CES 2012

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments
Having worked with artists such as Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Boyz II Men, Prince, and many others, the legendary producing duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have signed a new group called the RoneyBoys—(left to right) Isaac (12), Ian (10), and Israel (16)—after Jimmy's son found them on YouTube. The three brothers performed at the DTS party Sunday, singing and playing small ukulele-guitars, and I was very impressed with their musicianship, especially at such a young age. Unfortunately, things got a late start because the venue wouldn't let them into the bar area at first!
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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 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 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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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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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

CES 2012 was the coming-out party for Sony’s in-ear headphones. Nearly buried in the talk of cell phones, media managers, and 3DTV was the announcement Monday night of Sony’s first line of balanced-armature in-ear monitors (IEMs). This step up to a higher class of product shocked me for two reasons.

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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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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 10, 2012 0 comments

Dish Network would like you to know that most everything about the company is now new: new CEO, new DVR, even a new mascot (see video). To be sure, watching a CES press conference that kicked off with an executive cuddling a live baby kangaroo qualified for me as new.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 17, 2012 0 comments

From a technical standpoint, speakers have hardly changed since I went to my first CES back in January 1990. Yet each CES is still jam-packed with new speaker designs. Some are merely modifications on the classic black box. Others are aesthetic flights of fancy intended to captivate those who really don’t much like audio gear.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 09, 2012 0 comments

Cutting the cable” is a fashionable trend, but Monster is doing it in a different sense: It’s now just going by Monster instead of Monster Cable. True to its new moniker, the company didn’t even mention cable in its CES press conference today. But given the onslaught of cool new products the company introduced, nobody seemed to notice.

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Ken C. Pohlmann Posted: Jan 13, 2012 0 comments

If you’ve ever ridden the Tokyo subway during rush hour, stood in line to buy Nike Air Jordans, or been pepper-sprayed at a Walmart on Black Friday, you may have a sense of what CES is like. The only difference is that CES is a lot more crowded, dangerous, and painful.

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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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