Q: I read your review of the Optoma HD27HDR projector two weeks ago and was convinced it was the one for me. But then I checked the online user reviews, which revealed some reliability issues. So now I am hesitant, thinking perhaps I should give up on getting HDR for now and just get the Optoma HD143x. What do you think?
A: I saw those same user reviews and was surprised by them. Then I checked further and realized that the negative comments seem to be limited to early production models. My review unit was flawless during the several months I had it on loan from Optoma. A friend bought one based on my experience and has been happy with it. So I have no problems standing by my recommendation. For peace of mind, you might want to get the three-year protection plan. It is only $57.99.
One other caveat: To take advantage of the HDR (high dynamic range) feature, you must have a Blu-ray player or streaming source that supports it. Without a 4K HDR source, you might as well just get the HD143x and save some money. The HD27HDR is $599, while the HD143x is only $399. It's also an excellent unit — so good, in fact, that when you see the picture, you probably won't worry about how much better the HD27HDR might be. You can check out both projectors at optoma.com.
It is nice to see all the recent interest in projection. I attended the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and saw some unique projection products I will be writing about in the months to come. It is going to be a great year for home theater lovers.
Q: After reading your article about the Wharfedale Linton Heritage speakers in December, I went to the Amazon website to see what they look like. I was stunned when I saw that they look just like the Mikado speakers I've been using for 50 years. Is there a relationship between Mikado and Wharfedale? The label on the back of my speakers says "Mikado Model SS-106, 3-Way 12-inch speaker system." Even to this day they are still great sounding speakers, and they will be tough for me to replace.
A: There is no relation between the Wharfedale and Mikado speakers. What you see in both speakers is the design and engineering aesthetic that was popular 50 to 60 years ago. The Heritage speakers are based on a version of Linton speakers that was made decades ago (thus the "Heritage" name), but they are designed and manufactured using modern engineering methods and materials. You can learn more about them at musicdirect.com.
I suspect that if you tried a pair of the Heritage speakers, you would find it very difficult to go back to your 50-year-old Mikados. What makes the Linton speakers special is that they provide fully modern sound quality combined with the classic design, full bass and effortless dynamics of a vintage box speaker. The Linton Heritage speakers are $1,499 with the stands, and, as I said in my review of them, I think that the stands should be considered a must-have.
Contact Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org.