Monday, April 24, 2006

Rotel RB-1091 and RB-1092 Power Amplifiers

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Rotel RB=1091 Class D mono amplifier
Rotel drops 2 new class D amps - mono RB-1091 and stereo RB-1092. RB1091 specs at 500 Watts at 8 Ohm with outstanding 0.03% THD and 118 dB SNR. RB1092 shares the same characteristics with RB-1091 but instead pumps out 2 channels at 500Watt. Both are available with suggested $1499 for mono or $(1499*2 = $2,998) $2499. Do you see the deal on stereo?

Press release:
Product Page: Rotel RB-1091 and RB-1092

Posted by Mike at 12:51 PM
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Rotel RSX-1057 7-channel AV Receiver

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Rotel RSX-1057 7.1 channel AV ReceiverRotel introduces new RSX-1057 7.1 channel AV Receiver that features an HDMI input capable of accepting standard, enhanced, and high-definition signals. The receiver pumps out 75 Watts at less than 0.05% of total harmonic distortion on 7 channels or 100 Watts on 2 channels. RSX-1057 features analog inputs to accommodate up to 7 source components with assignable inputs for convenience. Audio decoder list includes Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, DTS, DTS ES Discrete and Matrix, DTS 24/96, DTS Neo:6, and Dolby Pro Logic II. Unfortunately, there is no support for latest Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD encodings which will be a blow for HD-DVD or Blu-Ray shoppers.
The unit is offered at $1499 and is available now.

Read more at - Henning has a point there ...
Product Page: Rotel RSX-1057

Posted by Mike at 12:37 PM
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Marantz VP-1C1s1 1080p DLP Projector

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Marantz introduced VP-1C1s1, its first native 1080p DLP projector in Japan with a disturbing price tag of about $15,000 ( 1,800,000 Yen ). The projector features latest 0.95" DMD chip from Texas Instruments with output of only 700 Lumen ( or 600 in eco mode ). However, contrast ratio is pretty high at 6500:1 [compare to VP12S4's 4500:1 ]. I am a bit sceptical about numbers and here is why: since it looks like Marantz reused the optical engine and the 0.95 DMD is bigger than the 720p 0.80 DMD it is obvious that light output should be less with the same 200W lamp. It is just an assumption and is based on not verified facts so we will wait and see what reviewers say.
Video inputs consist of 2 x HDMI, 2x Component, 1x Composite and 1x S-Video. Color wheel is 7 segment spinning at 6x the speed.
Video processing is 12 bit ( most likely GENNUM processing) on the front side and 10bit in the DMD electronics.
Other than the high price and the low light output, the projector seems to be fine in specifications. No word when it will be brought to US yet.

Source: Akihabara News

Other blogs:

Posted by Mike at 10:54 AM
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Monday, April 10, 2006

Next Sony VPL-VW100 Review

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Home Theater Magazine reviews Sony VPL-VW100 SXRD Projector with a quote that this is the projector that has the blackest blacks they have ever seen. I agree, but no one says that Ruby's output is only 800 Lumen. Of course it would be black. Another problem they have noticed is deinterlacing that failed with jaggies on classic waiving flag of HQV Video and was not too fast in picking up 3:2 pulldown. It seems that this is the first review to mention most of the problems that Sony VPL-VW100 including too-much-vibrant-inaccurate color reproduction and scaling:
Scaling is crucial in any display and even more so in a 1080p display, as there are almost six times as many pixels as there are on a DVD. The VPL-VW100 does an excellent job. It internally upconverts DVDs about as well as an external upconverting DVD player—at least as far as detail goes, that is. The component input had a small amount of noise, a kind of grain that wasn't apparent when I used the HDMI or DVI inputs, which were very smooth. The component input also had a disappointing amount of steps and noise in the gray ramp from Video Essentials. This was noticeable with actual video material, as well. It was more than I expected from a $10,000 projector, but it was far less than that of many digital displays. While it's not bad enough to completely avoid the analog inputs, I'd advise you to use digital when you can.

In the conclusion, not having to much to say about the picture quality, reviewer suggests that VPLVW100 "is a beautiful and incredible-looking projector". What can I say,look is important, but at $10000 I would like to have the picture quality first and everything else after. There are much better projectors that are brighter and have better picture quality for fraction of the price.

Read full review ...

