CES 2009

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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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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Hitachi offered this prototype of an upcoming thin LCD. But wasn't their watchword last year, "1.5 is coming?"
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
LG has vert special sets for all of our very special readers. More below.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
When playing an album, the interface shows the cover full screen.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 Published: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Pioneer introduced two new standard Blu-ray players, the BDP-120 and the BDP-320. The BDP-120 is expected to sell for under $300. A new Elite player, the BDP-23FD, offers Kuro Link, a new feature said to sync up with Kuro HDTVs for optimum setup and operation. We'll wait to se on that one.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Like every other LCD manufacturer, LG is doing 240Hz in its premier upcoming sets. These guys must all do lunch together.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
PSB's SubSeries 500 subwoofer ($2149) propels a 12-inch woven fiber driver into action with a Class H tracking power supply amp rated at 500 watts continuous power, 750 dynamic, and 1500 peak. The combination extruded aluminum and MDF enclosure should be tough enough to stand up to that onslaught of low-frequency vibration. Stop drooling, that's not polite.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Tom Norton broke the news about Dolby Pro Logic IIz, the first surround standard from the surround standard setter to incorporate height channels. It's an enhancement process, like Dolby Pro Logic II; not an encode/decode process, like Dolby Digital or TrueHD. It extracts what Dolby calls decorrelated non-surround elements, so it'll operate on things that belong in height channels, as opposed to, say, footsteps. It can operate in 7.1 or 9.1 configurations, without/with back-surround channels. Dolby's now in discussion with various manufacturers about licensed products. What I have to say about it is that it's a great idea -- I'd rather see folks adding height channels to their systems than useless back-surrounds (Dolby wants to make real sure I label that as my own opinion). And the implementation in speakers may be quite interesting, I imagine, everything from vertical structures (same footprint) to in-walls to speakers with top-mount drivers that bounce off the ceiling. Details here. Oh, and the pic is the Acer Aspire PC, glimpsed at the Dolby booth, and I mention it only because as I walked up to it, it said Luke, I am your father.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Why, it's NAD's first speaker line, the Viso Thirty bookshelf and center channel models. They've got titanium tweeters, four-inch polypropylene woofers, and a $699 pricetag (we need to clarify if that's per speaker).
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Room Caster is the name of a high-end wireless technology that connects devices within a room. THX is working on it with San Francisco-based Radiient Group. It works with high-bandwidth signals in the 5GHz band, with as many as eight channels and resolution of up to 24 bit, 192kHz. The only compression used is whatever's inherent in the source signal. The demo showed it working smoothly. Likely uses will be in surround receivers, source components, and docking devices. Prototype transmitter pictured.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Sherwood has just released its first soundbars to the consumer electronics audience, and with prices set at $160 and $130, they won’t leave you without any change in your pocket. The SB-4221i ($160) features dual 2.75-inch drivers that are driven by a 15 watt per channel amplifier. Sherwood’s $160 model also has dual built-in subwoofers that are driven by a 30 watt RMS amplifier.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 09, 2009 0 comments
Now that 240 has been designated the lucky number of this year’s CES, multiple companies are showcasing their own versions of the technology. VIZIO’s version comes in the form of its XVT series. The 55-inch VF551XVT LCD HDTV ($2,000) features 240Hz technology coupled with 1,000,000:1 Mega Dynamic Contrast with local dimming.

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