New Product Announcements

Autumn's annual CEDIA Expo is increasingly the launch pad for new video and home theater products. It also leads into many new offerings to be delivered during the winter holiday season.

Poway, CA–based Gateway continues its expansion into the consumer electronics market. Last year, the computer company sent shock waves through the industry by introducing a 42" widescreen plasma display priced under $3000. In early October, Gateway continued the trend by announcing a new "1000W", 6.1-channel home theater system with a progressive scan DVD player, attractively priced at $999. The KAS-303 includes front left/right/center/surround speakers, and a 400W powered subwoofer. Video inputs include composite and S-Video, and supported surround sound formats include Dolby Digital EX decoder, DTS ES and Dolby Pro Logic II.

Sharp Systems of America has launched two new LCD TV/computer monitors, the 17" LL-M17W1 and the 15" LL-M15X1, priced respectively at $749 and $449. The LL-M17W1 has a widescreen TFT LCD, inboard TV tuner and stereo speakers, composite, S-Video, and component video inputs and an included remote control. The LL-M15X1 has a 4:3 aspect ratio, composite and S-Video inputs. Both units feature "F" connectors for direct hookup to cable feeds.

Don't leave home without it: Maspeth, NY—based Coby Electronics has introduced a compact portable DVD player with built-in LCD screen. Measuring only 1" (H) by 8" (W) by 6" (D), theTFDVD7700 sports a 7" LCD rated at 480 by 234 pixels. The $389 player includes two built-in speakers, headphone jack, composite video output, and optical digital audio output. Its three power options allow it to be used with an AC adapter, automotive power, or as a stand-alone unit with its internal batteries. Cables, power adapters, stand, and carrying case are all included.

Union City, CA–based Vidikron has three new 16:9 plasma display panel monitors (PDPs), part of the company's growing PlasmaView line. The 42" EDTV VP-42 sports a 852 x 480-pixel screen and $5995 suggested retail price; the 50" HD VP-50 has a 1366 x 768 screen and $11,995 tag; the 60" HD VP-60 also has a 1366 x 768 screen and goes fora suggested retail price of $19,995. All three have Vidikron's video processing with 3:2 pulldown circuitry and "Dynamic Pixel Protection" circuitry, claimed to protect the plasma panel from stationary image burn-in. They also have Vidikron's "IntelliWide" multiple aspect ratio controls, said to "preserve image quality while presenting standard video formats in widescreen mode." IR control and RS-232 inputs are standard; mounting options include tabletop stands or wall-mounting kits. The PlasmaView line will be expanded by January's CES, according to Runco/Vidikron sales and marketing vice president Ben Jamison.

In December, JVC should deliver a new three-chip D-ILA home theater front projector called the DLA-HX1U. At $11,995 suggested retail, the projector will offer 16:9 native aspect ratio at 1400 x 768 resolution, and will carry a $11,995 suggested retail price when it ships in December. Also due this winter, a $6499 42" HD plasma monitor with 1024 X 768 resolution and DVI-HDCP inputs. Also in the works is the JVC-branded EchoStar TU-DVR921, a DVI/HDCP-equipped HD DVR capable of handling 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i signals. It features NTSC tuner and 250GB hard drive. Projected price is $999.95.