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CES 2009

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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 08, 2009 0 comments
DreamVision just unveiled its Dream Bee projector ($5,295), a three-chip beauty with 1080p resolution and a massive 15,000:1 native contrast ratio. It features 2.35 Theatre Mode and HQV video processing to make your favorite movies stand out on your projector screen. Its processing also provides detail enhancement, digital noise reduction, and an Automatic Film and Video mode detection.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
For the indecisive consumer, Pioneer just made your life a whole lot harder. The company unveiled a new lineup of A/V receivers at CES for every budget, need, and desire. As one of the first companies to deliver iPhone and iPod certification in its AVRs, Pioneer focused on the growing populace of iPhone and iPod users in its new group. The top new models (including the VSX-919AH and VSX-1019AH) employ this certification, and each one includes features that bring out the best in your iPhone or iPod. One of these new features includes a full color graphic user interface with album art and information. This way you’ll be able to see exactly what you are listening to.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 2 comments
The B&W XT8 is slim and hip, whereas I am merely hip. It replaces the XT4 with the same tweeter-on-top but sports a new midrange, woofer, and crossover. Available for $3500/pair in aluminum or black.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 1 comments
Here are the vital stats on the Pure Audio speakers shown above. We're still scratching our heads over the price. For all 5 speakers?? But the center, surrounds, and subs weren't nearby. Maybe they're kits!!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 1 comments
With a little dust. Admittedly not the most attractive picture. Flashes tend to show what life conceals. The DVD-A1UCDI ($3800) plays Blu-ray, SACD, DVD, and CD, among other things. But wait, there's more.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
This company makes some of the best PC speakers and compact systems. In the former category is the Expressionist BASS ($129), a cone-shaped wonder with sub firing out of the bottom. For the bedroom, Altec offers the Moondance GLOW ($179), a clock/radio with pyramid-shaped snooze remote. Finally, inMotion MAX ($199) is the successor to my all-time favorite portable system, the im600, which I own, use daily, and gave my Mom for Christmas. It's iPhone hip -- in other words, shielded from microwave radiation -- so you can keep your iPhone on and take calls while it plays music through the system.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
After a hard day at CES. You can even follow it up with....
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
There are two new members of Pioneer's premier speaker family. The S-4EX-W, the smaller bookshelf model in the photo, and the smaller center channel,the S-8EX-W. (The two floor standers and the subwoofer are not shown here.) The Pioneer rep on hand seemed a bit fuzzy on the prices, but $4,000/pair for the bookshelves and $2100 for the center was his story. All of the speakers, and corresponding in-walls, employ a unique magnesium cone woofer with an integral, coaxially mounted beryllium-dome tweeter. Shipping now.

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