen display that includes printer output controls.

Colourgraph, telephone (01734) 819435



Whilst we’re waiting for flat hang-on-the-wall TVs to arrive B-Tech have come up with wall-mounting brackets for conventional TVs. The BT518 costs £24.95 and is designed for sets with screens up to 18 inches. It has an articulated arm and the swivel mounting platform can be tilted by up to 10 degrees. The slightly simpler BT521 sells for £22.95 and is for 21-inch TVs. It can  support up to 35kg and may be mounted on timber frame, stud or partition walls.

B-Tech, telephone (01689) 848535



Following their successful move into video projectors just over a year ago, Sanyo are now turning their attention to the specialist and business markets with two new high-end models. The first one is the PLC 550MB which has a list price of just under £5000. It has three 1.3-inch polysilicon TFT LCD panels, giving a total of 921,600 pixels. Image size can be from 30 to 300 inches over a distance of 1.5 to 12 metres, using a 200 watt metal halide lamp with an output of 500 lumens. The projector can accept inputs from a variety of sources, including all commonly used video systems (PAL, SECAM, NTSC and NTSC 4.43). The projector measures only 430 x 158  x 385 mm and weighs just 11kg. It  can be controlled by a PC using a supplied software package and is compatible with IBM PC, MAC and NEC 96 display formats.


The second projector is the PLC-550B and this is aimed at PC imaging and display applications. It has a true SVGA input with a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, plus VGA, MAC, NEC-98 and compressed XGA compliance. The 250 watt metal halide lamp can project an image from 20 to 400 inches across (1.1 to 23 metre throw distance); additionally it has a power zoom, built-in stereo speakers and a remote control unit with a wireless PC mouse facility. Like it’s stablemate it’s fully compatible with all video formats and the price is just under £7000.

Sanyo Commercial and New Business Division, telephone (01923) 477221.



For purists seeking a little more power for their hi-fi and AV systems Linn have developed a single speaker power amplifier rated at 240 watts. The LK240 has been designed from the ground up, using the latest surface mounting component (SMC) technology and high-performance output devices, to deliver a clean uncoloured output, up to the maximum output. It has four pairs of outputs, for maximum speaker connection flexibility, and features an array of switching and safety devices, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. For more details contact Linn Products on: (0161) 280 5115   



QED have announced two new high performance speaker cables, designed for hi-fi and home cinema systems. Profile 4 x 4 provides an extended and controlled bass response, revealing the clarity and focus that can be compromised with conventional cables. Profile 4 x 4 retails for around £9.00 a metre. The other cable is Profile Silver 12, which costs £15 per metre. It features silver plated conductors, designed to convey subtle and delicate detail, making it particularly well suited to vocal and orchestra material.

QED Audio Products Ltd., (0276) 451166



Grundig’s new Twin Universal LNB provides a neat and cost-effective solution to the problem of watching satellite TV programmes in more than one room in the house. All you need is a second receiver, connected directly to the LNB; dual output means both receivers can be used simultaneously, tuned to different channels if required. It’s a high performance design with a noise figure of just 0.7dB and is compatible with future digital transmissions.

Grundig Microwave Technology, telephone 0181-732 0236



Fuji are about to launch a new super high grade tape, based on their innovative double layer coating technology, using an enhanced super-fine Beridox particle formulation. This, they claim, gives improved high and low frequency response, for a cleaner picture, sharper colours and clearer stereo sound. Hi-Fi/SHG Professional is supplied in a hard plastic library case and is available in three and four hour (E-180 and E-240) lengths. It’s in the shops anytime now, with the E-180 tape selling for around £3.19.

Fuji Photo Film UK Ltd., telephone 0171-586 5900



Mitsubishi are expanding their already extensive home cinema TV range with a new 29-inch 4:3 model, with NICAM and a Dolby Pro Logic surround-sound system. The CT-29BV1BD features a dark tint, superflat, black matrix tube, with an invar mask. This gives improved brightness and contrast, with reduced colour distortion, especially in darker areas of the picture. The new set boasts a number of picture enhancements, including dynamic white control, scanning velocity modulation and a manual colour temperature adjustment. With one eye on the future Mitsubishi have also provided an RGB colour control, which can be used to optimise colour settings when the TV is used with digital decoder and some video games consoles.


