Monday, November 28, 2005

Adaptec Dual TV Tuner for Windows XP MCE 2005

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Adaptec's AVC 3610 USB dual TV tuner is really all-in-one device. Besides tuning TV channels and recording, it also includes a FM tuner / recorder and its remote control with a blaster is universal and can control the the Media Center PC and the other components. AVC3610 has a dual hardware MPEG-2 encoder, 2 S-Video, 2xComposite, 2xRCA Stereo inputs. AVC-3610 tuner is designed for MCE 2005 and according to Adaptec is a requirement for the device to work. Adaptec suggests this tuner for $229.

Source: eHomeUpgrade and Engadget

Posted by Mike at 5:21 PM
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New Onkyo 7.1-Channel AV Receivers

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Onkyo introduces 2 new receivers for European market - TX-SR803E (shown) and TX-SR703E. First model is THX Ultra 2 certified blasting 7x140 Watts into 6 Ohms and features HDMI switching, features that are omitted in TX-SR703E. However, TX-SR703E is THX Select 2 certified but has a little less power output than that of its bigger brother. These are the highlights of TX-SR803E:
• 7 x 140w per channel of all-discrete amplification (into 6 ohms)
• THX Select 2-Certified
• HDMI-switching (2 inputs/one output)
• iPod-compatible (via optional Onkyo DS-A1 dock)
• Microphone-based auto set-up system
• High-performance 32-bit processing
• 7 x 192kHz/24-bit Audio DACs
• Quality AM/FM RDS tuner with 40-station presets
• Composite/S-Video-to-Component Video Up-Conversion with TBC (Time Base Corrector)
• A separate powered Zone 2 output plus a stereo pre-amp output for Zone 2 (with 12v trigger)
• 12v trigger for Zone 2
• 9-stage subwoofer crossover switching, from 40Hz to 200Hz
• RS232 port for full integration with AMX/Crestron home automation systems
• MM phono section for turntable users
• Backlit learning/pre-programmed remote control

As I said, TX-SR703E is basically the same without THX Ultra 2 certification, HDMI, and tad less power.
Both models are available in black or silver. TX-SR703E is suggested at €899 and TX-SR803E for €1199

Source: Onkyo Europe

Posted by Mike at 5:05 PM
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LaCie Big Disk 1TB External HDD

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With more and more components with USB/FireWire connectivity, such as Denon S-301 or LG LRM-519 HDD/ DVD recorder there is always a need to add more space to save more programming, music, photos, etc. LaCie may just have it for you with its stylish all aluminum 1 Terabyte external hard drive - Big Disk - featuring USB 2.0 and Firewire 800 and FireWire 400. The price of the 1TB model is $929 and is that's too much you can always go for 500GB ($349) or 600GB ($429) versions.

Source: BiosMagazine UK

Posted by Mike at 4:38 PM
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Bang&Olufsen BeoMedia 1 Media Center

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First, this thing costs an arm and leg since it is from Bang&Olufsen. Second, this thing does not have a digital video output. And third, this thing runs on Windows XP. Now, BeoMedia 1 media center is basic PC ( i repeat basic because it does not even have a DVI output) boxed into a stylish B&O designed box and has a UI that is different from other HTPC front ends. My question is why would someone buy this if it does not offer the fraction of the quality that other similarly priced media center PCs do. Besides the looks what else is notable that I can be fooled into buying it for $2,700? Silly.

Source: Bang&Olufsen

Posted by Mike at 4:25 PM
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Acoustc Energy WiFi Radio

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Internet radio is relatively new and only some people enjoy the benefits. So for those who is hooked, Acoustic Energy has a solution that allows you to listen to your favorite channels without using a computer. It is simply called WiFi Radio and offer 99% compatibility with existing streaming formats . Here is what Acoustic Energy says about the product:

This simple plug and play device links to any Wi-Fi network and broadband connection to stream both live and listen again internet radio content. Channels are listed alphabetically and the easy to use multi-function control knob makes choosing a station simpler than an FM radio! The AE Wi-Fi radio brings all the benefits of internet radio to the kitchen, bedroom or even the garden and can also play music stored on any Wi-Fi enabled PC in the home.

Of course AE’s acoustic excellence shines through making the Wi-Fi radio one of the best sounding radios on the market too.

  • Immediate access to 2,500 internet stations
  • Search by country or genre
  • Plug and play simplicity
  • Real Media, MP3 and WMA compatible
  • Play music stored on your PC or Mac
Wi-Fi Internet Radio is priced at £200 and is not yet available in US. If you gotta have one, you need to have it shipped from Europe.

Source: HiddenWires
Product Page: Acoustic Energy

Posted by Mike at 3:58 PM
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NUVU Portable Projection Screen

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Some companies have introduced home theater projectors that include a built-in DVD players, such as Optoma MovieTime DV10, or Epson EMP-TWD1. These projectors are low-end and target consumers who do not want the hassles of full blown home theater installation. Just put one on the coffee table, plug the power and you are ready to go. What these companies miss is the screen. Although, Optoma does offer screens to go with MovieTime DV10, they are not portable. But not to worry, NUVU, a british projection screen maker, does have a product that is right. They call it a screen with a twist because with a twist you make it disappear into a provided carrying bag. You can even take it with you to that camping trip without sacrificing lot of space. There are various sizes of up to 88" in diagonal and priced at £350 or about $600. There is also an optional stand for £70 ( $120 ) if you decide not hang it on the wall ( or a tree ). All screens are made of white matte 1.0 gain material.

Source: HiddenWires and Coolest-Gadgets
Product Page: NUVU

Posted by Mike at 3:31 PM
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Sunday, November 27, 2005

LG LRM-519 HDD / DVD Recorder with Microsoft Program Guide

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As if Tivo's grief with DirecTV was not enough, one more stab in the back is from LG-Microsoft camp with introduction of a LRM-519 HDD / DVD Recorder that runs on Microsoft DVR platform with program guide. The 160GB recorder is priced at $600 which does not include Microsoft Program Guide subscription fees: $9.99 if paid monthly, $99.99 - annually, or $249 lifetime and until March 1 of 2006 Microsoft will rebate $100 from the lifetime service. LG is bragging that guide service is still a savings compared to Tivo - some 36 dollars a year. Feature-wise LRM519 beats Tivo in ability to record DVD and connect to PC via home network. Also, LG's new baby is has a USB port that can accept external hard drives. A big plus in my opinion.

