CES 2014

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SV Staff  |  Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments
RCA, the storied brand now owned by Technicolor and licensed to On Corporation for TV manufacturing and distribution, unveiled its first Ultra HD televisions and a line of Roku-ready TVs at 2014 CES. Ultra HD models, capable of displaying images four times the resolution of standard high-def TVs, were shown in 55-, 65-, and 84-inch screen sizes.

In addition to a native resolution of 3840 x 2160, the LED-backlit LCD sets offer smart TV functionality via the Android (formerly Google) TV platform, which provides an integrated onscreen interface with access to cable/satellite TV, apps and online content, including more than 100,000 on-demand movies and TV episodes.

The Roku-ready TVs models, which come bundled with a Roku Streaming Stick, will be available in screen sizes of 28, 32, 40, 46, 50, 55, and 65 inches. When the Stick is inserted into the TV’s MHL port, it unlocks access to more than 1,000 entertainment channels and all Roku commands can be controlled by the TV’s remote control.

TV pricing was not announced but company officials said it would be competitive.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments
The two biggest TV trends happening at CES are higher-than-HDTV resolution and ultra-large screens. According to Sanus, both trends mean that heavier-duty-than-normal mounts will be required to deal with the increased weight of the larger, higher-rez screens.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments

When I tested one of JBL's original Studio Series speakers a few years ago, I liked the sound but never quite warmed up to the wacky look. JBL's new Studio 2 line, which the company displayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas during the CES show, has a much more refined look that's more consistent with the JBL image.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments
If you thought that 4K images were the height of pristine image quality without any room for improvement, then you needed to stop by DarbeeVision’s suite in the LVH and experience what 4K images look like when processed with Darbee Visual Presence DVP processing!

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments
ivee Sleek is a “hands-free, voice-activated, internet-connected assistant for the home that answers questions, obeys commands and controls other internet-connected devices.” ivee Sleek uses the AT&T Speech API powered by the AT&T Watson speech recognition engine to begin the process of turning voice commands or questions into system actions or answers. ivee Sleek has the smarts and the capabilities to understand and answer questions in 33 categories, including time and weather conditions and stock prices. The smart assistant is also able to integrate with Iris from Lowe’s and Staples Connect systems, giving it the ability to control internet-connected devices, such as smart thermostats, motorized locks, security cameras, and smart plugs. Oh, yeah, it’s also a digital clock, too. ivee Sleek is available for pre-order now for $229.99. No subscription fees are required.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 11, 2014  |  0 comments
To counter protests that there isn’t enough content to justify buying a 4K TV, a number of manufacturers of 4K UHD TVs announced built-in online movie streaming capabilities with content to become available immediately.
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.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 11, 2014  |  1 comments

While Infinity's been a successful brand in factory car audio for decades, Harman International's enthusiasm for the marque on home products has waxed and waned over the years. With the new Reference Series, Infinity's trying to re-establish its cred in the living room.

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.

Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 09, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
MartinLogan didn't have a lot of information to share about this prototype of this new tower, which is intended as the new flagship of the Motion Series speaker line.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
When high-definition TVs first showed up in the late 1990s, the arrival of the new sets was preceded by the establishment of a digital high-definition TV broadcast format. In other words, the horse was leading the cart. With UHDTV, however, there isn’t a new higher-rez broadcast format to go with the new displays. What gives?
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
It's Friday. The International CES is winding down. As I pack my bags, I wonder how I'll ever carry on 100 pounds of earbuds and flash drives, as well as all the other flotsam of show coverage. All in all, it was a pretty good show. Some observations....

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
Meridian's Prime, which it bills as a headphone amp, is also a USB DAC, and who could win a digital arm-wrestling contest with Bob Stuart? The dual skinned, resonance killing, screwless enclosure is a miniaturized echo of a G Series component. There are three Analogue Spatial Processing listening modes: one with no enhancement, one for a more speaker-like "out of head" feel, and more of the same with bass boost. A quick listen suggested that ASP has great potential; we'll audition it with more (and more familiar) software ASAP. Price is $2000 with a conventional power supply. Add $1250 for the separate Prime Power Supply.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  1 comments
Brent Butterworth covers the details on the new Infinity Reference Series below. Here’s a look at the three-way center ($499). Its vertical orientation for the midrange and tweeter is, in my opinion, the only proper way to design a center channel speaker —other than using a speaker identical to the left and right, which can only work if the screen is very high or acoustically transparent, or the system is used for music only with no images.
Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
Everyone at CES tries to add a bit of flair to their booths to get people to stop in. bem wireless didn’t have to do much - their new Party Block speaker brings its own flair. Flashing a rainbow of colors, this is a powerful poolside partner.