CES 2009

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

Dolby was showing us something we'd heard about at Cedia, but which they weren't quite ready to show last fall. This time, using video from three different programs, they did a before and after demo of how Dolby Volume equalizes disparities between sources. It worked well enough in the demo and one thing I did note was that it <i>wasn't</i> heavy handed. For example, the program that was clearly lower in volume in the "before" condition, was still softer than either of the other programs.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

This Lamborghini Spyder Gallardo was spotted in Monster's booth. The engine is in the rear, so the matching orange Monster electronics are up front.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 07, 2008 1 comments

No, not a classical rhapsody, or even a Rhapsody in Blue, but RealNetworks Rhapsody music service. With over 4-1/2 million songs in their burgeoning library, Rhapsody will be integrated to Philips' GoGear line of portable MP3 players and also with Philips' Streamium home audio products. The Streamium™ NP1100 is the first in the Philips' home product line to incorporate the Rhapsody touch. Price was not announced.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2008 Published: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

We were all wondering how Toshiba would deal at its press conference with the recent news about Warner going Blu-ray exclusive. The answer: to their great credit they made clear their disappointment with the news, admitted that it had been a difficult week for them, but still expressed their belief that HD DVD offered the consumer the best combination of value and performance. However this all pans out, they handled it as well as could possibly be expected.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2008 Published: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

Sharp announced the construction of a new 10th generation LCD plant in Sakai City, Japan, a huge facility on 314 acres of land, 30 times the area of Yankee Stadium. The mother glass that this plant can handle will be 1.6 times the size of that produced in the current Kamayama plant. Each 10th gen mother glass can be cut into six 60" displays, eight 50", or fifteen 40", greatly increasing production efficiency.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2008 Published: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

LG announced a slew of new LCD displays. These include wireless models, some with ISFccc calibration memories, and a 1.7" deep, LGX Super Slim design. But the potential all-stars are in LGs 75 range, with ISFccc, 120 Hz operation, and a claimed 100,000:1 contrast ratio courtesy of local dimming from 128 LED backlights.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2008 Published: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

Fresh from flooring virtually everyone (apart from the competition) with its latest line of Kuro flat panel plasma displays, Pioneer is showing two new concept displays at the show: a future design that offers even better blacks, and a new, super-flat model.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2008 Published: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

The crowds were overflowing at the Samsung press event. We couldn't even get in. But according to Samsung's press kit the company will be releasing a new dedicated Blu-ray player, the BDP-1500, in June. Reportedly, it can output both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio in bitstream form. (Ditto for DTS-HD High Resolution as well&mdash;though we are unaware of any Blu-ray discs that use this audio format.)

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2008 Published: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

Blame Sony's Chief Boss Howard Stringer for commenting that OLED sounds like a Norse god. But it's not. It's an ultra flat display technology with an inherently outstanding black level. Last year, Sony showed a number of small 11-inch models, together with a slightly larger prototype. The display was essentially the same this year, except that the design has been refined and the 11-incher is actually on sale now for $2500. OLED is currently expensive to manufacturer in larger screen sizes, and reportedly has a shorter life than LCD and plasma displays. But the pictures on these small screens sure looked fantastic.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 06, 2008 Published: Jan 07, 2008 0 comments

Sharp's newly announced Ethernet equipped LCD panels, like their top of the line SE94, provide customized Web-based content to their owner. In addition, Sharp technicians would have real time access to your TV for support situations or, well, if you were watching a ball game that was blacked out in their area. Sharp says there will be no subscription fees or ad-support requirements.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 06, 2008 0 comments

Panasonic added the DMP-BD50 to their line of Blu-ray players. The DMP-BD30 is profile 1.1 and can decode and output lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio™ (the last is new if it truly is Master Audio and not just the DTS core), but you'll have to wait until I get to their booth to find out if it can <i>pass</i> either of those as bitstreams for decoding in a newer receiver.

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 06, 2008 0 comments

People rightly say Panasonic builds some of the best plasma's out there. Friends ask, I say "Pioneer or, if you're on a budget, Panasonic."

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Fred Manteghian Posted: Jan 06, 2008 0 comments

Kenwood is working with LG and their MPH (mobile video) project team to develop a mobile digital television receiver, and I don't mean a 13" Sanyo on a hospital cart either. Hook up a Kenwood receiver to an LCD in your car, and you'll be able to zoom around the country picking up digital TV signals optimized for easy reception while traveling. I'll know more soon (like what it looks like), but seeing it work in their booth won't tell me how well it works driving around city streets or cruising down the highway. Vroom Vroom.

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uavKim Wilson Posted: Jan 06, 2008 0 comments

I was encouraged by the amount of time Sharp investing in their press conference addressing the real problem of electronic waste. Its a huge problem and one that is only going to get a lot worse as our rampant consumerism for our favoite gadgets increases.

Sharp has formed a joint venture with Panasonic and Toshiba to provide a recycling service called MRM (Manufacturers Recycling Management Company) to electronics manufacturers and others, including state and local governments. Currently they are setting up recycling programs in several states from late 2008 or 2009, including Connecticut, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington. They anticipate eventually creating a long term national solution. A spokesperson for Sharp said, the formation of an independent company to manage collective electronic recycling programs is the best way to achieve the economies of scale and efficiencies necessary to create a sustainable recycling system for used electronics products. MRM has already entered into collection and recycling agreements with Hitachi Electronics, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo and Olevia brand maker Syntax-Brillian. More will surely sign on.

Sharp also commented on their continued commitment to toward solar cell research and that they are working on new cost effective ways to further worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

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uavKim Wilson Posted: Jan 06, 2008 0 comments

As home networking not only becomes more popular but has become a necessity in complex home entertainment centers, Sharp introduced a new and simple networking solution, the Powerline Communication (PLC) adapter. It enables users to send high-definition data to their Internet-ready televisions, computers or other peripheral devices through a home’s existing power lines, offering a much easier alternative networking method that doesn't expensive installation of in-wall cabling. Users can connect multiple devices, such as TVs, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, PCs, and routers, using Sharp’s PLC adapters wherever there is a power outlet.

The PLC's offer stable communication with a high-speed connection of 85 Megabits per second (Mbps). Additionally, Sharp’s PLC networks achieve one of the highest levels of security with a government-adopted AES 128-bit encryption, ensuring data passes safely through the network.

Considering the potential cost of running long lengths of cable through the house, the Sharp PLC's are a bargain and about the same price as a high quality router. Three models will be available in March 08 for the following retail prices:
HN-VA100U $149.99
HN-VA400U $179.99.
HN-VA401SU $279.99.

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