These are the highlights of the new device.
  • Network media DVR/DVD recorder, burns all major DVD formats (DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD+R double-layer)
  • Progressive Scan DVD Playback
  • Built-in Ethernet, 802.11a/g network connections
  • Compatible with MPEG, Windows Media Audio and Video (WMA/WMV), MP3 audio, and JPEG images
  • Supports Windows Media Connect for browsing and enjoying Music, Photos, and Videos over home networks from Windows XP PCs.
  • Supports Sync of recorded TV programs back to the PC for transfer to mobile devices.
  • Microsoft Electronic Programming Guide
  • 160GB hard drive, expandable via USB 2.0 external HDDs- keep slapping them on :)
  • Single-tuner, supports all services via S-Video etc. (same as retail TiVo)
  • USB connectivity to portable hard disks, media players, and card readers
LG LRM-519 is now available.
Source: LG USA

Posted by Mike at 5:11 PM
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Classe Audio CP-700 2-channel Preamplifier

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CP-700 preamp from Classe Audio is targeting audiophile masses with its superb specifications most noteworthy of which is separation of power supply from the rest of the box by means of separate chassis and signal pathways. Such a design, if implemented properly, brings the introduction of noise from power supply into the audio channels to a minimum or relatively nothing. Classe CP700 covers full frequency range - 20Hz to 20KHz with astounding THD of 0.012% and signal-to-noise ratio ( SNR ) of up to 120Db. Preamplifier features RCA as well as balanced XLR inputs and outputs. If thats not enough - Classe snapped a huge TFT touchscreen on the front panel that makes the component not only beautiful aesthetically, but also turns controlling the device very simple.

Source: AVReview UK
Product Page: Classe Audio CP-700 Preamplifier

Posted by Mike at 12:04 PM
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

DIY Flatscreen

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The only problem I see in this photo is the rain/snow cover. Other than that it seems a nice weekend project with your Jack-of-all-trades father-in-law. You don't even have to drill the antenna hole :)
Source: AVReview UK

Posted by Mike at 5:43 PM
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Meridian Audio G61 Surround Processor

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Meridian Audio has an addition to its G Series components - G61 THX Ultra 2 Surround Sound Processor. These are the highlights:
  • 5 digital optical and 6 digital coax stereo inputs
  • 5 stereo analogue inputs
  • 10 digital surround and 8 analogue surround outputs
  • Analog and 2 digital multichannel inputs
  • DSP engine consisting of three Motorola 56367s and a 56371 running at 150MHz – delivering in excess of 500MIPS
  • On-board AAC decoding, plus Dolby Digital, DTS, MPEG, Ambisonics and acclaimed
  • Trifield decoding
  • THX Surround EX Ultra 2 certified
  • 24-bit Sigma-Delta ADC and DAC converter chips operating at up to 96 kHz on analog inputs and outputs
  • DSP modes include Direct, Music, Trifield, Ambisonics (2-ch UHJ & B-Format), Super Stereo, Music Logic, THX, Mono, Discrete, TV Logic, ProLogic IIx Music, ProLogic IIx Movie, ProLogic IIx THX, Cinema and up to 10 user-defined
Meridian G61 is suggested at $5495 and will be available at the dealers in December
Source: Meridian Audio

Posted by Mike at 12:31 PM
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LG AN110 - On-Wall DLP Projector

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LG AN110 was announced earlier this year and is now released for Korean market. The lens of this projector is located on the top of the box so you can hang in on the wall or use it with a stand. LG thinks this way it will be easier to install which is not true. People will buy it because it is different from the rest of them. Anyways, AN110 features a WXGA 1280x768 single DMD chip, 2500:1 contrast ration and can accept up to 1080p signals on its 10-bit video processor. LG claims that lamp will last for 6000 hours in economy mode which usually doubles the lifespan of the lamp. LG AN110 is very quiet - 28 Db.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 11:27 AM
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Jamo iPod Speakers

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This is yet another iPod dock speaker system. In contrast to most iPod speakers, Jamo i300 has a subwoofer besides 2 satellites and according to the company can support all dockable iPods. For 1st and 2nd generation they suggest using auxulary port. In addition, Jamo i300 can be simultaneously be connected to another source of audio thanks to the extra connectors. No wonder, Jamo targets stundents with i300 who plan to use the same system for multiple devices. i300 is announced but company plans to reveal technical specs and pricing with product release.

Read the press release on Jamo's website

Posted by Mike at 4:53 PM
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NAD Master Series

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NAD is known for its exceptional audio electronics for many many years. With its exceptional quality, NAD's components look a tag on the old school side. I think someone at NAD realized that and proposed to accept the reality and switch to a bit modern look. In the picture above design is indeed sexy - steel panel, fins. All the bells and whistles of a good and practical design. The picture represents a specimen from Master Series, new line of home theater components that include AV Receiver, 7-channel and mono amplifiers, and universal digital disk player. Here is an excerpt from AVReview UK:
With 2mm thick steel panels, combined with attractive extruded aluminum and die cast zinc parts, the chassis on all the models has been designed to reduce air and structure born vibration from reaching any sensitive electronic components residing within. Specialized vibration damping feet employ silicon rubber to further isolate the chassis from vibration. Selected discrete devices are used in the high power stages while SMD (surface mount devices) and LSI’s (large scale integrated circuits) are used on multi-layer PCBs to help achieve state-of-the-art performance in low level and digital stages.

The Masters Series components will be available in December 2005. Priced as follows:
  • M15 Surround Preamplifier Processor £1999 ( $3431 )
  • M25 Seven-Channel Amplifier £1999 ( $3431 )
  • M3 Dual Mono Integrated Amplifier £1899 ( $3260)
  • M55 Universal DVD/CD Player £1299 ($2230)

Source: AVReview UK

Posted by Mike at 4:52 PM
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Toshiba RD-H1 and RD-H2 HDD / DVD Recorders

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By shelling out €300 (about $350 ) you get 400GB hard drive, a DVD recorder packed into a slick design by Toshiba. And if that's not enough, you can connect RD series recorder to your PC and play media off of it. It is kinda cool and cheap at the same time. The little brother to H2 - H1 shares the same feature set except the HDD being a little smaller - 250 GB. Both are available now in Japan.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 4:37 PM
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Kenwood AX-D7 DVD / MD Mini System

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Kenwood AX-D7 MD / DVD Mini System
The device is pretty standard in its specification and in my understanding is for Japan only. Will hit the store in Japan late November.

Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 4:32 PM
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Sony RDR-HX65 HDD / DVD Recorder

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Somehow I have missed Sony's new HDD / DVD recorder. RDR-HX65 embeds a 200Gb Hard drive and allows recording of 26 to 321 hours of standard video using. The lower the hours - the better the video quality as you have already guessed. DVD recording shines with its ability to store on DVD DL ( Dual Layer ) among all other "old" standards. Sony RDR-HX65 has an analog antenna and can do TV guide and scheduled recording. The unit will be available in Japan in mid December with an open price.



Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 4:16 PM
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Denon DVD-A1XV 1080i Player Can be Upgraded to 1080p

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In contrast to Denon DVD-A1XVA DVD player, Denon DVD-A1XV does not support 1080p output out of the box despite using a DVDO chip that actually can output full HD. Basically, both DVD players are the same except first can do up to 1080p and second up to 1080i. Good news is that Denon announced a firmware upgrade that will utilize DVDO chip's 1080p capability. The bad news is you got to shell out 35000 Yen ( about $264 ) and be apart from your new toy for a week. I don't know if paying for shipping is included but I doubt. Denon started the upgrade program in Japan in November 2005. I assume they will go globe wide as soon as firmware proves to be free of major bugs. The program will be available through end of May of 2006 - I think that's when Denon estimates already shipped DVD-A1XV will be sold out. There will be no more 1080i in the wild afterwards.

