CES 2009

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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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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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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Though strictly speaking, it was a Friday when we saw the Polk OWM5, a $179 speaker that will tolerate any of nine mounting methods if you speak to it nicely. Let us count the ways: vertical wall mount, horizontal wall mount, vertical shelf mount, horizontal shelf mount, corner mount, horizontal ceiling mount, vertical 45-degree wall mount, vertical corner wall mount, and standard articulating wall mount bracket. There's also an OWM3 which is less versatile, with a mere seven mounting methods.

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