CES 2011

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2010 Published: Jan 07, 2010 2 comments

Toshiba's big announcement concerned the incorporation of the advanced Cell processor into selected models of its new, 2010 Cell series of HDTVs. The Cell was developed by Toshiba but is best known up to now as the brains in Sony's PlayStation3.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 06, 2010 Published: Jan 07, 2010 1 comments

If I tried to list all the new Samsung HDTVs launched at the show I'd go blind, so with deference to those who say I already am, and in the interests of my being still able to review a few of them later this year, I'll hit the highlights. With a full, new lineup of HDTVs (LED sidelit LCDs, conventional CCFL—fluorescent—backlit LCDs, and plasmas), new BD players with faster claimed booting and loading times, and three complete BD audio systems, Samsung is ready for the 2010 retail wars.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 1 comments

Swedish speaker maker Perfect8 assembled a 2-channel rig in its Venetian suite that would set you back a cool $1,000,000! Aside from the speakers, which include a pair of Forces and three Cubes with powered subwoofers, the system includes electronics from Ypsilon, an Audio Stone Pythagoras turntable, and ZenSati cables. I heard a recording of cello and pipe organ, which was spectacular—a beautiful, open sound and great bass response. For more on the Perfect8 speakers, <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-gear/eight_is_enough/">click here</A>.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 07, 2010 4 comments

Panasonic's press conference started with a 2-way video feed from Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic Corporation, live from Osaka, Japan, via the company's new Internet-based HD Visual Communication System. The huge projected image was exceptionally clear, detailed, colorful, and smooth, though there was a short but inevitable delay as Ohtsubo chatted with members of the Panasonic staff in the room.

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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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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 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 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&#151;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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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 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 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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