Related stories: Denon DVD-A1XVA 1080p DVD Player
Source: Denon Japan

Posted by Mike at 9:57 PM
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pro-Linear Intros 10 Glass TV Stands & A/V Racks

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Prolinear AV glass standPRESS RELEASE:

Vancouver, BC, November 16, 2005: Pro-Linear Electronics Inc. has added 10 new models to its audio/video glass furniture line, all featuring heavy-duty tempered glass, wire management, and easy assembly.
The GVRS-32E, for the budget-conscious consumer, is a 32" wide TV stand, outfitted in silver, and with an 8mm top shelf secured with suction cups and two 5mm lower shelves. The GVR332 (silver) and GVR332BLK (black), feature 8mm glass shelves, and a width and height of 32" and 30", respectively, to accommodate consumers looking for a tall TV stand for the bedrooms, for example. The GVR312 (silver) also boasts 8mm glass shelves, and has a width of 36" and depth of 12", ideal for the space-conscious consumer. In silver and black, respectively, the GVR336 and GVR336BLK have 8mm glass and a width of 36", ideal for CRT and LCD TVs. Ideal for plasma, LCD, and DLP TVs are the silver GVR348 and black GVR348BLK, with 8mm glass and a width of 48". The GVR360 (silver) and GVR360BLK (black), have 10mm and 8mm glass, and a width of 60", making them ideal for larger-sized plasma, LCD and DLP TVs. For more information, contact Pro-Linear at (604) 707-0116; or visit www.pro-linear.com.

Posted by Mike at 12:20 AM
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dell LCD Panels for Business Customers

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Dell announced 2 new LCD TVs that are primarily meant for business customers. They plan to sell these 32-inch W3202MH and the 37-inch W3706MH LCD TVs to airports, hotels, office reception areas, etc. Both TVs are native 1366x768 and feature an interface called control-by-wire that eliminates the need for a remote control for each display in a multi-unit deployment because they are controlled from a single point. This interface is to win hearts of as many airports as possible. And for hotels they have a customization options such as maximum volume, LodgeNetTM , OnCommand® and other hospitality video-on-demand offerings. With mentioned business oriented controls and prices set to $1,799 and $2,299 Dell is in the position to win in this market segment. We will only gain from having an LCD TV in the hotel room, won't we ?

Source: Dell

Posted by Mike at 11:27 PM
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MTV UK goes HD in January

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After serious thinkin MTV decided to get into High-Definition in UK:
The US company will base its studios in the ski resort of Vail during the winter months and hopes to provide round the clock high definition programming, including three hours of live shows a day.
Tony Dunaif, an MTV executive, believes HDTV and music videos are a profitable combination, stating that young people "are the ones who will buy the sets first".
Source: AVInfo UK

Posted by Mike at 11:23 PM
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Vizio P50HD Review Roundup

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Probably one of the cheapest 50-inch plasma monitors in the market, Vizio P50HD can be bought from Costco for $2600. Very cheap for a plasma of this size but not without its quirks. First of all it is heavy - 125lb - so call your friends for a TV setup party. Video quality is not for a videophile and no one expects that with this price. There are problems with contouring and image size mismatch on the sides. In my opinion all these problems can be eliminated with an external video processor such as a basic HTPC plugged into the DVI port of the monitor. Using the DVI port for digital clarity and feeding the native resolution of 1366x768 the monitor will be put into a pass through mode and will do no scaling with minimal or no processing by the monitor. This will eliminate most of the artifacts you will read in the reviews below. One thing one should be careful is the burn-in and all of the warnings that company makes about static images. They actually suggest not to watch a channel that has a scrolling text on the bottom for a long or it will use the warranty since they consider it an abuse.

So here is a compilation of reviews from all over the Internet:
Overall, the Vizio P50 may not be a bad idea for someone on the tight budget with a huge desire to own a plasma display. Given that P50 HDM has 2 HDMI,1 DVI input and truckload of analog inputs, it is guaranteed that you will be ok until DisplayPort kicks in 5-6 years. However there is no tuner, but who needs one with all the satellite and cables boxes anyways.

Vizio P50HDM product page.

Posted by Mike at 10:19 PM
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Geneva Sound System for iPod

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Geneva Sound Systems is a company from Switzerland that makes one piece sound systems for iPod. Its funny that their naming convention follows t-shirts sizes - X, XL. Company will let you choose from tons of colors ranging from Ferrari red to white. These pieces are truly eye candies - something that iPod is a part of. These stereos also feature a CD player and look really nice. I would not mind having one of these 600 Watt pumping beauties in my crib.

Source: Engadget.com

Posted by Mike at 8:40 PM
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ViewSonic Announces 3 new HD LCD TV Sets

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ViewSonic announced 3 new LCD TV sets - 32", 37", and 40"(shown) in diagonal measurement. All of these sets have 1366x768 resolution and HDMI input. The most important highlight is fast response time of 8ms. Yes, it is fast for large panels. The pricing is very competetive - 32" N3260W - NT$42,900 (US$1,284),37" N3760W - NT$59,900 (US$1,793), and 40" for N4060W NT$79,900 (US$2,392).

Source: NewLaunches.com

Posted by Mike at 8:01 PM
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Monday, November 14, 2005

Time Warner to Offer Free Classic TV Shows

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AOL Time Warner announced the company will start offering free, yes free but ad supported, vintage TV shows:
The on-demand deal, which involves about 300 shows including "Welcome Back Kotter," "Kung Fu" and "Growing Pains," will feature six channels ranging from comedy and drama to animation and science fiction. In2TV will also include interactive features such as games, quizzes, polls and trivia contests.
Shows will be inserted with 15- and 30-second commercials totaling to 1 or 2 minutes for each 30 minute episode. Time Warner is following a similar announcements from NBC and CBS who will offer for download popular TV shows 99 cents a pop and Disney who will make available 5 shows, some animated films and music videos for iPod video.
Indeed, Time Warner is doing a great step towards on-demand services area with this classic movie venture. They do realize that any how these shows have lived their time and it is just right to make a bit more money buy giving them free with commercials. I think Time Warner is just testing the waters to find the right approach in entering on-demand services market in on not just vintage shows.

