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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 08, 2009 0 comments
Turn your back for a second and they're here again. Mutating everywhere. Be Afraid. Be very Afraid.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
The Thiel CS2.4 has been updated with a "radically redesigned" crossover, shown. It also comes in a new "vermilion maple" finish -- bird's eye maple with a deep red stain. Price: $8000/pair.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
The new Optoma HD8200 offers Dark Chip3 DLP technology from TI, a specified brightness of 1300 ANSI Lumens, and a peak contrast ratio of 20,000:1 with Dynamic Black iris control. $5000. The new HD808, with the same cosmetics, and only slightly less impressive specs (but no DarkChip3) is $3500. Both projectors are expected to ship this month
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
With a name like Pioneer Elite, home-theater junkies may be lining up already to get their hands on the company’s new in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. Pioneer has expanded its architectural series of in-wall/in-ceiling speakers to include some new additions with the name Elite on them. Given the company’s history of solid performance with its Elite brand of plasma HDTVs and Blu-ray players, the new speakers could very well be a big hit.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 2 comments
This is the system that decouples the Totem Wind from the floor. It consists of a back piece plus a front "claw" filled with different sizes of ball bearings. That enables a form of tuning that helps the speaker mate with the room and the amp, we were told. The claw somehow escaped our camera -- see full-size photo in the first item above. Still, two pretty blue pictures in a row. That's class.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
If you want to hide your flat panel, Premier Mounts makes this riser that will conceal it within a custom cabinet, and elevate it when needed. Premier makes the automated riser in various sizes; the custom cabinet work is up to you.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 08, 2009 0 comments
The world of Blu-ray just keeps getting bigger and better. This time around, Samsung has introduced the first Blu-ray-equipped soundbar, the HT-BD8200. Designed to coordinate with the Touch of Color series of flat panels, Samsung’s innovative soundbar features a sleek design to complement its virtual surround sound technology. But what sets this one apart is its integrated Blu-ray player.

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