NEW PRODUCTS

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

If you haven't made the jump to HDTV yet, here's a great reason to get with the program: the very affordable Dish Network ViP622 HD satellite receiver/DVR ($299). Not only will this magic box let you tune into HD shows (satellite and off-air), but it also packs a hefty hard disk for recording up to 25 hours of them (or 180 hours in standard-def).

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Rob Medich Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

Yes, it's two, two radios in one: the style is retro, but the technology is Space Age. Debuting at the Consumer Electronics Show and set for a spring launch, this tabletop model from Crosley offers AM and FM, but it's the company's first product equipped for XM satellite radio - hence its name, Explorer 1 ($250).

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

You hear a lot about how good speakers look on a wall. What you don't hear is that wall mounting can affect a speaker's performance. Good thing the PSB VisionSound VS300 speakers (center and front, $749 apiece) have special circuitry to compensate for any ill effects (a switch defeats it for off-wall mounting).

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Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

Podcasts, those audio recordings of your innermost thoughts that you share with every Internet-connected person on the planet, are easily done with a hodgepodge of hardware and software. But they're most easily done with M-Audio's Podcast Factory ($180), which has everything you need to record and edit your podcasts and post them as MP3 files on podcasting sites.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

0604_new_elan_xm_200Can't get enough satellite radio? The Elan XM-R3 XM radio tuner ($1,550) was made just for you. The rack-mountable unit has a trio of XM tuners onboard so you can stream separate XM channels to three different rooms in your house simultaneously.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

As convenient as it is to have music and video on things like iPods and cell phones, there are always times when you want some seriously big sound. That's where the Zvox Mini portable speaker ($200) can help.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

For the past few years, the trend in speaker design has been to make models that blend into the environment - from super-flat on-wall speakers to paintable in-walls that disappear entirely. But the Energy RC-Mini speakers ($200 to $250 each) scream that loudspeakers can be beautiful!

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 03, 2006 0 comments

Seems like a new portable video player drops from the sky every few minutes these days, but RCA's latest video Lyra has something worth catching: DirecTV2Go, which later this year will let you offload recorded programs from DirecTV PVRs to watch on the Lyra's 3.625-inch screen or any TV you hook it up to.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 02, 2006 0 comments

You've gotta wonder what Freud would say about all these TV makers trying to outdo each other with the biggest screen. Then again, you also have to admit that an 80-inch plasma TV is never just an 80-inch plasma TV - not when it's the biggest you can get. Taking plasma into the 80s is the (holy crap!) $150,000 Samsung HP-R8082, whose screen has 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Apr 02, 2006 0 comments

Sure, the Onkyo CS-V720 minisystem ($400) is willing and able to serve as a DVD/CD player, but this sleek little number doesn't merely spin discs. It's also XM radio-ready, which means that when you get an XM Connect & Play antenna ($20) and a subscription to the satellite service ($12.95 a month), 160 channels of music, sports, news, and more will be at your fingertips.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 07, 2006 0 comments

Sony has re-established itself as a visionary TV maker with its SXRD models (see "Editors' Choice"), a variation of the difficult-to-manufacture LCoS technology. The first SXRD front projector, the Qualia 004, cost about $30,000.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 07, 2006 0 comments

For the most part, DVD players have migrated to the two ends of the price spectrum: no-frills players that cost less than a pepper steak, and mega-high-end machines with a list of processors so long it's like browsing the Tokyo phone book. But Harman Kardon is hanging onto the middle ground with the DVD 47 ($399).

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 06, 2006 0 comments

Artison is all about melding speakers with home décor. No surprise, then, that it's now offering an in-wall surround speaker, the LRS-IW ($700 a pair). But this model has a couple of notable twists. First, it has a speaker enclosure that mounts inside the wall, so the wall cavity won't screw up its sound.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 05, 2006 0 comments

Good size, good price - what more could you ask for in a TV? Okay, yeah, high-definition would be nice, and Vizio's 37-inch L37 LCD set ($1,500) has that covered, too, sporting a screen with 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution.

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Peter Pachal Posted: Feb 05, 2006 0 comments

There's something for everybody in Outlaw Audio's 7.1-channel Model 1070 receiver ($899 via Web only): Video fans will like its DVI connectors (compatible with HDMI jacks using optional adapters) that keep HDTV signals in digital form all the way to your TV.

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