CES 2011

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
3D isn’t just for your living room TV. Innovision showed off one of the company’s HoloAD “three-dimensional holographic messenger” that creates glasses-free 3D moving images. Innovision promotes the cool-looking device to be used for digital signage.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
We're pleased to announce that the AudioQuest exhibit has won the Home Theater 2011 CES Blog's Award for Distinguished Achievement in Promotional Artwork Evoking a Nightmare for this image of the giant red wolves that savaged us in our dreams. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but we woke up in our hotel bed missing a leg.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Panasonic demonstrated 3DTV from a DirecTV feed, presumably using the using the side-by-side 3D technique. But while the images would likely satisfy the uncritical viewer, the pictures lacked that last spark of detail. The side-by-side technique discards 50% of the horizontal resolution, resulting in 960 x 1080 images.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Running wires to the rear speakers of a 5.1 or 7.1 system is always problematic. Several companies demonstrated wireless add-on devices, but the Link-Mount is the most unusual and clever solution I’ve seen so far. The wireless receiver/amp is built into a universal speaker wall bracket. A DC power cord is then run through the wall to a termination plate where you connect the wire to a transformer plugged into an electrical outlet. Since it’s DC running through the wall, no electrician is necessary. Pricing is in the $400 range for a pair of brackets and a transmitter.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Who can resist an app featuring the famous power meters, here displayed on an iPad (shown) sitting atop a McIntosh docking box (not shown). The app already has 30,000 admirers, judging from the number of people who have downloaded it.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Onkyo announced that they are partnering with Rocketboost for use in a slew of new wireless products to come in 2011. All Onkyo AVRs introduced this year will be Rocketboost-ready via a transceiver module connected to the AVR through a proprietary U-Port connection. The wireless transmission can be used for a second zone of audio or for wireless rear channel speakers. All Rocketboost accessories are compatible regardless of manufacturer.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Why shouldn't your multiroom preamp recognize each member of the family and his/her favorite source components? The Audio Design Associates Suite 32 does just that, "redefining multiroom" with its Profiler software. If your daughter uses just an iPod and satellite dish, that's all she'll see on the keypad. The hardware looks kind of like two Suite 16s bolted together in a single chassis. Pricing starts at $10,000 for the preamp. Add another zero for keypads, amps, and such. ADA also talked up its TEQ Trinnov room EQ system, not for the first time, but it's shipping soon. TEQ is more sophisticated than the version of Trinnov built into Sherwood receivers -- for instance, whatever mic you use will have its own calibration file which will be fed into the system before it starts making decisions about what room correction your space needs.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
With several manufacturers showing new 3DTV sets using passive rather than active glasses, Samsung took pains to point out the pros and cons of each device. Naturally, since Samsung does active glasses only at present, the pros outweighed the cons for the active glasses. Note some surprising items on the passive glasses list in the photo. The higher power consumption comes from the need for higher peak output to overcome the inherent loss of brightness with passive glasses due to the special patterned retarder filter that's used on the screen. And Samsung actually demonstrated the off-axis issues in a passive glasses set during a closed demonstration for the press. As always, however, the proof is in the reviewing and we're anxious to check out the new passive glasses sets for ourselves and come to our own conclusions.

With several manufacturers showing new 3DTV sets using passive rather than active glasses, Samsung took pains to point out the pros and cons of each device. Naturally, since Samsung does active glasses only at present, the pros outweighed the cons for the active glasses. Note some surprising items on the passive glasses list in the photo. The higher power consumption comes from the need for higher peak output to overcome the inherent loss of brightness with passive glasses due to the special patterned retarder filter that's used on the screen. And Samsung actually demonstrated the off-axis issues in a passive glasses set during a closed demonstration for the press. As always, however, the proof is in the reviewing and we're anxious to check out the new passive glasses sets for ourselves and come to our own conclusions.

Samsung also showed new, redesigned active glasses for its new 2011 3D sets.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Anthony Gallo Acoustics is doing its first wood veneer speakers, but that doesn't mean the Classico Collection is like everyone else's speakers. The S2, shown, uses the same tweeter as other Gallo products. Inside the enclosure is the same polyfill bag dampening that expands or contracts according to driver movement. Though the speaker shown is a prototype, the final version is expected to ship in 90 days for $695/pair. Other members of the same family will include another stand-mount, two floorstanders, center, and sub.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 07, 2011 Published: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
The Grand Entryway exhibits featured this arrest-me-red 2011 Ford Focus (available in March). Why? Because of its high tech electronic features. This former Focus owner (2000) was more interested in its performance—planned 160HP engine at first; later supplemented by a twin turbo version (I thought I heard them saay 240HP--torque-steer city?) and later still either a hybrid or electric (they weren't clear on which one).
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 08, 2011 0 comments
Cambridge Audio’s newest 3D compatible BD player, the Azur 751BD, features an upgraded audio section, a custom transport, dual configurable HDMI outputs, and both 7.1 analog and dedicated stereo analog outputs. Coming in March, the 751BD will sell for $1,199.
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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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