Posted by Mike at 11:42 PM
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Philips DVDR7300H and DVDR3300H DVD / HDD Recorders

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Philips DVDR7300H DVD / HDD recorderPhilips presents 2 new HDD / DVD video recorders with guide - DVDR7300H (pictured) and DVDR3300H. Higher end model equipped with 250GB for up to 400 hours of video and lower end has an 80GB Hard Disk Drive with 130 hours recording capacity.
As HiddenWires states:
Any viewed programmes are automatically stored on the six-hour adjustable buffer and these can be retrieved for viewing, moved to the HDD itself or burnt to DVD+R/RW disc - so you need never miss a programme, even if you forget to press record
These are the highlights of DVDR7300H:

Superior Video Performance
  • HDMI digital AV connection for perfect quality
  • Video Upscaling for improved resolution of up to 1080i lines
Watch what you want - when you want
  • Record more than 400 hrs of TV on a 250 GB hard disk
  • FlexTime: watch the beginning while you record the end
  • Pause Live TV pauses and resumes live TV as it suits you
  • Instant Replay: relive a live TV moment
Recording made easy
  • GUIDE Plus+ with keyword-based programming
  • High-speed archiving from HDD to DVD
  • i.Link enables perfect digital camcorder copies
  • Infrared control for recording from set top box
  • DualMedia records on DVD+R/+RW, DVD+R DL and DVD-R/-RW discs
Plays it all
  • Movies: DVD, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, (S)VCD
  • Photos: Picture CD (JPEG)
  • Music: CD, CD-R/RW and MP3-CD

In addition to both these recorders Philips also added a DVD recorder ( without hard drive ) - DVDR3305. Pricing and availability is below:
  • DVDR7300H £400 ( $467 ) Ships in November
  • DVDR3300H £300 ( $350 ) Shipping
  • DVDR3305 £150 ( $175 ) Shipping
Source: HiddenWires

Posted by Mike at 11:16 PM
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Philips WACS700 Wireless Multi-Room Music Center

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With Phlips WACS700 you can rip about 750 CDs into its 40GB hard drive and start streaming to up to 5 rooms by using companion WAC700 stations.
Here is the list of highlights:

Wireless Unlimited listening pleasure!
  • Wireless streaming between music centre and station(s)
  • Multiple user access streams to up to 5 stations streaming
  • 40 GB hard disk to store and playback up to 750 CDs
  • Universal Plug & Play interconnectivity
Easy navigation and control
  • 2-way Remote Control for user friendly navigation
  • Direct Content Access to artist, album or playlists
  • Music Follows Me anywhere, everywhere in the home
  • Music Broadcast for simultaneous playback to all stations
Quality Sound Performance
  • Super Sound Panel with deep bass and clarity
  • Class ‘D’ digital amplifier for quality sound performance
Expandable
  • Add 4 additonal Wi-Fi stations
Priced at €799 (about $935)

Source: HiddenWires

Posted by Mike at 11:06 PM
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LG LGDVB418 Review

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LG LGDV418 DVD player with flash card readerLG LGDVB418 is the first DVD player that has a embedded flash memory card reader. Here are the pros and cons:
Pros
  • High end appearance and styling
  • Rich features and audio/video output options
  • Excellent picture quality
Cons
  • No indication of resolution or HDMI mode available remotely
  • Memory card picture playback is extremely slow
  • No video enhancement from the up-conversion processing
  • Does not come with a cable (HDMI)
Basically, this is just another upscaling DVD player with good picture quality with an extra feauture that is worthless. Usualy, first edition of the product packs features and next editions fix the perfomance problems. I think this one asks to be waited over.

Source: eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 10:44 PM
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Rotel RDV-03 DVD Player

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Rotel has a new DVD player that reached North America for holiday season - RDV-03. Let me get to the point - this thing does not have a DVI nor HDMI outputs even at a $500 price point. Well, it is Rotel, but that does not cure it even with specs other DVD players lack - you can adjust video controls on it such as contrast, brightness, tint, etc. But hey, this is the digital era - give us some raw bits to play with. Audio part is not impressive as well - it only upsamples to 96KHz with on a 24bit DAC. May not be an issue but why settle in the middle. Good components are cheap now!
Another shortcoming: RDV03 can play DVD-Video, Audio CD, Video CD, SVCD, MP3, WMA, and JPEG but no SACD. And to close the post - Rotel even have a matching receiver with no digital video connection other that coax/toslink. RSX-03 is 5.1 channel av receiver with component switching and 40Watt per channel at 8Ohm. Buy this pair only if your last name is Rotel. And yes both do Dolby-Shmolby stuff.

Source: Cinenow

Posted by Mike at 10:22 PM
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MartinLogan Vantage Floorstanding Loudspeaker

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Martin Logan has a new speaker in their lineup - Vantage. Features impressive technical specs among which are frequency response with a great range of 34Hz-23000Hz, easy driven 92Db sensitivity and proprietary hand made crossover:
Featuring an advanced proprietary Vojtko™ crossover topology derived from the Statement™ e2 loudspeaker, MartinLogan electronic specialists hand-build each Vantage crossover utilizing only the finest of components and construction techniques to assure the cleanest, most precise signal path possible. The resulting precision crossover flawlessly preserves microscopic subtleties while effortlessly handling the broadest range of dynamics contained within even the most demanding sonic source.

Martin Logan is also claiming an unprecedented bass:
Shockingly powerful and accurate bass results from Vantage’s concurrently designed PoweredForce 8-inch aluminum cone woofer, 200-watt high-resolution amplifier, and precision acoustic control cabinet design. The result? Usable bass extension down to 34Hz, immense bass dynamics and precision beyond the reach of traditional passive box systems—all from an enclosure not much larger than a case of wine! Additionally, the simple turn of a 35Hz-equalization knob allows precision low-end calibration to optimize speaker/room integration.
Loudspeakers are priced at $4995 and can be chosen from wide selection of finishes.

Source: eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 10:01 PM
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DIRECTV DVR Client Center

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DirecTV has been showing a prototype of what they called Home Media Center back at CES. This thing is obviously a DVR with satellite and ATSC tuners - actually a pair of those. There is an HDMI output and bunch of analog inputs with capability to share recorded or live data across the house. It also has a USB port which only calls portable audio and external hard drive these days. DirecTV did not yet decide the distribution medium: CAT-5, USB/Wireless, or RG-6.
Its been said to be released in Q3 2006.

Source: Engadget.com and Tivocommunity.com

Posted by Mike at 9:27 PM
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Logitech Harmony for Xbox 360 and Your Home Theater

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Ok, so you've decided that your home theater will be driven by Xbox but bumped into the eternal problem of multiple remotes? No problem, Logitech has a solution for you - Harmony 360 - a remote control that can manipulate up to 12 devices. That's probably more than enough. Other than those 12 devices Harmony 360 has one "click" activity buttons to play music or watch TV. The best part of this technology, which in fact officially is called Smart State Technology®, does is not programmed as we do with macro buttons. It is set up automagically by the brain of this little device. Of course, Harmony 360 is capable of learning as well as programmed with a PC or Mac with an Internet connection. Truly wonderful at $100 after $30 rebate. Heck, even at $130.


