Distributed by Koetsu USA, Italian manufacturer Blacknote introduced a high-end solution for playing any type of digital file including Wav, Flac, AAC, OGG, DFF, WMA MP3, MP4, and M4O. The DSS30 (shown in foreground) uses a 24-bit DAC and features four USB ports (two in front, two in back) that accept hard drives as well as flash drives. It also accepts direct input from memory sticks and CD-Rom players. With both balanced and unbalanced outputs it can be integrated with a range of high-end audio gear. The Ethernet port allows it be integrated into a home network as well.
NAD has created a very bold new look with the Viso Five (pictured) and Viso Two integrated DVD/Surround Receivers. The Viso Five is a five-channel surround AVR with a built-in DVD player and AM/FM tuner, while the Viso Two is a 2-channel system. The Viso Two also contains a DVD player, though there is no onboard surround processing other than Dolby Virtual Speaker, which provides a simulated surround effect with only two speakers. Both are XM ready and can accommodate NAD's new IPD-1 iPod dock. Available in early '08 the Viso Five is $1799 and the Viso Two is $1299.
Well the answer to that questions appears to be 9mm. Pioneer intent is to have your next HDTV appear to be floating on the wall. Kuro's slim bezel flat panel HDTV is pretty cool looking, appearing to be a thin sheet of glass.
Also, Pioneer is making the claim they have made a major breakthrough in contrast ratio. Its so amazing that it is beyond measurement. They call it the Extreme Contrast Concept Model and it eliminates all idling luminance. Can't wait to actually get a demo of it.
HP was demonstrating the MediaSmart Server that will come out at the end of the month. Designed to store and stream your media, the unit comes with a 750GB drive for $599 and for $749 you get a 1.4TB drive. It provides automatic backups and allows for automatic collection of data and files from other computers on the network. It won Best in Show at the recent MacWorld (that overlaps CES). I figure if the Mac and PC world are finally learning to co-exist, there is still hope for peace in the Middle East.
At least its in a nice place. The Venetian is one of the classiest hotels in Las Vegas, especially if you like ornate Italian decor. The Venetian plays host to several esoteric and high-end manufacturers during CES. The larger all-suite rooms make for better demonstrations and more comfortable surroundings.
I was encouraged by the amount of time Sharp investing in their press conference addressing the real problem of electronic waste. Its a huge problem and one that is only going to get a lot worse as our rampant consumerism for our favoite gadgets increases.
Sharp has formed a joint venture with Panasonic and Toshiba to provide a recycling service called MRM (Manufacturers Recycling Management Company) to electronics manufacturers and others, including state and local governments. Currently they are setting up recycling programs in several states from late 2008 or 2009, including Connecticut, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Washington. They anticipate eventually creating a long term national solution. A spokesperson for Sharp said, the formation of an independent company to manage collective electronic recycling programs is the best way to achieve the economies of scale and efficiencies necessary to create a sustainable recycling system for used electronics products. MRM has already entered into collection and recycling agreements with Hitachi Electronics, JVC, Mitsubishi, Philips, Pioneer, Sanyo and Olevia brand maker Syntax-Brillian. More will surely sign on.
Sharp also commented on their continued commitment to toward solar cell research and that they are working on new cost effective ways to further worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
I came across a unique website this week called <A HREF="http://www.magnatune.com/">Magnatune</A>. They specialize in musical styles such as ambient, downbeat electronica, and world music. While these are hugely popular genres, especially the sub-genre of electronica known as "chill," there are a limited amount of outlets available for finding this type of music.
Kaleidescape, Inc. was showing their extensive and comprehensive music server in a small meeting room at the Venetian. They weren't introducing any new components for their system, however, they were showcasing the latest version of their proprietary Kaleidescape Entertainment Appliance Operating System (KEAOS 3.5), providing Kaleidescape owners more ways to enjoy movies and music.
Sooloos, manufacturer of server-based home entertainment systems, was recently acquired by Meridian, well known for their luxury AV products. The Sooloos has been considered one of the most intuitive and user friendly (as well as costly) media servers available. The merge with Meridian is a great fit for both companies.