Toshiba has been keeping itself busy since HD DVD went under. Lots of DVD players and components but I did not hear the “B” word at any time during Toshiba’s 2009 CES press event. But Toshiba is bringing other content to its CE components in a new, and big way in 2009. Toshiba is integrating connectivity into its 2009 lineup by collaborating with Microsoft, Yahoo and other partners. Toshiba’s 2009 lineup will be rife with network-based connectivity, featuring Widget channels for Myspace, Cinemanow, Yahoo and CBS. Many products will be Windows Media Center PC “Extender” devices, and the line will include a standalone “Network Player” box.
Paradigm has taken on the challenge of making an “invisible” subwoofer with the newest addition to its signature architectural series. The PCS-80R (pricing not yet announced) aims to combine powerful sub performance with the convenience and unobtrusive appeal of an in-wall.
Not to complain too loudly, because in the old days we had typewriters, but whoever is responsible for making sure the 4th estate can do their job should be fired. The press room is full of hardwired Dell laptops (I mean, I'm a Windows guy and even <I>I</I> won't use a Dell, for Lord's sake) and there are precious few empty tables for people who brung their own. On top of that, there's no "supported," a.k.a. working, wireless connections. Granted, wireless introduces problems too, but hardwired Dells and brown shirts walking around making sure you don't unplug the Ethernet cable and put it into your laptop isn't helping anyone get their job done.
Both of Samsung’s new BD players, the uber cool hang-on-the-wall BD-P4600 (shown here) and BD-P3600 look good and are fully loaded BD players with BD-Live and full audio decoding. But finally, a manufacturer has acknowledged that not everyone has hardwired Ethernet near their AV gear. Samsung includes a W-Fi dongle for both of these players. The PlayStation 3 has been alone in offering this feature far too long. Bravo Samsung!
Demonstrating their wireless 7.2 channel speaker / amplification system, Neosonik's system uses a proprietary 5 GHz wireless system to transmit signals digitally to each speaker. A central controller will accept an HDMI input and then transmit audio digitally to each speaker. Each speaker in turn has digital amplification for each driver. I asked about the video portion of the HDMI signal that had been routed to the controller. They've a device that transmits that signal digitally as well to a small receiver connected to your display.
As home networking not only becomes more popular but has become a necessity in complex home entertainment centers, Sharp introduced a new and simple networking solution, the Powerline Communication (PLC) adapter. It enables users to send high-definition data to their Internet-ready televisions, computers or other peripheral devices through a home’s existing power lines, offering a much easier alternative networking method that doesn't expensive installation of in-wall cabling. Users can connect multiple devices, such as TVs, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, PCs, and routers, using Sharp’s PLC adapters wherever there is a power outlet.
The PLC's offer stable communication with a high-speed connection of 85 Megabits per second (Mbps). Additionally, Sharp’s PLC networks achieve one of the highest levels of security with a government-adopted AES 128-bit encryption, ensuring data passes safely through the network.
Considering the potential cost of running long lengths of cable through the house, the Sharp PLC's are a bargain and about the same price as a high quality router. Three models will be available in March 08 for the following retail prices:
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.
Aaron is a reporter for the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. I immediately asked him about what he thought about how Chelsea Clinton dissed the nine-year-old reporter from the Scholastic News in Iowa last week, and he and his Mom (right) were surprised it took so long for anyone to ask.