CES 2012

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a one-eyed Cyclops or a three-eyed alien being locked away deep in some secret laboratory in Area 51 - no one likes the idea of wearing glasses to watch 3D video. Stream TV hates glasses for 3D, too, and this morning they showed off the company’s Ultra-D technology that can produce a glasses-free 3D image that’s watchable across a wide range of viewing angles. (Just to eliminate any confusion, “glasses-free” doesn’t mean you get “free glasses” with the system. It means you don’t need no stinkin’ glasses at all to watch 3D on the screen.) According to Stream TV, the proprietary technology can be used with all types of displays; and they anticipate we’ll see Ultra-D technology in everything from flat-panel TVs to tablets to smartphones.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
While no price or availability date was announced for LG’s 55” OLED HDTV, its prototype drew big crowds at the opening press conference of the day. So big, in fact, that you can’t see the set with the madding crowds pushing in for a closer look.

What we do know is that the set uses what LG refers to as 4-Color Pixels (red, green, blue, and white) together with a Color Refiner for color consistency over a wide viewing angle.

An eye-opening infinite contrast ratio is also claimed. This is possible because OLED is a self-illuminating technology in which the individual pixels, in theory, can be completely turned off. Response time is also said to be 1000x faster than in LED/LED sets.

LG’s OLED TV is as pleasing aesthetically pleasing as it is technologically trend-setting. It’s passive 3D-capable and an incredible 4mm thin (about one-sixth of an inch) and a feather-light 17 lbs.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
Improving so-called Smart TV functionality seems to be one of the big stories at CES this year. Sharp's news in this regard is its Aquos SmartCentral interface, which will be provided in most of its 2012 LED-LCD TVs. A newly designed graphical user interface lets you search for content, browse the web, and access over 100 of the most popular online services, including Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, YouTube, and CinemaNow. You can also customize the system for different users with different apps, wallpapers, and viewing formats, and you can access Aquos Advantage Live, which lets Sharp techs to remotely connect to the TV to assist with setup, troubleshooting, and optimization of picture quality.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
I arrived in Vegas on Sunday just in time to attend the Toshiba party at Tao, an ultra-hip nightspot at the Venetian. Among several demos on hand was this 55-inch 4K flat panel showing real 4K images, which looked stunning. It's also an intriguing autostereoscopic (glasses-free) 3D display, which Barb Gonzalez will tell you about in a separate post.
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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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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

We've talked a bit over the past year about CSR's apt-X Bluetooth audio profile; while we've been impressed with the performance of the receivers we've been able to listen to, and at CES we found apt-X in a wide variety of products, including Monster's new boombox, affordable DACs from Arcam and Cambridge Audio, NAD's iOS dock, and even Burmester's audiophile-only ultra-high-end 113 "super DAC."

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jan 06, 2012 0 comments

The massive Consumer Electronics Show is in Las Vegas next week. It will be my 12th. Twelve is a pretty good number (a dozen, if you will), but compared to most, I know this is paltry. Brent’s first CES was in 1886, when Westinghouse unveiled their steam-powered discombobulation defenestrator. I believe they also announced a tablet.

CES is rather overwhelming for the first-timer, so I offer these sage words of advice to help you navigate the miles of lightly carpeted floors, brightly lit booths, and slightly malodorous humanity.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

While it’s always a party at CES, this year was something special for Audio-Technica. They’re here celebrating “50 Years of Passionate Listening” with five limited edition headphones and phono cartridges debuting here.   

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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 17, 2012 0 comments

We first got a look at speaker maker PSB's new headphone, the M4U 2, at the 2011 CEDIA show, and Brent Butterworth liked what he heard from an early version.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 12, 2012 0 comments

Surely there’s never been such a vast display of headphones in the history of the universe as at CES 2012. From super-high-end models to bottom-feeder stuff, there was something for every budget and every taste.

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Michael Berk Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

Where some other Press Day events - namely Samsung's - were big production numbers, Panasonic's was low-key, almost to a fault. Strangely for a consumer show, a big chunk of time was spent by chairman Joseph M. Taylor and CTO Eisuke Tsuyuzaki B2B and industrial products like solar panels, avionics and green initiatives for institutions and industry (Ed Begley, a Vegas-area resident, told the crowd that they could "have a cool beverage and a warm shower, but you can be more efficient").

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