Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sharp's Four New Aquos DVD/HDD Recorders

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Sharp Japan intorduced 4 new Aquos branded DVD/HDD recorders: DV - ARW15 and
DV - ARW12 with digital HDTV tuners and
DV - AR12 and DV - AR11 with just analog tuners. All units except DV-AR11 feature HDMI output, i.Link input and output. In addition, these units are able to record 2 shows simultaneously, similar to Pioneer's DVR series recorders. Units will be available early December without any price announcement at this moment.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 4:09 PM
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Pioneer DVR-DT90 and DVR-DT40 HDD/DVD Recorders

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Pioneer Japan has announced 2 HDD/DVD recorders: DVR-DT90 with 500GB hard drive and DVR-DT70 with a 250GB. Both recorders feature HDTV tuners and can store about 58 and 29 hours of HDTV programming. At the lowest quality recording DVR-DT90 can store up to 1422 hours and DZVR-DT70 - 722 hours of programming. This is particularly useful when you out of the town for a while A cool feature is that you can record one show and watch another or record 2 shows at the same time- whichever fits. Units can also record on Dual Layer DVD besides virtually any other format available.
The output of DVR units is HDMI with 702p/1080i, Component (D4), S-Video, and Composite. Audio can be relayed out with digital optical output or regular stereo RCA jacks.
Units will be available in stores of Japan at the end of November.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 9:03 AM
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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dual VGA/QVGA LCD Display

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Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology (TMDisplay) announced an LCD display that can do VGA and QVGA on the same panel. This is not the same thing as changing the graphics card resolution to and from these two modes. The display itself acts as a "native" VGA and QVGA. The only usage I see for this type of display is basically now and not a year later because by then software that currently do not support VGA resolution will be rewritten. I just cannot see the effort to make a product that "efficiently" degrades a feature, in this case the resolution.

Source: Digitimes

Posted by Mike at 11:15 PM
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Teac CD Receiver with iPod Support.

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Teac has updated it CR-H255 to include a USB port, according to current industry trend with iPods and similar. Although, this device does not function as an iPod controller it does recognize the device as an external hard disk filled with music thus enabling you to use regular built-in control functions. Teac CR-H255 is also compatible with any other storage device that features a USB port and can playback MP3 and WMA formats. Not to much but at the price of £270 (about $477) it seems to be a good deal given that it can also record on to a recordable CD from external inputs. CR-H255 will be shipping next month in UK.

Source: AVReview UK and Teac

Posted by Mike at 7:06 PM
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Naim's CD555 CD Player - Claimed Best!

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According to Naim this is the best CD player ever built. And by saying that you already know that you will need a home equity loan to buy one of this. How £15,000 sounds.? Or $26500?
This unit is built on the idea that all components, such as power supply, DACs, etc, must be aways from each other to minimize any noise. The company uses Burndy interconnects to carry digital , and analog supplies separate from each other. But, as AVReview UK notes: "Impressive sure, but whether these features help warrant the asking price remains to be seen".

Here are some mostly engineering highlights for CD555:

Machined transport tray.
Low infra red reflective coatings around CD to reduce eye pattern interference and noise.
Low inertia and low resonance CD clamp.
Philips Pro CD mechanism. Die-cast chassis.
Brass sub-chassis, separate for digital and analogue electronics.
Analogue stages, I-to-V conversion, filtering and output driver are from discrete parts.
Seven-pole output filters.
Separate low jitter clock circuit with its own multi-stage regulated power supply.
Post digital filter de-jitter circuitry eliminates jitter.
DACs isolated from electric and magnetic fields.
Motorised door, top loader.
Naim's CD555 will be available in December. Hope someone presents me with one of these for Christmas.

Source: AVReview UK

Posted by Mike at 6:37 PM
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Dell's Adds New 32" LCD and 50" Plasma TVs

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Dell announced in a press conference that they will start shipping two new flat panel TV sets later this year. And those are a 32" LCD and 50" Plasma. W3201 LCD TV will go for $1799 and W5001C plasma for $3799. Both TVs feature built-in HDTV tuners and are powered by Pixelworks' image processor. No other information is available at this moment.

Source: PC Magazine

Posted by Mike at 6:24 PM
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Samsung Showed first 82-inch LCD TV and 40-inch OLED

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Samsung is again first in size with its newly showcased 82-inch LCD TV and 40 inch OLED displays. Here are the specs. Pics will come a bit later:

82" TFT-LCD TV
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Resolution 1920x1080 pixels (approx. 6.22 million pixels)
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Screen Ratio 16:9
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Color Gamut 92 %
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Contrast Ratio 8,000:1 (dynamic contrast)
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Brightness 500 nits (cd/m(2))
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Response Time 8 ms
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HDTV resolution Max. 1080/60 progressive scan
(1080 horizontal scan lines of 60 frames per
second)
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Connectivity HDMI (2), PC (1)
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40" OLED Prototype Panel
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Resolution 1280x800 pixels (HD-class)
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Screen Size 40" (Diagonal)
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Screen Ratio 16:10
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Number of Pixels 3.07 million (# of RGB sub-pixels)
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Max. Screen Brightness 600 nits
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Shade Ratio 5,000:1
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Color Reproducibility Min. 80% vs. NTSC
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Response Speed Min. 1,000x faster than that of LCDs
----------------------------------------------------------------------


Source: Audioholics Press Release

Posted by Mike at 4:02 PM
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Oppo OPDV971H is officialy shipped

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Oppo has officially announced availability of their DVD player with DVI output that upscales to 1080i. The highlights of this player is that it can play PAL and NTSC DVDs, DVD Video/Audio, Divx/MPEG4, VCD, SVCD, CD, HDCD, DVDR/RW, CD-R/RW, Kodak Picture.

Here is the press release:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. September 28, 2005 – OPPO Digital, Inc., a leading A/V consumer electronics manufacturer, today officially introduced its high performance, stylish OPPO OPDV971H DVI DVD player for HDTVs and projectors. Available today with an MSRP of $249, consumers can purchase the OPDV971H from authorized resellers listed at www.oppodigital.com.
OPPO Digital’s OPDV971H features Faroudja's Emmy award-winning DCDi® deinterlacing and cutting-edge scaling technology to up-convert standard video in DVDs to HD resolutions. DCDi (Directional Correlational Deinterlacing) technology eliminates the jagginess that conventional upconverters introduced to diagonal edges in video. Faroudja’s unique DCDi algorithm identifies all the moving edges in a scene and adjusts the angle of interpolation at each pixel so that the interpolation always follows the edge instead of crossing it, eliminating staircasing or jagged edge artifacts.
Featuring a slim and elegant design, the OPDV971H also offers digital DVI output at 480p/540p/720p/1080i resolutions, which offers clearer pictures and an enhanced viewing experience. With support for DVD, DVD+/-RW, DivX, VCD, SVCD, CD+R/-RW, HDCD, WMA, Xvid, digital picture (JPEG) CDs, NTSC and PAL, OPDV971H is one of the most versatile players on the market.
“As HDTVs are approaching mass appeal, OPPO Digital enables consumers to enrich their home theater and DVD viewing experience by combining performance, advanced technology, and value – as well as extending the opportunity for high resolution on-demand entertainment,” said Jin Pi, CEO of OPPO Digital. “During its initial market shipments, the OPDV971H already received a tremendous level of enthusiastic support from the home theater and A/V community. We look forward to helping more consumers get the most out of their DVD collections and high performance HDTVs and projectors.”
“After owning two very expensive players, which had issues the manufacturer has failed to address, I can truthfully say that the OPDV971H is one of the best players on the market today at any price,” said Rudy Beatty, an OPPO customer, “OPPO, you rock.”
About OPPO Digital, Inc.
Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, OPPO Digital, Inc., manufactures and markets digital electronics for A/V enthusiasts and video savvy consumers that deliver style, innovation, value, and performance. The company's leading R&D, high-performance A/V products, and strong customer focus distinguish it from traditional consumer-electronics brands.
The company is located in Mountain View, Calif. More information can be found online at www.oppodigital.com.

