"Among the introductions at the first CES," says the little red placard, "was a line of 23-inch RCA console televisions like this 'Chatworth' model. It was delivered to the Bucklin family of suburban Minneapolis in February 1968 and used continuously since then. Almost 40 years old and in perfect working condition, this set features 'styling that calls to mind the stateliness of English manor house furniture tradition.' Connected to the RCA DTA800 Digital Wireless Adapter, even a 40 year old TV can enter the digital age!" And some idiot can enter the picture as I'm trying to take it.
Taiwan-based AOSRA's HD FVD format has driven both Blu-ray and HD DVD from the market, ending an ugly format war that threatened to go on for years. This poster explains why: The price is "low," compared to the "high" prices of other formats. Said Blu-ray and HD DVD spokespeople in unison: "We surrender to HD FVD. We cannot go on living a lie. What are we going to tell our parents?" Then they burst into tears. (Enlargement, spec sheet.)
JBL's new ES Series will include a tower with six-inch woofers ($500/each), plus a center ($329), surround ($329/pair), bookshelf ($400/pair), larger bookshelf ($500/pair), and a couple of subs ($450 and $550). I'm still waiting to get my hands on the cute bottle-shaped CS 6100 unveiled at CEDIA in September 2006. It's on the way!
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.