CES 2009

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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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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 1 comments
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!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 34 comments
"We like the sound," said the MK Sound folks in response to my question -- "why an analog bass management controller?" The DMC-1 accepts five XLR input for line-level loop-through. Available in February for $1200. MK is the newly returned heir to the M&K legacy, so expect to see lots of classic models return with upgraded parts to make them even better.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
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.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Epson demonstrated its top of the line ProCinema 7500UB LCD projector at CEDIA. It looked excellent there, but after undergoing further refinements to smooth out some pre-production wrinkles, its finally ready for prime time, with one of the best-looking images at the show. With a claimed native contrast ratio of 6000:1, it didn't appear to need the help of a dynamic iris (though it has one) to produce convincingly deep and rich blacks. Worked great with an anamorphic lens, too, on a 101" wide Stewart Studiotek 130 projection screen. The projector uses an HQV REON processor, has a full color management system, red, green, and blue-only modes for setup, and a claimed tight color alignment of the three panels. The best part may be the $4199 price.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Sharp’s DLP front projectors have always been overachievers that offered a ridiculous amount of performance for the money. Nevertheless, with the company’s sharp (ahem) focus on LCD flat panels, I wasn’t certain we’d see any new front projector products from Sharp at this show. Well, I was wrong!
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
HDMI Licensing LLC, who won a Technology and Engineering Emmy for their contribution of the HDMI™ single cable audio and video standard, has announced the development of a new HDMI specification beyond the current 1.3 version. While not final, it is expected that the new standard will include transfer of Ethernet over the new HDMI cable. The other significant addition will be an “audio return channel.” Currently when a source—say, your HD satellite—is connected directly to a TV, an optical audio cable must be connected to an AV receiver to hear your satellite programming in surround sound. This new bi-directional feature brings it back to a single connection that will send the sound back to AV receiver without the need for an additional cable. Woohoo! We’re getting closer to a single cable connection, I’m all for that type of simplicity. Go HDMI!
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 Published: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
French audio specialist YBA announced its first one-box media server. Seen at the top in the photo, the Encore falls in the company's Design series (the two pieces below it are the Design series' CDE and DVD player). The Encore will be available with either a 500GB or 1 TB hard drive ($4500 and $5500 respectively).
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Arabesque, from the Crystal Cable folks, is the second manufacturer we know of (in addition to Waterfall) to use glass enclosures. The faceted design of this floorstander came about after the company realized that a curved glass enclosure wouldn't be possible -- but it looks great.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
President-elect Obama has been turned into a fuzzy iPod dock with bobbing head. This is what he gets for delaying the DTV transition. If he delays it long enough, we'll turn him into a power strip.
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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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