CES 2012

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 12, 2012  |  0 comments
The gorgeous green Focal Diablo Utopia was fed in style by the Devialet D-Premier, winner of a CES 2012 Innovations award. The D-Premier combines the functions of streamer, DAC, preamp, and hybrid amp in a svelte flat form factor. At $16,000 it doesn't come cheap.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 13, 2012  |  0 comments
Griffin’s new smartphone universal remote control uses Bluetooth to send commands to an IR emitter that sits near your home theater system. As a result, the $69.99 Beacon doesn’t require the user to attach any dongles or special transmitters to the phone (something that makes other smartphone remotes a pain in the butt). The IR emitter is battery powered, so it can be placed wherever is most convenient without the need for running a power cable to it. Models are available for both iOS and Android smartphones.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments
I've long been impressed with Westinghouse flat panels—surprising, perhaps, but true nonetheless. Among the company's introductions at this CES is the 55-inch EW55, an LED-edgelit model with 120Hz operation and frame interpolation as well as a new brushed-metal black bezel. It should be available in the next couple of months for $1000.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments
The 46-inch, LED-edgelit UW46 from Westinghouse incorporates 120Hz operation but no frame interpolation and sports a super-slim, silver-edged bezel. It should be available this quarter for $700. The company says that 46-inchers were the best-selling large-size TVs in 2011, a trend I expect to continue at this price.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments
At 70 inches, the UW70 is the largest LCD TV Westinghouse has ever introduced. With LED edgelighting, 120Hz refresh rate, and frame interpolation, it should be available in the second quarter of this year for—get this—$2300 or less!
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments
Westinghouse's first foray into 3D, the 47-inch W473D uses conventional CCFL backlighting and passive-polarized glasses. It should be available in the second quarter of this year for $900. The prototype pictured here exhibited severe crosstalk/ghosting, so I'd say the company has some work to do before it's ready for prime time—and even then, it might not fly that well at big-box stores, where 3D is not in much demand.
Tom Norton  |  Jan 13, 2012  |  0 comments
Wharfedale demoed the top model in its new Jade series, the floor-standing Jade 7. Using vinyl as a source, it sounded most impressive, which was good because a complete surround package built around the Jade 7s is on hand at Home Theater for a future review.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 20, 2012  |  9 comments
What Are You Most Excited About From CES?
Tom Norton  |  Jan 15, 2012  |  0 comments
Here are the beryllium cone drivers seen in the new, $50,000/pair 8T speakers from Status Acoustics and described elsewhere here.
Tom Norton  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments
An ambitious Chinese manufacturer of LCD sets, that's who. The small booth had demos 3D sets and an innovative 21:9 flat panel set optimized for 2.35: 1 movies—with black windowbox" bars at the sides for 16:9 material. Reportedly, TCL makes sets for VIZIO, which makes sense seeing that VIZIO is nearly set to release 21:9 sets. The only puzzle here remains why my camera rendered the TCL logo on top a red-fringed yellow, when the sign was clearly solid red.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 17, 2012  |  0 comments
While home theater enthusiasts may not have given much thought to routers and other home network devices in the past, it’s time we started to pay attention. Whether we are streaming a high definition movie from Vudu, or everyone in the house wants to stream to their own TVs, the router must be able to handle the demand. Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, and Belkin all showed new routers that are capable of streaming several high definition mov
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 10, 2012  |  0 comments
The Sony press conference was very short on details regarding home-theater products—we'll have to get that info in the booth over the next few days. But the company is still clearly bullish on 3D, showing a 3D trailer for Men In Black 3, after which star Will Smith and director Barry Sonnenfeld (right) took the stage with Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer (left) for some lighthearted banter.
Tom Norton  |  Jan 15, 2012  |  0 comments
There are specialty manufacturers that make various parts for loudspeaker drivers, and when ordering specialty drivers it is possible for a manufacturer of finished speakers to select the cone, surround, frame, voice-coil, etc. from various sources and have these parts assembled by a finished driver specialist. That's way it's possible to experiment with different configurations without the expense of fabricating the individual (very expensive) parts only to discard them if the results prove unsatisfactory.

That may or may not be how Wilson or any other specific manufacturer orders its custom drivers, only that it's possible. Note how the midrange driver used in the Sasha from Wilson Audio (and in variations in most of that company's newer speakers) at first glance resembles the driver from SEAS shown below. However, if you look closely the resemblance is mainly in the cone material, with significant differences in the dust cap, frame, surround, and presumably the internal structure as well.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jan 13, 2012  |  0 comments
New at CES from Wolf Cinema is the SDC-10 3D D-ILA projector ($10,000), affectionately known as the Pup. The spec'd contrast ratio is 70,000:1, and that's without a dynamic iris! It offers three lens memories that let you preset the zoom and focus for different aspect ratios, and it can accommodate an anamorphic lens as well. The demo was BBC's Life in 2D and Legend of the Guardians in 3D shown on a 120-inch-wide Stewart Reflection 170 screen, and it looked spectacular.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 11, 2012  |  0 comments
Even the most dialed-in, industry-savvy tech writer misses a thing or two along the way, and Sonic Emotion is a company that’s been totally off my radar. (In my defense, they’re only now trying to break into the U.S. consumer market.) The company’s technology, Sonic Emotion Absolute 3D, is supposed provide “all listeners an immersive 3D sound experience from a single device - regardless of their positioning in the room, device location and room dimensions - using any input format...” Despite the fact that that is indeed quite a claim, during a demo this afternoon the folks at Sonic Emotion quickly proved they’re more than just talk. Using an AudioSource S3D60 and a variety of demo material, the presenter quickly convinced the group of us jaded press people that the technology actually does provide a very impressive 3D sonic expansion of two-channel sources from a single box. According to Sonic Emotion, the technology is not room-dependent (as some other simulated surround devices are). The effect was quite good, and it was stable regardless of where I stood in the demo area. Look for more products incorporating Sonic Emotion technology coming later this year.