Wisdom Audio’s S90i Sage Series in-wall/on-wall subwoofer stands out from the crowd of traditional subwoofers in its versatility alone. The in-wall/in-ceiling sub can be installed in-wall, in-ceiling, in a closet, or in the floors. However, Wisdom Audio says this sub deserves more than just praise for its ability to be concealed.
Dubbed a Digital Media Receiver for the serious enthusiast with a large library of digital media files, Netgear introduced the Digital Entertainer Elite. With a substantial 500 GB hard drive that is upgradable to 1TB, the Digital Receiver plays 1080p content via HDMI and is capable of Blu-Ray quality (according to the company spokesperson). The real question is how will you find or rip media equal to Blu-Ray quality to even store on the device?
Sitting next to an IPhone, you can see that Netgear's new Internet TV Player is pretty small. Hook it up to any TV (and yes there is HDMI) and you can browse the Internet right from your TV using your existing home network. You can stream TV shows and videos from a wide selection of channels in full screen HD. There are icons you can click for key sites such as CBS, ABC, YouTube and more. Its possible to search via pre- programmed interests, too. Moreover, you are not restricted to just US sites, you can check out sites originating in Europe and Asia. The Internet TV Player will hit the stores sometime this summer for $199.
It’s no surprise that Rotel is highlighting its RSX-1560 A/V receiver at this year’s CES. The flagship 7.1-channel model has 7 X 100 watts of power for an immersive home theater experience. Rotel’s RSX-1560 ($2,599) also boasts four HDMI v1.3 inputs, Faroudja video processing, and Class D power that sets out to impress even the toughest audiophile.
Tivoli Audio’s new global audio device will literally put the world at your fingertips. The NetWorks global audio device ($600) uses Wi-Fi technology to deliver thousands of radio stations directly to your home theater. Unlike satellite radio, NetWorks uses Wi-Fi technology to access free radio stations from around the world, including HD Multi-cast and DAB stations. Whether you prefer to search by genre or country, the NetWorks device will provide exactly what suits your mood.
As in years past, LG had the distinction of holding the first press conference of CES—at 8:00 AM! Many new products were announced, including nine new lines of LCD TVs and three new lines of plasmas with a total of 30 new models in all. Among the LCDs is the 55LH90 pictured here, which uses LED backlighting to achieve a claimed contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 as well as a 240Hz feature that combines 120Hz frame interpolation and backlight flashing. Other notable technologies include wireless HD built into the LH85 and LHX series LCDs that can convey uncompressed 1080p/60 at a maximum date rate of 3Gbps.
Last, wireless HDMI is also coming from LG in a big way. At the press event the company didn’t elaborate on too many details, but did suggest it can pass signals as high in resolution as 1080p/60 “uncompressed.” I’m guessing in this context that means the wireless system itself doesn’t apply on the fly video compression to restrict bandwidth requirements while moving the HD signals around. No mention was made of the other side of this equation, which in the case of Blu-ray is bandwidth intensive lossless audio. I’ll visit LG on the showroom floor once the show opens and find out more. While single wires are great, no wires is even better- as long as it’s really the free lunch LG is claiming it to be!
On the TV side, LG is pushing its LCD flat panel HDTV offerings with LED backlighting and local dimming with 240 zones. While we weren’t aware that LG had local dimming LCDs in 2008, the 2009 “Mega Conrast” models are at least twice as good- 240 dimming zones compared to last year’s paltry 128. In the numbers game, 2,000,000:1 contrast ratios are claimed. In reality local dimming is very real, and has driven the LCDs we’ve seen that employ it to blacks and contrastlevels that are astounding. They’re on our list for 2009 for sure.
LG was in its customary and brutal 8am time slot (11am on the east coast LG’s John Taylor reminded us- thanks for that John!) and got the 2009 show off with a big bang. Rather than buy into forcing consumers to choose Blu-ray vs. streaming/downloads, its answer is to offer both. Its 2008 Internet connected BD300 Blu-ray player connects to Netflix and Netflix HD. Expanding on that, LG’s 2009 BD players and select HDTVs will offer Netcast, which is LG’s proprietary name for a feature set that delivers Internet derived content. Partners will include Netflix (and Netflix HD), YouTube, and CinemaNow with more content partners coming online later. Pictured here is one of LG's Blu-ray powered HTiBs.