CES 2014

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  2 comments
Samsung’s new Auto Depth Enhancer, on its 9000 and S9 Ultra HD sets, analyzes different areas of the screen and adjusts their contrast separately to provide a greater illusion of depth with 2D sources. In a side-by-side comparison with one of Samsung’s 2013 sets, it definitely worked. There was a bit of the cardboard cutout 3D look, but since the depth enhancement, while appealing, was subtle, this wasn’t bothersome.
Brent Butterworth  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments

Amps & Watts is a new company that specializes in wireless speakers. But this isn't your usual Bluetooth or WiFi stuff. Instead of hard-to-find buttons and cryptic controls, all of the company's speakers include a conventional remote.

Bob Ankosko  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
Over the years International CES has become a melting pot of every imaginable consumer technology. The show has been a showcase for aftermarket car stereo and entertainment since the ’70s and has in recent years evolved into a showcase for new-car tech—from superbly integrated and great sounding entertainment systems to sophisticated sensors and head-up displays to Internet and Bluetooth connectivity, and more. From BMW to Chrysler, a record nine automakers are occupying 140,000 square feet of exhibit space at 2014 CES, many with booths reminiscent of the New York Auto Show. Let’s take a look…
Bob Ankosko  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
This gorgeously customized Harley, on display in the Diamond Audio booth at the 2014 CES, is enough to make a non-rider want to jump in the saddle and ride off into the sunset. Apart from its sheer beauty and the fact that it has a 12-speaker sound system powered by a single Diamond Audio Micro4 power amplifier, no one knew anything about the bike, and its owner was nowhere to be found when I stopped by the booth. I came back a second time and someone had put a placard on the seat that highlighted one other interesting fact about the sound system...
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
The International CES is where new technologies are launched. Experts discuss what the market potential is, what consumers in that market really want, and how companies can deliver it. To that end, a show-within-the-show was created for hi-res music and the emerging market for high-fidelity recordings. Three panels are being presented, each with industry leaders with their pulse on hi-res music. The first panel discussed opportunities and challenges associated with the licensing and distribution of hi-res music recordings. Two subsequent panels will discuss ways to create and archive hi-res content, as well as ways to market hi-res titles.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
Toshiba never really went anywhere, but they’ve kept a low profile for the past couple of years. No longer. The company’s Ultra HD 4K models, scheduled to roll out this summer, are a step back into the game.
SV Staff  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  1 comments
Vivtar is about more than cameras, lenses, and photography accessories. In addition to Kiss, Aerosmith, and other artist/band-branded headphones, sold under the Section 8 label, you can opt for dead rapper 'phones. Your choice: Tupac Shakur, who was gunned down in 1996 a few blocks from the Las Vegas Convention Center, or Notorious Big, who met a similar fate six months later in Los Angeles. Just what the world needs…
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
The M-Go online movie streaming service moves closer to fulfilling its potential with new sub-genres, powerful search and playlists.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
Barbecue manufacturer, Lynx, demonstrated a connected grill that will text you or speak to you when it is time to turn over your food and when it is done to perfection.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
iLuv offers a plethora of portable wireless Bluetooth speakers. Not surprisingly, at CES, they expanded their lineup in this popular category. In particular, three portable speakers caught my eye: the SyrenPro, Wavecast, and Rollick.

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
One of the most exciting products I’ve seen so far at CES2014 bills itself as “the first home security and automation device that combines panoramic video, Z-Wave home automation and environmental sensors into a single elegant product that you interact with on your smartphone or tablet.” Or, as the company says, “Piper is the new way to monitor and interact with your home.” Piper has an extremely impressive array of features, including three customizable security modes with a motion detector, two-way audio, and 105 dB built-in siren; full Z-Wave compatibility allowing use of a huge variety of Z-Wave home automation-oriented accessories; an HD Panoramic camera with a 180-degree fisheye lens that offers pan, tilt, and zoom in 1080p; built-in environmental sensors for temperature, humidity, ambient light, and sound; 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity; as well as Android and iOS smartphone and tablet apps for controlling the system. The user interface is clean and intuitive. Piper is available for pre-order now and is expected to begin shipping by the end of January 2014 for $239. There are no monthly or other recurring service fees.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  1 comments
I tried to get a glimpse of Samsung’s curved 105-inch 2.35:1 widescreen TV on the show floor, but in the Samsung booth was packed and the area around the set inaccessible. But I got a later look at a closed-room Samsung demo. On the left here, to provide a size perspective, is Samsung’s Mike Wood—a one-time regular at Home Theater who has now forsaken balmy Southern California for the cold, windswept snowdrifts of the Garden State, where Samsung has its U.S. headquarters. On the right is current Sound & Vision editor in chief Rob Sabin.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
While curved HDTVs appeared to be the order of the week at CES, particularly among Korean giants LG and Samsung (see above), Sharp stuck with flat screens for its impressively wide 2014 lineup of both Ultra HD and standard 1080p HD (the operative industry word for the latter now appears to be “Full HD”).
Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
While every manufacturer is making speakers in any color you want, as long as it’s black, id America is breaking the mold with their colorful new portable Bluetooth speaker, the TouchTone. This is a compact speaker that won’t break the bank - it’s available now for $80. It comes in a variety of colors, with an even greater palette available soon.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 08, 2014  |  1 comments
The second installment of the hi-res music panels focused on content creation. Clearly, garbage-in, garbage-out. For great-sounding music in our homes, we must rely on engineers and producers to create it in the studio. Complicating that picture is the fact that artists and labels must also agree that sound quality is an important part of the job at hand. The panel tackled those and many other hi-res issues.

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