New Products - July/August 2003 Page 2

Boston Acoustics boston acoustics - new productsWhy don't more clock radios let you set their alarms like the Boston Acoustics Recepter? The company's first AM/FM radio is set simply and elegantly by pressing the Clock button and then twisting the tuning knob. The two alarms let you wake up to the radio, a buzzer, or both, and at bedtime a sleep function will play the radio for up to 60 minutes before it shuts off automatically. The Recepter gets its creatively spelled name from technology said to pull in weak FM stations as well as discern signals that are close together on the frequency band. There are 20 station presets. The performance of the mono 3 1/2-inch driver is enhanced by BassTrac circuitry, said to help it deliver room-filling bass. The Recepter measures 7 1/2 x 4 x 6 inches and comes in white, platinum, or charcoal. Price: $200., 800-365-8462 Sonance sonance - new products 0703The dual-drive Conciérge digital audio server from Sonance can hold up to 160 gigabytes (GB) of music and send independent audio streams to four different outputs (three analog, one optical digital) simultaneously. When you load a CD to rip music to the hard drive - either in MP3 format at 128, 192, or 320 kilobits per second or uncompressed - the server will automatically download artist and title information from through its phone jack or Ethernet port, depending on your Internet connection. The Conciérge has composite-, S-video, and VGA outputs so you can display onscreen menus on a TV or PC, and a USB port enables transfer of audio files from your computer. There's also an RS-232 port for system control. Dimensions are 17 1/4 x 4 x 14 1/2 inches, and weight is 19 pounds. Price: $3,600., 800-582-7777 Sony sony - new products 0703Okay, everyone loves DVDs, but what if you also like Super Audio CDs or just want to play a bunch of CDs without having to change discs all the time? Before you get three different players, try Sony's DVP-NC685V. It's a five-disc changer, but it doesn't care if those discs are DVD-Videos, CDs, SACDs, or even CD-Rs or CD-RWs with MP3 files. A progressive-scan component-video output gets you the best possible video from your DVDs, and it's got built-in Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound decoders, too. The multichannel analog audio output will send SACD sound to your receiver or preamp, and there are optical and coaxial digital outputs for DVD soundtracks. The player will remember where you left off for up to 40 DVD movies. Price: $250., 800-222-7669 Samsung samsung - new products 0703You won't have to worry about burn-in and misconverged CRTs - Samsung's HLN567W 56-inch rear-projection HDTV monitor uses DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. Specifically, the second-generation HD-2 DLP chip from Texas Instruments, which has 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution. HDTV signals can be fed to the VGA, DVI, or two high-def component-video inputs. Lower-resolution signals are upconverted to the set's native 720p (progressive-scan) display, with Faroudja DCDi processing for programs originating on video. There's also a second component-video input for a progressive-scan DVD player, plus dual NTSC tuners for convenient picture-in-picture action when you want to watch two shows at once. The tabletop set weighs 105 pounds, and the bezel surrounding the screen is only 3/4 inch wide. Price: $4,999., 800-726-7864 Toshiba toshiba - new products 0703Want a DVD player but you're not ready to turn your back on VHS just yet? A combo deck like Toshiba's SD-V390 is just the ticket. Not only does it give you a progressive-scan component-video output for the best possible picture quality from DVDs, but its four-head VCR has 19-micron heads for better-quality VHS Hi-Fi playback in EP mode. You can tape a TV show while simultaneously watching a DVD, and the VCR's Record End Search feature will automatically fast forward to the blank space at the end of the tape. There's even a commercial-skip button you can use during playback. The SD-V390 has composite- and S-video outputs, optical and coaxial digital audio outputs for DVD soundtracks, and front-panel A/V inputs for easy hookup of a camcorder. The DVD player can also play MP3 files on CD-Rs or CD-RWs. Price: $249., 800-631-3811 RCA rca - new products 0703Time to trash that ancient VCR. Come to think of it, why not move that standalone DVD player to the bedroom while you're at it and consolidate your viewing with a combo like RCA's DRC7005N, which merges a DVD player and a hard-disk recorder into one? You get 40 gigabytes (GB) of recording freedom, which you can use to record shows, pause live TV, and even store MP3 music and digital still photos. The no-fee GemStar Guide Plus+ electronic program guide eases time-shifting, and the remote control has a 10-second instant replay button. The player has component-, composite-, and S-video as well as optical and coaxial digital audio outputs. It's said to play DVD+R and DVD+RW discs with no problems. Price: $549., 800-336-1900 IVL ivl - new products 0703Turning your home into party central is easy with IVL's Karaoke TVStar player. And with the player's proprietary pitch correction, you may even finally nail Mack the Knife. It has built-in speakers, and there are analog jacks for hookup to your A/V system. Connected to your TV, the TVStar will display lyrics from CD+G (CD + graphics) discs, and it can also play DVDs, so when you're bored with imitating Madonna, you can always slip in Truth or Dare. There's a digital audio output for DVD soundtracks. Other karaoke features include the self-explanatory gender shifter (not applicable if you're Michael Jackson) and an adjustment for finessing the key to suit your vocal range. You can add reverb and techno effects, and a second mike input lets you pair up for a duet. A microphone and a four-song demo disc are supplied. Price: $129., 250-544-4091 KEF kef - new products 0703Sound that's out of sight and in your face. An oxymoron? Not if you're using in-ceiling/in-wall speakers like KEF's Ci100QR. The speaker's proprietary Uni-Q driver array mounts a 3¼4-inch tweeter in the center of a 4-inch polypropylene woofer. And its enclosure is 6 inches deep to help give weight to the bottom end. Bandwidth is rated as 120 Hz to 22 kHz, sensitivity as 86 dB. Spring-loaded clips on the sides of the enclosure let you adjust the mounting depth for walls and ceilings of varying thickness. The diameter of the required cutout is 4 5/8 inches, and overall weight is 1 3/4 pounds. Price: $175 each., 732-683-2356 Mirage mirage - new products 0703It's not called "Omni" for nothing - Mirage's Omnisat Micro radiates sound all around, a full 360°. A smaller version of the Omnisat reviewed in May's "Thinking Outside the Box II," it's about 61¼2 inches in diameter, 51¼8 inches high, and cute as a button. Its 1-inch titanium-hybrid tweeter and 3-inch polypropylene/titanium midrange driver are rated to deliver a frequency response of 90 Hz to 20 kHz ±3 dB. The featherweight (only 3 pounds) injection-molded plastic enclosure is available in black, platinum, white, and platinum-black colors as shown. Mounting gear is supplied, and floor stands are optional. Price: $180 each; stands, $180 a pair., 416-321-1800 Stanley Furniture stanley - new products 0703The futuristic styling of plasma TV seamlessly unites with the classic accent of wood furniture in Stanley Furniture Company's Plasma TV Mounting Panel. Designed to hold a 42- or 50-inch (diagonal) flat-screen TV, the cherrywood-finished panel measures 62 x 36 x 4 3/8 inches and requires no professional installation. The panel's accompanying console measures 65 x 28 x 18 inches and keeps your TV at standard viewing height. The console's middle doors have glass inserts so you can still control any gear on the shelves inside, but they can be swapped with wood paneling. The outer doors conceal slide-out trays for DVDs. (The console is available separately for tabletop TVs.) Price: $1,798; console only, $1,398., 276-627-2000