CES 2009

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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 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
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 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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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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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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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2009 1 comments
The Mordaunt-Short Mezzo line already included a tower, and the Mezzo 6 continues in the line, but now it has a big brother in the form of the Mezzo 8 ($2495/pair). The latter's a three-way with two 6.25-inch woofers, 5.25-inch mid, and one-inch aluminum tweeter mounted at the top of the enclosure. The excellent Alumni sat/sub line has another upsized model, shown -- the Alumni 8 ($1095/pair), a tall, slender speaker with four passive woofers, two active ones, and a tweeter. It complements the similar though not identical Alumni 3 center. Stand or wall mount, high gloss black or white with black grilles.
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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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