CES 2011

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Onkyo announced that they are partnering with Rocketboost for use in a slew of new wireless products to come in 2011. All Onkyo AVRs introduced this year will be Rocketboost-ready via a transceiver module connected to the AVR through a proprietary U-Port connection. The wireless transmission can be used for a second zone of audio or for wireless rear channel speakers. All Rocketboost accessories are compatible regardless of manufacturer.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 06, 2011  |  First Published: Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments
While DTS was industriously showing the 11.1-channel version of its Neo:X technology at South Hall, Onkyo was demoing the same technology at the Venetian, but in more low-key way, and with a mere 9.1 channels (5.1 plus back-surround and height, no width). We can't explain why, but it sounded better, even with the same demo material. The guy in the pic must have agreed as he slowly levitated into the air, somehow drawn to the height channels like a moth to flame, and spontaneously combusted.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2010  |  0 comments

In addition to all the 3D flat panels on the show floor, there were also a few 3D front-projection demos, including one from Optoma at the low end of the price spectrum. I've always been impressed with the quality and value of Optoma DLP projectors, but its 3D demo was very disappointing—it wasn't even 1080p! The projector was the 720p HD66, and the source was an HQFS (High Quality Field Sequential) DVD playing at 480i through a composite connection. There were jaggies galore, and the sense of depth was very unconvincing. A separate demo of 3D stills, from which this photo was taken, looked better, as I would expect with no motion.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  First Published: Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Panasonic demonstrated a prototype air-mouse type control, which can move the cursor on the screen by a simple movement of the remote control through the air. But it won't be available this year.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 07, 2010  |  0 comments

Of course, you're going to need a 3D Blu-ray player to go with that new 3D TV, and Panasonic is ready to oblige with the PP-BDT350, seen here with a pair of shutter glasses on top of the DMP-BD85, a 2D model with WiFi and a claimed boot time of 0.5 second. The PP-BDT350 implements HDMI 1.4, and both let you access online content. Not shown is the DMP-BD15, Panasonic's second-generation portable Blu-ray player, which also provides access to online content.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 07, 2010  |  4 comments

Panasonic's press conference started with a 2-way video feed from Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic Corporation, live from Osaka, Japan, via the company's new Internet-based HD Visual Communication System. The huge projected image was exceptionally clear, detailed, colorful, and smooth, though there was a short but inevitable delay as Ohtsubo chatted with members of the Panasonic staff in the room.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 05, 2011  |  0 comments
Recession? What recession? Panasonic's TV sales were up 30 percent in December 2010 over the previous year, the company reported at today's press event -- and sales of Viera sets were up 45 percent. So the little logo projected above the doorway in the picture above is one potent little symbol. The biggest sellers were 54-, 58-, and 65-inch sets. Areas of future growth include 3DTV, projected to rise to 32 percent of the worldwide market by 2014, and IPTV, expected to hit 42 percent the same year.

Perhaps the biggest news for 3DTV fans is that Panasonic will push for a standard for active-shutter glasses. For consumers, this would be a big improvement over the current balkanized situation, with each manufacturer having its own type. Panasonic says eyewear interoperability would drive growth. We're guessing it would also help the company defend its investment in active-shutter 3DTV technology at a time when passive 3DTV is starting to arrive from Vizio and LG. Panasonic is also opening a 3D Innovation Center to foster production technology in Hollywood. A new committee of the International 3D Society will do the same in Japan. Panasonic also seeded the student filmmaking community with 3D camcorders, with results to be chronicled on the website of the Campus Movie Fest.

Shane Buettner  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Home Theater Magazine Editor Shane Buettner is on hand at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show when Darth Vader and friends announce the release of the Star Wars Video Collection on Blue Ray.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  First Published: Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
Panasonic came up with a nifty solution to the problem of demonstrating 3D with glasses. The glasses are fixed in the vertical supports shown, which easily slide up and down to fit the height of the viewer.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Perhaps it was just a matter of time before Paradigm employed the term Paradigm Shift to describe a new product line. In this case it's also a new marketing approach that adds online, direct, and other retail channels to the traditional a/v retailers who have always been Paradigm's mainstay. Say hello to the A² Active Atom, a powered version of our old friend, the world-beating Atom satellite. As you can see, it streams Apple-style. The one shown was a working engineering sample. Paradigm also showed the Millennium LP on-wall and mentioned head transducers including four earbuds, two headphone models, and two gaming headphone models.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 06, 2011  |  First Published: Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments
For folks who don't want to keep their two-channel and multi-channel rigs in separate rooms. You can see how that works. Parasound also showed two five-channel amps, the 250-watt Model 5250 ($2800) and the 150-watt Model 5125 ($1900). Both are THX Ultra2 certified and have dual toroidal power supplies.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Most of our budgets won't stretch to the $18,000/pair level of these floorstanders, but with their Nextel series drivers from Seas of Norway, each speaker with one 7-inch midrange driver, one 10-1/4-inch long excursion woofer, and a 1.1-inch HEXADYM™ magnet tweeter, the Pass Pabs SR-2s sounded mighty sweet.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 08, 2011  |  0 comments
With the cute musicBox desktop amp and iDAC on display, both featuring pure digital iPod docks and selling for about a grand, Peachtree Audio's David Solomon has a lot to talk about. But the theme he is most passionate about is Apple TV. Videophiles see it as a 720p-limited video streamer. But to Solomon, it's a $99 audio streamer that "could save our industry." He says that if the audio industry doesn't get on board with the way music lovers choose to listen today, it will slowly evaporate, as those listeners gravitate to audio products sold at computer hardware stores.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Polk Audio's Blackstone series comes in the three versions shown including wireless sub not shown. The demo featured smooth and gentle mids. For more information see our review coming a few months after you read this.