Source: eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 3:53 PM
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Onkyo TV Stand with Built-in Speakers

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Onkyo has some pictures for their new modern styled TV stand that has the speakers built-in. For a hardcore home theater people this might sound like a cheesy idea but for those who do like the design may be pretty happy by the all-in-oneness (I just made up that word). For who is in the latter category CB-SP1200X acts as any other boxed speaker with the box being also a TV stand. There are three speakers on the stand - you guessed - center, left and right. The loudspeakers are of moderate specifications and can handle 40 Watts of output covering 50Hz - 100kHz frequency range.
The stand by itself is not really all that cool because there is a 5.1 channel amplifier that goes with its design. DHT-SR1 consists of an amp, subwoofer, and two satellites to complement. Subwoofer is bottom to 50Hz and is only 25 Watts.
Like I said, this is not a system someone should dream about but if you have a small flat and do like the design it might work for you.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 3:31 PM
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New JVC 1080p D-ILA Projectors

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JVC's new 1080p D-ILA Projector is looking very similar to Sony Qualia VPL-VW100 with one difference: it is made has a aluminum enclosure. The projector system comes in two incarnations:
DLA-HD11K with audio hub (or a cheaper video processor as I understand) and DLA-HD12K that is packaged with a video processor. The price difference between these two is some $5000. That makes me believe that the video processor does make a difference. Although, given that "lower-end" DLA-HD11K model costs only $15000 one would expect the greatest picture quality.
Ok, now some specs: both models are 1080p natively with 3 LCD panels. Processor boxes feature 4 HDMI inputs along with line of regular analog inputs. Input format varies from 480i to 1080i which processors scale up to 1080p/60Hz to feed the projector.
I should also add that each projector also can be purchased with a long or short throw lense to match your room dimensions and there is no extra charge for one type or another. Projectors with short throw lense are going to be available at the end of November and long throw DLA-HD11KL and DLA-HD12KL will hit the stores just before the end of 2005.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 11:51 AM
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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sunfire 8 Channel Flat Eight Mini Amp

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This year at CEDIA Sunfire has introduced new 8 channel audio amplifier that can deliver 130Watt per channel. The unit looks like a 1-U rack component despite being silver matching other Sunfire products. In total Flat Eight can do 800 watts RMS on all channels continuosly.
Also, Flat Eight can deliver 1040 Watts into 4 Ohms with THD less than 0.5% (what?). It is equipped with protection circuits that include automatic low- and high-frequency speaker protection circuits, as well as speaker short-circuit protection, input overload and static electricity protection up to 150,000 volts.
And here is the funny part on the unit's overheat LED. Bob Carver promises to eat his hat if the light of that LED turns on. He says it is there just in case. Flat Eight will be available in November at suggested $1495.

Source: eCoustics Press Releases

Posted by Mike at 3:50 PM
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Quad Full High Definition 3840x2160 LCD Display

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Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corporation has announced successful development of new breed of LCD displays that are 56-inch in diagonal and sport 3840x2160 resolution. According to company press release, panels will be used inhigh-end home theater applications. Display will be showcased in Yokohama in October.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 1:56 PM
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Four New JVC LCD TV's Announced

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JVC of Japan announced four new LCD TV sets ranging from 26 inch to 40 inch in diagonal. All of the sets feature HDMI input along with i.Link, Component, D4, S-Video, and Composite. These TVs have built-in DBS, VHF, UHF tuners. Units are equipped with 2 x 10W audio amplifier to be used with optional speakers. The resolution on 40 inch LT-40LH700 is native 1080p (1920x1080), and all other models (LT-37LC70, LT-32LC70, LT-26LC70) come with 1366x768 panels.
The image proccessor used in these sets is proprietary chip called GENESSA.
JVC plans to ship the lineup in late October but did not announce any prices yet. And all of this if for Japan only.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 1:42 PM
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Tweeter drops Monster!

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Yes, finally. Anything that hurts Monster Cable is good. Tweeter is dropping them and will go on with some other manufactuer.

In an announcement released today, Monster cites concern for Tweeter’s financial condition and the exposure of its four million dollar credit line. In what only appears to make sense, Monster had decided to roll back Tweeters credit line “to commensurate levels and recommended a shortening of terms that would still allow Tweeter's Monster business to continue.” But apparently Tweeter was not happy with this decision and as a result plans to drop all Monster products and replace them with other vendors.
After Tweeter, two more major retailers left selling Monster - BestBuy and Circuit City. Hope someday these deals go bad as well. And hope that Monster goes bankrupt with the their ugly business plan that is designed for ripping customers off with nonsense.

Source: Designtechnica

Posted by Mike at 1:28 PM
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Monday, September 26, 2005

Verizon Launches First Fiber-Optics TV - FiOS

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Verizon has launched fiber-optics TV service FiOS in Texas' Keller. The service brings down 330 channels of all digital content including HD programming and of course music. Just to give you an idea on the bandwidth - they offer 30Mb down / 5Mb upload speeds. That is pretty damn futuristic for US (Japan had it for a while now). That is what I call bandwidth that will support high definition and not IEEE1394 over coax or CAT5 type of jokes. Let it get widespread! ASAP!

Source: I4U

Posted by Mike at 12:39 PM
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LCD Display with 200,000:1 Contrast Ratio

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When someone claims contrast ratio of 200000:1 that means when pixels are off they turn into black holes and when on - they are something like a sun. Here is how said contrast ratio is commented by Brightside in their DR37-P LCD model:

The DR37-P is capable of putting out a completely black image by not illuminating the individually modulated LEDs in the backlight when presented with a black signal. There is no residual light produced by the display, therefore the lowest amount of light it can display is zero which gives a meaningless contrast ratio of infinity. In practice, the measured contrast ratio in a dark room is determined by the second addressable step of the display (i.e. step 2 out of 65025) which is the first non-zero luminance level. In the absence of ambient light and nearby bright image areas this second addressable step produces a luminance of approximately 0.015 which yields a contrast ratio of 200000:1 using this metric. 25,000:1 using ANSI 9 point checkerboard pattern (VESA contrast ratio standard) In normal usage, the display will be in a room with some ambient light which will introduce front surface reflection and raise the effective black level of the display somewhat. The DR37 uses high end anti-reflective coatings to suppress this effect as much as possible.
And all this is achieved because this startup had enough brains to use what is called Individually Modulated Array of LED backlights ( IMLED). Basically, this technology is having a tiny lights sources behind each pixel as if there is another panel besides the main panel. IMLED enables addition of extra 8 bits to existing 8-bit color scale or LCD thus making a virtual 16-bit LCD panel. Very innovative and applausible. Now, hold on tight because the price is shocking - $49000 for the 37-incher. Is it worth it? Not yet. Let's give the company some more time to work on making it cheaper (and please redesign the look - it looks only $300 worth). By the way, this is a native 1080p display and sports SD-SDI, HD-SDI, single and dual link DVI-D inputs.


Source: Engadget, Tom's Hardware and BrightSide

Posted by Mike at 12:44 AM
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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Crestron CEN-iPOD

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Crestron is known for its home theater control systems that include touch panel interfaces and are expensive. I am surprised that the company is this late into the iPod game. Anyways, they have been showing their CEN-iPOD dock at CEDIA 2005 that can be connected to the Crestron controller via CAT-5 wired Ethernet. iPod is plug and play compatible with Crestron's Adagio control system and once connected, music can flow anywhere in the house. And that's not all: Crestron managed to mimic iPod menus on their touch panels that can control the iPod. But wait, there is more: CEN-IPOD is compatible with iPod Photo and can put those pictures on the the screen of your "Crestroned" TV.
Adagio control system can handle multiple iPods and allows you to name each of them individually. Besides that, system can "discover" a connected iPod with a press of a button without any PC or touch panel.

Source: Crestron

Posted by Mike at 6:35 PM
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Screen Formats Explained

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Clint DeBoer of Audioholics presents an article where he talks about Anamprphic, Letterbox, and Pan & Scan display formats. In the article he covers history of each format and why it made into our lives. Here are few notable excerpts from the article:

What letterboxing did was allow the entire width of the film to be shown. What it did not do was efficiently accomplish this task. By introducing black bars at the top and bottom, VHS effectively eliminated 1/3 of its precious 280 lines of resolution. Oh they were still there, but they were taken up by black bars. Now we had only about 160 or so lines of resolution on which to watch our movies. At the time, this was all that was possible. And honestly, it was a good solution given the consumer format limitations at the time.
or
DVDs provided the same ability to watch widescreen presentations on our 4:3 standard definition televisions, but with one very important change. The DVD spec allowed the picture to be “pre-squished” into what we now call anamorphic (or sometimes dubbed “widescreen”) video.
Clint DeBoer has done a great job putting it all together in a simple and understandable format in popular language.

