CES 2014

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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.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  4 comments

Since the company's founding in 1978, Thiel Audio has always divided audio signals among its woofers, midranges and tweeters using first-order (6 dB/octave) crossover circuits. But with the passing of company founder Jim Thiel in 2009, and the hiring of ex-PSB, ex-SVS engineer Mark Mason to head the company's speaker design, the company's moving beyond Thiel's original concepts.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
Mark Levinson products sit at the top of the Harman Kardon Luxury Group’s totem pole. The new No.585 integrated amp $12,000, available summer 2014) offers 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 350 into 4, D/A conversion up 32 bits/192kHz, and a full complement of analog and digital inputs (including USB—but no HDMI, an unfortunate but almost universal omission in 2-channel integrated amps).

There is also a built-in subwoofer crossover and output for those wanting to set up a 2.1-channel system to accommodate both music and movies.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
After a week of CES buffet food, I could probably stand to lose a few pounds. Maybe I should strap on some Fitness Technologies gear and go for a swim. FT specializes in sports electronics, offering three small players, each with a different wrinkle, and each advertised as "the world's smallest." In addition, to being small, the players are also waterproof. And when FT says "waterproof," they mean it; these players can be submerged in up to 10 feet of water (IPX8 rating). Swim, sail, surf, kayak, snorkel, ski, jog, scuba - you get the picture.

Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments

Here's something I'm almost 100% positive you've never seen before: a tweeter horn made from glass. Waterfall Audio has been pushing its glass-walled speakers for years; here's a system I reviewed for Sound & Vision a couple of years ago. But the new Victoria Evo takes the concept to a new level.

Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 10, 2014  |  0 comments
Panasonic offers users individual recommendations, can turn on TV when you walk by and show you messages from other family members.

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