A/V VETERAN

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 10, 2006 0 comments

B&O began as a radio manufacturer in the late 1920s, operating out of Svend Olufsen's family farmhouse outside of Struer, Denmark. Its first product, the Eliminator, was designed to allow a radio to be powered by line voltage instead of a battery. The photo shows B&O consultant Ronny Kaas Mortensen next to the radio. The small box at the upper right hand corner of the radio is the Eliminator. It was not only built inside the radio itself, but also sold separately. It also cleaned up the dirty power line output of the day—the first audiophile high-end power conditioner!

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 10, 2006 0 comments

The BeoVision 9 television, which just started shipping, is B&O's current flagship 50-inch plasma. The 50" set, at around $20,000, may seem pricey for a 1366x768 design (it uses Panasonic glass), and it is. But it does include a built-in center speaker with an Acoustic Lens tweeter and 5" woofer. It also features an on-board version of B&O's BeoMedia (available separately in the BeoSystem 3), which includes all of the features of a sophisticated pre-pro and more. These include full 7.1-channel decoding (expandable up to 10 channels), speaker switching and speaker assignment options that may be the most flexible on the market, and easy access to sources as diverse as CD, radio, cable TV, satellite TV, DVD, photos, digital cameras, and the Internet. And oh, yes, the entire cabinet has a motorized swivel. Very cool.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 10, 2006 0 comments

This is the R&D prototype for the BeoLab5, shown with the project's lead designer, Gert Munch.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 21, 2006 0 comments

It all starts with the mother glass. That's the foundation for building an LCD panel. Everything else—the individual red, green, and blue elements of each pixel and the interconnects necessary to drive them—are grown on it.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2006 Published: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

Toshiba showed its first outboard HD DVD-ROM computer drive.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 09, 2006 1 comments

The Tokyo-based CEATEC, held each fall about this time, is sometimes referred to as Japan's CES. While the analogy doesn't fit when applied to finished goods (the show is far smaller in that respect than even the CEDIA Expo, much less CES), it certainly does apply if you include component parts. You can roam the eight or so exhibit halls and find all sorts of things, from cell phones to capacitors to integrated circuits. There was even a small, lonely booth off to one side with high-end audio goods on display. The exhibitor's there had obviously confused CEATEC with the annual Tokyo High-end Audio Show, scheduled for later this month.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

Sharp is working on this Japanese-to-English and English-to-Japanese translation device. It translates both written and spoken language, though is still fairly rudimentary in its ability to handle complex communication. We're not quite up to Star Trek's universal translator yet, but you can see it coming.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2006 Published: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

This single seater in the Pioneer booth is for those who can't fit a Mini in the garage. I'm not sure how it fits into consumer electronics. Perhaps it's the audiophile special—you can drive and still always be in the sweet spot.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2006 Published: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

Hitachi's Premier designs in Japan are part of the Wooo line. Wooo Hooo!

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

So did the puppet image in the last photo turn into a Sumo wrestler? Not quite. I couldn't snag a screen shot if the puppet because of a strange interaction between the screen image and my digital camera (FM reported the same thing). But for some reason this photo came out OK. The image on the SED's screen wasn't his blue; that's a camera issue.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2006 Published: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

Recording comes to HD DVD, but only in Japan for now, with this Toshiba HD DVD player/recorder/hard drive PVR.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2006 Published: Oct 09, 2006 1 comments

Sharp was only one of a number of manufacturer's showing new Blu-ray recorder/players, most of them also including hard drives. Sharp's was particularly classy, with a wood-grained top. None of these recorders are destined for the U.S. market.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2006 Published: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

JVC announced a new 58" D-ILA model that checks in at just a bit over 10-inches deep.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

The SED demo included this puppet performance (this is a direct shot of the live action, not a screen shot from the SED) so we coulde compare live vs Memorex.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 09, 2006 0 comments

Sharp dressed up its booth with some of the tallest Japanese ladies I've ever seen.

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