The audio system uses multiport speakers rated at 12 + 12 watts plus a built-in 15 watt superbass cylinder speaker. Additionally there are various audio DSP modes, for spatial sound from mono and stereo sources, extended bass, wide stereo and intelligent loudness control, that optimises bass and treble to suit different volume settings. The TV has fully automatic set-up and tuning with pre-configured station idents, including Channel 5. Automatic sub-titling kicks in whenever sound is muted, or manually, with a single button push. AV memories store picture and sound settings for different programme sources, such as satellite and VCR inputs. The video input can handle NTSC and SECAM formatted signals from VCRs and laserdisc players. The CT-29BV1BD is already reaching dealer showrooms with a suggested selling price of £900.

Mitsubishi Electric, telephone (01707) 276100



Small and budget-priced speakers often benefit from being mounted on stands, where they can be sited well away from reflective or absorptive surfaces. Kudos have just introduced a pair of metal stands that will suite a wide range of enclosures, including the much-praised B&W DM302. The new Arrow stands utilise 3-column tubular construction, with a choice of top plates that have spiked or flat faces. The stands can also be fitted with floor spikes, to improve stability and ground contact. Arrow stands have a stove baked finish designed for simple self-assembly and supplied flat-packed for easy transportation. They’re available now from B&W Loudspeakers and are priced at £49.99 a pair.

B&W UK Ltd., telephone (01903) 750750.  



Leading CD deck manufacturers Meridian have just announced details of a new player using a 20-bit processor. This is designed to extract the maximum amount of information from the new generation of ‘super CDs’, using improved mastering techniques. Meridian, in collaboration with chip-makers Crystal Semiconductors have developed the new processor which is incorporated into a transport mechanism using their linear 3-beam pickup, with a highly effective carbon and glass-fibre anti-vibration disc clamp. Before you ask, the 506 will be selling for £1100, it’s finished in black, and is available now.

Meridian Audio, telephone (01480) 52144.



In response to popular demand Sennheiser are poised to re-introduce their HD 25011 closed headphones, which were replaced with a newer model a couple of years ago. The HD 25011 were, and still are highly regarded by enthusiasts and professionals alike, who will welcome their return, for a reasonable £149.95.

Sennheiser UK., telephone (01628) 850811.



Billed as the world’s first TV with a vertically and horizontally flat CRT screen, the 28-inch KV-28SF5 16:9 home cinema set has just gone on sale in Japan. The key development is the Super Flat Trinitron. In case you were wondering what’s in it for you, there’s the promise of even better picture quality. Resolution is increased with the use of a new, finer-pitched aperture grille, that also has an improved vibration control mechanism. The focal length of the electron gun and beam cross angle have been optimised -- well, you did ask -- to improve the uniformity of focus over the whole screen area, and a high precision deflection yoke reduces picture distortion and colour aberrations around the edges of the picture. It even looks better when it’s switched off, the flatter screen means  reduced reflections, from room lighting and windows.


The KV-28SF5 is selling for the equivalent of £1200 but it’s unlikely we’ll see it here in its present specification, which includes a Hi-Vision HDTV converter and multi-band tuner. We’ll keep you posted.


Meanwhile, a little closer to home, Sony’s Bridgend picture tube plant recently announced plans for expansion. They’re setting up a new  production line to manufacture 28 and 32-inch widescreen CRTs. This is part of a £50M investment at the Pencoed facility and they’re expecting it to create 1000 new jobs by the year 2000. Trivia fans may be interested to know that this will make Sony the number one employer in Wales; a picture tube rolls off the production lines every 3.5 seconds and around 85% of their output goes for export.




Ó R. Maybury 1996 1212



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