Read the full article at Audioholics.com

Posted by Mike at 12:26 AM
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Friday, September 23, 2005

Denon AVC-3920 7.1 Channel AV Receiver

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Denon revealed newer generation of its mid-range AV receiver: AVC-3920 outputting at 120W per channel at 8 Ohms with amazing <0.05% total harmonic distortion and signal to noise ratio at 102dB. The unit features a new technology called Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit or D.D.S.C. and Audyssey Multi ROOM EQ TX room correction functionalities. AVC-3920 is driven by a 32 bit DSP, reportedly newer Analog Devices' SHARC series. Analog audio output is sampled at 24bit/192KHz. Denon claims that power supply was "stabilized" and can produce equal cleaner wattage on all channels simultaneously. The receiver also sports a variable crossover for freaks to tweaks with. The bands are 40/60/80/90/100/110/120/150/200/250Hz.
As if the unit lacks many great characteristics, let me add one more - HDMI capable unit that can upscale to 1080p. Truly amazing piece from Denon. It will be available in Japan early October of 2005 for 173,250 Yen (about $1540).

Posted by Mike at 12:26 PM
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

CEDIA 2005 Projector Roundup

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ProjectorReviews.com has an article on some of the notable front projectors shown at CEDIA 2005. Reviewer just shares his thoughts on most interesting units. In short, he covers SIM2 C3X, Sony Qualia VPL100, Projector Design's 3-chip native 1080p DLP prototype projector as well as budget priced ($6000 - $7000) DarkChip3 DLP projector, Vidikron's (aka Runco nowadays) super-expensive $43000 projector that with the anamorphic lens can show 2.35:1 image without any letterboxing. BenQ showed their new PE8720 DarkChip3 DLP projector but lacked to show any content except some HD video. According to ProjectorReviews the reds on the unit were off and the hope is that BenQ will address that in final version of the projector. This unit is priced at about $8000 and will not be mainstream but for custom installers only. PE8720 offers a lens shift and is very silent. Optoma is another manufacturer in the overview list and they showed full line of their DLP projectors including MovieTime DV10 DVD/projector combo. Epson was introducing itself with 3 new LCD projectors: Pro Cinema 800, Cinema 550, and all-in-one projector MovieMate 25. DWIN has showed their DuoVision dual display system which I have covered in an extensive post. Yamaha introduced DPX-1300 - an upgrade to DarkChip3 from DarkChip2.
ProjectorReviews also covered the Screen Innovation's Mirage daylight screen. It is truly wonderful but sure is pricey at $4000 for a 100 incher.
The author mentions that some of the manufacturers did not setup a dark environment for projector shows which makes me wonder why those people even bothered to rent all that high priced space and trash it.

Source: ProjectorReviews.com

Posted by Mike at 10:11 PM
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SIM2 INTRODUCES THE DOMINO 55M RPTV FEATURING PROPIETARY LIGHT ENGINE AND DLP TECHNOLOGY

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PRESS RELEASE: www.castercomm.com

This 55-inch rear projection display is packed full of new features that combine for unmatched performance in picture quality and style.

Miramar, FL – CEDIA EXPO 2005 – Following the award winning RTX DLP™ based rear projection display, SIM2 USA, through their parent company SIM2 Multimedia S.p.A., introduces the DOMINO 55M High-Definition rear projection display. The ideal replacement for ageing CRT technology, the DOMINO 55M produces stunning detail and color accuracy utilizing today’s most advanced technologies.

Based on SIM2s proprietary light engine, the DOMINO 55M features the HD2+ chip from Texas Instruments, DLP™ technology and has a newly designed, silent six segment color wheel for amazing accuracy in reproducing rich color and detail. The SIM2 developed light engine is completely sealed to prevent light-leakage that can lead to reduced contrast and requires no fan to operate so there is no filter to get clogged.

The DOMINO 55M also features a new HDMI™-HDCP input – a digital connection that transmits an uncompressed bit stream directly from the source to the display, which offers the consumer greater choice when connecting a DVD, satellite or PC. The HDMI-HDCP input is the perfect link between digital audio/video sources and High Definition displays offering uncompromised signal integrity and backwards compatibility with DVI.

The DOMINO 55M has a native resolution of 1280 x 720 via its HDMI-HDCP input and utilizes Faroudja’s DCDi™ chip set for flawless image processing that is undetectable to the viewer. Whether you’re a movie buff, sports enthusiast, avid gamer or casual TV watcher, the DOMINO 55M’s resolution and 1800:1 contrast ratio will display a strikingly life-like video image.

Two internal speakers on the 55M can be amplified via an external amplifier or receiver, and can be configured as the left/right or center channel speaker of a surround sound speaker system. The 55M also features a RS-232 input for future software upgrades and PC remote control.

The DOMINO 55M display is available in a matte black finish and has an MSRP of $6,995.00.

For more information on SIM2 USA, please call 954.442.2999 or visit www.sim2usa.com.


Since their entrance into the US home theater market in 1999, SIM2 USA, under the guidance of its parent SIM2 Multimedia, has dedicated its resources to designing, developing and marketing products that meet the demand of the US market. SIM2 Multimedia, a worldwide leading manufacturer of home theater products for over ten years, engineers home entertainment products that deliver uncompromising performance to fulfill the requirements of the most demanding home theater enthusiast.

Digital Light Processing, DLP and DLP Cinema are trademarks of Texas Instruments.

SIM2 Contact: SIM2 USA, Inc. at 954.442.2999
Greg Nicoloso, Marketing Manager gnicoloso@sim2usa.com

Press Contact: Caster Communications, Inc. at 401.792.7080
Katie Short kshort@castercomm.com
Kimberly Lancaster klancaster@castercomm.com
For digital images: www.castercomm.com

Posted by Mike at 3:20 PM
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X2 Introduces Industry First IPTV Enabled Media Center PC Powered by DAVE.TV

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In a Single Chic and Compact Hub for Multiple Digital Devices, the DAVE.TV Enabled IPTV MEGA PC Heightens Use of IPTV Programming Connecting the PC and TV World

SANTA MONICA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 09/20/2005 -- DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD -- X2 Corporation, a global manufacturer and direct marketer of digital lifestyle products, today announces the IPTV MEGA PC Media Center powered by DAVE.TV and the DAVE Media Center (DMC™) software. X2 recently announced a strategic partnership with DAVE.TV, a global IPTV digital entertainment distribution network, in which the companies are working together and collaborating in building cutting-edge IPTV and ITV platforms. The IPTV MEGA PC is just the first of several next generation IPTV devices to come. The unit directly integrates IPTV technology allowing for more personalized entertainment for the user and access to thousands of hours of video, music and other digital content.

The IPTV MEGA PC Media Center unit is designed to give consumers an easy and fast way for downloading and watching videos, sharing pictures, linking to mobile devices, listening to music, playing games, connecting to home theater components and systems, accessing all media/data types, connecting to other PCs, and more. In addition, the integration of IPTV technology makes the IPTV MEGA PC the ideal platform for a complete customizable user experience. IPTV gives the user more control over program content and enables someone to immediately respond to or alter programming. Video-on-Demand (VOD), interactive news and educational programming, niche or local live event streaming video, and more are possibilities with the IPTV MEGA PC.


"The IPTV MEGA PC is the ultimate in digital home entertainment center," raves Rex Wong, CEO of X2 Corporation. "Not only does it bring thousands of hours of digital content directly to the desktop and TV, it allows for a more personalized viewing environment that users can tailor to fit their needs to create a more interactive user experience."

The IPTV MEGA PC sports an advanced front LED color control panel display, which displays info such as current mode, CD and/or DVD playback status (chapter/time/track info), audio and video info/settings and volume plus PC environment data such as internal PC temperature. It comes with a full function remote controller with all of the various functions and an intuitive graphical media menu system.

