CES 2009

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

Focal's XS 2.1 system is designed to match the look of the latest iMac computer, right down to the metal trim. There is an iPOD dock on one of the satellite bases and a small, separate sub. $749 for the package shown, including the sub (not visible) but excluding the iMac!

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments

The Harmon Specialty Group was demonstrating Levinson's new $30,000 No.502 surround processor together with Lexicon amps and a complete Revel Ultima2 speaker system, the latter anchored by the big Revel Ultima2 Salon2s on the right and left front channels. It sounded outstanding, but this did not surprise me after my recent review of an Ultima2 Studio2 system.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 8 comments

KEF's flagship speaker, the Muon, looks to be over 6 feet tall, is fashioned from 6mm thick, super formed aluminum. Only 100 pairs will be built for worldwide sales, and a pair will run you $140,000. Surround sound? No problem, just buy six. Add five Mark Levinson No.53 amps and you're good to go.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

KEF also demonstrated the smallest entry in its Reference series, the 201.2, in 2-channels. It sounded superb. $5000/pair now, going up to $6000/pair soon. Get 'em while they're hot.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments

The highlight of a Runco/Planar/Vidikron lunch for the assembled press in the Renaissance Hotel near the Convention Center was this warm, super-rich chocolate cake with fudge sauce, topped with Dolce de Leche ice cream. The many who left after the main course don't know what they missed.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

120Hz operation, to remove motion lag in LCD displays, is exploding all over. Olevia's demo was highly effective, showing that its system smoothed motion at various speeds and with a wide variety of program material, including these white bars which scrolled across the screen.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

A THX regular, famous for several THX trailers including the famous Moo-cow, was on hand to help draw attention to THX's latest efforts in audio and video certification.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

Do it yourself (DIY) speaker builders gravitate to one of several suppliers to buy the parts they need for their projects. One of the biggest is Parts Express, and they had a small booth on the show floor this year. The elegant cabinet shown here, with the arched side walls now popular on many an upscale commercial design (almost invariably made in China), can be had for $129.77 (each) in polished black, cherry, or maple, ready to be filled with the drivers and crossovers of your choice.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

Clearly the Simpsons are big on the Blu-ray format.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

Hitachi joined the parade of manufacturers showing ultra slim flat panel models with this 1.5-inch thick concept design.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2008 Published: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

There is no way a picture can show how a set like this looks, so I don't have one. But a prototype Hitachi flat panel was claiming a peak (I assume) contrast ratio that's beyond hype. In fact, it's hard to accurately measure (peak) contrast levels even one tenth this high.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2008 Published: Jan 10, 2008 1 comments

VIZIO introduced more new flat panel displays at CES than any poor scribe should have to deal with. So I'll mention only the largest sets in both the plasma and LCD premier lines. The 1920x1080p VP504F is a 50" plasma ($1699) with Silicon Optix REON video processing. As of now the VP504F is the only set in the new VIZIO line, either LCD or plasma, that uses the REON, though more are possible before the new lines start showing up in stores in May and June. A contrast ratio of 30,000:1 is claimed.

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uavKim Wilson Posted: Jan 09, 2008 Published: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

PSB Speakers showcased the Synchrony, the latest in their statement products. As with all PSB speakers they combine exceptional musicality with technical excellence. The new design is a departure from past models using a compact footprint that takes up less space and exhibits a modern sculptured finish. There are seven models in the series including two full-range towers, two compact bookshelf-style models, two center-channel speakers od different sizes, plus a “tri-mode” surround speaker.

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uavKim Wilson Posted: Jan 09, 2008 Published: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

NAD's C 175 Compact Music System is a unique product that is half the width of traditional components, It can sit on a shelf or table but don't let its small size fool you. it is fully functional with a CD player, AM/FM Tuner and a 2 x 24 watt amplifier.

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uavKim Wilson Posted: Jan 09, 2008 Published: Jan 10, 2008 0 comments

NAD has created a very bold new look with the Viso Five (pictured) and Viso Two integrated DVD/Surround Receivers. The Viso Five is a five-channel surround AVR with a built-in DVD player and AM/FM tuner, while the Viso Two is a 2-channel system. The Viso Two also contains a DVD player, though there is no onboard surround processing other than Dolby Virtual Speaker, which provides a simulated surround effect with only two speakers. Both are XM ready and can accommodate NAD's new IPD-1 iPod dock. Available in early '08 the Viso Five is $1799 and the Viso Two is $1299.

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