CES 2014

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 11, 2014  |  2 comments
Dolby Atmos, a new object-oriented surround standard, was perhaps the biggest audio story at CEDIA, with speaker and receiver makers both unveiling Atmos enabled products. At GoldenEar Technology that was the HTR 7000 ceiling speaker ($500/each), which angles sound at the downward angle recommended by Dolby. There were four of them running along with GoldenEar's world-beating Triton One tower in front, SuperCenter XL, and smaller Triton Two in the rear, powered by a combination of Pass and NAD amps fed by an Integra pre-pro. One of the cool things about Atmos is that the ceiling speakers are fed with genuine spatial information specified by the mixer, as opposed to fake height channels derived from other channels. Combined with GoldenEar's signature folded ribbon tweeter, this made for strong height effects, which were especially striking in the Dolby demo material. A scene from Transformers: Age of Extinction showed off the system's dynamic prowess, including the folded ribbon tweeters' ability to remain coherent at high volumes.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 15, 2014  |  0 comments
Nanotech demonstrated streaming 4K from a 4K server. There were three monitors in use, all of them relatively small, two of them shown here and a Seiki 50-incher off to the right and out of the picture.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
Wolf Cinema was the second of only two home theater demos I found at the Venetian Hotel (the other being the MSR discussed above), which was otherwise (apart from a few soundbars) a sea of 2-channel, audio-only demos. Wolf Cinema showed three of its offerings. The fabulous photo shown here was the headliner, the $25,000 SDC-25. It's a single-chip DLP design with lamp-free, LED illumination, and looked plenty bright on a 102-inch (wide) screen.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
GoldenEar Technology introduced its new 3D Array XL soundbar (Spring, $1500). It's wide enough to accommodate a 70-inch HDTV, and as a passive soundbar requires an external AVR. GoldenEar recommends separate surrounds and a subwoofer for optimum results (not included), though it can operate without them.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
In the most ambitious home theater demo at CES, MSR Acoustics coordinated an Elite Home Entertainment Experience in a large room at the Venetian Hotel.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  1 comments
Joseph Audio wins my vote for the best sound I heard at CES this year, with the qualifier that I didn't have time to visit more than half of the rooms st the Venetian Hotel, the site for high-end audio.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
In a dark cubicle, with no photos possible (or allowed), Panasonic demonstrated a prototype of a 4K flagship LCD/LED set planned for release later in 2014. Sited next to the now discontinued ZT60 plasma, it looked impressive. The LCD set had full-array LED backlighting, and appeared to have respectable off-center performance—as far as it was possible to tell in such a small space. One of the Panasonic reps said it had an IPS LCD panel—the LCD technology with the best off-axis performance.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
While Aerial Acoustics' speakers aren't candidates for the bargain basement, they do have a reputation for great sound and solid engineering. The new 6T ($6000) is a thinner and relatively more affordable sibling to the company's 7T (just under $10,000).
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  0 comments
While some of the competition (particularly LG) went all out for OLED this year (though OLED was hardly the talk of the show, an honor reserved for 4K) Panasonic didn't make any OLED product announcements. But they haven't been sitting on their hands.
Lauren Dragan  |  Jan 12, 2014  |  0 comments
In a press conference at CES this week, Audiofly announced a partnership with Tiësto, world renowned DJ and record producer, in the creation of three new in-ear headphones. The line, called “Club Life by Tiësto” will range in price from $30-$150, and will be available this spring 2014. But what really goes into the creation of headphones, especially one with someone like Tiësto attached? After all the press had cleared their tripods, I got invited to sit down for an informal chat with Tiësto and Dave Thompson, CEO of Audiofly inside their booth on the CES show floor to find out.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 12, 2014  |  0 comments
I stumbled across Bluesound at a suite in the Venetian on my last day of the show and I’m certainly glad that I did. This new company is comprised of many of the same people from NAD with a true passion for delivering uncompromised audio, and Bluesound looks to have an array of products that might be the first true high-end challenger to Sonos’ wireless music dominance.

The Bluesound system is comprised of four primary components: Node, PowerNode, Vault, and Pulse. With a combination of these units, you can build a wireless housewide music system that suits your needs and is capable of streaming FLAC, AAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, WMA-L, OGG and MP3 files up to full resolution 24-bit/192kHz quality!

John Sciacca  |  Jan 12, 2014  |  2 comments
While 3D demonstrations at CES were almost non-existent – other than some glasses-free technology demonstrations put on from some companies or the massive 140-panel mega-3D display outside of LG’s booth – there are still millions of 3D capable TVs already in the marketplace and people’s homes. Sensio looks to tap into this reservoir of displays by delivering tons of streaming 3D content directly to these displays with its 3DGO! rental service.

The company said that 3DGO! had to be “good 3D” which means good content, good quality and a good user experience. The UI was definitely slick, allowing you to easily navigate films and make a selection. The service currently offers about 100 titles and has deals inked with some of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters in the form of Disney, Pixar, Paramount, Dreamworks Animation, Universal, Starz and National Geographic.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Traditional window treatments – blinds, drapes, curtains – may give you some privacy and block the sun, but they really aren’t that cool. Motorized options from the likes of Lutron and Hunter Douglas certainly raise the high-tech bar and add some remote control capabilities, but even they look like old news when you watch SONTE Film in action.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 11, 2014  |  2 comments
Joe Kane is a name that should be familiar to most, if not all, videophiles. The man is almost single-handedly responsible for getting manufacturers to put advanced picture settings in TVs that let calibrators make grayscale and CMS adjustments so your set stands half a chance of displaying accurate color. Without Joe’s vigilant advocacy, TV picture quality now might very well still suck as badly as it did back in 1989.
Lauren Dragan  |  Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a quarterback, a UFC fighter and the CEO of an electronics company walk into a press conference. They’re there to talk about the newest bluetooth sport headphones that SOUL, the headphone company in question, are releasing this spring. There’s a video presentation, some polite applause, and then… things start to get awkward.