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CES 2009

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
The Panasonic Z1 series should be in a store near you come June. The TC-P54Z1, shown here, is not only roughly 1.5" thick, but can wirelessly transmit a full 1080p/60 image up to 30 feet in the same room without adding additional compression to the image data. Moreover, it weighs just 67 lbs. The inputs are located in a separate box together with the wireless transmitter (shown below the screen, along with the receiver box which must sit near the set.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 11, 2009 1 comments
The AVR600 ($5000, bottom) is the first HDMI receiver from British manufacturer Arcam and therefore the company's first model to support lossless surround. It's HDMI 1.3, of course -- otherwise why bother? -- with five ins and two outs. The seven times 120 watt amp is Class G, which combines Class AB power output with a linear tracking power supply that ensures peaks are well-supplied with juice. Though Arcam had previously used Class G in HTiB products, this is the first implementation in an a/v receiver. Shipping in February. The company also showed a prototype of a forthcoming Blu-ray Profile 2.0 player (top) – Tom has the details below.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
This diminutive speaker (about as high as the water bottle sitting beside it), uses two 3.5", full-range drivers. While it may be used as a surround, its real purpose is as the first speaker specifically designed for use in the new Dolby height format, Pro Logic IIz (discussed in an early blog). No price as yet; this was an early prototype.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 11, 2009 1 comments
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!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Phase Technology's dARTS has been around for awhile. That stands for Digital Audio Reference Theater System, and it involves custom programming, software tuning and amplification precisely matched to the room. But with the 650 Series speakers, it now has cosmetic sophistication to match its digital smarts. The whole package goes for $20,000, but if you have high-end tastes and a wallet to match, try it before you decide that's too much.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Sanyo’s new full-HD LCD projector, the PLV-1080HD, may not sound like an entry-level model at first glance. It comes equipped with 1080p capabilities through its HD 3LCD panel and includes some advanced features that might make you think it’s too good to be true. Along with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, the projector also offers a newly designed variable iris to make your source material shine. SANYO designed the iris to quickly adjust the amount of light projected every 1/60th of a second. The company says this will make image quality stand out through its rich color and deeper blacks.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Video expert Joe Kane was on hand showing his new Affinity projection screen, to be manufactured by Da-Lite. The gain was 0.9, but other gains are expected shortly (up to a maximum of 1.3).
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Got $36,495 burning a hole in your pocket? SIM2 has an answer in the new C3X Lumis HOST. According to SIM2, this 1080p, compact 3-chip DLP projector produces excellent blacks thanks to its Dynamic Black auto iris and modulated projection lamp. The "host" part is an outboard processor/input switching box included in the price (not shown in the photo). It did produce an outstanding image.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 Published: Jan 10, 2009 2 comments
UK-based Cambridge Audio announced both the Azur 640R V2 7.1 A/V receiver ($1799, spring 2009), an update of the original Azur 640. It also launched its first Blu-ray player, the Azur 640B ($999 spring 2009).
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
The Suite 7.1HD surround preamp-processor from Audio Design Associates, second from bottom in picture, supports Dolby Volume as well as the new lossless surround codecs. It costs $5500 and will ship in a few months. There are eight HDMI ins and two outs, which should cover every high-def contingency known to humankind. Rather than introduce new amps, ADA is sticking with the existing PTM-6150 and -8150, which is absolutely the right decision, as they are (I'll stick my neck out) the best outboard surround amplifiers in the industry.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 09, 2009 Published: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
If you want to take your personal listening experience to the next level, Sennheiser has a set of headphones they’d like you to try on. The HD 800 headphones combine innovative transducer technology with groundbreaking design for an unmatched experience.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 1 comments
Which some might construe as weightist. The composite fiberglas, carbon fiber, and resin enclosure makes damping material unnecessary. Two 9-inch woofers share the enclosure with a 6.5-inch mid and 1.1-inch tweeter. The $32,000 pricetag (per pair) may seem stiff but the composite enclosure trickles down to the monitor-size Super Octave. Morel also offers three Sound Spot satellites, all of which have coaxial drivers in a metal pedestal enclosure, but the drivers differ, so pricing ranges from $1500 to $2000 to $2500. The best version has a resin-covered silk tweeter.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
If you like your speaker bars under a thousand, try the Phase Technology Teatro V3.0 for $800. Besides the half-dozen woofers and tweeters on the front, it also has side-mounted drivers, something it has in common with the one above.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
While I liked the HDMI-equipped jack panel at the Mirage -- and envied Tom's at the Hyatt even more -- the aspect ratio on my Philips LCD set left something to be desired. The hotel appeared to be feeding 4:3 analog signals and using the stretch mode. Suze Orman and Anderson Cooper couldn't have gained that much weight, could they?
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
These Academy Sovran speakers should certainly get the award for the most-travelled consumer electronics equipment. Koetsu USA, a distribution company connected to the well-known Japanese cartridge manufacturer turned to the Italian company Chario for this particular speaker, which makes it one of the most transcontinental speakers out there.

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