Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Optoma H79 DLP Projector Review

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Steven Stone of Guide to Home Theater ( aka Ultimate AV) has reviewed the Optoma H79 DarkChip3 DLP Projector and I have few disagreements. Below are excerpts from the article and my comments afterwards.

"To my mind—and eyes—the H79 qualifies as the first single-chip DLP that delivers acceptable home theater performance. Not only can it produce a stunning, virtually noise-free picture through its DVI inputs, but it does so without inflicting visual fatigue even after more than five hours of continuous critical viewing. Sure, it occasionally displays rainbow artifacts, and it doesn't have as black a black as a good CRT projector, but its wide contrast range, exemplary shadow detail, superb color delicacy, and extremely low mechanical noise level make it hard to deny its seductive allure."
First of all noise free picture of DVI is only partially a projector quality. And when I say partially I mean a minute part of it unless electronics designer had majored in English literature although even that will not make it an excuse. It is the source and the cable that make the signal quality. Second, fatigue that Steven describes is projector independent. It is the darkness of the room and the light produced by the projector. Since Optoma is very bright ( claimed 4500:1 contrast ratio) it should make it even worse because your eye must "process" deep dark to bright white transitions which is a torture especially in a dark room. Again, this is not a projector property. And of course the statement about this projector being the first deliver acceptable home theater projector. I have no comments on that except that it is to fund the next vacation.

"Setting up the H79 took me less than an hour from unpacking to final adjustments. Its lens-shift adjustments worked flawlessly. I was especially pleased by the keystone controls. In the past, digital-keystone adjustments on other projectors introduced as many problems as they solved by creating ragged edges and abrupt lateral transitions. But as long as you keep the H79's keystone adjustments within reasonable limits, they will correct screen-geometry problems without creating new ones."
What does he mean by "setting up took me less than an hour"? Does he mean he had to ceiling mount it and run the wires. Unless it is Optoma MovieTime DV10, you do not want to install it on your coffee table, right. In Steven's case the projector was only unpacked and, as far as I know from the experience, DLP projectors do not really require calibration as in CRT projectors case - actually, compared to CRT, there is nothing to do - one should just adjust few video controls depending on the gain and color of your screen. This misleads the customer since installation of such equipment is not done in an hour and would take a planning/calculation and some drywall cutting.
And there comes the keystone issue. Everyone knows that keystone degrades the image quality and you should stays as far away from it as possible. In a proper installation there are not many cases where you will be correcting the image with keystone. Keystone was "invented" for data presentations where the presenter does not have much control over the position of the projector and is forced to correct the trapezoid and not drive customers away with distorted charts. In home theater setup you should be aware of what you are buying and if its optical capabilities will produce the desired size and throw angle. At least it is good to know that "we need to keep keystone adjustment within reasonable limits".


Highs and Lows

Highs
• Quiet
• Low fatigue even after many hours of viewing
• Color control for RGB contrast and brightness

Lows
• Color-temperature settings not related to any specific color temperature
• Some rainbow effects still visible

Now, there is no mention about picture quality, any tests - just because the guy watched a movie and we don't even know what material he used does not mean projector is good. And please, don't think I am saying that H79 is a bad projector. All I am saying is that the review looks like a joke to me. And lastly, rainbow effect is something that may be seen by one person and be invisible to another. It solely depends on the eye sensitivity of the person. When reviewer says rainbows are visible, he should mention that it is a personal thing and may not concern you. And the opposite is true as well since reviewer may not see the rainbow while someone else will. The only guarantee of no-rainbow effect is a projector without spinning color-wheel. As long as there is a color wheel someone will still be seeing rainbows.

Well, what can we do - industry is full of reviews of this type and we have to live with it. They are mostly advertisements rather than true unbiased opinion.

Source: UltimateAV

Posted by Mike at 6:46 PM
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Final Sound Model 400i and 600i Speakers

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Final Sound, maker of high-end electrostatic loudspeakers in Netherlands, is shipping its Model 400i Reference Speakers claimed to be less expensive in comparison to other high-end electrostatic speakers and I bet they mean Martin Logan.

"The Model 400i Stereo Speakers feature Final’s exclusive Inverter Technology™, which dramatically broadens the audio image and makes it possible to manufacture the speakers at a substantially lower cost than comparable high-end electrostatics."
Company reports that Model 400i is built on completely redesigned technology and their patent-pending Inverter Technology results in a higher impedance for the Model 400i which means less power is needed to drive them. Final Sound allows a minimum of 50W RMS per channel amplification and recommends 75-150Watt for optimal performance. Model 400i covers 65Hz to 25Khz spectrum [ there is controversy here: the web site says 50Hz-25Khz ] and is suggested at $3000 per pair. You can combine 2 pairs of Model 400i References and a Model 400i Center Channel into a Home Theater Surround Package at $6999.
There is a bigger brother for 400i - Model 600i. The frequency range for 600i series is 45 Hz to 25 kHz. There is no information on the price but I can speculate it will be a 1000 or 1500 more.
These speakers are powered by a 12V power supply so make sure you have a power plug close to where you will be installing them.

Both speakers are floorstanding, however they can be wall mounted to match Plasma and LCD displays. I do think it is not only convenient but also great looking to have great sound hanging of the wall.

In addition to 400i and 600i series, company has "budget" versions that some might find useful - Model 80i and 100i.

In conclusion all I can say that these are very good looking speakers with a convenient installation option. I cannot judge about the quality but am looking for reviews and opinions.

Source: ECoustics and FinalSound




Posted by Mike at 5:13 PM
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JVC UX-WD700 Mini AV System

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JVC has announced UX-WD700 mini AV player that packs DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, CD, MD, and even Tape playback capability. The UX-WD700 features easy recording to MD and Tape from DVD or CD and front panel installed LINE IN. Besides LINE-IN there is also digital optical input that only understands PCM formated audio. Optical output can do Dolby Digital and DTS in case you want to connect it to another decoder. Video ouputs are 1 per component, S-Video, and composite. Speakers are shielded 3-way bass reflex and JVC does not provide frequency response or any other information on them at this time. Lastly, there is an FM/AM tuner to make UX-WD700 a complete standalone unit for your office or bedroom.
I do have a strong feeling that UX-WD700 will not be available in US or Europe just by seeing MD and Tape drives. They are not popular anywhere but Japan.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 4:15 PM
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1080i, 1080p, and Current HDTV Reality

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Peter H. Putman of HDTVExpert has a followup on an article where he talks about 1080i and 1080p HDTV formats with great in-depth explanations covering facts on where they are used and will be used. This is a recommended read if you are out shopping and just can't decide what is a buzzword and what is not. Actually, I am mistaken, just read it. The guy knows what he is talking about. There are not so many people in home theater industry that talk straight.

Here is the link to the first article and here is the followup.