Source: Zatznotfunny.com and Engadget.com
Manufacturer: Logitech

Posted by Mike at 9:07 PM
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Mitsubishi HC3000U DLP Projector

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Mitsubishi HC3000U DLP Home Theater ProjectorMitsubishi has announced a new DLP home theater projector that features latest technology from Texas Instruments: BrilliantColor™: advanced capabilities that greatly enhance white segment processing and secondary color boost to improve mid-tone brightness. So using all this HC3000 achieves 4000:1 contrast ration with 1000 lumens output. And not to forget, the DMD chip's native resolution is 1280x720 since by looking at the suggested price of bit less than $3000 it first seems to be using 854 x 480 chips. Nope, a full 720p DarkChip2. Supported formats go up to 1080i and inputs include HDMI, component, s-video, composite and RGB in case you decide to play games using you computer

Source: eCoustics
Manufacturer: Mitsubishi

Posted by Mike at 8:10 PM
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Buffalo LinkTheater DVD Player and Wireless Streamer

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Buffalo LinkTheater DVD Player
There is a new review from TrustedReviews on Buffalo LinkTheater DVD player that also happens to have a built-in 802.11g 54MBps WiFi connectivity so it can stream music, video and images off of your computer. The review is a basic coverage and does not go into detail on video or audio quality as readers of this site would expect. The manufacturer, Buffalo, is known mostly for wireless products and has no relation with audio nor video. What they did is get an OEM DVD player that does not have any digital output and put their WiFi card into it. More, they also added an ethernet and USB connections. You what USB connection will be used for, right? Hard disks, flash keys, iPods. Though the company does not mention iPod in the marketing remarks. I will be safe to assume that iPod will work as well as any other portable audio player with USB connectivity as long as stored music is in MP3 and/or WMA formats. LinkTheater can also play WMV (SD and HD) DivX (SD and HD) video files via network ( WiFi or ethernet) or USB.
All in all, this is a good device to have for $300. Eventhough the is no DVI or HDMI outputs, some people will be ok with component output with so many other features. And here is the diagram that is worth thousand words:
Buffalo LinkTheater DiagramSource: eHomeUpgrade
Manufacturer: Buffalo

Posted by Mike at 7:53 PM
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RBH SI-6000 In-Wall Speakers

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RBH SI-6100 in-wall speakerRBH presents Signature Series SI-6000 in-wall loudspeakers - less expensive follow-up to SI-6100 ( shown on left )which was introduced this year at CEDIA. SI-6000 is housed in a 3.5" deep MDF enclosure which makes the speaker "immune" to wall vibration. Similar in/on-wall design has been recently presented by Axiom Audio with their W series. When we think in-wall speaker we always assume it is small in size. Contrary to that, SI-6000 is big - measured 56"H x 14"W x 3.5”D and has 4 6.5"aluminum cone woofers complemented with a 1" silk dome tweeter with Ferrofluid® liquid cooling. That is some serious loudspeaker. No wonder RBH says it is all muscle. Conventional in-wall speakers usually come with a grill that is paintable, but SI-6000 has a cloth grill and company will give you options for colors. Price is suggested at $1199 with immediate availability. Though RBH web site does not have any information.

Source: eCoustics Press Release
Manufacturer: RBH

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Posted by Mike at 11:53 AM
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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

IBM 3D TV Proof-of-Concept

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IBM demonstrated a proof-of-concept technology for 3D TV by using a non-altered DLP TV and a proprietary hardware to do the trick. The principle beyond this technology is very simple thus inexpensive. But first lets go over how conventional 3D technology works. In order to produce stereo images movie theaters, such as IMAX, use 2 projectors to show 2 images simultaneously - one for right and one for left eye. The watcher wears passive glasses that bring those 2 images into focus and the feeling of depth. IBM's idea is very simple - they alternate images - in the input the device takes left and right image and shows them on the display one after another. Simple, isn't it? IBM also claims that this technology can be built into a DLP TV ( or for that matter any modern TV) for less than $20. In case you already have purchased your super display and do not want to part with it for next 5 years, converter box will be an option for about $1000. IBM is looking for a manufacturing partner to bring the technology to the market.

Source: CNET News

Posted by Mike at 4:33 PM
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Will Movie Theaters Close? Thoughts...

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As much as I am a fan of great home theater, I would fiercely argue about movie theaters and their existence. I have just read the post by B.Greenway of HomeTheaterBlog.com in which he basically states that movie theater is for teenagers and immature adults. Mr, Greenway also brings up some points as to why movie theater will close theirs doors and one of them is the quality of home theater at present can be comparable to what movie theaters offers. First and foremost, people do not go to a movie theater for quality. They go there for a movie and do not care for quality as much as it is. In fact, most people do not care about high-end, as long as the film does not melt in the middle of the movie and there is sound.

Teenagers go to a movie for other reasons which does not even remotely relate to a movie or its quality. Well, I would say, the type of movie is related; i.e horror movie makes them sit “closer”.

Now, let’s talk about quality you get at home, or better talk about a price: If one really wants to compare in-house movie watching experience that person should dedicate a room with a movie projector and spend about $6000 in average for a video that will be equal in performance and about as much for sound. This is the bottom line. If one goes down in price – there is no comparison. And 95% of people have the HTiB quality audio/video equipment in their homes which proves that people do not go to the theater for quality.

Let’s talk about convenience: sure thing home is sweet in all aspects including your favorite couch and the pause button. My argument is that movie going is a part of our social life. Even if it is a solo visit to the theater it still is a collective experience. I have not done solo but seen a lot of people who do. Remember the last time you got out of the worst movie you have recently seen? So you remember the criticism, the argument brought up by you or your friend? And of course you have been yapping while standing in line for a cup of latte, right? Maybe in the restaurant, while waiting for the food. What I am trying to say is you ARE having a good time regardless of the movie and its quality. Even if sound was cut off for about 5 minutes in the middle of the movie it will still make a conversation and a good time. Rest of movie theater inconveniences, such as phone ringing and dude answering it, or baby crying. Come on people, I have not been bothered by phone rings: there were some but not to make me freak out. Babies crying: where did this happen? I would probably complain about this for restaurants but no for movie theaters. I think the public perception about phones and babies is because of the intro every theater is showing just before the movie as a reminder. I honestly think that is the reason people even talk about babies and cell phones. Remove that piece and no one will talk. It is sort of a bad advertisement for movie theaters. And why no one talks about the person chopping pop corn, slurping soda or cracking on nachos with sound effects? It is not in the reminder, see. That is very inconvenient but not even remotely close to make me give up movie going.

Have you ever looked at the faces of people coming out of the theater? Have you noticed that no one is depressed? Have you ever seen people showing a finger because they bumped into each other in the hallway? No, no and no. People enjoy going to movies. It is a good experience. It is a culture and no price hike will break that culture. It will slow down and that’s what movie theater companies are complaining about. And as Alexander Grudner of eHomeUpgrade points out, movie theaters should offer more than what it is now, such as 3D movies and motion chairs. I totally agree and hope that movie theaters realize that.

Finally, if movie theaters close, that will be an indication that United States is suffering a lack of collective soul. It will prove that people in this country do not like social life, friendliness. We already have the problem of one car per person and the loneliness that comes with it. And why bars do not close? One could as well have a drink at home for much cheaper. And not be bothered by a drunken next stool. Just think about it.