With a sleek high-tech design, the IPTV MEGA PC is equipped with a powerful Intel Pentium 4 processor with hyper-threading and speeds up to 3.6GHz. The IPTV MEGA PC small, cube shape makes it the ideal size to have in any compact space. The core of the center contains up to 2GB of DDR400 memory and up to a 400GB hard drive. The IPTV MEGA PC also has a built-in 802.11b+g Wi-Fi Wireless LAN and 10/100 fast Ethernet LAN networking connectivity for the sharing of digital video, sound, and data with other computers in the network or around the world via Internet. Plus, with the IPTV MEGA PC many ports including IEEE 1394 Firewire ports and USB 2.0 connectivity it is easy to link to all of the various digital toys and gadgets including digital cameras, webcams, scanners, printers and more.

In the digital entertainment arena, the X2 IPTV MEGA PC allows users to record and play TV shows with its built-in TV tuner and digital video recorder, watch DVD movies in 5.1 Surround Sound with the built-in DVD player, listen to CD's, MP3's or AM/FM radio, download and edit digital camera photos and data from PDA's with the 7-in-1 media card reader (SD, MMC, Compact Flash I and II, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Smart Media), record video from a camcorder using the IEEE 1394 Firewire port and record up to 4.7GB of data with the built-in DVD+/-RW dual format recordable/rewritable drive. The IPTV MEGA PC also includes an onboard 3D graphics accelerator plus an AGP 8X and a 32bit PCI expansion slot for future expansion.

The X2 IPTV MEGA PC pricing starts at $999 and up depending upon configuration. It will be available at leading retailers and e-tailers, which will be announced shortly, and directly at www.x2usa.com.

About X2 Corporation

X2's mission is to become the premier brand for digital lifestyle products. Every X2 product is designed with a focus on innovation, style and user experience. X2 offers an array of popular digital lifestyle products ranging from MEGA Media Center PCs and super-thin notebooks to its Mega Player line of hybrid MP3 digital audio players and Mega View pocket video recorder/viewers. The X2 management team includes seasoned executives from Cisco, General Electric, Google, Vivendi, D-Link and Netgear with over 100 years of combined experience in the IT industry. X2 is located at 911B Canada Court, City of Industry, CA 91748. For more information, please contact info@x2usa.com.

Posted by Mike at 3:17 PM
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Canon to boost investment in organic flat-panel displays

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PRESS RELEASE: Agence France-Presse

TOKYO--Canon said Wednesday it would boost research and development (R&D) spending by about two-thirds to advance new organic flat-panel display screens and rear-projection televisions.
Japan's top office equipment and camera maker will raise annual R&D investment to about 500 billion yen from around 300 billion as previously planned, a spokesman said.
"It is part of our strategy to consider large-size displays as one pillar of our business," he said.
Electro-luminescent displays, which sandwich a very thin layer of organic material between two plates, use less power and offer brighter images and wider viewing angles than liquid crystal display panels, making them suitable for devices such as digital cameras and mobile phones.
Canon said it was considering a commercial launch of the new display panels by 2007 and sees demand of around 20 million units a year.
The Tokyo-based maker of PC printers and digital cameras is also jointly developing with Toshiba a type of flat screen known as surface-conduction electron-emitter display panels, which are due to hit the market in early 2006.
At the same time Canon is working on rear-projection type displays for televisions.
Rivalry in flat-panel displays is heating up, with electronics manufacturers competing over several different types.
Sharp Corp is concentrating on liquid crystal displays, while Matsushita Electric Industrial, best known for its Panasonic brand, has been heavily investing in plasma display panels.
In late August, Canon announced it would take over NEC Corp subsidiary Anelva Corp, which makes flat-panel displays, in a bid to strengthen its cost competitiveness in this area.

Posted by Mike at 2:58 PM
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Yamaha DPX-1300 DLP Projector

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Yamaha introduced DPX-1300 projector at CEDIA 2005. It features a HD2+ DarkChip3 720p (1280x720) DMD chip and is driven by Realta HQV 10-bit video processor. The fact that at the same time TI introduced a 1080p (1920x1080) DLP DMD chip for front projectors makes this projector kind of in the background because it does not offer anything rather exceptional. The suggested price of the DPX-1300 is $12495 (ouch!) and it will be available in October.

Source: Press Release at HomeTheaterHifi

Posted by Mike at 2:34 PM
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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

FireWire over Coax

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The 1394 Trade Association is working on a specification to run IEEE1394 (aka FireWire or i.Link) over a coax cable basically in favor of cable companies so they can use their current wires. For those who does not know FireWire's bandwidth is 400Mbps and according to the report this will let cable operators to provide quality HDTV content. Yeah, right! Do some math and see how much compression that 1080i signal will be getting to easily travel over FireWire. Oh, and thousand other channels will be crammed into the same wagon. It will probably be better than what we have now but our TV sets will be craving for some real 1080p by the time the spec is accepted and implemented. As if this was not enough, same work is being done to use IEEE1394 over CAT-5. That's even worse - 100Mbps. Ughh!

Source: InformationWeek

Posted by Mike at 11:57 PM
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Sony TA-DA9100ES 9.1 AV Receiver with HDMI

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Sony today announced in press release the TA-DA9100ES 9.1 channel high-end AV receiver. It is capable of upscaling to 1080p (1920x1080), has 2 HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. Power output is variable from 320Watts on the front decreasing to 200Watts on the rear speakers. This is actually well thought. Total harmonic distortion of the amplifier is <0.15%. The unit features mirriads of analog and digital inputs and outputs for anyone's taste. You can connect virtually any device including two 7.1 pre-amps (or DVD players for that matter). This beast is going on sale in Japan at the of December and will cost 682500 Yen ($6100).

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 7:22 PM
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Sony TA-DR1a Stereo Digital Amplifier

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Sony unveiled new digital amplifier - TA-DR1a. It sure looks cool but the technical characteristics are not very promising given the high price of the unit 1,260,000 Yen (about $11262). THD is <0.15%. One should expect this number be way lower in 0.05 area for the price. SNR ( signal to noise ratio ) is reported to be above 90Db that isn't good enough. This amp also got digital optical and i.Link (IEE1394) inputs that presumably are pass-through since there should be no decoder to work with those inputs. The power output is rated at 150Watts at 8 Ohms and 300Watts at 4 Ohms over full frequency range of 20Hz-20000Hz. The unit will be available in Japan late November.

Posted by Mike at 4:54 PM
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JVC introduces 7.1 Channel DVD Player with HDMI

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JVC announced an HDMI DVD player with 7.1 channel built-in amplifier. AX-D701 features DCDi deinterlacing circuit from Faroudja and includes 2 HDMI inputs and 1 output. Besides HDMI this unit accepts and can output in Composite, Component (D4), S-Video.
Each of the 7 channels can output 130Watts at 6 Ohms. AX-D701 includes an audio DSP of unspecified manufacturer and accepts digital optical, coax, and USB audio inputs. On the analog audio side there is an input for 5.1 channel for DVD-Audio as well as TV, DBS, VCR, DVR/DVD and AUX. In case you decide to use an external decoder there is an optical output that will allow you to do it.
JVC AX-D701 is pretty much loaded for suggested 99,750 yen ( less than $900 ) price tag. The unit will be hitting the stores in Japan late October.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 11:21 AM
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Monday, September 19, 2005

D-Box Adds the Third Axis to Motion Simulator Chairs

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Spent a fortune on your equipment and you think you got it all? Does your sofa shake when that U-boat is in 200 yard radius? No? Here is a solution for you. It does not come cheap, may even hurt, but the experience could be worth all $10000 with D-Box's newly announced motion simulator recliner that is now capable of moving in all 3 dimension with addition of vertical motion. Quest X3ME is pronounced "extreme" and controlled by either a standalone controlled or a PC installed with PC3 Motion Controller Interface software. D-Box, thinking since you went all the way and dropped 10 bigs on the chair, is not shy asking for extra $4299 for a controller or $799 for the PC software.

Source: eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 6:02 PM
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Polk Audio Announces Active In-Wall Speakers

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Polk Audio, with help of D2Audio, has presented first active in-wall speakers. Rectangular LC265i-IP and the round LC80i-IP loudspeakers are from the regular Polk Audio LC lineup with addition of D2Audio's digital amplifier, crossover and room correction DSP all attached to the speakers. These speakers also feature TCP/IP connectivity for control purposes.
The three-way LC265i-IP is priced at $1500 a piece and the LC80i-IP is $1200 each. Loudspeaker require SPS-1 power supply that will sell for $800 each and is capable of powering up a pair. So you would need 2 and a half :) to power up all 5 channels.