Posted by Mike at 1:40 PM
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Monday, August 29, 2005

Hitachi Cine Master PJ-TX200 LCD Projector

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Hitachi announced a successor to its PJ-TX100 LCD projector - Cine Master PJ-TX200 with whopping 5000:1 contrast ratio and triple 720p EPSON D5 LCD panels. Projector features Super ED lens system that comprises 4 Extra-Low Dispersion lenses in combination with aspherical lenses to reproduce 720p High Definition images with greater accuracy and with improved color reproduction. The lens also is capable of horizontal and vertical shifting with a wide range zoom. Hitachi PJ-TX200 features 10-bit image processing. The device has an HDMI, RGB, Component, S-Video, and composite inputs that are located in the back of the projector.
I should note that PJ-TX200 is very similar if not identical in features to upcoming Sanyo PLV-Z4 and will be available in September with price at around US $2000.

Source: HomeCinemaChoice

Posted by Mike at 12:19 PM
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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Stereo or Surround Sound?

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Stereophile has an argument (should say an article but don't want to) as to what is better for music listening: 2-channel or surround sound reproduction:
"Two-channel audio is like a painter's canvas. Instead of three dimensions, it has only two, stretching from left to right and from front to back. Just as a good painter can make an image seem lifelike and three-dimensional, a good stereo system (with good recordings) can similarly make performances jump from two dimensions to three. I'm a genuine stereophile because systems that accomplish this difficult feat never fail to amaze me. Each step in the playback chain makes this goal elusive because there are only two channels of information storage, two channels of amplification, and two speakers. It's two-dimensional, all the way down the line. This is hardly breaking news, but it shows that audiophiles who endlessly adjust speakers, room treatments, or cables are not necessarily tweaking for tweaking's sake or obsessing over some vague ideal of "good sound." Such fidgeting can help solve a real problem of audio engineering and psychoacoustics: how to get the illusion of three dimensions from only two."
I'd suggest you take your time and read more ...

Posted by Mike at 11:18 PM
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How Plasma TV works?

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CoolTechZone has a nice article on Plasma TV technology going over almost everything from plasma gas, TV technology in general, and current prices:

"So, what exactly is plasma? Plasma by definition is one of the four states of matter (apart from solid, liquid and gas) and consists of positively and negatively charged particles, which are added in roughly the same quantity. This obviously makes the gas more or less inert but ensures that the charged particles are free to conduct electricity. Plasma can be produced if a gas is energized enough to split the molecules into positive and negatively charged ions. Mostly, the plasma displays use a mixture of noble gases like Neon and Xenon."
Read more ...

Posted by Mike at 11:09 PM
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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Panasonic Announces Viera Series Plasma Displays

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Panasonic, as was promised, made an announcement on its TH-65PX500 65-inch 1080p I mentioned couple of days ago, and smaller models ranging from 37 to 50 inch diagonal. The series of displays is named Viera ( or Viella ). Flat screens have been designed to minimize the power usage as much as 37% for the 37-inch model and Panasonic claims numbers are the best in the industry for PX models. 65-inch model is priced at 1 million yen or about US $9100. Viera Models feature so-called "PEAKS" which is a new technology (or at least a name) from Panasonic that reportedly improves picture quality on all types of signal. It utilizes a 14 bit video processor.
Viera plasmas sport an SD memory card reader and can display pictures stored on the card

Source: AkihabaraNews and Panasonic

Posted by Mike at 11:53 AM
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hitachi delivers 1TB DVD/HDD recorder

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Yes, Hitachi suprised us with 1TB HDD DVD recorder - plenty of space for 68 hours of HD or 1700 hours of VHS quality video material. DV-DH1000W DVR/DVD combo is not the only one in the line up thrown at us this time - little brothers are DV-DH500W, DV-DH250W, and DV-DH160W and you already guessed what numbers stand for. According to AkihabaraNews
"smallest one is not HDMI compatible and only the 500Gb and 1Tb have an iLink port."
DV-DH1000W features 6 DTB and 1 analog tuners allowing to record 2 shows simultaneously. The device sports a TiVo-like software with Electronic Program Guide and one of the features described as follows: Say you watch a program that ends at 8pm and there are programmings starting at 7pm and 7:30pm. The recorder will allow you to watch all three programs without missing a second by utilizing mentioned tuners. There is also a feature called "OneShot" that supposedly will record with a single button press.
Hitachi did not announce the pricing yet.


Source: AkihabaraNews and Hitachi Japan

Posted by Mike at 6:10 PM
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Marantz drops low-end "Music Dialog Invitation" System

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Marantz today introduced "Music Dialog Invitation" low-end hifi system for Japanese crowd. The system consists of 2 pieces and and a pair of B&W DM600 S3 speakers. The CD5400 CD player is also capable of CD, SACD, and DVD-Audio with Cirrus Logic CS4392 DAC chip outputting at 24bit/192KHz. An interesting function is present - "QUICK REPLAY" - it lets you do, uh ..., a quick replay of last few seconds of the audio so you can really understand what Reverend J.Jackson is sayin' with single push of a button on the remote. Below are the specs for CD player:

Frequency characteristic 2hz-20kHz
Dynamic range 100dB
S/N ratio 110 D B
Channel separation (1kHz) 100dB
Total height harmonic wave distortion factor (1kHz) 0.0025%
Wow and flutter Crystal precision
Voice response Imbalance 2.0V rms
Head phone output (variable maximum) 18mW/32 Omega
Digital output Pin jack 0.5vp-p (75 Omega)
Optical output (angular type optical connector) -19dBm
Optical reading system Laser AlGaAs semiconductor
Wave length 780nm
Sampling frequency 44.1kHz
Power source voltage AC 100V 50/60Hz
Electric power consumption electric supplies safe method 13 W



The PM4400 pre-main amplifier's partial table of spec followed:

Rated output 8 Omega loads 30W×2
6 Omega loads 40W×2
4 Omega loads 50W×2
Dynamic power 8 Omega loads 50W×2
6 Omega loads 60W×2
4 Omega loads 70W×2
Total height harmonic wave distortion factor (20Hz - 20kHz both ch drive 8 Omega load) 0.03%
Cross modulation distortion factor (SMPTE) 0.015%
Output bandwidth (8 Omega loads, 0.04%) 10Hz - 50kHz

At last, here is the spec for B&W DM600 S3 Speakers:

Type
2 ways 2 speaker Bus reflex type
Use unit
1×130mm Kevler (R) cone mid- / woofer
To 1×25mm metal dome ・ eater
Playback frequency zone
55hz - 42kHz (-6dB)
Frequency response
75hz - 22kHz (±3dB)
Output overpressure value
88dB (2.3v/1m)
Nominal impedance
8 Omega (minimum of 3.0 Omega)
Crossover frequency
4kHz
Recommendation power amplifier output
25w - 100W
External size H×W×D
286mm x 175mm x 219mm
Mass
5kg

The system price is 102000 YEN without tax (about US $928).