Posted by Mike at 12:43 PM
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Denon S-301 Review

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CNET has a review of Denon s-301 home theater system. First of all, S301 got the Editors Choice scoring 8.7 ( Excellent ). The best part of Denon S-301 is its great performance for a home theater in a box. According to Steve Guttenberg, it does not sound like and HTIB, has a convincing surround sound with its 3 speakers, and is perfect for listening audio:
The ultimate compliment we can pay any HTIB is that it doesn't sound like one. The Denon S-301 is in that rarified group, so we weren't afraid to tackle The Ring Two DVD. The film is loaded with sudden dynamic effects that made us jump out of our seats, but the scene where Naomi Watts and her little boy are threatened by a rampaging herd of deer was especially scary. The synergy between the satellites and the subwoofer was superb, dialogue sounded beautifully balanced, and the score's deep bass rumbles added a visceral quality to the film's ominous atmosphere.
As you already know, S-301 ( and its little brother S-101 ) have native connectivity to iPod as well as a USB port for "other" portable players. According to the review, portable connectivity worked like a charm with iPod, Samsung YP-U1 and a Sony PSP. More, Denon S-301 plays music off of Lexar USB thumb drive and a Memory Stick connected via a USB flash-memory reader. Isn't that cool. Just stick your memory key, or even hard drive in there and press play. You can even install an external hard drive next to S-301 and have all your music under.

Basically, the review proves that Denon has gone above the regular home theater in a box solution and brought a product with solid quality to the market. It is a little bit pricey at $1500 but you do get what you pay for.

Source: CNET

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Posted by Mike at 3:08 PM
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BenQ PE8720 DLP Projector

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BenQ's latest DLP is PE8720. The company claims with their Advanced Continuous Electronic IRIS and proprietary Senseye image processing technologies projector reaches 10000:1 contrast ratio. Well, it is not full time 10000:1 but for certain images. And for darker parts in the movie light intensity is dropped for better viewing experience. PE8720 has a DarkChip 3 720p (1280x720) DMD, supports up to 1080i video signals, has an HDMI (HDCP), Component (BNCx5 and RCAx3), S-Video and composite. Lens is motorized and can be shifted and focused from the convenience of your throne. PE8720 projector is reported to make only 23Db of noise - whisper quiet. Price is £5999 ( about $10500 ).

Source: BIOS Magazine

Posted by Mike at 1:16 PM
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Velodyne MiniVee

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Velodyne's new subwoofer id in a subsize category ( about 10"x10"x12" ) but is promised to deliver big bass with its 8" Kevlar reinforced driver and 1000 Watt RMS ( 2000 Watt peak ) power amplifier. This little box has a frequency response from 27Hz to 120 Hz. Price is suggested at $999. And it is called MiniVee. Sounds dangerous.

Source: Velodyne

Posted by Mike at 1:06 PM
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mTunes iPod Nano Headset

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Quality of this headset may ( and most likely will not ) blow you away but the concept is good. You just stick the iPod Nano into it and ready to go. Just do not run with this - you will make a bad impression. For home or office use only. Here are the specs:

• Power requirements: No battery required
• Speaker: 40mm Mylar cone
• Impedance: 32 Ohm +/- 4 Ohm (1Khz)
• Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 23KHz
• Sensitivity: 105dB
• Rated input power: 30mW
• Max input power: 250mW
• Net Weight: 6.1oz

Source: Techdiva , ProductDose
Product page: Macally

Posted by Mike at 12:36 PM
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Monday, November 07, 2005

Binaura Single Piece Surround Sound

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For some reason everyone started following Yamaha YSP series. First was Polk with SurroundBar and now Red Ferret found this - Binaura B102 series - single piece loudspeaker and a subwoofer that is claimed to not rely on walls to bounce the sound and imitate true surround ( check Marantz OPSODIS ).
Here is what company claims:
Using premium drivers, a high efficiency amplifier, and innovative design, the Binaura system delivers the highest quality home theater sound from any 5.1 channel surround source as well as reproducing a masterful stereo image from any 2-channel source.
Besides an option to choose colors, you can also choose a model that has wings versus the model that does not. Apparently the "winged" model is better because it is priced $699 whereas no wing model is $599.

Source: The Red Ferret Journal

Manufacturer: Binaura

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Posted by Mike at 10:58 AM
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Friday, November 04, 2005

Stream Music over Electrical Wires with MicroLink dLAN

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Microlink dLAN Audio from German company Devolo AG is a little device that plugs into your electrical socket and receives music from the other "plug" that is connected to ethernet port of your computer. It uses HomePlug technology. You can route the music up to 200meters in 192kbps and all this stuff will cost you $160.

Source: OhGizmo

Posted by Mike at 4:15 PM
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SageTV Adds HDTV Support, SDK

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SageTV - one of the best media center ( HTPC ) software added support for HDTV in version 4 of the product. Also, for tweaker ( and developers ) there is SDK ( it is Studio Development Kit vs Software ... ) available. The kit allows menu customization, includes an interface to Electronic Program Guide. Even includes an RSS reader as an example.

For those who does not know what SageTV is here is a little intro from SageTV's FAQ:
SageTV is a computer software application for your PC that interacts with a TV tuner card allowing you to record television programming to your PC. With SageTV you can pause live TV, rewind and fast forward, and conveniently record your shows for playback on your monitor or TV. SageTV is also a service that provides an Integrated Programming Guide listing all upcoming programs for up to two weeks based on your cable or satellite provider. This service also provides Favorites Manager, One-Touch Recording, and Intelligent Recording and Scheduling (a SageTV exclusive), which records programs based on your prior viewing habits. SageTV also supports the playback of any video and music files stored on your PC along with DVD playback support.
Source: eCoustics

Posted by Mike at 3:48 PM
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Arcam FMJ AV9 HDTV Preamp with 1080p HDMI

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Arcam announces an addition to their FMJ line - Av9 preamplifier with THX Ultra2 certification and HDMI switching that can handle 1080p. Arcam AV9 is a successor to AV8 that has gotten pretty good reviews over time. Here is the list of specs:
  • 5 x 1080p capable HDMI input digital video switch
  • 1 x HDMI output / repeater
  • 3 Component inputs with On-Screen Display (Up to 1080P HDTV/ Progressive scan compatible without OSD)
  • Lucas Film THX Ultra 2 specified
  • THX Surround EX 7.1 channel
  • Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS, DTS ES, DTS 6.1 discrete, DTS NEO, DTS 6.1 - DVD-A / SACD multichannel 8-way input
  • Zone 2 Audio and Video, with independent On-Screen Display
  • Lip Sync delay up to 200ms for de-interlacer / frame scaler
  • Software upgradeable via RS232 interface
  • 1/2 dB speaker trims and 10cm / 4 inch delay settings offer improved resolution setup for accurate sound staging -
  • Acousteel damping, constrained layer case construction
  • Rock solid build with a 5 year guarantee
  • There will be an upgrade available for existing AV8 owners early in 2006
Arcam suggest pairing AV9 with FMJ P7 Multichannel Amp for best performance. Price is suggested at £3600 ( about $6300 ).

