While the idea of data storage may not seem that exciting, this product actually is. At its simplest, the HP MediaSmart Server is storage and data backup. But from there it gets more interesting. It can backup all the computers in your home (to a max storage space of 8 terabytes). Still not interested? You can give the Sever it’s own IP address so you can access any of your content from anywhere in the world. You, your kids, grandma, anyone you want to give access to can log onto the server and see what content you want them too. Share full rez pics of your vacation with your friends, have your friends share their pictures with you. It is very cool.
The ProCinema 600 sat/sub set replaces the same-sized ProCinema 60 for $799. In a more ambitious mood, DefTech also showed the mythos ST SuperTower ($1799/each) with a built-in powered SuperCube subwoofer. New in-ceiling and in-wall speakers were also announced.
At the end of January Epson will release the PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080, a 3 LCD 1080p projector that has horizontal and vertical lens shift for only $4999. Not enough of a bargain for you? It will also come with a spare lamp and a ceiling mount.
Sharp showed two new LCD sets – 32 (LC-32GP1U, $1,700) and 37-inch (LC-37GP1U, $2,000) – specifically designed towards gamers. Called the Game Players Series, they employ Sharp’s Vyper Drive that reduces visual lag time from console to screen to “imperceptible levels.” A Game Mode button enables the new expanded side terminals (including HDMI and component) for quick change between regular television duties and games. As with all the new Sharp LCD’s, these have a 120 hertz refresh that clears up a lot of the motion blur issues inherent to LCD’s. Oh yeah, it’s also 1080p.
HK's CP 55 home theater package consists of the AVR 146 receiver ($349 when bought separately) with the DVD 38 player and a lovely 5.1-channel sat/sub set in gloss black. The price is $1199 and it's shipping soon. Definitely a contender.
Taiwan-based AOSRA's HD FVD format has driven both Blu-ray and HD DVD from the market, ending an ugly format war that threatened to go on for years. This poster explains why: The price is "low," compared to the "high" prices of other formats. Said Blu-ray and HD DVD spokespeople in unison: "We surrender to HD FVD. We cannot go on living a lie. What are we going to tell our parents?" Then they burst into tears. (Enlargement, spec sheet.)
Vogue Tech. Co. of Taiwan showed a peak-eared feline-like multimedia speaker system using flat-panel diaphragms licensed from U.K.-based NXT. Safe to say this is a Home Theater Magazine blog exclusive.
Speakers of the future will go green. Among the several environment-friendly materials Infinity is considering is recycled-denim insulation (not to mention bamboo plywood). It will soon arrive in product. Just think, what was warming someone's booty yesterday may be in your speakers tomorrow.
Replacing the value-oriented Beta Series, Infinity's new Classia Series starts with the C336 tower ($899/pair) with three six-inch woofers, a 3.5-inch midrange, and one-inch tweeter, all in the company's composite aluminum/ceramic CMD material. There's also a C225 center ($499), C205 bookshelf ($329/pair), C255BS dipole ($499/pair), and 12-inch PS-12 sub ($799). The classily shaped MDF cabinet looks like the extruded aluminum in the higher-end Cascade Series. Fed a brassy big band, the system showed off its extended treble and overall naturalness. In development: a wireless sub!
Meridian showed off an iPod video dock (MV-D1) that upconverts the 320-by-240 or 640-by-480 video to 1080p via HDMI or 1080i via component. For either video when you’re on the go or on the go video in your home. A neat idea, though admittedly odd coming from a ultra-high-end audio company like Meridian.
The JBL Control On Air 2.4G is so eager to identify itself that it approaches incoherence. It's based on the way-cool rubber-clad indoor/outdoor Control1Extreme speaker (whose 1980s grandpapa is the Pro III) with a 2.4GHz wireless thing. Now the name makes sense, doesn't it?
JVC showed off a new LCD panel that uses LEDs as it’s backlight source. With no model number, price, or potential availability, it isn’t much of a story. What is, is the prototype 2.35:1 aspect ratio RPTV they were showing in the back. They wouldn’t let us take pictures, though, so you’ll just have to imagine it. Hate those black bars on the top and bottom when you’re watching movies? This is your answer, a rear-projection TV with a really widescreen aspect ratio. I hope they make it as I imagine a lot of people would love to get one despite the fact that if you watch anything with less than 2.35:1 aspect ratio, you’ll have bars on the sides. Oh well.