During a press conference, Sharp announced a second generation Blu-Ray player, the BD-HP50U. It ships in spring '08 and will sell for either $699.99 or $799.99 (I received two press releases with different prices). The player provides Full HD 1080p digital output and supports the BD-ROM Profile 1.1, allowing consumers to tap into supplemental interactive material without leaving the movie. Some of the interactive features include movie trailers, special subtitles, and director's commentary.
Of course, its compatible with HDMI 1.3 technology and outputs the most advanced lossless surround-sound formats including Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD via HDMI. The BD-HP50U outputs 1080p video at 24 frames per second [frame rate of the original film], which eliminates the need for any frame-rate conversion.
A welcome addition is Sharp’s proprietary Quick Start feature, which takes viewers from disc loading to viewing in less than 10 seconds. What I want to know is when did a fast starting DVD player become a proprietary feature?
Last year, Wadia Digital introduced the 170 ITransport, a high-resolution audiophile iPod dock for playback on high-end A/V systems. A new companion piece is the 151 Digital Amp, which creates a miniature 2-channel system for listening to not only your iPod but other stereo sources as well. The 151 has 2 coax and one optical input, along with a USB port (for flash drives). The high-end DACs (which is what WADIA is well known for) coupled with the build-in 50 watt amp, creates a compelling high-end system that doesn't cost a lot (by audiophile standards) or take up much space. The iTransport sells for $379. The price for the 151 Digital Amp was not disclosed but would definitely be under $1K.
It may be a crazy download world, but buyers still need to be diligent and know what it is they are buying. Last week, I wrote about all the various mainstream services selling music downloads. Competition is fierce, and the latest fallout is the Yahoo! Music Online Store, which will discontinue operations on September 30.
During CES they commission pretty much every large vehicle they can find to shuttle attendees from one venue to another. Vegas has purchased some very old double decker buses from England and put them into service as tour buses. Here we are outside the Sands/Venetian Convention Center and heading out to the main Las Vegas Convention Center. How many Convention Center's does one city need?
According to the Nielsen Co.'s year-end figures, music purchases — from all mediums — of entire albums including digital single track downloads and music videos totaled 1.5 billion, up 10.5% over 2007. However, more than 70% of that figure was attributed to digital downloads. Moreover, total album sales were down, as people tend to buy just the tracks they like.
You might be wondering why I am even talking about a hard drive here on Ultimate AV. However, Click Free is not just any portable hard drive and it can really come in handy for those of us that are starting a serious digital media collection. Click Free drives have embedded software that will automatically transfer data from your computer to the drive. As we collect more and more digital media, we need to find more efficient ways to transfer and manage our files.
In the wake of a declining market for traditional box speakers, Boston Acoustics has reinvented themselves with a new style [and logo]. Know as the Personal Options Plan or P.O.P. for short, all their new speakers are made of molded plastic exteriors. However, when you rap on the sides or pick up the speaker you become aware that this is just for aesthetics. Inside is the same Boston engineering with a rigid wooden baffle.
TAD, a division of Pioneer, responsible for the development of high-end audio products showed a prototype of a new Class A mono-amp that will be out later this year. It's made using aluminum plating and a cast iron base. After 5 days of running continuously, the chassis was barely lukewarm.
Like any job, once in a while a project comes along to remind us why we chose our profession in the first place, something that really gets us excited and enthusiastic again. So, it was with great pleasure and even a sense of honor that I accepted the assignment to review the Denon AVP-A1HDCI surround preamp/processor and POA-A1HDCI 10-channel power amplifier for <I>UAV</I>.
There was a time if you didn't tape (or TiVo) your favorite TV shows, you would have to wait for the re-runs or even syndication to catch that episode you missed. Today, there's an abundance of free websites providing recent and older episodes of your favorite TV shows. Some of these sites offer movies, but most are older flicks. So, pull up a chair and your laptop to check out some TV…on the Internet.