Posted by Mike at 2:40 AM
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Onkyo HDC-7 Viiv Media Center

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Onkyo claims that their expertise in high-end audio can and is applied to a media center computer. Built by Onkyo, Japan's most favorite audio brand, HDC-7 is a Media Center PC with Viiv certification is capable of 2 Channel playback with 110dB signal-to-noise ratio and 7.1 channel with 100dB. All of the audio goodness is powered by Onkyo's own VLSC technology.
The machine runs on 2.80Ghz Pentium D 820, 1GB RAM. Graphics is powered by the Intel 945g Express, the +ICH7-DH,400GB HDD, DVD super multiple drive,analog TV tuner, CF/SD/MMC/MS card reader. Video output is generous with DVI-I, RGB, and D4 (Japan).
No pricing or availability is announced at the moment.

Posted by Mike at 2:19 AM
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Pioneer PDP-5000EX 1080P Plasma Display

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Pioneer, surprisingly announced PDP-5000EX 1080P plasma display in Europe with ship date set to June. That was quite quick from Pioneer. So, what are the highlights of the PDP5000EX other that it is the first native 1080p 50-inch plasma display. There are few worth mentioning and actually present an advancement in plasma technology.
  • Deep Waffle Rib Structure - the marketing name implies that plasma cells are positioned in deeper "waffles" compared to "other" manufacturers. This means that light output from the sides is less giving the output ray better intensity. One thing that I am interested in but do not have an answer if waffles will make distance between pixels more emphasized.
  • Direct Colour Filter is a type of glass filter that differs from others by eliminating the air layer in between the glass and the panel. This makes much less reflection.
The most interesting part is that the first 1080p plasma has been released in Europe rather than here in US or Japan where the number of HD programming prevails. According to one of the comments on the HD buzz is naturally "trading" at its peak and Pioneer is using it for free to get the premium price. The price in fact will be around $10000.


Read the press release on Pioneer's website ...

Posted by Mike at 3:52 PM
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Anthony Gallo Acoustics Micro Ti Review

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AVReview UK reviews Anthony Gallo Acoustics Micro Ti surround speaker system with a score of 9 out of 10. MicroTi system consists of 5 Nucleus Micro Ti spherical satellite speakers and a TR-1 subwoofer. The speakers built with 3" pure titanium full range drivers and cover frequency from 100Hz to 22Khz if installed on the wall or 120Hz 22Hz when installed on the stand.The sub goes down to 26 Hz and the variable crossover is from 50Hz to 180Hz.
While appeal is very stylish, reviewer mentions that the "sonic quality hasn't been neglected". Without cranking up the volume, these speakers can fill the room and create the right soundstage and be pleasing to eye. According to manufacturers website, these speakers are designed for smaller rooms. Lots of people admire these speakers and some of the respectable audio reviewers think Nucleus Micro Ti's are too good out of the box.

Read ...

Related: Anthony Gallo Nucleus Reference AV Loudspeakers

Posted by Mike at 11:57 AM
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Monday, April 03, 2006

1080p or not?

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Popular Mechanics has a great article on the current hype of 1080p with popular explanation of the resolution and available sources. As we know, current HD broadcasts are either in 1080i or 720p and there is no trend to switch it to 1080p due to the costs associated with equipment and obviously bandwidth. The only true 1080p sources yet to be released are HD-DVD and Blu-Ray players. HD-DVD has been released by Toshiba in Japan few days ago and US will be seeing both on the shelves in the summer of 2006. The first batch of HD-DVD players will not even support 1080p.
While having more resolution is better, there is no significant improvement compared to native 720p (1280x720) resolution displays and that contrast fades even more on a smaller displays ( 60-inch and down).
Is the extra resolution worth the price premium of a 1080p set? That depends a lot on what you want from your TV. If you insist on neighborhood bragging rights in the resolution department, then you may want to buy a 1080p model to "futureproof" your purchase. But if you choose to make the 1080p splurge, you should do it knowing that it might be a couple of years before widespread 1080p content becomes available. And, even then, the 1080p advantage will be pretty subtle on anything less than the largest screens. On the other hand, if you are interested in making the jump to high definition today--and enjoying the HD content that is already available--then most current 720p and 1080i sets will deliver stunning results right now.

Besides the format, article covers current prices of 1080p displays available or hitting the market shortly. According to the article, not all new technologies are priced high with an example of upcoming Akai PT42DL27L DLP LED TV priced at only $1799 or Sony Sony KDS-R50XBR1 SXRD at $3500

Read ...

Posted by Mike at 6:31 PM
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Rear Projection Basics

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AVReview UK gives some basics on rear projection TV technology and briefly covers topics as how rear projection works, kinds of rear projection as CRT, LCD, and DLP. This is target ted for new buyers. Here is an excerpt of choice:
Rear projection still seems to have something of an image problem. This is presumably because many people's only experience of rear projection TVs was in a local pub in the 1990s - and these TVs tended to be extremely poorly set up, and affected by the smoke and general mess associated with the pub environment.

Posted by Mike at 11:29 AM
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