CES 2011

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2011 Published: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
I heard the Fat Lady Sing, and she was in fine voice. The Fat Lady is a floor-stander from Morel of Israel, where the name apparently is politically incorrect. I have to admit that it's descriptive of the cabinet, which is designed to sing along with the speaker and stop short of coloring the sound.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
Immerz’s KOR-FX is an over-the-shoulders tactile transducer that converts the lowest bass frequencies into vibrations that you feel through your collar bones. The effect was definitely interesting, but it may have been turned up a little too much for my tastes in order to make sure different attendees actually felt the effect. Tentative price is $189.99 and should be available beginning in April.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
I thought I’d seen just about every variation of an iPod case by now, but a quick walk-through of the section of CES devoted to all things iPod brought me to this booth. Beaheadcase has combined a bottle opener with an iPod case because you never know when you might be using your iPod and need to open a bottle of beer. Just remember, don’t drink and download.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
Fulton Innovation had what I think was the most exciting booth at CES this year. (Yes, more exciting than 3DTV or a iPod karaoke docks.) Fulton Innovation is the developer of eCoupled intelligent wireless power technology. On display was a Tesla Roadster that was being charged through the air as it was parked over a large eCoupled charging pad. Also on display were eCoupled-enabled cereal boxes that had the eCoupled circuitry printed on the boxes using conductive ink. When placed on a shelf near an eCoupled transmitter, the various graphics on the boxes actually lit up. Another aspect of the technology allows a home to have smart cabinets that will monitor the eCoupled-equipped boxes and let you know what cereals, for example, are in the cabinet – and how full the boxes are. In another section of the CES booth, a wireless blender was being demonstrated. If Fulton Innovation has anything to say about it, in the future when we say “wireless” speakers, we’ll really mean it.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2011 Published: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
At $700/pair, PSB's Imagine Mini (second from left, on stand) may turn some heads. It did not have any deep bass, but was clean as far down as it went, and even when played loud (though not unreasonably loud) did not fall to pieces. With a good subwoofer, five of them plus a spare (unfortunately they are sold only in pairs), or four with an Imagine center, could make for a sweet, small room home theater setup.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
Custom install-exclusive Emotiva Pro recently acquired Sherbourn, the high-end manufacturer of amps and preamps. The new Sherbourn preamps will include Control4 HC-200B controllers that will allow for home theater and whole-home automation. Look for the first products to be available sometime around April.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2011 Published: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
If you look at the back of NAD's new T787 AV Surround Sound Receiver ($3499) you'll see the plug-in modules that make the 120 WPC x 7 unit amenable to future upgrading. As delivered it includes the latest digital video, HDMI, and audio modules. A Control4 Director Series Module is an option. The T187 AV Preamp Processor ($2499) is similarly equipped.
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Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
Vuzix’s new “augmented reality” glasses have tiny video cameras on the front and small high-resolution display screens (one for each eye) behind. The setup allows virtual images to be laid over 3D video of the real world captured by the front-facing cameras. Potential applications could include virtual instruction manuals or training videos.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2011 Published: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
From Alfred and Partners comes the Estelon, a uniquely shaped speaker with all Accuton ceramic drivers. All yours for just $43,000/pair.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2011 0 comments
Call me paranoid, but even these 18-inch tall robots seem to look at me with evil intent.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
3D format creator and content aggregator SENSIO introduced SENSIO Autodetect, a feature that automatically detects the input format of video content, whether it’s 2D, side-by-side, or top-and-bottom and displays the images in the corresponding output format. It’s designed for integration into AVRs, set-top-boxes, 3DTVs, and BD players. SENSIO also introduced SENSIO S2D Switch, a technology that can convert 3D material to 2D. SENSIO S2D Switch is intended to be incorporated into future 3DTVs.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
While waiting to be briefed on Monitor Audio's GX Series, we couldn't help being fascinated by the incredible woofer excursion of the GX50 ($1795/pair, left) -- not to mention how little influence it seemed to have on the tweeter output. Turns out the GX Series is a re-do of the old Gold Series. All drivers are made of C-CAM, a ceramic powder coated aluminum magnesium. The high-res ribbon tweeter is crossed over at 2700Hz, indicating a healthy appetite for power. The 15-ply red bubinga woodgrain covering the one-inch MDF on the speaker was unusual, subtle, and lovely and the cabinet did well in the knuckle-rap test. Other GX models include another stand-mount, two towers, two centers, and sub.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Toshiba is introducing a whole new lineup of LCD TVs, primarily with LED backlighting. The top of the line UL610 models (46-, 55-, and 65-inches—the 55-incher is shown on the left in the photo). The UL610s use active 3D glasses for full HD 3D, claimed deep blacks (thought all of the Toshiba LED sets use LED edge lighting, not full backlighting), 480Hz operation, and special 3D crosstalk cancellation technology. All of the 3D sets in the ranges below the UL610 employ passive glasses technology.

I finally was able to see Toshiba's autostereoscopic 3D demos. They had some of the same problems described in the Sony's glasses-free 3D demo. I also noted a pervasive graininess in the images. This was visible in the Sony as well but I did not attribute it to the glasses free technique. It apparently is. Nevertheless, Toshiba claims that they will have these sets on the market late this year. As it stands now, however, 3D with glasses is still superior, apart from its lower brightness.

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
VideoEFx showed a prototype of a small box that takes any 2D HDMI source and converts the image on the fly to a simulated 3D that can be viewed on any 3D HDTV. The company demonstrated the device with the same football game running on a 2D HDTV sitting next to a 3D HDTV. I must say that, although the effect didn’t have quite the depth of video shot in 3D, it was surprisingly good. The estimated retail price is targeted to be $399. No word on when the product will be available since it has not yet been approved by the FCC.

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