The ProCinema 600 sat/sub set replaces the same-sized ProCinema 60 for $799. In a more ambitious mood, DefTech also showed the mythos ST SuperTower ($1799/each) with a built-in powered SuperCube subwoofer. New in-ceiling and in-wall speakers were also announced.
Cambridge SoundWorks attempts to out-Tivoli Tivoli with a traditional AM/FM radio (none o' yer fancy digital stuff) including a six-in-one tuning dial (that is, it moves faster than your hand). It costs $120. Analog chic? Priceless.
HK's CP 55 home theater package consists of the AVR 146 receiver ($349 when bought separately) with the DVD 38 player and a lovely 5.1-channel sat/sub set in gloss black. The price is $1199 and it's shipping soon. Definitely a contender.
Replacing the value-oriented Beta Series, Infinity's new Classia Series starts with the C336 tower ($899/pair) with three six-inch woofers, a 3.5-inch midrange, and one-inch tweeter, all in the company's composite aluminum/ceramic CMD material. There's also a C225 center ($499), C205 bookshelf ($329/pair), C255BS dipole ($499/pair), and 12-inch PS-12 sub ($799). The classily shaped MDF cabinet looks like the extruded aluminum in the higher-end Cascade Series. Fed a brassy big band, the system showed off its extended treble and overall naturalness. In development: a wireless sub!
Pre-CES press events are notorious for emphasizing message over substance. Sony's message was "Transformation." Nevertheless everyone's favorite electronics giant and whipping boy had a few surprises in store at yesterday's big do, and the first was violinist (and Sony Classical recording artist) Joshua Bell in a huge display of virtuosity. It got CES off to a great start! Sorry about the picture. It hardly does justice to Sony's 1080p Bravia LCD display. What do you expect from a Panasonic camera being operated by a monkey?
The HD-capable Bravia Internet Video Link (pricing and availability TBA "within the next few months") will bring free a/v content to the majority of Sony's 2007 TV line, starting with Bravia LCDs. It is intertwined with content partnerships involving AOL, Yahoo, and of course Sony's own music and motion picture divisions.
The Sony Vaio WA1 Wireless Music Streamer ($350, availability TBA) looks like a boombox. A real smart boombox. It streams music from a PC via wireless home network or wireless P2P connection. Compatible file formats include MP3, AAC, unprotected WMA, and Sony's own massively popular ATRAC codec.
Most noise-cancelling products are either headphones or earbuds. But wouldn't it be nice to put the noise-cancellation circuit in the player? That's what Sony has done with some new Walkman MP3 players. Now you can enjoy the considerable benefit of noise cancellation while using any headphones or earbuds you fancy. Not your father's old cassette player.
What was the number one item on holiday wish lists in the just-concluded 2006 holiday shopping rush? LCD TVs were the big winner, according to the NPD Group, with $925 million in sales. The flat wonders beat digital cameras ($825 million) and notebook PCs ($810 million). Surprisingly, iPods and other digital media players were relatively distant fourth-place finishers at just $720 million. So it's official: Americans prefer big screens to small ones. NPD declined to comment on how plasmas and other displays figure into their calculations.