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CES 2009

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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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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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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Shown here is the subwoofer that goes with the prototype LG audio system described above. The "tuba sub" name is my idea.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 09, 2009 1 comments
The Samsung BD-P4600 full-featured player has been designed with more than a “touch” of the red color to go along with their TVs. The whole unit is a deep red. Designed to hang on the wall, or sit angled to show off its good looks on a shelf, Samsung simply added good looks to its best Blu-ray Disc player. Featuring Netflix and Pandora for streaming media, this player can use Samsung’s $39 wireless dongle so the user doesn’t have to find other solutions (like powerline adaptors or running long lengths of Ethernet cables) to connect online. Sleek enough to keep your interior designer happy.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
What struck me about my DTS briefing is that the formidable licensor of surround standards has dual strategies in two areas. One is sound enhancement for portable devices. For high-end surround headphone use, there's Head Tracker, which causes the soundfield to follow your head movements -- just like in this pic of a dude turning his head. Head Tracker will be built into an Onkyo receiver. For lower-end portable uses, DTS offers Envelo, which deals with the problems of highly compressed audio formats. DTS's other dual strategy arrives with the acquisition of Neural Surround, a matrixed adaptation format, which overlaps a little on existing Neo:6 territory. But the DTS people say the two circuits will find different applications, with Neo:6 (again) as the high-end player and Neural focusing on low-bit-rate applications like broadcast and MP3 (it's already used in XM, or now Sirius XM, satellite radio). DTS will be among the surround licensors to offer height channels with Advanced Neo. It will adapt 7.1 sources to 10.2, 11.2, or 12.2 channels, and is now being discussed with a/v receiver makers.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
How many TVs does it take to make a video wall? Count 'em and see.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 09, 2009 1 comments
Always ready to keep the home theater industry on its toes, Anthem has introduced a new and improved version of its popular AVM 50, the AVM 50v. The full-featured surround processor stands out in the crowd with added HDMI inputs and improved audio and video processing. Its processing abilities are increased through Sigma Designs VXP digital video processing and two dual-core Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engines for audio processing.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Samsung, like other CE manufacturers, is serious about producing sets that are less power hungry. Shown below the screen here is the amount of power this high efficiency LCD flat panel is using.

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