New Product Announcements
Poway, CA–based Gateway continues its expansion into the consumer electronics market. Last year, the computer company sent shock waves through the industry by introducing a 42" widescreen plasma display priced under $3000. In early October, Gateway continued the trend by announcing a new "1000W", 6.1-channel home theater system with a progressive scan DVD player, attractively priced at $999. The KAS-303 includes front left/right/center/surround speakers, and a 400W powered subwoofer. Video inputs include composite and S-Video, and supported surround sound formats include Dolby Digital EX decoder, DTS ES and Dolby Pro Logic II.
Sharp Systems of America has launched two new LCD TV/computer monitors, the 17" LL-M17W1 and the 15" LL-M15X1, priced respectively at $749 and $449. The LL-M17W1 has a widescreen TFT LCD, inboard TV tuner and stereo speakers, composite, S-Video, and component video inputs and an included remote control. The LL-M15X1 has a 4:3 aspect ratio, composite and S-Video inputs. Both units feature "F" connectors for direct hookup to cable feeds.
Don't leave home without it: Maspeth, NY—based Coby Electronics has introduced a compact portable DVD player with built-in LCD screen. Measuring only 1" (H) by 8" (W) by 6" (D), theTFDVD7700 sports a 7" LCD rated at 480 by 234 pixels. The $389 player includes two built-in speakers, headphone jack, composite video output, and optical digital audio output. Its three power options allow it to be used with an AC adapter, automotive power, or as a stand-alone unit with its internal batteries. Cables, power adapters, stand, and carrying case are all included.
Union City, CA–based Vidikron has three new 16:9 plasma display panel monitors (PDPs), part of the company's growing PlasmaView line. The 42" EDTV VP-42 sports a 852 x 480-pixel screen and $5995 suggested retail price; the 50" HD VP-50 has a 1366 x 768 screen and $11,995 tag; the 60" HD VP-60 also has a 1366 x 768 screen and goes fora suggested retail price of $19,995. All three have Vidikron's video processing with 3:2 pulldown circuitry and "Dynamic Pixel Protection" circuitry, claimed to protect the plasma panel from stationary image burn-in. They also have Vidikron's "IntelliWide" multiple aspect ratio controls, said to "preserve image quality while presenting standard video formats in widescreen mode." IR control and RS-232 inputs are standard; mounting options include tabletop stands or wall-mounting kits. The PlasmaView line will be expanded by January's CES, according to Runco/Vidikron sales and marketing vice president Ben Jamison.
In December, JVC should deliver a new three-chip D-ILA home theater front projector called the DLA-HX1U. At $11,995 suggested retail, the projector will offer 16:9 native aspect ratio at 1400 x 768 resolution, and will carry a $11,995 suggested retail price when it ships in December. Also due this winter, a $6499 42" HD plasma monitor with 1024 X 768 resolution and DVI-HDCP inputs. Also in the works is the JVC-branded EchoStar TU-DVR921, a DVI/HDCP-equipped HD DVR capable of handling 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i signals. It features NTSC tuner and 250GB hard drive. Projected price is $999.95.