CES 2014

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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....

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.
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.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
Smart TV tends to take a backseat to other TV developments at CES, but LG’s demo of its new WebOS Smart TV interface in some ways proved almost as compelling as the 77-inch, 4K-rez OLED the company had on display.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  1 comments

Bryston's early speakers were boxy, pro-monitor-style creations, but its latest products are a lot sleeker and more home-friendly. They're also designed -- as one might expect from a Canadian audio company -- according to sound, decades-proven scientific principles. That's why the Middle T tower speaker delivered some of the best sound I heard at CES.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  1 comments
Samsung Electronics thinks your home should be smart – as long as it’s filled with Samsung Smart TVs, Samsung home appliances, and Samsung smartphones that are all connected and managed through Samsung’s Smart Home platform. Samsung’s Smart Home is designed to enable homeowners to control and manage many of the devices in their homes via a single, simple app. The devices that Samsung envisions to be part of the Smart Home ecosystem will include refrigerators, washing machines, Smart TVs, digital cameras, smartphones, and wearable devices (such as the Galaxy Gear). In the beginning, Samsung Smart Home will offer three features: Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service. Device Control provides what you would think from the name: the ability to monitor and control home gear, such as turning the house HVAC on/off or changing lighting scenes. Interestingly, Smart Home will offer a voice command function on all of the controller devices. According to Samsung, “Users can also use chat control on their smartphone app as a fun, convenient way to communicate with their devices.” (Only as long as the appliances don’t start talking back…) Home View will allow users to view their home in real-time thanks to cameras built into Samsung appliances. (So, that means no walking around in the kitchen in your underwear…) The Smart Home’s Smart Customer Service will notify customers “when it’s time to service appliances or replace consumables, and provides assistance in after-sales servicing.” The company has developed a dedicated Smart Home software protocol (SHP) to facilitate communication between Samsung devices as well as (hopefully) other manufacturers’ appliances and devices.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
With Sony’s One Flick Entertainment menu, finding something you want to watch is as easy as flicking back and forth (or up and down) through the list of services
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments

What might have been the most anticipated speaker launch of CES definitely delivered when GoldenEar demoed its new Triton One flagship tower speaker. Walking around the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, I kept hearing showgoers rave about the Triton One's sound -- no big surprise, considering that speakers like the Triton Seven have gotten such glowing reviews in Sound & Vision and other publications.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
Hisense demonstrates VIDAA TV that can jump from one app to another, pausing a video so you can return to where you left it.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments

Meridian launched its active, digital-input speakers 25 years ago, so to celebrate, the company's amping up some of its classic designs with improved components and some nice engineering refinements. That's the DSP7200SE you see above. There'll also be a top-of-the-line DSP8000SE and a smaller DSP5200SE.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
When wandering around the convention floor gets overwhelming, it’s always interesting to head over to the LVH (aka The Old Las Vegas Hilton) to check out the smaller booths and hospitality suites. It’s quieter, and the food is usually better. That’s where I found Peerless-AV demonstrating their latest product release, the Peerless-AV 47” Ciil Outdoor TV, designed for consumers. They also have a line of commercial products.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
Here's just a smattering of the audio/video products honored in the 2014 CES Innovations Awards, chosen because they might not otherwise appear in this year's CES coverage (mine, at any rate). Clockwise from top left: The Pioneer Elite SC-79 receiver ($3000) serves up nine channels of D3, the company's version of Class D amplification, and every D3 model we've heard so far has lived up to the promise of energy efficiency combined with great sound. This is Pioneer's top-of-the-line model; we've got a review of the less expensive SC-71 in the pipeline. Jamo's Torsten is the brand's first soundbar. The Sharp SD-WH1000U Blu-ray player uses WiSA wireless technology to wirelessly deliver uncompressed 24/96 PCM and 1080p, effectively freeing high-res audio and video from their wired chains. Would'nt it be great if surround receivers could do the same? Bang & Olufsen's BeoLab 18 tower speaker has a tweeter on top firing into a diffuser and four mid-woofers in an extraordinary looking column enclosure; more here. To see more honorees (and we've omitted quite a few good ones!) see the CES website.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  1 comments
The bipolar dual tweeters on the opposing front faces of the Infinity Reference Series surround speaker are said to produce a very uniform front dispersion. The mid/bass driver is mounted on the back, where a metal bracket keeps it spaced out from the wall by a couple of inches.