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 8:27 AM
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Panasonic 1080p 65-inch Plasmas by the End of Year

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Panasonic will announce on Thursday its plans on new 1080p plasma display. Current information suggests that company is going to start a worldwide marketing at the end of this year. This is the first 1080p (1920x1080) full resolution high-def plasma from Panasonic and I believe the first one to be available for mass market. The initial price is set to ~2.07 million yen (a bit more than US $18000) with continuous drop in price. The plan is to bring the price down to 1 million yen ($9100). The plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture will be active next month, September 2005, with capacity of producing 3 million units per year thus enabling the company to drive the price down to planned target.
Quick googling did not reveal any other 1080p plasma displays. Another company that officially has announced plans for 1080p plasma display is Pioneer but, according to initial reports, product will be available in June of 2006 and there is no clear indication of diagonal size.

Related entries: Panasonic Announces Viera Series Plasma Displays

Source: The Daily Yomiuri

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Posted by Mike at 1:43 PM
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New Samsung 71-inch 1080p DLP

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Samsung announced a new 1080p DLP TV shown below that will be available at Tweeter and Good Guys in September. SVP-71L8UH features 10000:1 contrast ratio and claimed enhanced luminance. The TV is as thin as conventional 29-inch CRT. There is no more information at this moment.

Source: I4U

Posted by Mike at 11:06 AM
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Monday, August 22, 2005

DWIN DuoVision System

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DWIN has released the next generation of its dual display product - DuoVision. First let me tell you about DWIN. Most of you have not heard of this company but let me assure you by the end of this page you will. Dwin Electronics is a small US company that is hard to beat in home theater video market. Their product line includes TransVision DLP projectors, PlasmaImage plasma displays, and very high quality video processor - TranScanner. These guys are high-end and just looking at the images beaming out from their DLP projector makes you high. The company's entry to the market years ago was with the HD500 CRT projector followed by HD700 - pieces that went into history of home theater and, despite being old, still changing hands on eBay and such. These beasts were silent. Engineers at DWIN managed to have NO FANs in 'em. Their TrueSilent trade mark was not just marketing - it reflected reality. I got to know Dwin a couple of years ago when I saw their TransVision 3 DLP projector and am monitoring them ever since.

Let me go back to where I came from - DuoVision. It consists of a video processor and can drive 2 displays simultaneously. Say you have a dedicated room in the basement for a projector and want to have a plasma TV in your living room for everyday viewing or you want to watch a football game but your wife hates it. She can watch her “television for women” in the kitchen plasma while you enjoy it on your personal display. DuoVision will let you do that for the fraction of the price you would pay for double gear. The system is shipped with a remote control extender that allows you to control that satellite box from the bedroom. Neat, isn’t it? It is not advertised but I know that DuoVision processor can drive any combination of displays - 2 plasmas, plasma and projector, and 2 projectors. The system automatically detects the attached devices and sets appropriate resolutions. However, plasma or DLP projectors must be DWIN. You cannot use other displays with DuoVision and I can understand that from not just marketing but engineering implementation points. Imagine how much control signals go back and forth the display and processor.

One thing about DWIN DLP and plasma products, DuoVision included, that is worth mentioning besides their really really exceptional video processing, is the famous two-box solution. All of the gear, such as DVD player, satellite box, etc are located right next to Dwin processor. One wire runs from the processor to display. Dig it. You don't have to run 10 long wires to the display. In fact DWIN is the first company to introduce such two-box solution. DuoVision and actually any video processor from DWIN feature 10 inputs - 2 of composite, S-Video, component, RGB and DVI. Output is DVI and can be used with a proprietary cable that has a 3/4 inch round connector which makes the job of running it through the conduit much pleasant job compared to bulkiness of DVI connector. In my opinion, DWIN engineers think about every little detail when designing a product.
The latest generation of DuoVision systems features recently released TransVision 4 DLP projector which can be purchased as astandalone product. TransVision 4 is an outstanding projector classified as midrange by the company because it features a DarkChip 2 instead of DarkChip3. I highly doubt that because I when I saw the prototype of it during CES 2005 my jaw dropped. It can be easily compared with higher-end DC3 projectors and still do better. Just wait for reviews and you will see what I am talking about. This projector is simple to describe - very bright, black is a BLACK, and white is a WHITE. On screen menus are very intuitive and setting up and controlling the device is a snap. It is very impressive feature mainly because of the sophisticated nature of products. Dwin did a great job making it easy on us.

The second display for DuoVision can be selected from PlasmaImage 42", 50", or 61" displays which are of the same high quality as the TransVision DLP projectors and again are available as standalone.

Now the pricing: DuoVision starts at $14500 for TransVision4 and PlasmaImage HD42 and goes up with diagonal size of plasma. TransVision 4 as a standalone is priced at $6500 and is a great price at this quality level. Don’t forget that these are MSRPs and the actual prices are less.

Source: DWIN and eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 4:00 PM
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DisplayPort : Next Generation Display Interface

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Earlier this year it was reported that a group of display manufacturers has started working on a new display interface - DisplayPort. Last week VESA has received the proposal for finalization.
DisplayPort is expected to replace existing interfaces such as DVI, HDMI, and VGA. As if we were not happy with HDMI and DVI, this one is going to include itself into the mentioned list and most likely be replaced with something else as soon as people get used to it. The only difference between current digital interfaces in the number of wires - 26 for DVI and HDMI and proposed 4 for DisplayPort. And the reason for less wires is switching to LVDS instead of using TMDS.
Other than that there is nothing to be excited about. Actually, once this standard is finalized, display and video source manufacturers will start switching - first in high-end gear and later for mass market. That only suggests one thing - start saving for a new display.

Source: VESA

Posted by Mike at 1:10 PM
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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Inteset Denzel TP420-S HTPC

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Inteset Denzel TP420-S is an HTPC but it isn't advertised as one. They call it home theater convergence device. But deep down in the spec you could see that it runs on a 3.2GHz P4 processor. They don't even advertise it is powered by Windows Media Center Edition. Smart move targeted at scared-of-technology-folks. I think they should loose that keyboard and sell it only to those who need it.
In any case, call it an HTPC or Home Theater Convergence Device, it sports a 1 Terabyte of RAID5-ed storage and can be doubled to 2 TB. RAM is at 1GB and can go up to 4GB of DDR2 533MHz PC4200 memory. Video is powered by ATI Radeon X700 Pro 256-bit GDDR3. The machine is equipped with NTSC and ATSC tuners that allow to record Standard and HD Video. Audio is most likely done a Sound Blaster ( don't ask which model - the latest and most 'spensive one) and can ouput 7.1 channel Surround Sound or 5.1 DVD-Audio. Besides the terabyte of storage, there is one more cool feature - the cooling that is mostly done by heatsinks: CPU and Video are cooled with heat pipes, case fan is makes 16dBA of noise and power supply is at 18.6 dBA. Hard drives are also wrapped into a heatsink for those hot videos of yours not to catch fire.
As you can see from the pic above it comes with a wireless IR keyboard and remote control (I know you don't see the IR part of it but trust me it is).
I'll cut short on other specs because at 5 bucks less than $6000 you pretty much get everything.
And here is the rear-view of the this beast for you to enjoy:


In conclusion, if you think you did not spend enough money you can always go for Vana VA6420-SD, Media Center Extender for Denzel.