While the Polk LCi-IP Series speakers provide the greatest functionality when used within a NetStreams DigiLinX™ system, they can also accept inputs from any analog distributed audio system and still deliver significant performance benefits. vPolk Audio's LCi-IP Series models feature technologies such as advanced ring radiator tweeters and Aerated Polypropylene cones. These are the same technologies used in Polk's critically acclaimed LSi Series loudspeakers to deliver the performance of stand-alone models. The rectangular model features Polk's patented Power Port technology and available Performance Enclosures for consistent, high performance bass response.

LC265i-IP and LC80i-IP will be available in October.

Source: Audioholics and Engadget

Posted by Mike at 5:57 PM
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Boston Acoustics HD Radio

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Boston Acoustics announced at CEDIA 2005 that it will be shipping Recepter HD Radio. For those who did not catch up with HD Radio news here is a little intro from Boston Acoustics itself:

HD Radio technology radically upgrades sound quality and provides new wireless data services, while allowing digital broadcasts to be transmitted over existing AM/FM radio bands. Owners of the Recepter Radio HD will enjoy CD-quality audio and the elimination of static, hiss, pops and fades. They will be able to take advantage of a boundless array of new entertainment and information possibilities, including special program content such as station call letters, song titles, artist names and additional text — even RBDS station information for non-HD broadcasts. A seamless conversion process lets broadcasters maintain the current dial positions of existing stations.
Also, Boston Acoustics reports that the stereo input of the unit accepts input from iPod as well as other external audio sources. The unit is priced at $499.

Source: eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 3:14 PM
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Meridian will Sell Faroudja

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Meridian, maker of high-end audio equipment, announced they will be selling Faroudja DVP1080 HD Digital Video Processor, Faroudja DILA1080pHD and DILA788 projectors. And not to forget, the 3-chip DILA QX1 priced at $295,000. Let me know if you are planning to buy the latter.

Initially, Meridian will sell Faroudja products under the Faroudja name; future products will be branded ‘Faroudja, by Meridian’.

What a marriage, I hope they done the prenup. I am wondering how Meridian did not find someone else to propose.

Source: eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 12:31 PM
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Harman Kardon announces 4 new Receivers and iPod Dock

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Harman Kardon announced 4 new receivers: 7.2-channel AVR 740, 7.1-channel AVR 340,and the 6.1-channel AVR 240 and AVR 140. All four models have a iPod interface via The Bridge, the name of their dock. HK, similar to Denon S-101 and S-301, feature iPod menus on TV and receiver screen. iPod can be controlled with remote control. One little thing in the press release that I don't like is the phrase "a compatible iPod". It is easy to guess that by being compatible they talk about regular iPod and not Shuffle nor Nano. The Bridge dock is sold separately for $99 and comes with a proprietary cable.

The higher-end model, AVR 740 features HDMI and is capable of upscaling the video upto 1080i with Faroudja FLI2310 chip. AVR740 delivers 7 x 85 Watts of audio power into 8 Ohm with a <0.07> 7 x 55 Watts and is doing <0.07>EzSet/EQ room correction functionality.

As for lower end models, here is what Harman Kardon says:






The AVR 140 (September; SRP $699) incorporates the Quadruple-Crossover Bass Manager, along with HDTV-compatible component video inputs, on-screen display via its component video outputs, digital input polling, input titling feature, and FM/AM tuner. It delivers 6 x 40 Watts of power output (into 8 ohms, 20Hz – 20kHz, <0.07%>
“Our AVR 40 series receivers incorporate a number of genuine engineering breakthroughs, including innovative iPod connectivity, and HDTV and multiroom capabilities, to take audio/video receiver design to never-before-available levels of performance and functionality – and provide entirely new ways for enjoying home entertainment,” commented Tom McLoughlin, President of Harman Kardon. “Complementing their extraordinary audio and video quality and versatility, the receivers also offer distinctively elegant styling, total ease of use and unprecedented value, to meet the needs of dealers, systems integrators and consumers as never before.”


AVR-740 will be available in December, AVR-340 - in October, and AVR-140 and AVR-40 in September.

Source: Engadget and Marketnews.ca

Posted by Mike at 11:17 AM
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Friday, September 16, 2005

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Posted by Mike at 11:48 PM
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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pioneer VSX-74TXVi and VSX-72TXV with iPod Support

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Nowadays everyone is all over iPod. It is Pioneer's turn to announce two devices that feature native iPod support and are on the higher end of their line. VSX-74TXVi and VSX-72TXV are Elite Series AV 7 x 130W channel receivers that feature iPod on-screen navigation. Moreover, both of these receivers are XM ready. Among other notable features are upscaling HDMI inputs and auto-room correction for audio, and of course 192kHZ / 24-Bit Burr-Brown DACs for analog audio. VSX-74TXVi is MSRP-d at $1700 (street $1500) and VSX-72TXV is $1400 (street $1200). Overall, these units leave a very positive feeling. And that is not for iPod connectivity.


Source: Engadget

Posted by Mike at 10:45 PM
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JVC Announces 3 new D-ILA TV Sets

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JVC announced three new D-ILA TVs -HD-70MH700 71-inch, HD-61MH700 61-inch, and HD-56MH700 56-inch. All of them feature native 1080p (1920x1080) D-ILA panels and include following video inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x Component, 1 x D4 (aka Non-American Component), 1 x RGB, 3 x S-Video, 4 x Composite, 2 x 4-pin i.Link (IEEE1394, Firewire). TVs also include a 10/100 Ethernet port, digital optical audio input, and a tuner.


Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 10:20 PM
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Pioneer Announces Flat DJ Speaker - S-FL1

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If you area into industrial design and would not mind paying $1450 a piece, Pioneer has a right speaker for you - S-FL1 designed for DJs. It is ruggedized but not heavy as you would expect. S-FL1's diaphragm is made of durable aircraft material thus the price. Now the cool part - speaker can handle up to 240W of power and covers 60Hz to 16KGz frequency range with listening angle of 150 degrees vertically and horizontally. S-FL1 is about 2 inches thick.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 10:00 PM
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Monday, September 12, 2005

Optoma BigVizion 100" Rear-Projection DLP Monitor

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Optoma showed at CEDIA 2005 a new rear-projection DLP system named BigVision. It consists of a projector, and 100 inch mirror. The projector is obviously installed behind the screen which means system requires a small room behind it. Optoma claims only 30 inches needed behind the screen for the installation. This projection system is designed for those who are just building a house or are going through a major remodeling. Or, if you are really desperate, you could tear down the wall between the living room and bedroom and build a screen into it. Make sure it is your bedroom cause no one else would like to have a heater in there in hot summer nights. But of course, being able to install such a system is going to look very cool and clean.
Specifications for this system are not yet clear from the report. The only reported fact is that projector is a 1080p. Optoma BigVision will be available in second quarter of 2006 and is expected to be $20000.

Source: Engadget

Posted by Mike at 6:54 PM
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TheaterAtHome has been facelifted

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I was going back and forth trying to come up with a new, better looking design, for the site. It took me a while to make things somewhat better and brighter ( i.e increase contrast ratio :)). Finally, I can claim it is complete, at least for some time. I am more than sure I will find things to tweak with because of that love/hate thingy. And, yes, I am more than happy to hear your opinion.

Posted by Mike at 6:05 PM
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Samsung 57-inch LCD TV Hits the Stores in Korea

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Samsung started shipping a 57-inch LCD TV shown in Korea. This TV has a native 1080p (1920x1080) resolution. The price is set to 16000000Won ( about $15600). Given that Panasonic is going to enter the market with 65-inch Viera plasma at $9000, this is not really exciting. Even boring.

[Update] I4U News reports more details on Samsung LN57F51BD.

Samsung announced the 57 inch LCD HDTV beauty only in Korea so far. The LN57F51BD has two HDMI interfaces and has full 1080p resolution. Contrast ratio is 5000:1 and the response time is 8ms.

Posted by Mike at 11:25 AM
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Friday, September 09, 2005

Home Theater Mistakes Commented

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Although it is entertaining and sometimes useful to read top N mistakes or good practices of home theater most of the time it leads to confusions. Chris Roper has put up an article on ign.com on top 10 mistakes people do in home theater. I could go on with commenting on the stuff he wrote but it is late. I just picked his #1 - see below:

#1: Poor Cabling

Rule #1 after buying a new component for your system: make sure it's wired with the best cables you can get. We literally cringe when we see someone using a composite cable when they have perfectly good S-Video or component inputs on their display. Likewise, stock speaker cable is generally quite poor and not properly shielded, diminishing the audio quality if your new system.