Source: HiddenWires

Posted by Mike at 2:56 PM
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Marantz VP8600 DarkChip 2 720p DLP

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Marantz announced a new midrange DLP projector with HD2+ DarkChip 2 720p ( 1280x720 ) DMD. VP8600 features Faroudja DCDi and has a 10-bit video processing by Gennum. The projector has a 2500:1 contrast ratio due to its OSRAM 200Watt lamp that is claimed to burn for 4000 hours. Optical design features a high accuracy manual 1.34 zoom lens with a vertical shift. There is no mention on the manufacturer of the lens otherwise they would be screaming about it. Color wheel is 6-segment 5x speed. VP8600 has 6 inputs - one DVI ( with HDCP ), one 5 RCA connector component , one 3 RCA connector component, RGB , an S-Video and Composite inputs all located on the projector. In addition, VP8600 has a RS232c connector for control and 2 12Volt triggers for controlling external devices. For those who only has devices with HDMI output, there is a HDMI-DVI adapter.
Marantz claims that the projector is quiet due to its 12cm fan, a fluid bearing motor and all aluminum enclosure. The suggested price is 525,000 Yen ( about $4440 ) and will go on sale in Japan in December. And this is the press pre-CEDIA press release from Marantz:

VP8600: Ideal for Lower-Cost Custom Installations
With its breakthrough $5,999 suggested retail price, the new Marantz VP8600 high-definition DLP projector is ideal for “budget” custom installations and do-it-yourself home theater builders who want reference-quality video performance at a reduced overall cost. The VP8600’s extremely quiet operation adds to its appeal in lower-cost installations, where budget constraints often prohibit enclosure of the projector in either a separate room or sound-proofed box.

The Marantz VP8600 incorporates the leading-edge Texas Instruments HD2+ DMD™ chip and other refinements to provide superlative high-definition DLP projector performance, along with a host of useful features that offer exceptional installation and calibration flexibility. A newly developed 1280 x 720 pixel panel and advanced DLP™ technology provide incredible sharpness, clarity and color accuracy, with 650 ANSI lumens brightness. Image quality is further enhanced by the use of a new lamp, which delivers an astounding 4,000 hours of bulb life. The VP8600 features progressive scan output with true 3:2 pulldown detection and utilizes 10-bit digital gamma processing. It is compatible with virtually every digital and analog video program source, and for greater versatility and installation flexibility, it includes a DVI digital video input with HDCP (High-Definition Content Protection), to accept the signal from a DTV set-top box, DV camcorder or other digital video source and maintain a pure digital signal path from source to display. In addition, the VP8600 provides VGA, HD component video, S-video, composite video and analog RGB connections.

It is funny that Japanese price is about $1600 less than US price. I though things are much more expensive in Japan. I guess we have to wait for Marantz's planned show at the Electronic House Expo the second week of November 2005 in Anaheim, CA. We will know when to expect and what would be the real price.

Source: Marantz Japan

Posted by Mike at 11:56 AM
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sanyo PLV-Z4 vs. Optoma H79 - LCD vs DLP

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ProjectorCentral put Optoma H79 and Sanyo PLV-Z4 side-by-side. If this review came couple of years ago I would not even read it. Or would read it just to satisfy the urge to see inferiority of LCD. Times changed, things changed. But don't get your hopes to high because DLP is still the king ( and costs more :) ). This is a second review of this kind. First, was not actually a review but a bold move by Panasonic to unveil their AE-PT900 side-by-side with $50,000 Christie digital projector. Apparently it was successful. At least that's what reports say.
Anyways, lets cut to the point. Here is a quote of choice:
Assuming you plan to resolve the 480i deinterlacing issue one way or the other, the Z4 can then be placed side by side with the H79 with some very interesting results. The first thing that becomes evident is that the Z4 delivers a sharper image than the H79. Now the H79 has a clean enough image, to be sure, and standing alone it looks fine. But the Z4 is so razor sharp that it makes the H79 look soft. And the difference in image acuity between these two projectors is the same regardless of whether the source is standard DVD or HDTV 720p or 1080i, and whether it is video or data graphics. We have seen projectors that rival the image sharpness of the Z4, but they are usually in the $10,000 and up price range. We have not yet seen anything in the low $2,000's that can match it. And by the way, this is true even with the sharpness control turned almost all the way to the Off position. The Z4's sharpness scale runs from a minimum position of -7 to a maximum enhancement position of +7; we set it at -5 for all of our comparative testing.
And their conclusion:
Thus, Sanyo has made an extraordinary statement with the PLV-Z4, which is that LCD can no longer be viewed as a second class video technology that must compete by undercutting the price of its DLP competition. Rather, LCD has the demonstrated potential to outperform DLP head to head, regardless of price considerations. The implications of this are far-reaching, and will have an impact on industry price structure, traditional distribution channels, and the direction of new product development. In our view, the PLV-Z4 is destined to become one of the most influential product releases we have ever seen.
My take on this is simple - get PLV-Z4 - it is CHEAPER. And do not forget a deinterlacer such as DWIN TranScanner 3. In fact this particular couple will make it a great source of entertainment.

Source: ProjectorCentral


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Similar LCD Projectors:

Posted by Mike at 2:24 PM
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Where's the Remote?

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Eternal problem, isn't it? Even if you have single super all-in-remote - you still lose it. There is a solution to the problem. Annoyance. Similar to a wife bitching about toilet seat. "You will do it or else..." type of solution from Prism in a form that looks like a remote holder that looks like a charger. Once remote removed from this "bucket" it start annoying you asking to put the remote back. Prism has those mean demands on their website - check it out - you'll see what I am saying. The device has an option for a "shut-up" mode where demands are replaced with beeping for those who are on Prozac or just got divorced. Oh, yeah, and the name of this gadget is not surprisingly "Where's the remote?". One suggestion with the design, for those who have multiple remotes, such as Darryl Wilkinson of Home Theater Magazine, manufacturer should come up with a way of making them smart enough so devices can elect a tribe leader who will act as a speaker of/in the house. But then comes a need for constitution ( ok, call it a protocol ). Ahh, forget it.

Source: Home Theater Magazine

Posted by Mike at 12:57 PM
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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Saitek Wireless Streaming Speaker

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Saitek A250 Wireless Streaming Speaker
Saitek has a wireless hifi speaker that includes a bluetooth receiver and can stream music from your PC anywhere in the house. The one piece speaker is recognized by Windows as a wireless headphone and does not require any 3-rd party driver to function. Here is the list of highlights from Saitek:
  • True digital 2.1 stereo delivered through two tweeters and a sub-woofer (RMS)
  • Neodymium speaker technology with active crossover boosts bass clarity and reduces noise for outstanding audio response
  • LCD display and volume, play, skip, back, pause and stop buttons to control your PC
  • Reliable high-quality wireless link receives and controls audio within 30m range
  • Wireless connection to PC only (requires Windows 2000/XP)
  • Connect to MP3, CD and portable media players via 3.5mm jack audio cable (provided)
  • Plays for up to 24hrs with 4 x AA batteries (not included ) , AC adapter included
Given the $129 price tag - it is a good piece to have in the kitchen or outdoors in the backyard. Don't you wish they made a waterproof one so you could use it next to the pool?

Source: eHomeUpgrade
Product page: Saitek

Posted by Mike at 6:59 PM
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AOpen miniPC Ships this Month

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AOpen miniPC
AOpen miniPC looks like a Mac Mini from front and back but stuffs a Pentium M ( 2.26 MHz ) processor and would be a choice for a home theater PC for many. Mainly because it has a DVI, component ( YPrPb ), and S-Video outputs. Also, the base configuration is on the budget side priced at $399 with Linspire ( Linux based ) or $499 with Windows. The miniPC also has a slot loading DVD-burner, 2-USB ports, on-board Ethernet. Optionally, you can purchase a wireless adapter which in fact is not an external device but will be built-in as a Mini-PCI card. Since MacMini has gotten so much attention as a HTPC and Car Computer, AOpen will just be the continuation of the same but on the Intel platform. I, for one, would like one of these in my car and bedroom. Cause they are cheap.

