CES 2009

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Here's the skinny on that special set for special people.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 3 comments
The A-shaped Avalon Aspect boasts 92dB efficiency, which should make it compatible with home theater use as long as you're willing to buy five of them -- no complementary center or other models yet. For $8500/pair you get two 7-inch kevlar woofers and a one-inch proprietary neodymium composite tweeter. The latter gets a waveguide-like treatment thanks to a foam structure built into grille. You won't see it unless you pop the grille and look at the underside, as Avalon showed us.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Here's as closer view of the satellite in the systse described above. That's a ring radiator tweeter you see here, a tweeter design that's been popular in new speaker systems over the past couple of years.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Strictly speaking, we should be telling you more about NAD's first Blu-ray player, and you've already heard about its a/v receivers, but the Viso Two HTiB got our attention with stylish looks. It's a DVD (and DVD-Audio) player with built-in 50-watt stereo amp and Dolby Virtual Speaker (and Dolby Headphone). Price is $1299 if you want something really cool looking to play your old DVD library in the bedroom. But what's that underneath?
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 3 comments
In other Dolby news, Dolby Volume, tamer of blaring ads and dodgy surround levels, is coming to Toshiba Regza TVs in both the U.S. and Europe, as well as in a Harman Kardon receiver. It's also built into the cool Airfonix transmitter/receiver device pictured above, which accepts two-channel sources both RCA and XLR. Dolby's mobile strategy is (of course) Dolby Mobile, which manipulates the soundstage in cells and other portable devices. Dolby Axon provides surround-like effects in online voice gaming applications. And Dolby Digital Plus is now being used in Italian as well as French television broadcasts.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
With networked TVs and media sharing devices we can get online content from partners like YouTube, Netflix, CBS.com, etc. Now Boxee offers a software solution that creates an easy meny to find online content that works on computers including Macs and Linux-based operating systems. What’s really cool is that you can put the software on a flash drive and add it to an AppleTV. This adds the capability of watching many online streaming video partners including video streaming like Netflix, Hulu, CBS.com and MTV to the previously limited partners on AppleTV.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
No, this is not a typo. LHX isn't a take-off on THX, but rather the designation for LG's top of the line flat panel LCD sets. See the vital stats above. Note the wireless capability. Wireless HD video is one of the big stories at CES this year, with most of the major manufacturers showing their own wireless solutions (generally for their top of the line sets) and add-on wireless devices from vendors such as Gefen and Radiient. But before you take the plunge, be sure that the wireless capability you're about to buy does not apply additional compression to the HD source.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 1 comments
Will we ever see HD resolution higher than 1920x1080 for the home? Do we need it? While Samsung didn't answer that question, it did show two UHD prototype sets, this plasma and a larger LCD, both doing 4K by 2K. Vaporware? For now, probably, but nice to know that some are thinking about it.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
SIM2 and Entertainment Experience are joining forces to unveil a new combination product that promises to give home theater aficionados the experience they’ve been craving. The All-in-One Digital Entertainment Media System combines SIM2’s Grand Cinema C3X 1080 (pictured) or HT5000E 3-chip DLP projector with an Entertainment Experience Media Center.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
LG appeared to have the biggest booth at this year's CES, and is clearly touting its position as a major player in every video category. And like Samsung, a good portion of its booth was dedicated to showing off not just its current product, but its dedication to research into upcoming terchnologies as well. It even showed small OLED displays.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
SE2 Labs builds the following items into a single chassis about the size of three desktop PCs sitting close together: Runco video processor, Bryston surround processor, ICEpower amps, Netlinx control system, Transparent Cable powerline conditioner, Xbox 360, iPod dock, Transparent Cable harness, HD DVR (from DirecTV, Dish, or Comcast), powerful but quiet cooling fans, 4.3-inch touchscreen, anti-noise and vibration system, and Super Easy 2 Connect rear panel. Outside the box there's the SE2 RF remote control -- the volume key blushes purple when touched. And then there's the optional stuff: Wadia 170 iPod transport, Apple TV, Blu-ray drive, Nintendo Wii. Doing it all in one box reduces equipment weight from 275 to 110 pounds, custom install hours from 80+ to 2, connections from 330 to 30, and cost from $45,000 to $30,000. Need a remote status report? Just ask the system by email. It has been shipping since last September.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Both Hitachi and Toshiba were showing technology designed to upgrade the quality of program material. Toshiba's (Resolution+) is coming soon in some of its new sets and is being promoted as an upgrade for SD programming. Hitachi's Super Resolution is still in the prototype stage, but is designed to work with both HD and SD material. The effect was stunning and quite obvious in the photo, where the image on the left side is straight, unprocessed SD and the image on the right side has been processed by Super Resolution. We'll be anxious to give this technology a try when it comes with Hitachi sets.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Those who want to equip their home theater with the best performance and service money can buy might want to take another look at SIM2. The company’s latest version of its HT5000E three-chip DLP projector combines reference-quality performance with unexpectedly personal service. The projector promises high-end image quality with the latest DLP chipsets from Texas Instruments. It includes three 0.95-inch DarkChip4 DMDs that work to display clear, uncompressed 1080p material.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
The new Radiance line from Acoustic Energy, one of Britain's finest speaker makers, includes tower, monitor, center, and sub models with varying configurations built around 6.5-inch woofers, 5-inch midranges, and 1-inch tweeters, all aluminum. Thermal management -- that is, letting heat escape -- was a design priority, implemented with a double voice coil that sits both inside and outside the former. The ring radiator tweeter is designed to match direct and reflected sound into a seamless whole. The minimalist crossover uses no resistors. A 5.1 set with towers in the front left and right positions will sell for $6200, while four monitors, center, and sub will go for $4400.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 2 comments
LG showed a whole range of audio systems (upscale home theaters in a box) voiced by Mark Levinson. That's Mark Levinson the man (in LG's terminology, Mr. Mark Levinson), not the company which uses his name (he has not been associated with that company for many years).

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