CES Day Four: Projectors and One Hot Screen
Projectors are where the home theater action is this year. Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing micro-mirror technology has been adapted by many manufacturers in their new projectors, which offers amazing gains in brightness over earlier models. Sim2 Séleco, a projector company based in Pordenone, Italy and Miramar, Florida, has several beautiful projectors, including the sleek HT 200 and HT 250 models, which are capable of brightness levels of 800 ANSI Lumens and 900 ANSI Lumens respectively, and resolution levels of 800 x 600 (SVGA) and 1024 x 768 (XGA) respectively. The Séleco projectors boast a lamp life of 4000 hours; the HT 250 includes an IEEE 1394 input.
CES 2001: DVD Recorders and HD Sets
Two or three years ago, HDTV was the hottest topic at the Consumer Electronics Show. Not so this year—manufacturers have decided to de-emphasize the format, due to slow market acceptance and widespread uncertainty about technical standards. Instead, they are concentrating on Internet capabilities, digital networking, recordable DVD, and video projectors.
CES 2001 Coverage Continues
Home theater isn't a huge draw at Alexis Park, home of Specialty Audio exhibits, but some manufacturers have video and surround-sound demos going here. Martin-Logan had one of the best-sounding multichannel rooms we have visited so far, with a "Theater" center channel beneath a Runco PL-50C plasma display, a pair of "Ascents" front left and right, a pair of "Scripts" for the side/rears, a "Cinema" in center rear, and a prototype subwoofer handling low bass duties.
Outlaw Audio Breaks $600 Barrier with 6.1-channel Receiver
has debuted its Model 1050, claimed to be the world's first 6.1-channel receiver to sell for under $600, a price point made possible by the use of Zoran's ZR38650 multi-format digital audio processor IC.
Onkyo Envision Theater Combines DVD/CD and 5.1 Surround
Space constraints are among the biggest obstacles retailers encounter when selling home entertainment systems. Many people object to the proliferation of equipment needed to play several different formats of video and audio recordings.
End of Days DVD Not a Turkey?
A<I>rnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Pollak, Robin Toney, Rod Steiger. Directed by Peter Hyams. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1. 123 minutes. 1999. Universal Collectors Edition 20721. R. $26.98.</I>
Crystal Semiconductor Delivers Its "98k"
Twenty bucks buys plenty of processing power these days. If you're a manufacturer shopping for a DVD chip, <A HREF="http://www.cirruslogic.com/">Cirrus Logic Corporation's Crystal Semiconductor</A> has just what you're looking for. The San Mateo, CA-based company is now shipping its "98k"—an all-purpose, stand-alone DVD decoding device versatile enough to let designers write their own control code.
Sony and CBS Unite for HDTV Broadcast of 2001 Sony Open in January
Both <A HREF="http://www.cbs.com">CBS Television</A> and <A HREF="http://www.sony.com">Sony</A> report that they have recently entered into an agreement for CBS to produce the upcoming 2001 Sony Open golf tournament live in HDTV on the CBS Television Network starting January 20.
CEA: 2001 Orders Will Top $95 Billion; Pioneer Makes Plans for DVD-RW
Despite holiday season signs of an economic slowdown, the <A HREF="http://www.ce.org/">Consumer Electronics Association</A> is projecting a record year for 2001. CEA figures released at the end of December predict that factory-to-dealer shipments will increase to $95 billion, a significant improvement from the $89.7 billion total this year. Results for both 2000 and 1999 were up approximately $5 billion from the previous years' predictions. For that reason, the CEA may revise its predictions. A revision with predictions for individual product categories should appear during January's Consumer Electronics Show.
Dwin HD-700 video projector JGH Chips In
Audio considerations seem to be the top priority of most home-theater enthusiasts. But once you reach a certain plateau of sound quality you begin to take a good look at your video display, and most of us end up wanting a separate projector and screen for that real movie experience. At <I>SGHT</I>, we've reviewed some of the most exotic video-display products on the planet. But when the daydreaming stops, we realize that these projectors are the video equivalents of Ferraris. As much fun as they are to write and (we hope) read about, only a few lucky readers will ever park them in their homes.