By itself, it's probably not accurate to call the PS Audio Memory Transport ($1695) a music server. Built around a Teac DVD ROM drive (though the unit is limited, at present, to music use with two-channel CDs) the Audio Transport can rip CDs at a variety of resolutions (including lossless compression). It has limited internal storage, however. Instead, it is designed to be connected via its Ethernet output and a home network (wired or wireless) to an external hard drive (or even solid-state flash drive) of the user's choice. The latter, which is often a noisy device, may be located in a remote location in the home, such as in a closet. (I don't know about you, but my closets have no AC outlets. But there are ways to fix that.)
The Phase Technology dARTS system isn't new, but it has never been reviewed in <I>UAV</I> and this is the first time I have been able to actually hear it. It was impressive—and one of the few surround-sound setups, with video, at the Venetian Hotel. The system includes speakers and all DSP and amplifiers. There are 250W of amplification for each individual driver, and the system controls the crossovers, time alignment, and equalization. Separate room eq is performed via the included Audyssey multEQ system. $20,000 for the audio package, not including pre-pro or source.
Acoustics showed speakers from the new Klimt series, led by this large floorstander, "The Music" (yes, that's its name. The speaker uses a newly developed flat midrange with a coaxially mounted tweeter and a separate supertweeter. The picture does not do justice to the speakers stunning appearance and impeccable finish, including a piano black version, not shown here. Yours for just $25,000/pair.
Is this really the world's thinnest television with a built-in tuner? According to JVC, it was as of January 6, 2008. That was the day before the start of CES! This design is 1.5" deep at the thinnest point, but 2.9" at the thickest. While that's svelte, it isn't the thinnest now, by a long shot, based on what has been shown at CES.
I don't speak with any authority on this, but it would seem "easier" to produce a slim plasma than an LCD. A plasma panel is self-illuminating, but a LCD requires some sort of backlight. But JVC has developed a new slim backlight to solve that problem.
JVC also showed a prototype of its first Blu-ray player, the XV-BD. A tentative release date of September 2008 was announced, but we would not be surprised if certain recent events made it so much sooner. It will be a Profile 1.1 machine (as all models launched from now on must be).
JVC is not the first name that comes to mind in the high-end AV receiver market, but this classy-looking design just might change that. As is often the case at CES, designs are shown to gauge the reactions of dealers and the media. While no production decision has yet been made, I'd say yea based on looks alone—but only if the performance and features measure up to the cosmetics. It's a tough market out there.
Want a convenient way to watch video program material downloaded from iTunes to your TV? JVC will have the answer when it releases the new P-Series LCD flat panel televisions, ranging in size from 32- to 52-inches. All of them have an integral iPod dock, and all but the 32-incher are 1920x1080. No delivery date or prices were announced.
Yesterday, throughout the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center you saw wireless solutions or solutions designed to limit the amount of wiring you need to set up a multi-channel sound system. All in an effort to make it easier and more convenient for the average consumer to add audio to that new flat panel TV.
Kaleidescape, Inc. was showing their extensive and comprehensive music server in a small meeting room at the Venetian. They weren't introducing any new components for their system, however, they were showcasing the latest version of their proprietary Kaleidescape Entertainment Appliance Operating System (KEAOS 3.5), providing Kaleidescape owners more ways to enjoy movies and music.
At least its in a nice place. The Venetian is one of the classiest hotels in Las Vegas, especially if you like ornate Italian decor. The Venetian plays host to several esoteric and high-end manufacturers during CES. The larger all-suite rooms make for better demonstrations and more comfortable surroundings.