CES 2020 Preview, Part 2

As CES 2020 draws near, product news continues to trickle in before the show officially opens Tuesday in Las Vegas.

TCL, the Chinese electronics powerhouse, will showcase a new generation of LCD TVs that use thousands of mini-LEDs arranged in a backlight configuration the company calls Quantum Contrast. The full-array local dimming backlight is used in the company’s 8-Series 4K TVs, including the 75-inch 75Q825 ($3,000), which made Sound & Vision’s Top Pick list last November. The company will reveal details at a pre-show press conference. Watch for our report early next week.

AudioControl will showcase a series of IMAX Enhanced products, including new Maestro Series processors, Concert Series AV receivers, and G4 Series Class H amplifiers in 5-, 7-, and 4/3/2-channel configurations. The brand will also showcase its new X Series theater platform featuring an intuitive web interface for setup, high-resolution digital-to-analog conversion, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming capabilities, Dirac Live calibration, and 16 channels of output, four of which are assignable.

Enclave Audio will showcase its new CineHome II ($1,000) and THX-certified CineHome PRO ($1,500, shown) wireless 5.1 home theater speaker systems, both of which are based on the audio-centric WiSA (Wireless Speaker & Audio) protocol that makes possible wireless transmission of uncompressed 24-bit, 96-KHz audio with low latency and less than 1 microsecond of synchronization between speakers.

Both systems include six powered speakers — front left, right, center plus two rear surrounds and a subwoofer — designed to pair and sync automatically for quick easy setup. Enclave’s CineHub transmitter ($150) supports a simplified HDMI eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) connection and sends audio wirelessly to the speakers, though AC cords are still needed to power the Class D amplifier built into each speaker. The hub costs $100 when bundled with either system.

For more information, visit enclaveaudio.com.

LG will introduce an expanded 8K TV lineup that goes from two to six models, with four models in the NanoCell LCD lineup at 75 and 65 inches and two OLED models at 88 and 77 inches. All boast 8K/60fps HDMI 2.1 inputs and a new, third-generation Alpha 9 processor that automatically detects the type of AV content playing and optimizes the picture and sound in addition to upscaling any content to 8K while reducing noise, sharpening the image, and adding detail; the updated processor also uses artificial intelligence to isolate and boost dialogue in scenes with lots of ambient sounds and create a virtual 5.1-channel upmix from stereo soundtracks. The new TVs will also facilitate voice control and monitoring of compatible smart-home devices directly from the TV’s Home Dashboard. Watch for a full report on Monday.

Sound & Vision’s CES coverage kicks off Monday, January 6 and, as usual, will be laser-focused on all things audio and TV/video.