July 2015 New Gear
Metra Velox Ultra HD HDMI Cables
The Velox line of patent-pending HDMI cables are designed to shuttle HD signals up to 10 meters (33 feet). Available in nine lengths, the cables are certified by DPL Laboratories to deliver signals at 18 Gbps and designed to eliminate data errors to ensure robust signal transmission and reliable HDCP handshakes between devices.
What Goes Where: A clever coding system makes it easy to mark cables with removable tabs that come in five colors so you can keep track of your cable runs; six sets of tabs are included. Prices range from $266 for a 0.5-meter cable to $656 for a 10-meter cable.
Metra Home Theater Group • (866) 839-9187 • ehdcables.com
Optoma NuForce DDA120 Integrated Digital Amp
For music lovers who want to keep things simple and skip the complexity of an A/V receiver-based setup, the low-profile DDA120 amp is rated to deliver 2x50 watts into 8 ohms (75 watts into 4 ohms) and offers an analog RCA input plus four digital inputs: one USB, two coaxial, and two optical. The amp’s “direct digital” architecture uses a 176.4-kHz input sample rate for “smoother, more natural reproduction” and keeps signals in the digital domain right up to the speaker outputs.
Wishing for Wireless: Adding Bluetooth streaming capability—with aptX support—is a simple matter of plugging the included BTR1 receiver into an expansion slot on the back of the amp. Available in black or silver; remote included. Price: $699
Optoma • (888) 289-6786 • optomausa.com
Visual Apex ProjectoScreen 144HD Portable Projection Screen
Bring the nostalgia of a drive-in movie theater to your backyard with the ProjectoScreen 144HD. In about the time it takes to pop a bag of popcorn, you’ll have the 144-inch matte white screen set up under the stars and ready for some blockbuster action. The screen, which has an actual viewing area of 125 x 71 inches, attaches to a freestanding aluminum frame that can be secured with guide wires and tent stakes (included) if additional stability is needed.
Stowaway: The whole shebang weighs 36 pounds when it’s tucked away in a 48 x 13 x 6-inch canvas bag, and the 0.32mm-thick screen is UV-protected and resists mildew so no worries about storing it in the basement or garage. Price: $259
Visual Apex • (800) 883-7495 • visualapex.com
Monster SuperStar BackFloat Speaker
There aren’t too many speakers you can take into the shower or drop into the pool while it’s streaming “Good Times Roll” from your smartphone. The silicone-encased BackFloat Bluetooth speaker not only floats but is waterproof and shockproof. Better yet, it’s small enough to take anywhere, even boating. Not content just listening to music while you’re lounging in the pool? The speaker has a fountain mode to spice things up.
Stay Connected: If your boss calls while you’re sipping a margarita, no worries—the BackFloat doubles as a speakerphone (not that we expect you to take the call). Available with neon blue or green accents, it comes with a mesh carry bag and micro USB charging cable. There’s even an auxiliary input for those boring landlubber activities. Price: $170
Monster • (877) 800-8989 • monsterproducts.com
Lenovo Pocket Projector
Ever wish you could stage an impromptu movie night in your backyard? Lenovo’s battery-powered Pocket Projector super-sizes images from any Miracast- or DLNA-enabled Android (v4.3 and up), Windows 8.1, or iOS device. Its hinged design lets you rotate the lens up to 90 degrees while correcting for distortion. Battery life is rated at 2.5 hours per charge, and you can store up to 32 GB worth of favorite movies on a microSD card.
Go Big: How’s a 110-inch image from a projector that weighs less than 3 pounds and fits in the palm of your hand sound? Its “50-lumen high-contrast optical engine” is said to display bright, colorful images. Sure, resolution at 110 inches is only 854 x 480 but what’d you expect? Price: $249
Lenovo • (866) 968-4465 • lenovo.com