Source: HomeToys and Inteset

Posted by Mike at 11:04 PM
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Friday, August 19, 2005

LG is shipping RH7900MH DVD Recorder

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LG started shipping new RH7900MH DVD Recorder to European markets. The device can playback DVD±R/RW/Dual-Layer, Audio-CD, CD-R/RW, MP3, VIDEO-CD, SVCD, JPEG, KODAK PICTURE CD, DivX/Xvid. That's pretty much everything one can possibly dream about. Happy? There is more, it comes with a 250GB HDD, 8-in-1 card reader, HDMI, 2 SCART, and 1 of composite and S-Video. It can record up to 345 hours or material in lowest quality setting and up to 63 hours in highest. There are also two intermediate settings for audio/video quality that can fill up the hard drive with 125 and 250 hours of action. DVD recorder is priced at 560EUR and is available now.

Source: iXBT.com

Filed with tags: DVD recorder, LG RH7900MH

Posted by Mike at 1:47 PM
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TiVo may support CableCard

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According to the job offering, Tivo looks for someone that will learn about latest technologies such as CableCard. It is too early to judge weather this means they are integrating CableCard into the box but given the current condition of the company it is highly possible that Tivo will do anything to win hearts of cable companies.


Source: PVRBlog




Filed with tags: Tivo, CableCard, PVR

Posted by Mike at 12:36 PM
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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Hyundai 32-inch LCD TV

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Hyundai announced a new LCD TV with 8ms fast (or slow if you compare to this) response 32-incher. Along with being a TV with 1000:1 contrast ratio it also features a 14-in-1 card reader. Thats practically any type of flash media you can possible get your hands on. Well, since there is a card reader, it is not awfully difficult to guess that you are going to check your photos one night. It is priced at about US $1990 and is not coming to US since I have not seen any Hyundai TVs sold here. But if you are not in US, and can make it into the list or first 3000 buyers you get a 2GB memory key. So act quick before its too late.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Filed with tags: 32" LCD TV, Hyundai, 8ms response

Posted by Mike at 1:22 PM
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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yamaha YSP-800 Digital Sound Projector - Take 2

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I have mentioned a few days back about Yamaha YSP-800 surround sound simulator. Now Golem.de has a mmore detailed report on it. YSP-800 has 21 speakers versus 42 for its YSP-1 and will not provide as good bass as the bigger model thus it is suggested to use a subwoofer with the sound projector. Its output is rated at 85 Watt compared to 120 for YSP-1. The speaker features so-called "Night Listening Enhancer" that despite low volume keeps the conversation clear. Yamaha YSP-800 supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS as well as DTS:Neo 6, has optical and coaxial inputs and will be shipped in August ( which is now ) with suggested price of 699 EUR or about US $857.
Just as a comparison, YSP-800 can be owned for US $1299 at Amazon.

Source: Engadget

Posted by Mike at 2:51 PM
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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Heliodisplay Projects Video into Thin Air

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Remember latest James Bond movies with their super projections into the air. Or at least you should remember how messages were sent in Star Wars. The princess pops up in the air from a magical device. I am sure you do. Well, it is not a fiction anymore. IO2Technologies has developed and is ready to release its Heliodisplay projector. It streams the image into the ambient air and is backwards compatible with current 2D video formats and can be connected to any source including HD video. It is interesting that they already mention word 'backwards'. 2D for them is so last year because they mastered the art of true 3D. These displays are available in sizes from 22" to 42". Some models are touch sensitive. You just stick your finger in the air and it detects what you want. Basically, everything we've seen the movies is made possible with Heliodisplay.
I am too excited to even talk about every other aspects such as quality. This is a 1.0 ( maybe 0.9) version and may, I repeat may, become the next big thing.

Source: RedNova and IO2Technologies

Filed with tags: Heliodisplay, Projector

Posted by Mike at 12:29 PM
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Monday, August 15, 2005

Denon AVR-1906 7.1 AV Receiver is Now Available

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Denon AVR1906 A/V Receiver is a follow up to its predecessor AVR-1905 with several additions and "upgrades".
The AVR-1906's processing brain is the latest Analog Devices HammerHead SHARC 32-bit DSP. All output are Analog Devices 24/192Khz DACs. Supported audio formats are Dolby Digital Surround EX, Pro Logic IIx decoding with Cinema, Music and Game Modes, DTS ES Discrete 6.1 and Matrix 6.1 decoding • DTS Neo:6 Stereo to Surround decoding, DTS ES 96/24 5.1 decoding for DVD Video.
The new receiver is now capable of switching HDTV-ready component inputs. AVR-1906 does not have any HDMI and DVI inputs as expected for its price range but it does have full range of audio inputs including 2 optical and 1 coax. Signal is amplified to 85 Watts (compared to 80 Watts on 1905) on all 8 channels at 8 Ohm. Denon went generous with this model and included Auto-Setup Calibration feature for Speaker Size, Phase, Channel Level and Delay and packaged with DM-S205 microphone.
To top this, I must acknowledge that adjustable high and low pass crossover is very impressive to have in this price range. Here is the frequency break up: 40/60/80/100/120/150/200/250Hz. AVR1906 In addition, there is front left and right channel bass and treble control.

Very worthy product packed with lots and lots of features and for now it is offered only at $549 at Amazon.com


Source: Denon

Filed with tags: Denon AVR-1906, AV Receiver

Posted by Mike at 9:07 PM
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Roxio Toast 7 is about to pop up!

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Roxio is in final stages of releasing next version of Toast 7. The software will be ready to ship in September. The new version will have extensive support for DivX including DivX 6 and be able to convert video from and to DV, DV 16:9, HDV 720p, HDV 1080i, QuickTime, MPEG-4, H.264, 3G, and DivX, with special pre-set options for converting videos for Sony's PlayStation Portable and iTunes. This list is almost complete with 1080p missing and surprising part is iTunes video support which kinda confirms that people at Roxio knew about iPod Video before rumors came out.
Toast 7, among all popular audio formats, will encode and decode back from Dolby Digital, OGG, FLAC, CD and DVD-Audio, and will be able to convert to and from those standards.

