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Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 16, 2014 3 comments
The International CES for 2014 is history. But don’t call it the Consumer Electronics Show any longer. Just CES will do. The CEA, which runs the show (I guess it’s still OK to call the CEA the Consumer Electronics Association) wants to drop the long form, probably so we can now call it the CES show without being redundant.

In any case, a consumer electronics show by any other name is still a consumer electronics show. And it continues to be the biggest game in Las Vegas every January. Over the years it has outgrown its roots as an audio/video show to encompass all manner of electronic detritus. Computers and gadgets of all sorts now deck the halls. After the show I heard something about a Bluetooth toothbrush, but I missed out on seeing it. My life is now without meaning.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
In a dark cubicle, with no photos possible (or allowed), Panasonic demonstrated a prototype of a 4K flagship LCD/LED set planned for release later in 2014. Sited next to the now discontinued ZT60 plasma, it looked impressive. The LCD set had full-array LED backlighting, and appeared to have respectable off-center performance—as far as it was possible to tell in such a small space. One of the Panasonic reps said it had an IPS LCD panel—the LCD technology with the best off-axis performance.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
While Aerial Acoustics' speakers aren't candidates for the bargain basement, they do have a reputation for great sound and solid engineering. The new 6T ($6000) is a thinner and relatively more affordable sibling to the company's 7T (just under $10,000).
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
While some of the competition (particularly LG) went all out for OLED this year (though OLED was hardly the talk of the show, an honor reserved for 4K) Panasonic didn't make any OLED product announcements. But they haven't been sitting on their hands.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
Wolf Cinema was the second of only two home theater demos I found at the Venetian Hotel (the other being the MSR discussed above), which was otherwise (apart from a few soundbars) a sea of 2-channel, audio-only demos. Wolf Cinema showed three of its offerings. The fabulous photo shown here was the headliner, the $25,000 SDC-25. It's a single-chip DLP design with lamp-free, LED illumination, and looked plenty bright on a 102-inch (wide) screen.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
GoldenEar Technology introduced its new 3D Array XL soundbar (Spring, $1500). It's wide enough to accommodate a 70-inch HDTV, and as a passive soundbar requires an external AVR. GoldenEar recommends separate surrounds and a subwoofer for optimum results (not included), though it can operate without them.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 0 comments
In the most ambitious home theater demo at CES, MSR Acoustics coordinated an Elite Home Entertainment Experience in a large room at the Venetian Hotel.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 14, 2014 1 comments
Joseph Audio wins my vote for the best sound I heard at CES this year, with the qualifier that I didn't have time to visit more than half of the rooms st the Venetian Hotel, the site for high-end audio.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Instead of formally exhibiting at the CES this year, Harman International set up shop in a large ballroom at the Hard Rock hotel. When we were there, the place was jumping, despite the relatively remote vernue.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2014 0 comments
Lexicon’s venerable MC-12 preamp-processor, which has been on the market for over ten years (with important upgrades alinbg the way to accommodate the changing times) is about to be replaced by the MC-14. The latter (April, $10,500) will offer a full complement of inputs and other ports, including HDMI, USB, 7.1-channel analog, Ethernet, RS-232, and a headphone output. It accepts all current consumer sources, and also has a selectable analog bypass for playback. Oddly, however, there is no provision for any form of manual or automatic room compensation.

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