CES 2009

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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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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 11, 2009 1 comments
LG’s new feature, the “Picture Wizard” aids the average viewer in optimizing the TV’s picture by offering onscreen examples of what is the optimal setting. They can then see the effect of the changes they’ve made in the setting as compared to the onscreen examples. Setting adjustments in the Picture Wizard include: black level, white level, color, backlight adjustment, tint, vertical sharpness and horizontal sharpness. Calibration made easy.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
Say hello to Acoustic Technologies, which made its world debut at CES with a product three years in the making. The Classic is a slim tower using a single three-inch full-range driver. Why not do woofers and tweeters? Because they insert a crossover, and with it various irregularities and ill effects, into the signal path. Don't laugh -- this speaker had a highly natural, pleasing, gentle, ungimmicky sound with a well developed midrange and good soundstaging. Vocals sounded just right. Complementary models will arrive next year to bring the new company into surround territory.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
If the above Panasonic plasma isn't thin enough for you, this one-third of an inch-thick prototype might fit the bill. But the above design is closer to production.
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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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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
The Paradigm Seismic 110 sub has a rounded top, and to complement the Millenia Series speakers, a diecast chassis. And it makes the best picture. But the Paradigm subs that will really raise eyebrows are the marginally less photogenic Sub 12 ($1999) and Sub 15 ($2999), each of which has dual 800-watt amps and dual voice coils driving a single cone. Why? More output, better control, less distortion. And there's USB input for fine tuning via the Perfect Bass Kit.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 Published: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Mark Fleischmann raved about the input jack panel to his hotel TV in an earlier post. Here at the Hyatt Place we have even more flexibility, including component, HDMI, and a myriad of other connections. And the TVs in the rooms are 42" LG plasmas! If I had only had brought along something to plug into them, like a Blu-ray player!! And this hotel is cheaper than the Mirage, with parking right outside the door and no noisy casino to traipse through from car to room. In exchange, all we have to put up with is being under the takeoff leg at McCarran airport 18 hours a day. Actually, we're under it 24 hours a day. The hotel doesn't move for those other six hours; there are no flights from midnight to 6AM.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 1 comments
DLS designs its products in Sweden and has them assembled in Taiwan with enclosures from China. But the company designs and manufactures its own drivers. The M Line includes the M66 tower, for $3500/pair, plus the MC66 center, M60 monitor, and M Sub 10.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Phase Technology's Teatro PC310 ($1200) has three 5.25-inch woofers, five 1.5-inch soft dome midranges, and three 1-inch soft dome tweeters, some of which you see here, and some of which are mounted at the sides. Imaging was wide, the feel was smooth and natural (more so than most sound bars), and if the regular one-size grille doesn't match your flat panel display, you can have one custom cut.

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