Photos by Tony Cordoza The Pioneer Elite ES-DV1000 will grab your eyes as much as the DVD movies it plays will. Its sophisticated electronics are hidden inside a beguilingly simple and elegant brushed-aluminum and gray cabinet.
I live in Illinois near a town called Flatville. The buzz at this year's Consumer Electronics Show might lead you to believe that it's the capital of the universe. On Press Day, January 5, the day prior to the official opening of CES, every major manufacturer introduced myriad models of new flat-panel displays, which in the not-too-distant past were called TVs.
What can you get from a single box not much larger than a DVD player with three small drivers firing forward and a woofer port firing rearward? If the box is the Zvox 315 Sound Console, you get more sound than you might think - full, wide stereo and a surprising amount of surround sound.
Sony concluded the press day preceding the official opening of CES with a press conference that lined up reporters and writers waiting for admittance for almost a city block. The display area was filled way beyond capacity. Fortunately, Sony Electronics President Fujio Nashida kept his remarks brief, focusing on the company's overall strategy rather than a laundry list of new products.
There's no question that the sophistication of today's home theater - with anywhere from six to eight speakers - can take a toll on your décor. And if you're putting together a serious system, chances are you won't be able to simply unpack your new gear and enjoy a movie the same night without some help.
Late on Day Two, JVC demanded that the entire press corps troop across town from the Convention Center to the Mandalay Bay hotel, where it was exhibiting privately - not officially a part of CES. However, the trip paid off in an impressive array of new and innovative products.