Source: Engadget

Posted by Mike at 5:58 PM
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JVC Release EX-A10 2-Way Wood Cone Component System

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JVC announced the new compact component stereo system ETERNO EX-A10, with Two-way Wood Cone Speakers that use wooden diaphragms to take advantage of the superior natural qualities of wood together with its DEUS high-fidelity digital amplifier. This marks the third in JVC’s series of “mature audio” devices for the enjoyment of music with even better sound. The design of the optional DVD audio/video player XV-EXA10 also matches that of the EX-A10.

Most interesting part of this mini-system besides wood cones is ability to play most of the audio/video formats: DVD Audio, DVD Video, Audio CD, Video CD, Super Video CD, DVD-R/RW (Video mode, VR mode, MP3, WMA, JPEG), DVD+R/+RW (video mode), CD-R/-RW (CD-DA, Video CD, Super Video CD, MP3, WMA, JPEG), DivX, ASF.
This package is priced at about $860.

Read the full press release from JVC - warning PDF file.
Source: AkihabaraNews

Posted by Mike at 5:16 PM
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Onkyo Launches, uh, Cassette Deck

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Onkyo TA-RW255 Cassette DeckI don't even remember how to spell cassette but Onkyo is launching a double deck and here is their explanation why they are doing it:
While cassette sales are in decline globally, having accounted for 54 per cent of all music sales in the mid-80s the format is still a huge seller in many Asian, East European and Far Eastern markets where over half of all music sales are on cassette. Audio books also remain a huge market
for the cassette so this 40 year old format still has much life in it. All of which explains why the Onkyo has just launched the TA-RW255, a Double Cassette Deck that offers excellent cassette playback and dubbing capabilities in a beautifully-built value for money package.
And obviously Onkyo TA-RW55 has all the bells and whistles such as Dolby B and C Noise Reduction. Yeah, whatever.

Read the full press release - warning it is a PDF.

Posted by Mike at 4:58 PM
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Naim n-Vi Home Theater Processor

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Naim n-Vi Home Cinema solution is currently available for purchase for £2,995 ( about $5300 ) at the company's dealers. This unit can be named ( NAIMED ) as a DVD player / AV Recevier. It does have inputs for plugging in external sources and most importantly the device is upgradeable. For example you can buy an optional DAB and FM tuner module with clock and alarm features or a video scaler. That makes this unit a very competitive even with its high prices tag, which for Naim lovers might not be an issue at all. Shown in the picture is a set with n series speakers that complement the n-Vi but of course sold separately. Here is the list of specs from AVReview UK:

- DVI Digital video output for direct digital display connection (HCDP enabled)
- Faroudja ‘Progressive scan’ chip
- Scaler/video processor upgrade available spring 2006 giving ‘pixel for pixel’ compatibility with digital display device. Includes an external video input
- Three external analogue and three external digital audio inputs for playback of external sources (digital TV, iPod, tape etc)
- Burr Brown 6 channel enhanced multi-level delta-sigma DACs (up to 192kHz/24-bit)
- High performance Tripath Class-T 5-channel amplifier (50W 8 ohms and 90W 4 ohms)
- Upgrade DAB and FM tuner module with clock and alarm features
- Simultaneous progressive scan on the BNC high definition output and interlaced video on Scart video outputs (RGB/YUV, s-video or composite).
- 128x64 PLED graphical display with intelligent font scaling
- Modular design allows design flexibility and future upgrades for new video and audio formats
- Bi-directional RS232 port for connection for custom install into ‘intelligent homes’
- Aluminium chassis and multi-layer FR4 PCBs


Related stories: Naim's CD555 CD Player - Claimed Best!

Source: AVReview UK

Posted by Mike at 4:33 PM
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Panasonic Viera TH65PV500 65-inch Plasma

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Panasonic Viera TH65PV500 with SD recorder
Panasonic UK will be bringing new plasma TV into its Viera lineup - TH65PV500 1366x768 8th generation panel with 3000:1 contrast ratio. Well, it is not the announced 1080p but still is a good move from Panasonic. This 65-incher includes a standard definition tuner that is capable of receiving NTSC, PAL, and SECAM signals. The TV has a neat feature of being able to record on to a SD card in MPEG 4 format. This is particularly useful for people who would like to take their shows on the road. In compare to other such technologies, one would have to transfer recorded show to a computer and then copy to the flash media. With Panasonic TH65PV500 it will become a snap. TV also has a PCMCIA slot to view still images. As you know you can buy a PCMCIA to whatever media type converter, so this feature makes it possible to view your pictures from virtually any kind of flash media.
As of today, Panasonic has not put any information on their UK web but there are merchants who already are taking pre-orders for TH65PV500.

Source:

Posted by Mike at 3:29 PM
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Today's Best of Web

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Here are some links for you to get the daily dose of information:

  • TransTechnology DVX-700 M20 DVD Player streams data from a wireless source and has a 3.5 hard drive for recording. Plays MP3, AAC, WMA8/9, PCM, OGG audio files and DivX, XviD, WMV9 HD video formats. Priced at $280 and is only in Japan.

According to Guys: "In the end, we'd love to give it a glowing review and say that everyone should own one, but there was one huge problem with it. It wasn't able to ever play a DVD all the way to the end. It would do a wonderful job for the first three quarters of the film, and then just fall to pieces. The video would break up, the audio would fall apart, it was terrible.". Horrible,eh!
Just like the title says: LG is going to stop selling tubes in Europe. Plan and simple. We all knew it was bound to happen eventually but, gosh, I didn't think it would be that quick.
MyWebTV is a new plug-in for Media Center that I just came across in the XPMCE forum that gives you access to hundreds of TV channels from all over the world!

Posted by Mike at 12:26 PM
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Atlantic Technology In-Wall Closed Box Speakers

This site has moved to AVReport.com

Atlantic Technology, makers of high-end audio equipment and speakers, has a in-wall loudspeaker that is enclosed in its box. According to company, they sound as freestanding speakers.
Speakers have built-in room correction functionality and here is how Atlantic Tech describes them:
the IWCB-525 includes a trio of acoustic controls to allow installers to tailor performance to the listening room. The first of these is Atlantic’s exclusive DVC™ (Directional Vector Control), which is used to direct the tweeter’s radiation pattern electronically without having to resort to clumsy mechanical swiveling devices. Secondly, a High Frequency Energy switch is used to adjust tweeter level for rooms that are acoustically bright or dull. Lastly, a Boundary Compensation toggle can be used to adjust the lower-midrange output to compensate for the sound colorations that occur when the speaker is placed near a ceiling or side wall. The speaker also includes an IR knockout, making it simple to integrate a remote IR sensor into the speaker front plate.
Loudspeakers are priced at $750 each and will be available in December of 2005.

Source: Atlantic Technology

Posted by Mike at 12:04 PM
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