Always ready to keep the home theater industry on its toes, Anthem has introduced a new and improved version of its popular AVM 50, the AVM 50v. The full-featured surround processor stands out in the crowd with added HDMI inputs and improved audio and video processing. Its processing abilities are increased through Sigma Designs VXP digital video processing and two dual-core Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engines for audio processing.
SIM2 and Entertainment Experience are joining forces to unveil a new combination product that promises to give home theater aficionados the experience they’ve been craving. The All-in-One Digital Entertainment Media System combines SIM2’s Grand Cinema C3X 1080 (pictured) or HT5000E 3-chip DLP projector with an Entertainment Experience Media Center.
For those days when your significant other tells you to turn the volume down, Audio-Technica has a new set of headphones that will make your home theater experience a much more private one. Its latest bunch of headphones are easy on the ears and eyes, and they come in both in-ear and on-ear varieties.
Both Hitachi and Toshiba were showing technology designed to upgrade the quality of program material. Toshiba's (Resolution+) is coming soon in some of its new sets and is being promoted as an upgrade for SD programming. Hitachi's Super Resolution is still in the prototype stage, but is designed to work with both HD and SD material. The effect was stunning and quite obvious in the photo, where the image on the left side is straight, unprocessed SD and the image on the right side has been processed by Super Resolution. We'll be anxious to give this technology a try when it comes with Hitachi sets.
Built (that's the company's name) apparently makes interesting accessories, such as a unique backpack for a laptop. But that wasn't my main interest here. Take a look at the odd-looking "wall" that was used to set off Built's exhibit. It consists of an accordian-like construct of stiff brown paper, and when stretched out becomes free-standing with an outside edge that resembles thin vertical ribs with gaps in between. I immediately thought "acoustic room treatment." Just a thought, of course, and it might not work at all, but it's perhaps an interesting idea for a cheap (perhaps--I don't know the price of the product) diffusor. The product itself is made by a Canadian company called Molo, the paper is fire-retardant, and it apparently comes in a variety of colors.
Pioneer introduced two new standard Blu-ray players, the BDP-120 and the BDP-320. The BDP-120 is expected to sell for under $300. A new Elite player, the BDP-23FD, offers Kuro Link, a new feature said to sync up with Kuro HDTVs for optimum setup and operation. We'll wait to se on that one.
Totem Acoustic has updated the 10-year-old Wind, which continues in the line in its original form, with a new variation called the Wind Design Series. It includes a improved crossover plus a high-end automotive-grade polyurethane lacquer finish in four shades: blue, red, white, and black. Pricing ranges from $11,000-12,500 for the new version ("we're still reeling from the cost of the paint") or $9000 for the conventionally veneered old version.
This is the system that decouples the Totem Wind from the floor. It consists of a back piece plus a front "claw" filled with different sizes of ball bearings. That enables a form of tuning that helps the speaker mate with the room and the amp, we were told. The claw somehow escaped our camera -- see full-size photo in the first item above. Still, two pretty blue pictures in a row. That's class.
We thought the tiny sat CDT showed at last year's CES sounded great, and after a year of further tweaking, it's shipping as the Sonapod. In a 5.1 set with any of various subwoofers, it might sell for anywhere from $900-2000. CDT also showed a small triangular sat that was like nothing else we've ever seen. Possible review material.
Naming a series of iThing docking systems for the sainted songwriter of early Pink Floyd may seem an excellent idea but the Kanto people insisted this was the furthest thing from their minds. The Syd 5 ($349) is nice and chunky with an AC jack that would make it convenient to connect a wireless bridge. The smaller Syd 4 ($159) has dual slot ports in front to increase bass response from the sub driver deep in the back of the enclosure. See Syd Play. Astronomy Kantonome. Gigolo Kanto. You can never have too many Syd Barrett references.
The Mordaunt-Short Mezzo line already included a tower, and the Mezzo 6 continues in the line, but now it has a big brother in the form of the Mezzo 8 ($2495/pair). The latter's a three-way with two 6.25-inch woofers, 5.25-inch mid, and one-inch aluminum tweeter mounted at the top of the enclosure. The excellent Alumni sat/sub line has another upsized model, shown -- the Alumni 8 ($1095/pair), a tall, slender speaker with four passive woofers, two active ones, and a tweeter. It complements the similar though not identical Alumni 3 center. Stand or wall mount, high gloss black or white with black grilles.
Cambridge Audio makes good stuff. Though it has lagged behind in certain areas in the past, at CES it showed a strong will to catch up, unveiling the azur 640BD Blu-ray player, shipping in February for $999, and yes, befitting an expensive player it is Profile 2.0. The company also caught up with the HDMI revolution with the azur 640R receiver, shipping in March for $1695, and yes, it has HDMI 1.3 and all the goodies that go with it. All over the world the children sing for joy.