Source: ThinkSecret

Posted by Mike at 5:30 PM
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BenQ DV3750 37-inch LCD TV is available in Canada

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Now you can order your BenQ DV3750 37" LCD TV at benq.ca. The native 1080p ( 1920x1080) LCD panel on this TV is fast with response time at 8ms. Quite good for a 37-incher. My disappointment comes with its inability to support 1080p. What a waste. I can only hope that software upgrade can change that. No one wants to buy a TV that can but will not do 1080p. Well, it is also possible that video processing chip does not have the bandwidth to handle 1080p in which case all I said about upgrades goes down the drain.

DV3750 is powered by BenQ's Senseye proprietary video processing technology that reportedly is capable of cleaning the noise out, restoring true colors, accurately displaying image details, and enhancing picture contrast and depth.
The TV also features 3:2 pulldown, DCDi by Faroudja, 3D edge filtering.
DV3750's brightness is at 550 nits and contrast ratio is 800:1. It comes with 2 15W thin detachable speakers and SRS TruSurround XT Sound Effects.
Long story short, BenQ DV3750 seems to offer a very decent feature set at an affordable
price, CAN $3499 or about US$2920.

Source: BusinessWire and BenQ Canada

Posted by Mike at 2:06 PM
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HDMI HDCP Training

This site has moved to AVReport.com

I am reading the press release from KeyDigital about their plan to do a training session at CEDIA on HDMI HDCP and think - there still sooo much fluff in home theater market. Here is a quote from the news:

The HDMI plug-and-play digital interface is several steps ahead of DVI. By attending these crucial Key Digital(R) trainings, you will learn the benefits and advantages of using HDMI with HDCP copy protection, and implementation tricks and pitfalls. Future-proof your next installation and learn all about HDMI and HDCP from Mike Tsinberg, an expert in digital video technology and solutions. Product training will then let you walk away in confidence, that you've mastered this latest digital interface standard. You'll learn all there is to know, from choosing the right HDMI cable, to how HDMI lets the display talk to the DVD player.



Now, what in the hell they mean by several steps ahead of DVI? Both darn cables provide absolutely same signal for video. HDMI has more wires for audio but it is not future proof because of 2-channel audio support only. Hey guys, (installers or whoever is planning to attend this meeting) - wake up! I don't even want to start talking about Monster Cable and Runco. That's a topic on its own and pretty long one.

Source: BusinessWire

Posted by Mike at 12:29 PM
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Philips 30" LCD TV for $799

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Great deal on refurbished Philips 30" LCD TV here. Promo code 30LCDTV-03-0805.
Expires tomorrow. Rush!

Posted by Mike at 10:10 AM
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Sunday, August 14, 2005

New CD for your collection!

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Don't know how to make that neighbor go nuts without you in the house? Gadgets.co.uk has just the right solution for you - Revenge CD that contains tons of unpleasant tracks such as outstanding orgasm, played by a child drums, phone ringing ( non-stop if you press that repeat button ) and more. Just don't rip it for your iPod unless you have a darn good reason.
This thing sells for about 20 bucks, much less than the pleasure you get by watching crazy face leaving the building. Warning: Revenge CD is capable of making your neighbors call cops, and don't use it with Super Sonic Blaster.


Source: CDFreaks and Gadgets UK

Filed with tags: Revenge CD

Posted by Mike at 9:48 PM
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Saturday, August 13, 2005

New WXGA 1280x768 DarkChip2 DLP

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Texas Instruments announced new 0.65-inch 1280x768 DarkChip2 DLP chip. It will support Brilliant Color which is enabled by the new companion DDP3020 Imaging ASIC. Since this IC is a DarkChip2, it will be used in budget DLP projectors. I would expect projectors to start appearing in about 3-4 months. For sure there will be bunch of them on the next CES.
TI has been shipping 1280x720 DLP chips for a while now and this is a perfect resolution for 720p. The question is why do they need a 1280x768. My assumption is they are targeting this chip for a presentation market. It is WXGA that most laptops support natively. Time will show.

Source: GazAV

Posted by Mike at 5:04 PM
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MediaREADY 5000 to run SageTV on Linux

This site has moved to AVReport.com

First time ever a company will present a Linux powered HTPC. MediaREADY 5000 will run SageTV, very popular and powerful software.


Here are the highlights of this merged effort:
  • Complete personal video recording, without subscription fees, for recording TV shows to the 5000’s internal hard drive, including the ability to pause and rewind live TV, record a whole season of shows, and automatically record new shows in the user’s favorite categories (such as Reality shows) based on previous recording patterns.
  • A comprehensive electronic program guide that simplifies TV program recording by displaying channel, title, and other descriptive program information, and also enables searching and recording of favorite shows using the guide information.
  • MP3, DVD, CD, Karaoke DVD, and photo playback and management, including the ability to access digital files from the MediaREADY’s hard drive, home-network PCs, and connected peripherals such as MP3 players and digital cameras; play them on the connected TV; rip CDs to the unit’s hard drive; burn video, TV shows, music, and more onto CD or DVD discs; access music play lists by artist or album, and so on.
  • High-speed Internet browsing, email access and online gaming on the connected TV, including full-screen DVD-quality video and audio streaming.
  • Media-on-Demand capabilities, allowing consumers to access DVD-quality video programming through the MediaREADY Content Delivery Network.
  • Optional connectivity to the home computer network through a built-in Ethernet connection or plug in PCMCIA wireless card, making it possible to access digital media files stored on the household’s PCs.
Pretty nice, eh!

Source: HTPCNews

Filed with tags: MediaReady, Linux HTPC, SageTV

Posted by Mike at 4:38 PM
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Sanyo PLV-Z4 update

This site has moved to AVReport.com

I dug up some more information on upcoming Sanyo PLV-Z4 LCD projector. It will sport whopping 5000:1 contrast ratio that is controlled by double iris that adapts its opening depending on the image content. Projector's lense will have more zoom and will inherit all the features of PLV-Z3's lense. PLV-Z4 is pretty quiet - 22 Db and features a 12-bit video processing chip.

Related stories: Sanyo PLV-Z4 in October and Sanyo PLV-Z4 Unveiled in Japan

Also take a look at a very similar projector from Hitachi - PJ-TX200

Filed with tags: Sanyo PLV-Z4, LCD projector

Posted by Mike at 4:19 PM
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LG Home Theater Package

This site has moved to AVReport.com

LG XH-C751TF is a new home theater package that comes as a 42" or 50" plasma display, a DVD player, speakers, and 9-2 media card reader. Speakers are built on Surface Sound Technology which is basically a plate that makes sound by resonating. I remember seeing similar loudspeakers in BestBuy. The display supports up to 1080i. 9-in-2 card reader ( 2 for 2 slots I guess ) can swallow CF/MD/SD/SMC/MMC/MS/MS Pro/Magic Stor/XD-Picture memory formats.


Source: AkihabaraNews


Filed with tags: LG XH-C751TF, plasma tv, home theater package

Posted by Mike at 2:30 PM
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Audiophile Quality iPod Dock

This site has moved to AVReport.com

i-Deck is another iPod dock made by Monitor Audio, British company with a great reputation in loudspeakers. iDeck consist of a dock and 2 speakers. Each loudspeaker is equipped with 2 drivers - bass and a tweeter.

