International CES - Day 3

The Full Spectrum of DVD The buzz sang the blues at CES, specifically blue lasers. High-definition DVD players generated plenty of talk at CES without being present. A blue laser with its short wavelength will enable a DVD-size disc to store full-length HD movies. Toshiba showed a mock-up of its blue laser. Panasonic revealed an end-run around this difficult technology that's frustrating labs around the world (see David Ranada's report for more details). The company would not commit to a delivery date, but claims its work is further along than many competitors and that its blue-laser technology will be low in cost. Many industry commentators remarked that HDTV won't become a true success until a convenient and affordable HD source arrives to supplement the rather meager broadcast offerings so far.

KEF unveiled its new Reference Series at CES.

CES Grab Bag KEF, once famed for its Reference Series monitors, aims to reclaim that status with a completely new four-model Reference Series priced $3,500 to $15,000. The series uses KEF's hallmark Uni-Q technology. The low end of the line is the Model 201, a four-way ported design with a 6-1/2-inch woofer and 6-1/2-inch midrange. The flagship Model 207, a five-way ported design uses a 10-inch woofer, and 10-inch low-midrange driver. As with KEF's Reference Series of yore, all -- even the more compact 201 -- stand imposingly.


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