Dubbed a Digital Media Receiver for the serious enthusiast with a large library of digital media files, Netgear introduced the Digital Entertainer Elite. With a substantial 500 GB hard drive that is upgradable to 1TB, the Digital Receiver plays 1080p content via HDMI and is capable of Blu-Ray quality (according to the company spokesperson). The real question is how will you find or rip media equal to Blu-Ray quality to even store on the device?
Sling Media, makers of the Slingbox that lets you watch your home TV from any internet-connected computer in the world, has now become a content provider. This week they rolled out a "beta" version of their very own video-streaming site, <A HREF = http:/www.sling.com>Sling.com</A>.
Totem Acoustics was demonstrating a speaker they call The One. Its a limited anniversary edition of the first speaker they ever manufactured. Sans a subwoofer, these diminutive $3995 (pr) speakers were extremely impressive, outperforming, to my ears, some of the behemoth tower speakers [with five and six figure price tags] that were being demonstrated by other manufacturers at the Venetian.
The Sony BDP-S350 is the latest Blu-ray player from the company that invented the format. This is an upgrade from its previous entry-level model, the <A href="http://ultimateavmag.com/hddiscplayers/707sonys300/">BDP-S300</A>, offering more features and options. The blue brushed-aluminum faceplate, similar to the design of the top-end ES series, is attractive and elegant and sure to add some class to all your black components.
Sony's latest AV Receiver as well as some new Sony televisions will be Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compliant, enabling easy access to digital photos, music and video that is stored on a PC or other DLNA servers. In fact, if there is any key theme running through this year's CES, it would be NETWORKING.
NAD's C 175 Compact Music System is a unique product that is half the width of traditional components, It can sit on a shelf or table but don't let its small size fool you. it is fully functional with a CD player, AM/FM Tuner and a 2 x 24 watt amplifier.
Definitive Technology expands on their offerings of SoundBar solutions. The
new Solo Surround Array Series consists of two models, the SSA-42 and SSA-50. The numbers say it all because they are designed to fit neatly under a 42" or 50" flat panel TV. Unlike their highly regarded Mythos SoundBars that contained left, center, right speakers in a single enclosure, these new models provide five descrete channels, eliminating the need for additional surrounds. Moreover, the SSA-42 and SSA-50 are attractively priced at $799 and $1099, respectively.
You probably haven't heard of <A HREF="http://www.susanlaurenzi.com/">Susan Laurenzi</A> before but that's not surprising since this is her first CD. I don't usually use this blog to review or promote new music, however, this album is a breath of fresh air among the morass of digitized, heavily compressed, overly produced, and lyrically insignificant tunes that is the staple of today's music industry. And I admit it's a shameless plug because Susan is a close, personal friend and I have watched what she has gone through the last several years in an effort to deliver this baby. Indy artists need a lot more than good songs and talent, they have to have serious perseverance and sacrifice, especially of the monetary kind.
Axar Media, a company based out of the UK, was showing a prototype of a Wireless HD system. The system looked simple enough with a transmitter and a receiver. Using two suites at the Venetian Hotel, they effectively demonstrated the transfer of an HD signal (both from a media player and a Blu-ray player) from one room to the next. They use the H.264 AVC video compression scheme to make the most effective use of the bandwidth. There is some degradation in the signal quality, and I detected some motion artifacts especially from the media server transfer. However, we have to start somewhere and the time for Wireless HD has finally come. Its just a matter of time before it will be as ubiquitous as streaming audio.
Press Day once was a couple of major press events the afternoon before CES officially opened. A few years later it is wall to wall activity from 8am to 11pm. This year, after all the major announcements from the big companies ended, a show within a show began at the Mirage–called the Digital Experience, Decked out in a 50's theme with girls in ponytails, dressed in candy stripped dresses and sailing around on roller skates, manufacturer's displayed some of their key technologies, that were primarily about sharing the digital experience, i.e. networking and file sharing. By the way, the car grill at this bar is a real ice sculpture. A great place to stop for a cool drink before venturing into the Show Within A Show.