NEW PRODUCTS

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Ken Richardson  |  Apr 03, 2007  |  0 comments

($499 for 4 gigabytes, $599 for 8 GB; apple.com) With hip-hooray and ballyhoo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs previewed the much-anticipated iPhone at the Macworld convention. Combining a 3.5-inch widescreen iPod, a Wi-Fi-enabled "Internet communications device," and, oh yes, a cellphone, it also includes a 2-megapixel camera.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2007  |  0 comments

ROOM WITH A CLUE The downside of having an entertainment room is that it demotes your other rooms' status. But not if you set up a multiroom system, and Sonance's C4630SE can spread the joy to six other areas in your house.

Ken Richardson  |  Apr 03, 2007  |  0 comments

($299) No, it's not called iTV, but that little white box down there does allow you to play all of your iTunes content from your PC or Mac wirelessly on your widescreen TV. The 40-GB hard drive can store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, or 25,000 photos, or a combination. Apple TV is capable of delivering high-definition images at 720p.

Peter Pachal  |  Apr 03, 2007  |  0 comments

GLOSS AND SHINE If you're half as serious about sound as you are pictures, the THX Ultra2-certified System 8200e should be on your shortlist. AT has updated its acclaimed 8200, adding sexy gloss-back sides to the new front LR towers at a lower price!

Ken Richardson  |  Feb 12, 2007  |  0 comments

Sure, satellite radio is great. But for many listeners, there are still times when they want to come back to earth, so to speak. For those listeners and those times, Cambridge SoundWorks offers a new line of high-performance radios, including this trio of terrestrials.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

THE RIGHT PROTOCOL Vibe has its own take on whole-house audio: The system uses IP (Internet Protocol) to communicate between components. Music on the Vibe AS1-1250/6 server, which stores as many as 1,250 uncompressed CDs, streams digitally over your network to up to six rooms.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

LEAN AND SO MEAN The leading 58-inch plasma panel costs 5 grand and can't even display a 1080p signal without downconverting it to 720p. Seems like JVC's got it all figured out with its new slim HD-ILA LCoS HDTV. For $3,300, you get a crisp 58-inch 1080p screen in a cabinet just 10.8 inches deep that goes flush against a wall and can even be wall-mounted.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

HARBORING MUSIC These days, an iPod dock and $3.98 might get you a grande latte at Starbucks, but Escient has a dock model that qualifies as a premium blend. The FP-1 doesn't just stream your iPod music - it completely integrates it into the company's FireBall Music Manager, combining those songs with any tunes you have on servers or PCs.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

TOUCHES OF CLASS If you suspect those cheapie plasmas at Costco must be missing something, you're right . . . and it's all found in Pioneer's PRO-940HD set. An arsenal of technologies - including a crystal emissive layer, glare-reducing filter, and improved phosphors - gives you the deepest contrast possible.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

HIGH-DEF CRED A nice side effect of everyone going gaga over 1080p displays is that 720p gear is more affordable than ever. Case in point: Sanyo's PLV-Z5 projector, which will fill your wall or screen with 100-inch HD images for less than 2 Gs.

Doug Newcomb  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

MAKE MUSIC NOT WAR The car-stereo aftermarket has been engaged in guerrilla warfare with superpower automakers ever since the first Bose system salvo crossed the industry's bow.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

PIXEL FACTORY DVD isn't as exciting as it used to be, but Oppo's DV-981HD player still manages to impress. After all, you don't find a Faroudja video processor for upconverting video to 1080p format in any old bargain-basement machine. And with the HDMI output, hookup to your cutting-edge flat-panel TV is seamless.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 07, 2007  |  0 comments

BIT PIPELINE One thing about HDMI - the supposed be-all and end-all of HDTV connectors - is that it's one of the most rapidly changing standards in A/V history.

Peter Pachal  |  Feb 06, 2007  |  0 comments

FLAT CAT Other subwoofers may laugh at the SC-IW's unconventional design, but installers will love it, since the slim sub (3.4 inches thick) is made to fit perfectly inside a 2 x 4-foot studded wall. The driver module (that's the small part) can fire up or down, with a scoop aiming the bass into the room.

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