"A perfect match for iPod, i-deck is provided with easily interchangeable bezels, making it an equally attractive home for iPod 3G, iPod 4G, iPod color, iPod mini and iPod Photo. A 30 pin port allows you to synchronize operation with your PC or Mac via USB or Firewire. An additional auxiliary input allows you to hook up a wide range of other equipment sources too, including iPod Shuffle, MiniDiscs, CD players, radios and more."

The dock comes with a RF remote control which makes it possible to use from wherever you are in your place. All in all this promises to be a quality product from a name that does not cast doubt and at a very decent $349 price. GoodGuys is an authorized dealer and I can assume they will have it on the display soon.

Source: Gizmag

Filed with tags: iPod dock, Monitor Audio i-Deck

Posted by Mike at 1:39 PM
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Friday, August 12, 2005

Key Digital Intros iSync HD Video Processor

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Key Digital, maker of video switching, distributing, and processing equipment, today announced iSync HD video processor. iSyncHD is lower end product compared to their Leeza and Hanna processors. This device can work as a audio/video switcher that passes through the signal or can process it by applying proprietary enhancements including upscaling. Video modes supported on inputs are 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, and 1080i and output can be matched with native display resolutions. The list of supported video inputs and outputs are HDMI (HDCP), Component Video, Composite, S-Video. The unit can be operated by IR Remote, Front panel push buttons or RS232 serial interface. iScan HD is priced at $1599 and available for purchase but don't unless you do not ( or will not ) need 1080p.

Source: BusinessWire

Posted by Mike at 12:46 PM
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Pioneer DV-AX5AVi DVD player with HDMI

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Pioneer will have a new DVD player in their lineup shipping early November that also can play back DVD-Audio and SACD. Similar to recently announced Marantz, DV-AX5AVi features 10bit video processing but Pioneer uses VQE9, video chip of their own production. By the way, VQE stands for Video Quality Enhancer. High-definition outputs supported are 1080p, 1080i, and 720p over HDMI as well as enhanced and standard definition. The device can playback DVD-R and DVD-RW and features a i.Link (FireWire) port.
Audio can be upscaled up to 192KHz/24bit on all channel simultaneously. One interesting fact about this DVD player is that its DVD spinner plate is made thicker and thus heavier to eliminate vibration while rotating the disk. This makes the unit quieter and unnecessary vibration does not affect laser head reading capabilities. DV-AX5AVi sports gold plated terminals
The unit is priced at 1500 EUR (around US $1860) and don't expect in US yet.

Source: AkihabaraNews and Pioneer Japan

Filed with tags: Pioneer DV-AX5AVi, High-end DVD player, HDMI DVD player

Posted by Mike at 8:05 AM
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Thursday, August 11, 2005

New Marantz High-end DVD SACD Player

This site has moved to AVReport.com


Marantz is scheduled to deliver new high-end DVD player that also features HDMI output and can scale up to 1080p among with 720p and 1080i. In addition to be a DVD player (which I can speculate can handle DVD-Audio) is also capable of playing back SACD material.
It is equipped with 10bit video scaler IC, most likely to match DWIN's video processors, as well as 24bit video DAC. That's high precision.
The price is 1400 EUR (about US $1750) which is about what I would expect.
No other information is available at the moment, or at least I could not dig it out.
On the side note, Marantz is a Japanese company that became famous for its audio equipment and in recent years it is in video market as well with DLP projectors and Plasma monitors.


Source: AkihabaraNews


Filed with tags: Marantz, high-end DVD player, SACD Player

Posted by Mike at 8:40 AM
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Plasma TVs are better!

This site has moved to AVReport.com

It seems that Pioneer is not doing well. They have outsourced IDT, an "independent" company, to conduct test on which display technology is better - Plasma. LCD, or MicroDisplay (aka DLP). Happens to be plasma is the best. You know what - we knew that. No need to prove this. Let's better conduct a real world price comparison tests. It is the price to value ratio that makes the customer decide what to buy.
Other than price - I have no objections. They even wrote this:

With respect to image retention, all three technology types were subjected to a ‘torture’ test in which a static video game image was retained on the TV screen for 48 hours, followed by a 24-hour loop of standard video content. While the plasma TV screen displayed signs of image retention (i.e., ghosting) after the 48-hour full screen test, the 24-hour video loop essentially ‘cleaned’ the screen leaving no perceptible trace of the original static image. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being “Not Visible” and 5 being “Readily Visible and Clearly Defined,” all plasmas tested were rated as 1 or “Not Visible.”
Very brave test for plasma.

Source: Designtechnica and Pioneer


Filed with tags: Plasma TV test, Pioneer

Posted by Mike at 4:40 PM
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Neat Low Profile HTPC case from Mini-ITX.com

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Mini-ITX has a catchy case for Mini-itx and Micro ATX form factor motherboards. The case is very thin and has a great appeal. The measurements for Low Profile Media Case are 53mm height, 430mm width and 270mm depth. It comes in black or silver to match the rest of the components and priced a bit less than $90 without shipping. Case includes quiet 200W power supply that among everything standard can drive SATA drive ( cool, huh! ), a floppy and even a Pentium 4 CPU. According to specification, Low Profile Media Case can house one PCI card using a riser card. It is unclear if dual riser card fits the case and there are no additional pics to look at. I will shoot them an email to clarify.
Anyways, if number of PCI cards is not an issue, this is definitely a case worth considering.

Source: Mini-itx.com


Filed with tags: HTPC case, Mini-ITX, Micro ATX

Posted by Mike at 1:52 PM
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Arcam DiVA P1000 7 Channel Power Amplifier

This site has moved to AVReport.com



Arcam DiVA P1000 power amplifier has been released and is designed/marketed to be a couple to their AVR700 preamplifier. The full system's UK price, that includes the amp and the preamp is set to around $5400 - $2900 for P1000 amp and $2500 for AVP700.
P1000 boost 7 channel amplification at 135 Watt each. Total harmonic distortion is <0.08% 20HZ - 20HZ, typically <0.007% AT 1KHZ.

Source: Arcam

Filed wuth tags: Arcam DiVA P1000, audio power amplifier

Posted by Mike at 12:54 PM
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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

ReplayTV 5516 160-hour DVR review

This site has moved to AVReport.com


Cnet has an in-depth of 160-hour ReplayTV 5516 DVR. It scored a 7.0 or Very Good. One thing I prefer ReplayTV over TiVo is its component video output with progressive scan. Other than that - TiVo rules. Read the review here


Source: CNET.com

Filed with tags: ReplayTV 5516, DVR, TiVo

Posted by Mike at 11:21 PM
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One more Mirror TV!

