CES 2011

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 1 comments

Toshiba's big announcement was the introduction into the US market of its Cell TV, first seen in a "soft launch" last year. This flagship sits at the pinnacle of a new lineup that includes 10 series of LCD TVs, seven of which are LED illuminated. Thanks to the incredibly powerful Cell processor in its outboard box, the Cell TV has it all, including LED local dimming with 512 zones (five times as many as most current local dimmers), 3D capabilities (including real-time conversion of 2D to 3D) using active-shutter glasses, 480Hz refresh rate (actually 240Hz with backlight scanning), WirelessHD 60GHz (wireless HDMI) and 802.11n WiFi connectivity, VoIP video-phone capability, and Super Resolution+ and Net Resolution+ video processing, which upscale SD images and clean up low-res Web video, respectively.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

For as long as I've been attending CES, the first press conference of the show has always been LG's, and as in years past, the place was packed at 8:00 AM. The company introduced its new Infinia line of flat panels, including the plasmas shown here—from left to right, the PK750, PK550, and flagship PK950. (Actually, the PK550 is not part of the Infinia line, which is characterized by a single piece of glass that extends across the screen and bezel.)

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

Begun as a collaboration of several companies, the Nordic Tone ended up as Electrocompaniet's first high-end speaker when the others dropped out for one reason or another. First shown at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival in November, the Nordic Tone's infinite-baffle (i.e., sealed) enclosure is sand-cast aluminum consisting of five sections glued together with vibration-damping adhesive. Its 3-way design achieves a frequency response from 28Hz to 35kHz, and it sounded great, with tight bass, uncluttered mids, and crisp highs, but what else should you expect for $29,000/pair?

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2010 Published: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

Sharp's big announcement, apart from listing of their new models, was Quad Pixel Technology. Instead of the usual red, green, and blue sub-pixels that make up each pixel in the LCD image, Sharp adds a fourth, yellow-filtered sub-pixel. This is said to increase the number of colors up to 1 trillion. But who's counting?

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 1 comments

I've always thought that Gallo Acoustics speakers look great, but they also sound great as I found out when I listened to the new $6000 Reference 3.5 being powered by a Spectron Musician 3 Signature amp and Resolution Audio CD player. It went surprisingly low for a relatively small speaker, and the mids and highs were clean as a whistle.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 22 comments

I profiled this tube-based integrated amp with iPod dock <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-gear/the_ultimate_ipod_accessory/..., but I got to hear it at the Venetian. The amp was driving Gershman Acoustics speakers, and the iPod was playing Ella Fitzgerald in uncompressed WAV files, which sounded fantastic.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

Of course, you're going to need a 3D Blu-ray player to go with that new 3D TV, and Panasonic is ready to oblige with the PP-BDT350, seen here with a pair of shutter glasses on top of the DMP-BD85, a 2D model with WiFi and a claimed boot time of 0.5 second. The PP-BDT350 implements HDMI 1.4, and both let you access online content. Not shown is the DMP-BD15, Panasonic's second-generation portable Blu-ray player, which also provides access to online content.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

Sharp unveiled its new LCD lineup, which uses a new technology called UV<SUP>2</SUP>A (UltraViolet-induced multi-domain Vertical Alignment) in what are dubbed X-Gen panels, which reduce light leakage for deeper blacks and increase the aperture for brighter whites. But the biggest news at the press conference was Sharp's QuadPixel technology, which adds yellow subpixels to red, green, and blue to expand the color gamut beyond the HDTV spec&#151;not a good idea in my book.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

In addition to its plasmas, LG's new LED LCDs embody the Infinia design concept and offer WHDI wireless HDMI connectivity and Skype capability. Show here from left to right are the LE8500 (backlit with local dimming) and LE7500 (edge lit with some addressable "zones"), which are both only 1 inch thick. Not shown is the flagship LE9500, which is 3D-capable with a refresh rate of 480Hz (actually, 240Hz with backlight scanning). Again, pricing was not announced, and these sets should hit the market in the spring and summer.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2010 Published: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

LG's new LED LCD TVs are now ultra slim, including one model that is an incredible 6.9mm thin. The Infinia range includes full LED backlighting technology (Full LED Slim, in LG's phrase, but a bit thicker than that 6.9mm set). Some LG sets will now offer 480Hz operation thanks to a newly developed ASIC. The company also plans on marketing a 15" OLED display.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 0 comments

I was excited to visit Electrocompaniet and see its new Maestro, an all-singing, all-dancing source component with Blu-ray player, FM tuner, Internet radio, iPod dock, and media streaming with three channels of 120W, all for $8000. You can also get a wireless 2-channel amp for the rear speakers for an extra $2000. Unfortunately, it was experiencing some technical difficulties, so there was nothing to see or hear, but I was told that the Norwegian engineers are working around the clock to update the software before the end of the show.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 04, 2010 20 comments

Now that the holidays are over&#151;which, frankly, I was ready for days ago&#151;it's time to turn an expectant eye toward Las Vegas and CES. Unlike many of my colleagues, I love going to the show, and this year is no exception. As usual, I'll be driving from Los Angeles, and I'm really looking forward to cruising through the beautiful desert landscape in a Lincoln MKZ with a kick-ass sound system courtesy of THX.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 04, 2010 0 comments

We will be reporting live from the show floor.

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