CES 2009

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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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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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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
In addition to the new Focus 360, Dynaudio showed the cosmetically matching but smaller 220 II, heir to the original 220. In addition to a makeover that makes it resemble a smaller 360, it’s also got significant upgrades to the crossover and port tuning. Price is $2200/pair, shipping in March.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
The Obama transition team has asked that the DTV transition be postponed beyond its previously scheduled February 17, 2009 deadline. We'll cover this story in our News section next week when we have time to breathe.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
Not many people can casually tote their projector around without pulling a muscle. SANYO’s PLC-XW60 projector ($899) aims to make your projector both portable and convenient. Its size and weight are unusually small; it measures in at about 10-inches wide and 2-inches tall and weighs a mere 3.6 pounds. Also, with an easy on/off function (you simply unplug it to turn it off), you’ll want to carry this one wherever you go.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
If you like your iThing-docking speakers chunky and bass-hip, the Earthquake IQ-52W/B ($475) may be worth hearing, though it wasn't demoed on the floor.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 5 comments
This prototype of a new A/V pre-pro from the folks at Emotiva (AV123.com) was spotted lurking in the Dolby booth. Why there? It's one of the new products to incorporate Dolby Volume.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
This is the disc drive of Denon's universal player. It is entirely a Denon creation, not sourced from another company. So now you get more of an idea of what your $3800 pays for. But wait, there's still more.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
You can even get a sauna at CES (well, at least you can buy one)
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
This lucky manufacturer, who shall remain nameless, wins the prize for the most thirst-quenching product at CES. You can use it right away. No boiling or other purification required.

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