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Recently mirror TVs started popping up pretty frequently. Engadget reported on them here and here. This one comes from British VisionMirror. No major differences between this model and others except that the products are marketed as not just for in bathroom use. As with other such TVs it is near waterproof and when it is off there is no TV visible, just the mirror. VisionMirror does have speakers but I have no clue where they hide them. Apparently, there is a VGA input to plug your computer in. Yeah, whatever.
And that's not all, marketing people say this is a perfect solution to get kids to brush their teeth. What a spoiled kid that would be!

Source: Gizmag and VisionMirror

Filed with tags: Mirror TV, VisionMirror

Posted by Mike at 1:12 PM
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Monday, August 08, 2005

DVD players will be in rule ...

This site has moved to AVReport.com

... of your home theater networks and not computers, Gartner analysis suggests. Ok, they actually said not just networked DVD players, but DVRs and game consoles. And computer is out of the picture. Has it ever been in control of majority of home theaters? No. Microsoft is hoping so but I doubt that average Joe wants to have complications while watching a movie. And yes there are and will be complications with computers regardless of maturity level of software. Not only the complication but the price as well sets the trend observed by Gartner. Home Theater or Home Automation computers are still just computers with special software and hardware to preform specific duties. And thus, having the cheapest computer price set to around $500 it is far more cost effective to buy a DVD player or DVR with additional functionality built in that will not drive the price to high.
I am not saying that HTPC is a bad thing. In fact it is one of the greatest devices that give you so much control over your home theater environment. You are even open to write your own software for it. And that is the problem with HTPC, too much control, which makes average user confused. That is why HTPC will not be in control of your home, not just home theater.

Source: Alexander Grundner at eHomeUpgrade.com

Filed with tags: HTPC, Home Automation, Home Control

Posted by Mike at 6:28 PM
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irock! Theater Sound™ 5.1 Surround Sound Headphones

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Lets say you have an HTPC and a baby that goes to bed at 8pm. Unfortunately you are running late on the rental movie but still want to watch that movie. What do you do? Spend 50 bucks and get yourself a pair of virtual surround sound headphones from iRock. They have just released irock! Theater Sound™ Surround sound headphones that features 6 chambered speakers with independent volume control for greater adjustment control. iRock comes with a PC or Mac software that controls all of the aspect of the sound your hear, from volume to bunch of sound effects. These cans do not require a sound card since they act as one.
I am sure reviews will pop up here and there in a matter of days so give yourself a few days before clicking on the order button. If you can't wait then start thinking how you can control the software using the remote control. No, it won't be a pleasure to spend half of the movie walking back and forth your throne and the TV.

Source: eCoustics


Filed with tags: irock! Theater Sound, Surround Sound Headphone, Virtual Surround Sound

Posted by Mike at 5:24 PM
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Sunday, August 07, 2005

High-end audio streaming

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Sonneteer of UK is specializing in high-end home audio products. The product line that caught my attention is Bard series of wireless streaming devices, BardOne set of transmitter and receiver, BardUSB transmitter, and BardThree receiver with an integrated 25W RMS amplifier. The most notable fact about these products is transmission of uncompressed audio. On top of that, they use the full wireless bandwidth to send up to 8 channels of stereo and it's not WiFi with its relatively heavy overhead and high dropout rate but pure wireless at 2.4 GHz with forward error correction to avoid any choking.
BardOne consist of 2 pieces: Tx - transmitter and Rx - receiver. Transmitter is plugs into any audio source with stereo output, including PC and iPod and streams the music uncompressed to Rx end that is in turn plugged in to your amplifier or AV receiver. BardUSB is just the same as BardOne Tx but plugs in to your USB 1.1 port and acts as a sound card for the computer. BardThree is basically a smart replacement for BardOne Rx. It features a 25W RMS amplifier so you can plug your spekers directly into it. Like I said, all of these products can stream up to 8 channels of stereo simultaneously making it possible to use in multi-zone audio setups.
Pricing for these is not really friendly though: BardOne set consisting of Tx and Rx - $825, BardUSB with BardOne Rx - $599, and BardThree with a BardUSB - $700.
And one more thing - the newer versions of BardUSB will support SPDIF which can be used to send Dolby Digital and DTS surround sounds.

Source: Sonneteer

Posted by Mike at 9:05 PM
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Denon AVR-3806 and AVR-4306 A/V Receivers

This site has moved to AVReport.com


Denon is on a frenzy of releasing new products this summer. The company "allowed" Audioholics to reveal information about its upcoming AVR-3806 and AVR-4306 receivers. MSRPs are $1999 for AVR-4306 and $1299 for AVR-3806.
Both of the receivers are XM Satellite Radio ready but will require an optional antenna. AVR-4306 features a USB port to connect to iPod or iPod likes. I can speculate that integration with iPod will be the same way as their s101 and s301 mimic iPod menus giving us much better experience with a familiar device.
Both receivers feature HDMI switching but only AVR-4306 will upconvert and upscale from component to HDMI. Moreover, AVR-4306 can be connected and controlled by a PC via RS232 serial connection. Both units feature room correction feature for calibrating the audio system and packaged with a microphone to make our life easier. This is very notable since I have not seen any other midrange A/V receiver not only feature room correction functionality but also come with a microphone.
Last but not least, AVR4306 is a 7 x 130 Watt at 8 Ohm with <0.05 THD and AVR3806 is at 7 x 120W at 8 Ohm with <0.05 THD. Both units use Burr-Brown DACs. Enough said! The list of everything else can be found at the source.

Source: Audioholics.com

Filed with tags: Denon, AVR-4306, AVR-3806, A/V Receiver

Posted by Mike at 2:35 PM
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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Arcam releases new DiVA AVP700 preamplifier

This site has moved to AVReport.com


Arcam AVP700 is the newest addition to its DiVA line of products. AVP700 preamplifier is priced at $2099 and most likely will be available in the nearest delaship soon. Arcam P1000 amplifier, which is the suggested pair to AVP700, is will be released soon. I will keep you posted.
There is so much to highlight for this unit that I just decided to give the raw specs and leave it to your judgement.