It has been known for years that cabling is a hype. For audio it does not make any difference as long as the cable is thick enough for the wattage. And I am not saying more. It was said enough before me and will be countless times. As far as the video goes - this guy says use a S-Video cable and not composite. This is not a cable question but output type issue. What needs to be said is simple: if one has component input/output - one should use component input/output. Also, adviser should say that DVI or HDMI is better than anything else since they are digital and there is no noise while converting to and from analog. And if there is no digital input/output the signal quality decreases in this order: component or RGB, S-Video, and composite as the last resort. This is not a cabling question.

Source: ign.com

Posted by Mike at 11:34 PM
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Sony Unveils QUALIA 004 VPL-VW100 LCD Projector

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Sony today unveiled VPL-VW100 LCD Projector at CEDIA 2005. It features 3 1080p (1920x1080) LCD panels. Lense can be adjusted vertically and horizontally and is motorized. The lense focus is also motorized.
"The new Advanced Iris produces accurate blacks and works with three
0.61 SXRD chips to deliver an over-all contrast ratio of up to 15,000:1 when
"auto" Iris mode is on. Additionally, thanks to an advanced cooling structure,
the VPL-VW100 features an extremely low fan noise of 22dB, which is one of the
lowest in the industry and critical for home theater applications."
 Qualia 004 VPL-VW100 will be available in November at MSRP of $10000.

Source: PRNewsWire

Posted by Mike at 12:37 PM
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Denon AVR-2106, AVR-3806, and AVR-4306 A/V Receivers

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Denon showed off AVR-2106, AVR-3806, and AVR-4306 A/V Receivers at CEDIA 2005.
AVR-4306 model feature native iPod connectivity. All of the models are XM Satellite Ready but you have to purchase an antenna for $50.

AVR-4306: Advanced Features and Attractive New Price Point

Denon is bringing many of today’s most sophisticated audio/video processing technologies to an attractive new price point with the introduction of its AVR-4306 receiver (SRP: $1,999). A multi-source, multi-zone IP addressable receiver, the AVR-4306’s full complement of advanced audio and video processing capabilities includes HDMI digital video source switching. For maximum performance from all video sources, the AVR-4306 upconverts all incoming analog video signals (composite, component and S-Video) to HDMI output for a simple one-cable connection between receiver and display. Like all Denon receivers, the AVR-4306 offers an extensive complement of connectivity options, including three high-bandwidth (100 MHz) HDTV-compatible component video inputs, and much more, making it ideal for both custom installers as well as Denon’s specialty retail customers. An Ethernet port allows for networking capability, providing end users with the ability to not only listen to music stored on a PC, or the new Escient FireBall systems, but also to control the playback options via the AVR-4306s remote and on-screen interface. Internet Radio access and a Web Browser setup and control function, as well as 3rd party controller connectivity are also available through the Ethernet port.

And AVR-3806:

AVR-3806: Upgrade to the Company’s Most Popular Receiver of All Time

Successor to Denon’s immensely popular and critically-acclaimed AVR-3805, the new AVR-3806 is the fourth receiver in the Denon line (along with models AVR-4306, AVR-4806 and AVR-5805) to incorporate the unique room correction and calibration technology called MultEQXT™ from Audyssey Laboratories that maximizes room acoustics for multiple listeners, creating an optimized soundfield and compensating for speaker and room capabilities to provide a “sweet spot” for every listener in the room. Thanks to its multiple audio/video outputs and independent power supply circuitry, the AVR-3806 is capable of providing users with 3-source, 3-zone performance without any disturbance or crossover interference between zones. In addition to HDMI switching and a host of custom-installation friendly features, the AVR-3806 also features the latest DENON LINK 3rd digital interface, which fully supports all digital audio transmission specifications, including SACD as well as CD and DVD-Audio/Video. DENON LINK 3rd is also included in Denon’s AVR-3805, AVR-4306, AVR-4806, and AVR-5805 receivers. For added flexibility, the AVR-3806 features Denon’s HDMI Repeater function that allows for multi-channel audio decoding in the receiver, but also passes 2-channel audio onto a display to utilize the television’s speakers.
Read the full press release here

Posted by Mike at 12:11 PM
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Denon will exhibit S-101 and S-301 in US

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Denon will exhibit Smart Life S-101 and S-301 systems at CEDIA 2005 expo.

"The two Denon 2.1-channel surround sound DVD home theater systems, Models S-301 (SRP: $1,599) and S-101 (SRP: $999) are the world’s first home entertainment products to provide simple, convenient connectivity and control of today’s portable digital music devices, including the popular Apple iPod series of portable players. In addition, the S-301 includes a front-panel USB port that lets users easily connect with other popular portable MP3 players, as well as USB Flash memory devices; both units also provide an analog input to accommodate all makes of portable devices. Designed as total high-performance home theater entertainment solutions, the new S-Series systems are complete and compact, featuring integrated DVD/receiver units with a stylish remote, dual satellite speakers and high-performance subwoofers."
Read the full press release here.

Posted by Mike at 12:07 PM
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Sanyo PLV-Z4 Unveiled in Japan

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It is about the time. AkihabaraNews has been invited to the presentation of Sanyo PLV-Z4. Japanese model is called LP-Z4. Here are some information that was blurry at first - 7000:1 contrast ratio (previous reports were at 5000:1). Projector is silent: only 22Db. Projector features one of HDMI, RGB, Component ( 3 jack RCA and D4 connector), S-Video, Composite.
This is as much info as AkihabaraNews reported.

And here is a pic of it:

Related story: Sanyo PLV-Z4 update and Sanyo PLV-Z4 in October

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 11:22 AM
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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Panasonic intros PT-AE900 LCD Projector

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Panasonic introduced its PT-AE900 projector that is a close match to Sanyo PLV-Z4 and EPSON PJ-TX200. As with the other two it has 3 720p (1280x720) LCD panels and includes a dynamic iris. Panasonic incorporates proprietary "Smooth Video" technology and to prove it the company showed the projector right next to a $50,000 Christie digital projector. I don't really know how they achieved that but it seems very impressive. We just need to find out what video source they have used :). The projector features HDMI, RGB, Component, S-Video, and composite inputs located on the back panel of the unit.

It is reported that:

"The settings include Cinema 1 (ideal for watching movies), Cinema 2 (for viewing older films and classics), Cinema 3 (action films and animated cartoons), Video (music or sports programs), Natural (setting designed to reproduce colors of the image source), Normal (general image setting for a variety of sources) and Dynamic (designed for use in a brightly lit room). These are chosen in addition to user selectable gamma levels, color temperature, and color management adjustments for a fully adjustable image. Also new is a learning Remote Control, which enables you to control all the peripherals to the home theater, such as DVD Player, Amplifier, room lighting, and projector screen."

PT-AE900 will be shipping in October and is expected to be priced less than $2500.

Source: Broadcast News Room

Posted by Mike at 11:28 PM
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Onkyo Debuts Trio of XM-Radio Ready A/V Receivers

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CEDIA 2005 PRESS RELEASE:


INDIANAPOIS (9/9/05) -- Onkyo has introduced three new home theater receivers that mark the first integration of XM satellite radio capability in any of the company's products. Each model features a full suite of 7.1-channel processing, automatic speaker setup with included microphone, enhanced compatibility with Onkyo's recently introduced DS-A1 Remote Interactive (RI) iPod control dock, and the company's exclusive Powered Zone2 capability. The top two models, the TX-SR803 and TX-SR703 feature THX Select2 certification. The TX-SR803 also includes the capability to switch between two HDMI sources.

"If you look at the recent history of consumer audio, the two developments that stand out above everything else are Satellite radio and the iPod," comments Onkyo USA National Product and Marketing Manager Don Milks. "This new receiver line makes it simpler than ever for consumers to bring both of these technologies into their living room."

