Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2007 0 comments
Pioneer's new top-line receiver is the SC-09TX with 200 times seven watts of energy-efficient Class D ICEpower amplification and cool front-panel color LCD in lieu of the usual boring fluorescent display. It'll cost seven grand. Of course it has on-board decoding for Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, etc. Also new are three other models: VSX-94TXH ($1600), VSX-92TXH ($1300), and VSX-91TXH ($1000). And then there's the X-Z9 system ($1799), with SACD drive, PC streaming via Cat5, and specially designed speakers.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2007 0 comments
Among four new receivers from Marantz is the top-line SR8002 ($2450). Like several new receivers at the show, it includes on-board decoding for Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and both versions of DTS-HD--a trend of which we approve! Look for it in October.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2007 1 comments
The Integra DTC-9.8 surround pre-pro is THX Ultra2-certified and features both the HQV Reon-VX video processor and advanced Audyssey auto setup and room EQ. Now available for $1600. Not as photogenic but possibly more exciting is the DHS-8.8 HD DVD player, the high-endish class act of the format for $1100 (November). Also saw the DSR-4.8 2.1-channel SACD/DVD-receiver, with 50 watts times two, and the DTR-8.8 receiver, with 140 watts times seven, built-in HD Radio, and several key features of the pre-pro ($2400, November).
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2007 3 comments
The bad news is that none of four new receivers have on-board decoding for the new lossless and other Dolby and DTS codecs. The good news is that modular construction will allow updates for this issue, in perhaps a year, and others that may arise. If you don't plan to buy a Blu-ray or HD DVD player soon, and prize NAD's consistent performance and high value, one of these new kids may be the receiver for you. They include the T 785, shown, $2999; T 775, $2499; T 765, $1999; and T 755, $1299.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2007 0 comments
The Azur 340R surround receiver (center, $679) is a third-generation product from Cambridge Audio. It delivers 50 watts times five with two HDMI-in and one out (video switching only). Oh, and Cambridge is now offering a turntable!
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2007 0 comments
Four new Escient media servers, including the VS-100 ($3999), now handle DVDs. You can also get paid downloads from Rhapsody and other outfits, run a photo show, and bask in the new user interface. A media server has to be copy-protection-savvy to transfer disc content to its hard drive, so Escient follows with interest the legal woes of Kaleidescape, whose own DVD server has sparked litigation by the studio-dominated DVD Copy Control Association.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2007 0 comments
The DMC 1000 media server is out in a new version (or will be in October or November) with four independent zones, a 250GB hard drive to complement the DVD/CD drive, 1080p processing, cooler cosmetics, and the ability to be commanded by a Palm Pilot. Got $3499?
Tom Norton Posted: Sep 09, 2007 1 comments

I was impressed, and surprised, by the quality of the image that Meridian's iRIS produced on a modestly sized, flat panel screen. More than a simple iPOD dock, this $400 jewel upconverts the low rez image on a video iPod to 1080p, cleans it up in various ways, and outputs it to your HDTV. No, it's not high def, or even DVD-quality, but it was way better than VHS and more than watchable. Two other nearby screens also showed different program material (animation and TV-based) but they weren't as impressive as this one. If the color balance looks a bit whacked in the photo, it wasn't the demo, but rather my hurried attempts at color correction. The untouched, available light photo was badly skewed by the lighting in the convention center.

Tom Norton Posted: Sep 08, 2007 Published: Sep 09, 2007 2 comments

Aerial prez and designer Michael Kelly stands next to a version of his company's impressive System 1. it's shown here for the first time with a 2.35:1 screen, which may be flat or curved, masked or unmasked.

Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 08, 2007 Published: Sep 09, 2007 0 comments
The Klipsch folk have decided they want to horn in on the earphone business with models starting at around $99, one of which is supposed to be the smallest in-ear model on the market. Oh, and to the dude who stole the iPhone that was part of this display, you are definitely not cool.


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