Here you go:

• Audiophile quality components for best sound quality, including 1% metal film resistors, polypropylene film capacitors, OSCON electrolytic capacitors & double sided, through-plated fibreglass circuit boards
• Balanced & Unbalanced pre amp outputs for all 7 channels and subwoofer
• Multi-channel 7.1 analogue input for DVD-A or SACD sources
• Stereo direct switch bypasses and disables all digital processing for 2 channel analogue sources
• 7 stereo analogue inputs (plus tuner); 3 tape outputs (one a tape loop)
• Zone 2 stereo audio, from stereo analogue inputs or internal tuner. Source and volume control independent from
main outputs
• Built in FM/AM RDS stereo tuner with 30 FM and 16 AM presets
digital
• State of the art Crystal Semiconductors CS49400 DSP, with 24-bit fixed point double precision Dolby Digital and DTS decoding and 32-bit fixed point double precision bass management.
• Wolfson Microelectronics 24-bit 192kHz DACs, stereo ADC and precision electronic volume controls
• Decodes Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Pro Logic IIx (including full music mode support), DTS 96/24, DTS-ES Discrete and Matrix 6.1, DTS Neo 6
• 6 Arcam-optimized surround effects modes for 2 channel sources
• Adjustable crossover switching from 40 – 130 Hz in 10 Hz steps
• Separate sub woofer level settings for film and stereo listening
• Bass and treble equalizers, both global and for each of 7 main channels
• 6 fully assignable digital inputs, 3 co-axial, 3 optical; 1 coaxial & 1 optical output
• Assignable global audio delay, adjustable from 0 – 220 milliseconds, to compensate for video processing delays in digital displays or DVD players

• 2-way HDMI switching, HDCP compatible
• 5 composite and 5 S-video inputs; 3 fully buffered outputs of each type
• 3x HDTV compatible component video inputs and 1 monitor output (these may alternatively be configured to support RGB, with sync on composite video, for use in European TV systems
• Video up conversion – composite to S-video and vice versa via the monitor outputs; composite and S-video to interlaced component video
• Video up conversion to RGB with sync on composite (SCART compatible) for European TV displays. 12V triggers support S-video, RGB and widescreen switching for SCART equipped TVs.
• Composite and S-video inputs assignable to “non video” audio inputs
• High quality (component / RGB) inputs each assignable to any audio input
• Zone 2 composite video output, from composite video inputs
custom

Source: Arcam

Filed with tags: Arcam AVP700, preamplifier, av receiver.

Posted by Mike at 3:33 PM
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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Sanyo PLV-Z4 in October

This site has moved to AVReport.com

There is a rumor that Sanyo is readying its PLV-Z4 LCD projector for shipment in October. Its predecessor PLV-Z3, shown below, has received many good reviews and is very successful in its price range. It is speculated that Z4 will have 1920x1080 panels from Epson. That's it for now.



Source: areadvd.de

Related story: Sanyo PLV-Z4 update and Sanyo PLV-Z4 Unveiled in Japan

Also take a look at a very similar projector from Hitachi - PJ-TX200

Filed with tags: LCD Projector, Sanyo, PLV-Z4, PLV-Z3, Sanyo z3

Posted by Mike at 2:20 PM
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Yamaha Digital Sound Projector - mass market version

This site has moved to AVReport.com


It is rumored that Yamaha is working on a cheaper mass market version of its YSP-1 Digital Sound Projector. YSP-1 is an array of 42 speakers that are driven by a DSP. The DSP controls levels and timings of drivers thus making audio waves bounce of the walls and making you believe you are surrounded. According to multiple reviews it does work and works pretty well.
The current YSP-1 model sells for about $1200. My guess is the newer model will be priced half the originial model's price which is relatively good compared to other surround sound loudspeakers. One advantage of Digital Sound Projector is it being a single piece. Very convenient compared to 5.1 systems that require wiring to be in place before you can enjoy.
I have covered a similar product, ZVOX 315 here, which is another single piece solution to get a surround sound. Though, ZVOX is a dummy box without any processor, whereas Yamaha brained with DSP and accepts multitude of audio inputs and can decode almost all major encoding systems such as Dolby Digital and DTS.

Source: TechDigest

Filed with tags: Yamaha YSP-1, Digital Sound Projector, Surround Sound.

Posted by Mike at 2:02 PM
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Denon s101 s301 shipping in Japan

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Denon started shipping its s101 and s301 DVD players with seamless iPod, and for that matter, any USB portable audio player connectivity. It is a clear indication that we are getting it for holiday season of 2005.
There is also a new teaser for Denon s301 on their website if you are interested.


Source: Akihabara News

Posted by Mike at 8:27 AM
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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

ZVOX 315 Sound Console

This site has moved to AVReport.com

ZVOX 315 is a type of audio speaker that does not promise much. What it promises is simple - bigger better sound out of a small box ( not small as in "Bose"). This unit is definitely not for audiophiles but it is a perfect solution for crappy sound that your TV "makes". It is even designed as an AV component giving us the possibility to stick it in the open drawer underneath the TV. ZVOX features a built-in 40w audio amp, 20 for sub and 20 for the rest of the drivers. Subwoofer goes down to 63Hz which is way better than what you get with 90% of TVs. ZVOX 315 packaged with all necessary cables to connect to your audio source. Two stereo inputs can be used with variable outputs or headphone jacks, such as one from iPod. There is also an optional $15 set of wires that lets you connect the box directly to AV Receiver's speaker terminals.
In short, for the $200 price tag this is an incredible upgrade to your TV if you like the simplest solution.

Source: ZVOX Audio

Posted by Mike at 1:01 PM
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Long DVI to HDMI cables from Black Diamond Video

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Black Diamond Video is shipping its 30 ( 100 feet) , 40 ( 131 feet ), 50 ( 164 feet ), and 60 ( 197 feet ) meter DVI to HDMI cables. They guarantee proper operation of 1920x1200, 1920x1080p, or 1600x1200 with a maximum TMDS rate of 1.65Gb/s which means all these cables are Blu-Ray and HD-DVD ready. These cables come triple shielded for noise insulation.

Source: HomeToys and Black Diamond Video



Filed with tags: DVI cable, HDMI cable, long, Black Diamond Video

Posted by Mike at 12:33 PM
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Sharp AQUOS LC-65GE1 65-inch LCD in US before Christmas

This site has moved to AVReport.com


Sharp announced that it will be exporting its 65-inch LCD TV to US. The price tag for Japanese model is about $14800 so expect about the same for US market. There is a possibility that Europe might get this toy but no announcement on that. Anyways, LC-65GE1 features a 1920x1080 native 1080p resolution panel, low reflection screen, digests all possible inputs up to 1080p ( obliviously ). There are HDMI, DVI, well , all types of inputs for video. On audio side it is equipped with 1-bit digital amplifier. The scaler box also features LAN, 56L modem, i. Link but I doubt that all of that will reach us. Maybe i.Link. One more thing, life expectancy on back light is 60000 hours.
Just don't expect to see this model in your local BestBuy because Sharp isn't going to mass produce them. Japan got only 300 of them. We probably will get 1000.

Source: I4U, Engadget

Filed with tags: lcd tv, aquos, LC-65GE1,Sharp

Posted by Mike at 10:43 AM
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Monday, August 01, 2005

TwinBird's waterproof DVD player

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Speaking of home theater, bath and hot tub are still in home premises so it would be fair to mention a portable DVD player you can soak into that tub while catchin' on last season of "Sopranos". TwinBird DVD Zabady VD-J711W comes with a 7-inch screen and can be submerged and kept under about 3 feet for half an hour. No information if the plastic is capable of handling hot tubs though.



Source: I4U and TwinBird

Posted by Mike at 10:06 AM
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