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CES 2012

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
Klipsch says that sales of iOS devices - those handheld and portable digital multimedia/smartphone/tablet/etc things we all can’t live without - are eclipsing (“eKlipsching”?) sales of HDTVs and other “traditional” entertainment devices. Keeping to the company’s audio-reproduction roots, the Klipsch folks want to bring high-performance audio to you and me in whatever form we find the most convenient, be it a home theater system, a bookshelf system, or a pair of earphones. At the Klipsch press conference this morning, the company presented a couple of the new and soon-to-be AirPlay-enabled audio systems.

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
While not as svelte as the company’s 55-inch OLED prototype discussed below, LG’s new lineup of Smart LED/LCD sets is still just a bit over an inch thick with a 1mm thick bezel framing the screen. The top of the line Nano sets, available several sizes up to 84” in size. The Nano designs are full backlit local dimmers, utilizing LEDs impeded into t thin membrane that allows for superior backlit local dimming in a thinner design. LG’s magic remote has been improved, allowing not only pointing but also both gesture and voice recognition. And like all the HDTV manufacturers at the show, LG’s Smart technology offers further enhancements in convergence and connectivity with Web-based sites and features.

That 84” model is unique in that it is a 4K design. Despite the lack of 4K sources, 4K offers significant advantages for LG’s passive glasses approach to 3D. Specifically, it can present a full 1920 x 1080 resolution to each eye, unlike the half vertical 3D resolution on conventions 1920 x 1080 sets.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
At its press conference today, Sharp introduced an entirely new line of TVs under the Freestyle moniker. Available in four screen sizes—20, 32, 40, and 60 inches—these are fully networked LED-edgelit LCD TVs with a slimmer and lighter design than most, which lets you place them just about anywhere near a power outlet. With only one HDMI input, they are clearly intended to access most content via their built-in WiFi, though they also have two USB ports and an Ethernet port. The 20-incher includes a built-in battery, while the others seen here being carried by Vanna White wannabes were custom-powered by separate battery packs.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
Photo by Barb Gonzalez
I was honored and privileged that DTS asked me to moderate a panel discussion during its Sunday evening party at Lavo at the Palazzo. The luminaries included (left to right after me on the far left) sound designer Diego Stocco, producer/engineer/musician Alan Parsons, producers Iz and Bobby Avila, engineer/producer Elliot Scheiner, and producers Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam. A lively discussion focused on the importance of audio quality and included fascinating comments on data and dynamic-range compression, digital versus analog recording, the use—and misuse—of autotune processing, multichannel music, and the importance of experiencing high-quality audio, especially for youngsters who might not know anything other than highly compressed sound through crappy earbuds.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 06, 2012 1 comments
Most companies place strict embargoes on any announcements they plan to make at CES, but LG is bucking this trend—and its news is huge. Not only is LG Display showing a 55-inch OLED flat panel (which I wrote about earlier this week), but LG Electronics is introducing an 84-inch "ultra-definition" LED-backlit LCD TV with a resolution of 3840x2160, providing four times as many pixels as a 1920x1080 display. And since LG uses passive-polarized glasses for 3D, each eye sees all 1080 lines of vertical resolution available on 3D Blu-rays. (I don't yet know what the TV does with all the extra horizontal resolution, but you can be sure I'll ask.)

Also interesting is something LG calls its Magic Remote navigation system, which lets you control the TV with a wheel, hand gestures, and voice recognition, no doubt inspired by Siri on Apple's iPhone 4S. Of course, it will also offer Smart TV functionality with over 1200 apps and access to a wide variety of content services, including 3D Zone for 3D movies.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 06, 2012 1 comments
Samsung is keeping most of its announcements under wraps until its press conference on Monday, but it did release some info about a couple of new home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems and a soundbar. The HT-E6730W (seen above) is a 7.1 system with wireless surround speakers, Blu-ray player, and built-in WiFi as well as a full Web browser. Even more interesting, it's the first HTIB to feature Samsung's Crystal Amp Plus hybrid technology that combines vacuum tubes and a digital power amp.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 03, 2012 5 comments
I hope you had a very happy holiday season and are quickly recovering from any overindulgence during your New Year celebration. Now that all the consumerism is over…well, actually, it's hardly over. The biggest consumerfest is still to come—the Consumer Electronics Show will be held next week in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. I'll be there with HomeTheater.com's crack team of correspondents, including Rob Sabin, Tom Norton, Mark Fleischmann, Darryl Wilkinson, and Barb Gonzalez, along with 140,000 of our closest friends to see what's in store—or rather, what will be in stores—for the coming year. We'll be posting lots of blogs and videos from the show, so be sure to visit this site every day for the latest news from the bleeding edge of audio/video innovation. See you in Vegas!
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 03, 2012 1 comments
One of the most highly anticipated announcements at CES this year comes from LG Display, an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) within the LG conglomerate that supplies LCD flat panels to various TV manufacturers. What could possibly be so exciting from a company that consumers aren't normally aware of? A 55-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) flat panel, the largest ever demonstrated at a trade show. We've seen smaller OLED prototypes at CES for years, with their ultra-thin form factor and unbelievable blacks, and the LG Display 55-incher has been rumored for many months, but this is the first time we'll actually get to see it. Look for more on this amazing development next week.
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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 18, 2012 0 comments

Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE networks may have been overwhelmed during CES 2012 itself, but news of wireless and wireless standards for audio (and video) was everywhere, with high-end manufacturers and do-it-all mega-corporations alike looking to free their consumers from their plastic-sheathed copper bonds.

In keeping with the overall haziness of CES 2012, the buzz came in the form of a meme with a few almost-maybe-real devices attached rather than as a single wowza product debut. During last Monday's press extravaganza, pretty much every TV titan talked about integrating content across all of the screens in their customer's expanding gadget arsenals, and while there was certainly plenty of excitement around do-it-all wired connections like MHL, making everything converge seamlessly seems to require a wireless approach.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 03, 2012 0 comments

The Consumer Electronics Show begins next Tuesday in Las Vegas. Starting Monday — press day — you’ll be barraged with news of the latest gadgets and gizmos. But what gadget bloggers and TV talking heads are likely to miss in their search for sexy baubles is all the stuff that’s going on in audio.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

When we first alerted readers to Harman’s Aha, we expected to hear a lot more about this streaming platform. As expected, Aha added fuel to its fires at CES.

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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

It may not have involved OLED, but one of the biggest consumer electronics announcements of the month - Gibson Guitar Corporation's acquisition of a majority stake in Onkyo USA and a large chunk of Onkyo Corporation proper, with the establishment of a Hong Kong-based R&D-oriented joint venture - happened last week rather than at CES proper, but today the CEOs of Gibson and Onkyo, Henry Juszkiewicz and Munenori Otsuki took some time to clarify the finer points of the partnership, which left many observers' scratching their heads. Rather than holding a press conference in one of the maze-like structures in which most of us have been spending our time this week, Juszkiewicz and Otsuki invited a few reporters to meet them on the Gibson bus, a fully blinged-out luxury liner styled in the tradition of Nashville's golden age.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 20, 2012 9 comments
What Are You Most Excited About From CES?
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 11, 2012 0 comments

Like Samsung, LG has announced a 55-inch OLED display. Like Samsung’s, it looks amazing.

No comparison is possible, given different content, booth lighting, and locations, but for the time being, scroll down for some photos to ogle.

Filed under
Michael Berk Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

Samsung opened their packed - and I mean packed, there must have been 1,500-plus people in the room - Press Day event with a bang.

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