Boston Acoustics' new slogan is "Play Smart." The smart part means choosing good-sounding speakers. The play part means having a little fun while you do it. That's where the Horizon Series speakers come in. First introduced at CEDIA and available now, the series consists of a number of bookshelf and floorstanding models to accommodate many budgets and room types. Midnight (black) and Mist (white) are the two basic color options; however, for an additional cost, the Boston P.O.P (Personal Option Plan) lets you tailor the speaker grilles in a variety of colors to match your dcor. The cabinets’ rounded edges and soft-touch finish add to the fun. Also shipping this month is the matching $400 HPS 8Wi, a wireless subwoofer with an 8-inch woofer and 150-watt amplifier that operates over the 2.4 GHz band.
Another fun Boston Acoustics product is the Horizon Duo-i table radio, a stereo audio system with a built-in iPod dock, AM/FM tuner, alarm clock, and remote control. The Boston P.O.P. is available here too, so you can get this $200 unit in lots of fun colors. Here's a little piece of design genius: The entire front aluminum trim is a touch-sensitive snooze bar, so you don't need good aim to extend your all-important beauty rest.
How weird is this? Just the other day, I was staring at this huge empty wall in my house, thinking, "What this wall really needs is a 150-inch plasma. It would really tie the whole room together." And then I see this at the Panasonic booth. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, but our PR rep assures us that this is a real product that will actually come to market. So start collecting your loose change.
At a press open house this morning, McIntosh showed off a number of new products, including monoblock and integrated amps, an SACD/CD player, and the $9,000 MT10 turntable. I may never be able to afford McIntosh gear, but I love taking pictures of it. It's purty.
Vizio showed off their 2008 HDTV line today at the Wynn. The company is jumping on the 120 Hz bandwagon with their new SV Series of 1080p LCDs. Dubbed the Black Tie Series, the 42-inch SV42LF and 47-inch SV47LF use 120 Hz processing and MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) to reduce judder and motion blur, and the company showed an effective before/after comparison. The new models also sport a more attractive gloss-black frame and four HDMI inputs. To enjoy 5.1 sound, you can purchase the optional $299 Jive SV5.1 enhancement kit, which includes surrounds and a wireless subwoofer. The LCDs be available in July for $1499 and $1899.
Vizio also showed off two 1080p plasmas: the 50-inch VP504F, priced at $1699, and the 60-inch VP605F, priced at $2899. The 60-incher, shown here, will sport a nice titanium-finished bezel. The press release gives a June release date, but our gracious tour guide said July or August for the 60-inch model. We'll see which one is right.
Westinghouse's new TX Series of 1080p LCDs includes 42-, 47-, and 52-inch models, all of which allow you to output 1080p through all HD-capable connections, including component video. The series' release date is listed as March 2008, and prices are expected to range from $1199 to $2499. The 47-inch model will be offered in both a standard 60 Hz model and in a 120 Hz option. The company is also releasing a full complement of 720p panels at lower price points.
Didn't I cover the world's thinnest LCD yesterday? That was Hitachi. This is JVC, which is also showing off a new LCD that measures just 1.5 inches deep…mostly. As the company puts it, "across most of its width [the cabinet] measures a mere 1.5 inches deep, with a maximum depth of just 2.9 inches at the panel's center." Why is it deeper at the center? One reason is because, unlike the Hitachi LCDs, these new models have integrated tuners. The new line will include two models, the 42-inch LT-42SL89 and 46-inch LT-46SL89, both of which are 1080p. The estimated release date is early this summer, with no pricing announced.
Olevia will be adding 120 Hz technology to many of the models in this year's line of 1080p LCDs, so their booth is filled with demonstrations of the technology's potential benefits. There aren't a lot of specifics available about the new line just yet, but the first 120 Hz models are expected to be released around April, with more models coming later in the year. Olevia also announced that they've teamed up with Universal Electronics to offer the Taurus RC-LRN learning universal remote with some of this year's new models.
Can't we all just get along? If you live in one of the 20 million U.S. households that own two or more iPods (a JVC stat), there will inevitably be battles over whose player belongs in the tabletop music system. Surely my Ben Harper trumps your OK Go. JVC makes it easier for your iPods to cohabitate with the new dual-dock NX-PN7 tabletop audio system. The NX-PN7 will charge both iPods when docked, it sports a video output and an analog audio input, and it throws in an AM/FM tuner, clock, and timer for good measure. It will be available in April for $149.95.