The Onkyo TX-SR803, TX-SR703, and TX-SR603X include XM Satellite Radio’s Connect and Play capability that allows consumers to subscribe and receive 150 commercial-free music, news, talk, and entertainment programming. Onkyo has also designed each of the new models to take complete advantage of the company's recently introduced DS-A1 Remote Interactive iPod dock. With the iPod placed in the dock, it becomes a source component for not only audio playback, but also for photography stored in iPod photo units. Controls for the iPod such as play, pause, stop, skip, random and playlist access can all be operated via the Onkyo receiver's remote controller. Additionally, the dock is capable of recharging the iPod batteries while it is in use.

Each of the new receivers includes an automatic speaker setup feature that makes calibrating a home theater system to its acoustical environment simple and fast. With the included microphone in the listening position, the receiver sends test signals to each speaker in turn, then uses the input from the microphone to adjust channel level and time delay settings for each speaker.

The Onkyo TX-SR703 and TX-SR803 are among the first home theater receivers to carry the THX Select2 certification, which incorporates many elements of the THX Ultra2 standard, including Ultra2's multichannel audio and game modes, and the ability to deliver 7.1-channel playback of any 5.1-channel source material. THX Select2 certification ensures that these receivers meet all THX performance standards and specifications in small to medium sized listening rooms.

The Onkyo TX-SR803 is rated at 105 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load. It will be available in October in both black and silver finishes at a suggested retail price of $1,000.

The Onkyo TX-SR703 is rated at 100 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load. It will be available in October in both black and silver finishes at a suggested retail price of $800.

The Onkyo TX-SR603X is rated at 90 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load. It will be available in September in both black and silver finishes at a suggested retail price of $500.

Onkyo, which means 'audio' or 'sound' in Japanese, has been producing precision audio components for over a half-century. The company's philosophy is to deliver products that are superbly designed and built to a consistently outstanding standard of excellence. Today, Onkyo is at the forefront of the home theater and digital revolutions. For more information about this and other fine Onkyo products, visit www.onkyousa.com or call 800-229-1687.

Source: ONKYO USA

Posted by Mike at 10:42 PM
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Denon Smart Life S-101 is in Europe

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They first went on sale in Japan. UK is getting it pretty soon if not now.
As we said before, this system fully supports iPod (of any type, except Shuffle) and even provides menus that look identical to iPod's navigation menus and all this with Denon remote control. Cool, isn't it? No need to buy a dock - cable is included. Even more, when connected to TV, it is capable of showing the pictures stored on your iPod Photo. Note that the connection between iPod and the Smart Life S-101 and S-301 is digital and skips the analog headphone circuit. On top of this, Smart Life charges the iPod.
Besides iPod, S-101 plays back DVD, CD, MP3, and WMA with Denon AL24 processing. The unit includes a AM/FM tuner.
S-101 includes 2 2-way speakers with 19mm dome tweeter and a 100Watt 200mm long throw subwoofer. The speakers come packaged with bookshelf stands as well as wall mounts. S-101 features room correction so you can get a perfect sound regardless of loudspeakers position.
The system is suggested at £849.99.

Related story: Denon HT system with iPod portable audio connectivity
Related story: Denon s101 s301 shipping in Japan

Source: HomeCinemaChoice and AVReview UK

Posted by Mike at 9:56 PM
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1080p DLP Chip for Projectors is Released

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Texas Instruments has released very much anticipated 1080p (1920x1080) DMD. It targets high-end DLP front projectors. No technical details on this chip is available either TI thought it is too early to announce them or it does not differ from existing DarkChip 3 chips. Expect to see native 1080p DLP projector to hit the market before Christmas.

Source: Texas Instruments | DLP.com

Posted by Mike at 1:16 PM
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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

iMP - Mini-Tube Amplifier for your iPod Sized Players

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If mini-hifi systems don't cut it for you, Z.VEX iMP AMP is a something you might want to consider. It is a "palm sized" tube amp capable of powering "bookshelf-sized" speakers in your "office-sized" room and, according to marketing remarks, is a good couple for your iPod and alikes. As in late 90s with e prefix for .coms, 'i' is a must for all audio products that meet a certain (mini) size. And I can understand them regardless of the quality of MP3 and the player. They just want to sell the product and iPod is the best trail to follow unless you are an audiophile.


On the technical side, this little thing has following specs which are pretty impressive:

  • Frequency response: 15Hz to 20kHz +0.5/-2.0 dB at 8 ohms, measured at 70 mW. No, it's not a misprint. The iMP is DC-coupled (no capacitors!) for radical sub-frequency response.
  • -3dB points: -3dB@10Hz. -3dB@22kHz.
  • Output Power: 1 watt/channel at 12 ohms. .750 watts/channel at 8 ohms. About 80mW at 5V rms driving 300 ohm headphones (such as the famous Sennheiser MD600.)
  • Input: -20dB consumer to +4dB pro level via adjustable trimmers on bottom. Use +4dB (trimmers set counter-clockwise) for lower-impedance headphones for best noise specs.
  • Noise: Better than 80 dB S/N at 1kHz.
  • Residual Hum: Less than 0.2mVAC at 60Hz plus harmonics.
This little gem will set you back $525.00 that includes shipping and might say is a bargain. You can order one directly from ZVEX's web site.

Source: Gizmodo

Posted by Mike at 6:20 PM
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ScreenPlay 777 3-chip DLP Projector is "cheap" now

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InFocus announced a price drop on their ScreenPlay 777 3-chip DLP projector. Now you can have one for just $15000. Make sure you are can annoy people at dealership and whine about budget and I am sure they will give you some more discount. Keep in mind that this projector has been initially introduced with whopping $30000 price tag. I guess they only sold a couple at that price.
Anyways, this monster features 3 HD2+ DMDs, one for red, green, and blue. Has a DVI HDCP input and can support up to 1080p/24Hz. You can get more specifications at www.infocushome.com.
So what is this all about: no more 3-chip DLP projectors or new one is coming?

Source: BusinessWire

Posted by Mike at 5:30 PM
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Loewe's Individual Goes "Build-My-Car" Style

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So far we could only configure cars on websites. Choose colors, packages, etc. Not any more. Loewe just brought the pleasure into the home theater market. You can visit their web site and pick and choose colors and material for the flat panel bezel to match your mood or surroundings. Loewe Individual is named appropriately for the matter. For the side color you can choose one from the full palette (number of colors is limited by your video card's color depth). One the left is one to match my current web design (don't even start, i am working on it). The tool will also let you select from their fashionable stands or hangers.
TechDigest also reports that you could do one-of-a-kind design by sticking Swarovsky crystals and even leather trimmed.
Specs? If something looks this good - who needs specs. You won't be looking at the picture, at least for a couple of month. By then I ll get you specs :).
Here is a link for you to enjoy.

Source: TechDigest

Posted by Mike at 4:20 PM
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Samsung Dual Format HD-DVD Blu-Ray Player

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As with cellphones, Samsung did not take sides in the Blu-Ray HD-DVD war. It got both licenses and will be bringing to market a player with dual format. Samsung is officially backing Blu-Ray but with current situation their decision to support both formats seems smart. I don't know how their solution will help calm down the war, since once a major manufacturer outside battling fronts steps in supporting both may mean that consumer is going to deal with more than one. This may hold true or false but only time will tell. My hope is that the best of two will survive and make our life easier.
Samsung unnamed DVD player will be available next year, according to company's head of consumer electronics.

Source: Engadget and Reuters

Posted by Mike at 4:03 PM
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Linear Purchases Sunfire, after Imerge and Niles Audio

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Linear, home technology group subsidiary of Nortek Holdings is on a buying spree. Over last few months they have acquired Niles Audio, followed by Imerge, and now they have announced acquisition of Sunfire, well-regarded manufacturer of subwoofers. Apparently, people at Nortek/Linear have an obsession on audio and home control.

That makes the current list of companies as follows:



Here is an excerpt from the press release on Sunfire acquisition:

"Sunfire Corporation (Snohomish, WA) has been acquired by Linear, LLC (Carlsbad, CA). A well-regarded manufacturer of high-end speakers, home audio, and home theater electronics and subwoofers, Sunfire becomes the newest member of the Home Technology Group, Linear’s fast-growing family of consumer electronics companies, products, and brands. Bob Carver, President, will remain with Sunfire. No other terms of the deal were disclosed.
Carver notes “We are thrilled to sell to Linear and join its Home Technology Group. This agreement is a very good fit for us. We will be able to continue to operate our business as usual and we look forward to significant efficiencies through the combined resources of this solid team of companies.”"

