Infinity will please the custom install crowd, as well as consumers who are constantly repositioning their subwoofers in search of that perfect location, with the first wireless subwoofer we've seen. No, it's not battery-powered, but the PS212W ($679) requires no signal link to the receiver or pre-pro. It incorporates a 400W amp and a 12" Metal Matrix Diaphragm driver.
The wireless banner tastefully emblazoned across the grille does not come standard.
Has that pun been used before? Well, the classics always endure. The French company's globular speakers include the way-cool iO2 floorstanding model at center, with its angular solid-wood base, and the tiny Alcyone mounted to the wall at top right. The latter comes with a magnetic stand and can produce 93dB with one watt of power, an enviable and pragmatic sensitivity rating for home theater applications.
Harman Kardon has the new DMC-1000 Digital Media Center ($3499), with a built-in 250GB hard drive. It can store program material from an iPOD, record and store music from sources such CDs, and play back DVDs upconverted to 1080p. But it cannot record or play back high definition program material from a TV tuner, HD disc, or other source. The press release claims that it can deliver full high definition digital video, but DVDs upconverted to 1080p, which appears to be as close as it can get, are not high definition.
The B&K 30.2 digital brick amp comes in 30, 60, or 100 watts times two. You can fit three of 'em on a plate (bottom) or six on a larger plate (hanging, top). Controls are on the back, but if you prefer them on the front, you want the ST30.2. B&K also showed the AVR707 receiver, with 200 watts times seven, due in 2008; and the AV1230, which covers 16 zones with two-channel goodness.
A lot of horizontal multiple-channel speakers designed to go with flat-panel sets look a mite starved. Not so the Atlantic Technology FS-5000 ($1499). Each of the three front channels gets two 4.5-inch woofers and a tweeter.
There are trade show days that feature one knock out demo after another, but believe me- not all of them come up roses. We have so much to write about, and trade show demos present so many unknowns and variables that I'm not very quick to criticize based on what I see here let alone to take the time to write about it.
This morning we got our first up close and personal look at Denons' upcoming Blu-ray Disc players- the DVD-3800BDCI ($1,999 December) and the DVD-2500BTCI ($1,199 December). And a chance to ask Denon's Jeff Talmadge (pictured above) more about the interactivity platforms of the players, and more.
Boston Acoustics' TVee Model Two isn't a one-box surround system. Instead, it's a two-channel add-on to improve the sound of any flat-panel TV. The powered speaker bar goes above or below a flat-panel TV. It can also be mounted on the wall. It learns IR commands from your current TV remote, so it changes volume without needing to have a second remote on the coffee table. The included subwoofer is wireless (except for the power cord, of course) and can be placed up to approximately 75 feet away from the sound bar. MSRP is $399.95 and it's supposed to be available later this month.
Not only did we see a very impressive working demo of the $10K Marantz VP-15S1 with an anamorphic lens, Marantz announced and will be demoing the VP-11S2 later in the show. The 11S2 will be among the first front proejctors shipping with TI's Dark Chip 4 technology. According to TI the chip backing has been darkened down, killing stray light for a brighter image and darker blacks.
Digeo makes the Moxi family of media centers, including the Moxi Home Cinema Edition HD DMR. CableCARD ready, there are over 400,000 Moxi products out there. Both the Moxi DVR and non-DVR unit use Moxi's graphically attractive and, from what I saw, seemingly intuitive interface. The menu is now in available in high definition (either 720p or 1080i) and looks spectacular, taking advantage of every square inch of your screen.
Toshiba had two big announcements at the show. On the TV side, two new 1080p LCDs in their Regza line are sporting what they claim to be the thinnest bezel on the market, at 0.9 inches. As you can see in the pic, it is indeed very thin. Look for them this month for $1,900 for the 40RF350U and $2,500 for the 46RF350U.
Pioneer let loose a new Blu-ray player, the BDP-95FD. It’s part of their Elite line, and has the usual 1080p/24 output and HDMI 1.3. What’s different is that it will actually output the bitstream of Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio. Up until now, even the HDMI 1.3 BD and HD DVD players all converted these formats to PCM before outputting them digitally. Look for it in October for around $1000.
Panasonic has two new plasmas and two new projectors. The plasmas use the same glass as the 700 series, but lose an HDMI input, the anti-reflective coating, and about $200 each. The TH-42PZ77 is $1800 and the TH-50PZ77 is $2800. Both are scheduled to ship this month.