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CES 2009

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
Opoma continued its reputation of having the biggest screen at the show. It was well over 10-feet wide, and the new HD8200 projector (discussed far below) was putting up a bright image even at that size. The image was also crisp and detailed. The color was clearly off (with fleeting hints of too much green, especially in flesh tones), but that's a calibration issue and should be easily fixable. l
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
Chario is Italy's largest high-end speaker manufacturer.The setup here shows the Academy Serendipity (far left and right), Academy Sovran, and Academy Solitaire center channel—the Academy series sits at the top of Chario's line, and fall into the "if you have to ask" price category. The Solitaire ($17,000/pr) was recently reviewed in Stereophile.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 1 comments
In the TAD room at the Venetian, speaker engineer Andrew Jones was demonstrating the $30,000/pair TAD Compact reference stand-mount speaker, which features a sophisticated coaxial midrange tweeter driver with beryllium cone/dome material (Similar drivers are used in the far less expensive Pioneer speakers also designed by Jones, though they use beryllium only for the tweeter dome.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
OK, I added the "sinister" part. But doesn’t it still sound like a super secret weapon employed by an evil genius in a Bond flick? Sharp showed two new BD players at CES. The most compelling of the two is the BD-HP22U, which is BD-Live out of the gate, including 2GB of onboard storage and a USB port that can be used to expand storage capacity and upload new firmware. The audio decoding is murkier- Sharp’s reps and the logos on the player indicate decoding capability for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The press release is only specific on its ability to output the advanced codecs as native bitstreams. The BDP-HP22U will be available in May for $299.
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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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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
SIM2's Domino 60 single-chip 1080p DLO was making sweet pictures on a 2.35:1 screen together with a static anamorphic lens from Panamorph. The projector can process the image so that a conventional 1.78:1 image will be properly proportioned when it passes through the lens. $8300 for the projector and Panamorph (the projector is also available separately).
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
The bottom floor of the Hilton Hotel's convention center (adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center) is home to hundreds of small stands hawking every description of small electronic thingamajig, most of them representing small Chinese companies. I searched out two of them, only to find that they didn't market anything like what I expected to find: speakers (Dayton) and projectors (Sharpvision).

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