New Products -- April 2003

Go-Video To get all your computer's digital pictures and media clips over to your A/V system you'll need some kind of complicated newfangled interface contraption, right? Nope-all you need is Go-Video's D2730 DVD player, which can connect to your PC either through its PC Card Ethernet adapter or wirelessly with an optional Wi-Fi PC Card. The link can accept streamed content, including MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 video compressed at bit rates up to 3 megabits per second (Mbps), MP3 or Windows Media Audio files, or JPEG still images. And don't forget that the D2730 is a full-functioning DVD player with a progressive-scan video output and both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs. Convergence? Right here, baby. Price: $249. www.sonicblue.com, 800-468-5846

Onkyo go2Adding a pair of back surround speakers to your home theater isn't a hassle when you have the Onkyo TX-SR800 receiver. Rated to deliver 100 watts to each of seven channels and with Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES decoding onboard, the THX Select-certified SR800 will keep you fully surrounded with the latest DVD soundtracks. It also has Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 processing for multichannel playback of stereo sources. The two wideband component-video inputs allow it to switch HDTV signals, and there are six composite/S-video inputs. A multichannel analog audio input lets you hook up a Super Audio CD or DVD-Audio player, and there are also preamp outputs for all channels. The back surround amplifiers can also be configured to power stereo speakers in a second zone. Price: $1,000. www.onkyousa.com, 800-229-1687

PSB go3Shaking up PSB's Alpha Series is the SubSonic 5i subwoofer, which is rated down to 30 Hz ±3 dB and said to have useful output to 27 Hz (-10 dB) thanks to its low-turbulence port design. The efficient Class H amplifier is rated to deliver 150 watts of continuous power to the 10-inch polypropylene driver, and anti-overload circuitry works to prevent rude noises when the bass is really cranking. Put the sub anywhere you like-the magnet assembly is shielded to prevent interference with your TV. Front-mounted controls for volume and crossover frequency make it easy to set up and adjust. The overall dimensions are 12 3/8 x 16 1/2 x 14 7/8 inches, and the finish is black ash vinyl. Price: $449. www.psbspeakers.com, 888-772-0000

Marantz marWith room for about 1,200 hours of compressed MP3 music and outputs for four independent zones, the Marantz DH9300 digital music server just might end family disputes over the stereo forever. You can rip music to the 80-gigabyte (GB) hard drive from either the built-in CD player or an external source, storing it uncompressed or at one of three MP3 bit rates: 128, 192, or 320 kilobits per second (kbps). Audio sources can jack into the coaxial and digital audio inputs, although PCs can use the USB port. When you rip songs, the server immediately gets track names from Gracenote.com through its built-in dial-up modem or the Ethernet port. The four stereo analog outputs are fully independent, so you can stream different music to four zones simultaneously. Price: $3,299. www.marantz.com, 630-741-0300

Samsung sammyFlat-panel LCD TVs can play with the big boys now that Samsung has unveiled its LTM405W-a 40-inch widescreen model with a resolution of 1,280 x 768 pixels. That makes it an HDTV monitor, of course, with component-video, VGA, and DVI (Digital Visual Interface) connections for high-def signals. Images are said to be uniformly bright over a 170° viewing angle, and the contrast ratio is rated as 600:1. You can even watch TV while surfing the Web with the PC/Picture-In-Picture function, and dual NTSC tuners let you watch two TV shows at once. The supplied speakers (not shown) can be attached to the sides or put on their own stands. Price: $10,000. www.samsungusa.com, 800-726-7864

TDK liebsPlop a store-bought CD in one tray and a blank disc in the other, push a button-you're done. In a short time, the TDK DA-5900 dual-tray CD recorder will give you a shiny clone of your music on either a CD-R or CD-RW, finalized and everything. There are both digital and analog record-level controls. Other audio sources can connect to the optical or coaxial digital audio inputs; a sampling-rate converter is built-in. The 4x recorder will put in track markers for you, but you also can do it manually. Screw up the track order on that CD-RW? Wipe it with the One-Touch Erase feature. The headphone jack has a level control. Price $249. www.tdk.com, 800-835-8273

Planar placidoWith its 22-inch widescreen LCD panel, Planar's XP22WSA-01 makes for a cozy TV. And since it's only 3 1/2 inches thick, you'll definitely have room to spare. The resolution is 854 x 480 pixels, so the set qualifies as an enhanced-definition TV (EDTV) monitor, meaning it can accept high-def signals but can't display them at full resolution. Images are said to be uniformly bright up to 80° to either side, and the contrast ratio is rated as 400:1. The pictured table stand is supplied, and wall-mounting hardware is optional. The set has two component-, two composite-, and two S-video inputs and weighs 26 pounds. Price: $2,579. www.planar.com, 866-475-2627

NEC necYou may see the darker side of things more often when you have NEC's ShowCase HT1000 video projector. The single-chip DLP (Digital Light Processing) front projector has a rated contrast ratio of 3,000:1, aided by NEC's SweetVision chip, which is said to increase perceived contrast for more vibrant images. The projector can accept high-def signals through its component, VGA, or DVI inputs. A Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing chip will perform 2:3 pulldown to compensate for the different frame rates of video and film, plus extra processing for smoother playback from video sources. A screen trigger can automatically raise or lower projection screens that use the same type of input, and there's a CompactFlash card slot for viewing JPEG images. Price: $5,495. www.necvisualsystems.com, 800-632-4636

Prismiq prisDownloading music and movies off the Web has gone from curiosity to commonplace, but once it's on your PC how do you get that content to where you really want it-your home-entertainment center? Prismiq's MediaPlayer can get it there, streaming a multitude of audio and video from MP3 tunes to MPEG-2 movies through its diminutive interface (9 x 1 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches). It links to your PC via its Ethernet port and connects to your A/V system through composite- and S-video jacks, with analog stereo and coaxial digital outputs for audio. There's also a PC slot for a Wi-Fi card if you want to go wireless. MediaManager software for your Windows PC is supplied, along with a remote control. Price: $250. www.prismiq.com, 650-685-2100

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