At least its in a nice place. The Venetian is one of the classiest hotels in Las Vegas, especially if you like ornate Italian decor. The Venetian plays host to several esoteric and high-end manufacturers during CES. The larger all-suite rooms make for better demonstrations and more comfortable surroundings.
In other Dolby news, Dolby Volume, tamer of blaring ads and dodgy surround levels, is coming to Toshiba Regza TVs in both the U.S. and Europe, as well as in a Harman Kardon receiver. It's also built into the cool Airfonix transmitter/receiver device pictured above, which accepts two-channel sources both RCA and XLR. Dolby's mobile strategy is (of course) Dolby Mobile, which manipulates the soundstage in cells and other portable devices. Dolby Axon provides surround-like effects in online voice gaming applications. And Dolby Digital Plus is now being used in Italian as well as French television broadcasts.
Thiel’s zet distributed system offers something that few others can claim: A truly user-friendly setup and installation process. The company just introduced its latest flavor of the system, which is an HDMI-compatible version that plays host to eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs. But the buzz around this one is focused on its setup. Thiel boldly claims that even the most inexperienced user can set up this system in less than an hour.
It’s no revelation that Blu-ray players have become more and more accessible to the general public. Now the question has turned from “Do you have a Blu-ray player?” to “What can your Blu-ray player do?” NAD aims to answer the latter question with its new, fully featured T 587 Blu-ray player.
I was encouraged by the amount of time Sharp investing in their press conference addressing the real problem of electronic waste. Its a huge problem and one that is only going to get a lot worse as our rampant consumerism for our favoite gadgets increases.
Sharp has formed a joint venture with Panasonic and Toshiba to provide a recycling service called MRM (Manufacturers Recycling Management Company) to electronics manufacturers and others, including state and local governments. Currently they are setting up recycling programs in several states from late 2008 or 2009, including Connecticut, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington. They anticipate eventually creating a long term national solution. A spokesperson for Sharp said, the formation of an independent company to manage collective electronic recycling programs is the best way to achieve the economies of scale and efficiencies necessary to create a sustainable recycling system for used electronics products. MRM has already entered into collection and recycling agreements with Hitachi Electronics, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo and Olevia brand maker Syntax-Brillian. More will surely sign on.
Sharp also commented on their continued commitment to toward solar cell research and that they are working on new cost effective ways to further worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
When you've come to CES as many times as I have, of course you've got baggage - serious mental baggage. At least, as a wonderful byproduct of my job, I can look like a happy idiot taking pictures of the baggage concourse sign in front of hundreds of other people who simply want to get their luggage and get away from me.
Joseph Audio announced the Pulsar, a two-way stand mount speaker that will retail for $7000/pair when it streets later this year. There's no center channel, but if you can spare the dime you could buy five (or seven) of them for identical performance in each channel!
Kaleidescape, Inc. was showing their extensive and comprehensive music server in a small meeting room at the Venetian. They weren't introducing any new components for their system, however, they were showcasing the latest version of their proprietary Kaleidescape Entertainment Appliance Operating System (KEAOS 3.5), providing Kaleidescape owners more ways to enjoy movies and music.
Naming a series of iThing docking systems for the sainted songwriter of early Pink Floyd may seem an excellent idea but the Kanto people insisted this was the furthest thing from their minds. The Syd 5 ($349) is nice and chunky with an AC jack that would make it convenient to connect a wireless bridge. The smaller Syd 4 ($159) has dual slot ports in front to increase bass response from the sub driver deep in the back of the enclosure. See Syd Play. Astronomy Kantonome. Gigolo Kanto. You can never have too many Syd Barrett references.
Pioneer’s current Kuro plasmas may be the hot ticket this year, but there’s more in store. It isn’t sure when we’ll see the result of the company’s latest design effort, the Extreme Contrast Concept, in stores. I’m hoping for this time next year, because this is what we have all been waiting for: blacks as dark and rich as the very best CRTs of the past. No, not <I>as</I> good. Even better.
There is no way to convey the noise level on the show floor. In fact, you've not truly had a CES experience until you've been inundated by the cacophony of sights and sounds in these giant, cavernous halls.
The Harmon Specialty Group was demonstrating Levinson's new $30,000 No.502 surround processor together with Lexicon amps and a complete Revel Ultima2 speaker system, the latter anchored by the big Revel Ultima2 Salon2s on the right and left front channels. It sounded outstanding, but this did not surprise me after my recent review of an Ultima2 Studio2 system.