[Our Review Equipment]

The spacious screening room at The DVD Journal, just down the hall from our busy offices, features comfortable seating and plenty of beer in the fridge. Staff members regularly enjoy the screening room, with its expansive view high above the city of Portland, as a place of respite, personal introspection, and enjoyment of movies on DVD. Fistfights, while rare, are usually broken up with a ready can of pepper spray. Wrestling is permitted if staff members remove their shoes.

Our audio-visual system is installed on the south wall of our screening room in a 200-year-old cabinet of Douglas Fir that was made by Meriwether Lewis during the Corps of Discovery's expedition to Oregon. While it does a great job of housing our screening equipment, it is understood that Lewis originally built this cabinet not for his home entertainment, but merely to climb into at night in order to keep from freezing to death at Fort Clatsop during the exceptionally harsh winter of 1805-6. On loan to us from a local historical society, The DVD Journal is proud to display this monument to America's quest for exploration. The Editor has carved "DVD Rulez" into the side of the cabinet as an additional note of respect.

The DVD Journal's review equipment comprises a Sony DVP-S300 DVD player connected to a Sony STR-DB830 Digital Cinema Surround A/V receiver. Our monitor of choice is a Sony 27" Trinitron, which is a superior front-view television that provides minimal distortion, accurate color, and solid blacks. JBL 800/500/Center speakers, all full range, deliver an enveloping sonic experience. Monster speaker cable and Monster Video 2 composite cable are used exclusively. Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is delivered via a Sony fiber-optic line.

Video has been calibrated with Video Essentials and sound has been balanced with a Tandy decibel meter to within 1.5 Db at the sweet spot. Sony VHS, CD, and cassette players round out the A/V system, along with a Pioneer CLD-S104 Laserdisc player that some guy sold us for $20 because he wasn't sure what it was.

We proffer this information so that our readers can get an idea of what we use when we review DVD movies. Please don't write us and tell us that you have better stuff, because plenty of people out there have better stuff than you, and we will tell them to write you and annoy you. While fiddling with their three-gun Runco projectors and Faroudja line-quadruplers, these wealthy people may also disparage your lesser income, your state-school education, and perhaps your diminishing station in life.

Please don't write us and tell us that Sony sucks. We like Sony just fine, and will officially endorse them just as soon as they give us free stuff. But we are confident that you too own quality home theater gear, and that your manufacturer of choice is quite reputable.

Please don't suffer from Home Theater Envy, or try to make others suffer from same. There are already far too many people putting huge subwoofers in their cars and driving around with them. We fear that, in the near future, young men will play U-571from the backs of their vans as we drive down the highway so that they can convince total strangers that they are, indeed, "cool." We urge all of our readers to avoid this slippery slope of wanton machismo vulnerability. It makes you look like you're afraid of girls.