New Products - Jan. 2002

Panasonic With portable music players, the question is, how small can you get? About 1 5/8 x 1 3/4 x 5/8 inch, according to Panasonic, whose SV-SD80 digital audio player, shown larger-than-life below, weighs less than an ounce. It uses postage-stamp-size Secure Digital (SD) memory cards and can play music encoded in the MP3, WMA, and AAC formats. If artist, album, and track information is stored, the little guy can display it on its ten-character LCD readout. One battery charging is said to allow 50 hours of playback. Supplied are a 64-megabyte SD card, a separate card reader with a USB connection, and RealJukebox CD-ripping software for your Windows PC. You also get earphones, a carrying strap, an armband, and that cool feeling that comes with being on technology's cutting edge. Price: $330., 800-211-7262

Mitsubishi Not only is it huge, but Mitsubishi's widescreen WS-73909 rear-projection set is also a fully integrated HDTV - just plug it in, and you can start enjoying 1080i (interlaced) digital broadcasts at full resolution on the 73-inch (diagonal) screen right away. Signals in the 720p (progressive) format are automatically converted to 1080i, and standard-definition 480i is converted to 480p. The set features wideband component-video, VGA, and RGB+H/V inputs. You also get five composite/S-video inputs, a coaxial digital audio output, and three IEEE 1394 (FireWire) ports for connecting a D-VHS VCR or future 1394 devices. Mitsubishi's NetCommand interface allows you to control your entire home theater through the TV. Price: $10,499., 800-332-2119

Integra Helping to make those big, clunky CD megachangers a thing of the past, Integra's HDR-1 hard-disk audio server can hold up to 700 hours of your favorite music in its 17 1/8 x 7 1/8 x 13 3/4-inch chassis. The player rips CDs to an internal 40-gigabyte hard disk as either standard PCM audio files or compressed MP3 files encoded at 92, 128, or 196 kilobits per second (kbps). The HDR-1 has both optical and coaxial digital inputs and a sampling-rate converter. It uses a rear-panel RS-232 computer port for system control and has a front-panel USB port for future applications. An optical digital output delivers signals from the CD player only. Price: $950., 800-225-1946

Pioneer If you've been enjoying the advantages of DVD, going back to VHS for video recording can be a real letdown. Now you can turn your back on tape for good with a DVD recorder like the Pioneer Elite DVR-7000. The digital deck can record on either write-once DVD-R or rewritable DVD-RW discs. You can record up to 6 hours of video on a single DVD-RW. DVD-Rs hold a maximum of only 2 hours, but they'll play on most existing DVD players, according to Pioneer. There's an IEEE 1394 (a.k.a. FireWire or i.Link) input/output port along with three S-video inputs and two composite-, one component-, and two S-video outputs. The DVR-7000 supports the VCR Plus recording system and includes a standard NTSC TV tuner. Price: $2,000., 800-746-6337