Sure you noticed that Bob Carver ain't goin' anywhere :)

Source: HomeTheaterHiFi

Posted by Mike at 3:25 PM
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Sony VPL-VW100 HD SXRD Projector

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Sony announced new Qualia VPL-VW100 HD SXRD Projector. It features 3 0.61 inch 1080p SXRD panels (1920x1080). The price tagis set to $10000 which isn't that bad considering it is coming from Sony. VPL-VW100 makes only 22Db of noise and can be put in the quite range of projectors 22Db is a little more than the "noise" made by rustling leaves sound. The projector has a 400W lamp with contrast ratio rated at 15000:1 (wow!). Qualia VPL-VW100 is expected to go on sale in December 2005. Stay tuned for more information as it develops.

Source: I4U News

Posted by Mike at 2:50 PM
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Epson EMP-TWD1 - Projector/DVD Combo

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EpsonEMP-TWD1 showed off LCD Projector / DVD player combo at IFA2005 in Berlin. The projector also acts as a surround system powered by JVC. The device looks more like a laser printer than a projector and weighs 7kg (about 14 pounds). Epson EMP-TWD1 is capable of playing back not only DVD but also still images on CD. And since this device is all-in-one Epson made it into a HiFi system as well. Just stick the CD in and play.
Here is the list of highlights from LetsGoDigital.

EpsonEMP-TWD1:
• Elegant and Compact design
• No cable clutter thanks to easy installation
• Intuitive operation
• 1.20m image width at a distance of just 1.50m
• 1,200 ANSI lumens brightness for high image quality
• 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and 480p resolution
• Epson E-TORL technology; 135W E-TORL lamp
• Epson Cinema Filter Technology
• Contrast ratio 1,000:1
• Optical zoom in a 1.5:1 ratio
• Vertical / horizontal lens shift function
• Keystone Correction
• Epson 3LCD Advanced Imaging Projection Technology
• Weight: 7kg
• Low-noise ventilation (28dB in low brightness mode)
• Speaker performance 2 x 10W
• DVD player features DVD video, CD-R/RW, Super Video CD,
• MP3, ID3 TAG, WMA, JPEG, DVD-R/RW, Audio CD
• Backlit remote control
There is not much technical information at the moment but it will come out very soon since the projector is planned to hit the stores in September with suggested price to be 1299 EUR ($1620). If you are interested in Projector/DVD combos, Optoma MovieTime DV10 is the-same -class product (one difference is Optoma uses DLP panels instead of LCD) and has been out for more than a month.

Source: I4U News

Posted by Mike at 12:23 PM
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Monday, September 05, 2005

Sharp Might Exit Rear-Projection TV Market.

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Following reports on decline of RPTV sales, Sharp's president announced that the company is considering an exit from the market due to rising demand and lower prices on LCD and Plasma TVs.

"We will review the necessity of rear-projection TV," President Katsuhiko Machida told journalists on the sidelines of the consumer electronics trade show IFA late on Saturday.
"Rear projection is popular because it delivers large displays at lower cost, but the cost of LCDs and plasma TVs is getting lower and lower. That's why we started to wonder if we should really continue rear projection," he said.
Mr Machida specifically mentions about the demand on 45-inch and "even" 65-inch LCD TVs.
He also said that company will cut the price of its Aquos 65-inch LCD TV to be competitive with similarly sized Panasonic Viera TH-65PX500 plasma TV which is offered at 40% less than Sharp's 65-incher.

Source: Reuters

Posted by Mike at 9:50 PM
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PRESS RELEASE: New Gefen HDMI Switchers

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Gefen’s new HDMI Switchers provide control of two or more audio/video components, including DVD players, satellite set top systems and now video gaming consoles. Using a single HD display is made possible with Gefen’s line of HDMI Switchers.

Each switcher has two or more HDMI source inputs (DVI computers and displays can be accommodated with a DVI to HDMI Adapter) that support HDMI compliant devices as well as gaming consoles using HDMI such as the Sony PlayStation 3, anticipated for release in Spring 2006. Connecting several sources to one display and switching between them with an IR or RMT remote control gives immediate access with no downtime and no shuffling of cables in the background. Several new Gefen models offer various alternatives at competitive prices: the 2x1 HDMI Switcher (MSRP $ 249) comes with two HDMI inputs/one HDMI output; the 3x1 HDMI Switcher (MSRP $299) with three HDMI inputs/one HDMI output; and the 4x1 HDMI Switcher (MSRP $495) with four HDMI inputs/one output.

Full HDCP (high bandwidth digital content protection) is built into each unit, proving precise system switching according to content protection guidelines. A plug-and-play installation makes system set-up a breeze. Sources are connected to the Switcher’s inputs and the display to the Switcher’s output. A 5-volt power supply feeds the system. For additional information visit Gefen.com. Products may be purchased online or at a Gefen reseller, listed at www.gefen.com/dealers/worldmap.jsp.

About Gefen
Gefen delivers digital HD connectivity solutions with multi-platform extension, switching, distribution and conversion capabilities. Gefen is consistently the first to deliver advanced technologies for professional AV environments, home theater and consumer electronics. Products support audio/video devices using various interfaces such as HDMI, DVI, dual link DVI, HD-SDI, SDI, VGA, USB, Firewire and RS-232. A selection of high quality cabling is also available. Additional information may be found at www.gefen.com.

Posted by Mike at 4:17 PM
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Sony Adds Placeshifting to LocationFree Station

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Sony announced a newer version of their LocationFree LF-PK 1 device now with place-shifting abilities. It basically uses your internet connection to stream your local TV to the remote location. Besides that you can use the device to stream throughout your home using 802.11 a/b/g. You need to install a software (LFA - PC2) to be able to play the stream content on the PC. It will cost about $33000 yen (about $300) for the station and about 2000 yen for software. LocationFree will hit the stores of Japan on October 1. No word if it'll be sold outside of Japan.

Source: AkihabaraNews and Sony

Posted by Mike at 1:25 PM
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Friday, September 02, 2005

DVD Jon Hacks Windows Media Player NSC Format

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Once again DVD Jon (Jon Lech Johansen), known for his DeCSS DVD decryptor, has done it. This time the target is Windows Media Player's NSC encryption format that protects from sniffing the stream to obtain the IP address, port or stream format. This will make the Windows Media Player content available to other players.



Source: TheRegister and Jon Lech Johansen’s blog

Posted by Mike at 7:37 PM
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Thursday, September 01, 2005

High Definition DVD player without Blu-Ray or HD-DVD

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Kiss Technology announced at IFA 2005 2 DVD players that can play high definition material using regular DVD-ROM and WMA encoding. Hell with Blu-Ray and HD-DVD and the format war of all times. Kiss DVD players understand Window Media Video. Company claims that WMV compression format is four times less in size than conventional MPEG-2 used for DVDs. Kiss also said that DVD players will support MPEG-4 video, MP3 and Ogg Vorbis audio. Both DVD players will sport a WiFi connection presumably to stream media from wherever. One of the players reportedly will have an 80Gb hard drive. No other information is available at this time.

Source: Techdigest.tv

Posted by Mike at 10:45 PM
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IFA 2005 News from Berlin

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Techdigest.tv reports on following home theater products from IFA 2005 taking place in Berlin, Germany.

JVC's new USB digital TV tuner:

"device from JVC that turns your PC into a digital TV box. Rather than the usual clumsy digital terrestrial (DVB-T) adaptor that bolts onto the side of your PC, this neat little TV tuner plugs directly into the USB 2.0 port of your computer and is, apparently, no bigger than a Swiss Army knife."

Read more
Sharp 65-inch LCD TV and Panasonic 65-inch plasma:

Always at these kinds of shows manufacturers try to outdo each other with, childlike, 'mine's bigger than yours' claims.
Read more



Thomson's (aka RCA in Western Hemisphere ) Digital Media Bridge. This is interesting since the bridge, among usual streaming from your PC to the TV or stereo it is HD compatible, namely 720p for moving images ( i.e movie ) and 1080i for still images (Yeah, I am confused too). I am sure by the time that HD gets to your display - it won't look like HD due to tremendous compression. This does not sound real for 250 UK pounds.

Read more

Posted by Mike at 10:25 PM
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