Tom Norton

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Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  0 comments

The 2007 line of Sherwood Newcastle AV receivers tops out with the R-972 ($1499.95, summer). Offering 100Wx7 into 8 ohms, it also will accept all of the new audio formats directly through its HDMI 1.3 link and decode them internally (rather than relying on the player to first convert them to PCM). Internal Faroudja processing will deinterlace and/or scale all sources to 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, as directed. The unit also includes Audyssey MultEQ XT EQ.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  1 comments

There weren't a lot of video projector demonstrations on the show floor at the convention center (booth prices are reportedly up significantly this year, and projector demos appear to gravitate increasingly to the custom install CEDIA EXPO in September). But one of the best demos was put on by Optoma. The projector was the HD81 LV (about $10,000, available late spring). A special version of the current HD81 1920x1080 projector, the new model is similar to the old, but uses a more powerful lamp, a different color wheel, and a different iris. It may also be equipped with an optional anamorphic lens ($12,999 for the HD81 LV projector with lens, $4000 for the lens if bought separately). The lens may also be used with the basic HD81. The HD image from <I>Phantom of the Opera</I>, from Blu-ray, with the anamorphic lens in the system, was stunning.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  0 comments

Here's the back of the Meridian G95

Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  0 comments

Polk announced a gaggle of new products, including a redesigned RTi series and 10 new powered subwoofers. Shown here is the line-topping DSW microPro series subs, in 8", 10" and 12" sizes, with the largest priced at $1850. The DSW microPro is said to compensate for room modes without using equalization. How it does this would take more time to explain than a blog provides, but suffice it to say that it involves clever use of inverse phase. Polk also showed the CSW 155 in-wall sub ($1400 with external amp).

Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  0 comments

Onkyo was not (reportedly) at the show, but this prototype AV receiver seen in the DTS booth suggests HDMI 1.3, and the capability to accept native DTS HD Master Audio directly from a player via HDMI (and presumably Dolby TrueHD as well).

Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  4 comments

JVC's new, $6299 DLA-HD1 projector is due to ship in February. This time around, their demo compared it to the new Sony Pearl, with both projectors firing HD source material onto 120" (diagonal) Stewart StudioTek 130 screens. Yes, the JVC did look better, with crisper contrast, darker blacks, and a richer-looking image. JVC claims that their D-ILA imaging chip offers a peak native contrast ratio of 20,000:1, which is why the in-projector contrast is so good. No iris of any sort is used. We don't know how well the Pearl was set up, of course (though the JVC rep did say that the auto iris was engaged). But it was an impressive demo nonetheless.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  0 comments

The replacement for the long-running PSB Stratus series should be available soon. Tentative named the T7 Series (the name Stratus may or may not be dropped), it includes multiple woofers (in the larger models), cabinets of extruded aluminum and wood, and the innovative engineering we have come to expect from PSB.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 10, 2007  |  2 comments

NAD announced a gaggle of new products, including 4 AV receivers, a tuner pre-pro, DVD player, and amps. The top of the line T785 receiver at $2999 (shown on the bottom in the photo; on the top is the T775, one step down at $2499) is rated at 110W x 7, has multichannel analog inputs and preamp outputs, and 4 in, 1 out HDMI switching. The HDMI 1.1 inputs for the 785 and 775 are fully AV capable, and will accept multichannel PCM on the HDMI AV line. They are also equipped with the Audyssey MultEQ room equalization system.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 09, 2007  |  0 comments

We don't normally cover home video production and editing, but with a new generation of affordable HD camcorders comes new editing tools. Sony's VAIO RM Hi-def Video Editing System (VGC-RM1) has a Blu-ray Disc read/write HD drive, 1 TB of hard disc storage, and Adobe Premier Pro editing software.

Tom Norton  |  Jan 09, 2007  |  2 comments

Sony's VGX-XL3 VAIO XL3 Digital Living System is essentially a computer with a horizontal form factor, a Blu-ray read-write HD optical drive, a CableCARD enabled HDTV TV tuner, HDMI connectivity, and Windows' Vista operating system. Since Vista has not been released yet, this hasn't either.