CES Showstoppers Page 4
Surround Goes Solo A lot more people would have home theaters by now if they didn't have to figure out how to integrate six speakers into what are often already space-challenged rooms. But Yamaha has solved that problem with the YSP-1 Digital Sound Projector ($1,500), a five-channel home theater speaker system in a single cabinet. At 40 1/2 inches wide, 7 3/4 inches high, 4 1/2 -inches deep, it will fit neatly beneath or above most 40-inch and larger widescreen TVs. The enclosure is filled with 40 tweeters and two woofers, along with 120-watts of power and surround sound processing for Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS Neo:6. Yamaha is able to make all of this happen in one large speaker thanks to digital signal processing (DSP) circuitry that coordinates groups of drivers to create sound beams that, when combined with wall reflections, give the impression of sound coming from various locations in the room. This isn't the first single-box 5.1-channel system, but it's one of the most impressive. - Rich Warren Tv on the Go Will the handheld video jukebox do for TV viewing what the iPod has done for music listening? A number of manufacturers are betting yes with color-screen portables that use miniaturized hard drives to store TV shows, home videos, photographs, and, of course, your music collection. • RCA's next-generation Lyra Audio/Video Jukebox RD2782 ($449, June) adds a programmable timer that can be set to record various channels at different times. Its 20-gigabyte (GB) hard drive stores up to 80 hours of video transferred from a PC or recorded directly from a cable box or satellite receiver. • The Archos PMA400 30-GB portable video recorder/player ($800) can store up to 120 hours of video in the MPEG-4 SP format. • Ovideon's AVIAh portable media recorder ($600) has a 5-GB drive and a 2 1/2 -inch organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen. • Meanwhile, TiVo announced that its long-awaited TiVoToGo service is finally ready to go. It lets you transfer TiVo-stored programs over a home network to a computer for viewing or burning to DVD. It also lets you copy shows to hard-drive portables like Portable Media Centers (such as Samsung's $499 YH-999, shown), and some non-Microsoft-based devices, like Pogo's mediaNOW ($549). GoVideo expects to offer a TiVoToGo portable this summer at a price to be determined. - M.A.
Music from the Sky The battle for satellite-radio dominance is getting fierce. If Sirius and XM thought they could get away with it, they'd buy some surplus ICBMs from Russia and blow the competitor's birds out of the sky. Meanwhile, the healthy competition engendered by rampant capitalism just yields more cool toys for us. • Hard on the heels of Delphi's MyFi XM2go portable XM receiver (reviewed in February/March) come similar go-anywhere models from Pioneer (shown) and Tao. These beauties can receive 130 XM channels, timeshift up to 5 hours of programming, and even broadcast the signal to any nearby FM radio. Each is $350 and due this spring. • XM has also come up with Connect-and-Play technology that allows a wide range of products to be XM-ready. Once you buy a receiver, radio, minisystem, boombox, and so on with Connect-and-Play, all you need to receive XM programming is an antenna ($50) and a subscription ($10 a month). • Meanwhile, the competition isn't missing a beat. Xact showed its ReGo XTR5 portable Sirius radio receiver ($300, May), which records and plays up to 4 hours of programming and also has an MP3 player and FM modulator that broadcasts to your car radio. • The Sirius Sportster IR (price to be determined, spring) has an FM modulator and can record up to 44 minutes of programming. • Sirius also introduced its Star Mate (shown - $130), a tiny 6-ounce receiver also with an FM modulator. • Finally, SiriusConnect receiver/translators (prices depend on the specific product) can be used with both Sirius- and XM-ready in-dash head units. Maybe Sirius won't need those ICBMs after all . . . - K.C.P.