Only the latest version of the HDMI interface, 1.3, will carry DTS-HD Master Audio, though 1.2 and 1.1 will do for DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, not to mention Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus. Sherwood receiver model R-872 ($999) is the lowest-priced one with the full monty. Also fully qualified to be your man is the R-972 ($1499).
Sony revealed the KDL-70XBR3. It’s 1080p, has LED backlighting, and has what Sony calls “x.v. Color.” This means it is capable of the xvYCC color space, a first. To let you take advantage of that, Sony also released four new HD video cameras that are also xvYCC capable. The TV will be available in February at the low, low bargain price of $33,000.
Pre-CES press events are notorious for emphasizing message over substance. Sony's message was "Transformation." Nevertheless everyone's favorite electronics giant and whipping boy had a few surprises in store at yesterday's big do, and the first was violinist (and Sony Classical recording artist) Joshua Bell in a huge display of virtuosity. It got CES off to a great start! Sorry about the picture. It hardly does justice to Sony's 1080p Bravia LCD display. What do you expect from a Panasonic camera being operated by a monkey?
Most noise-cancelling products are either headphones or earbuds. But wouldn't it be nice to put the noise-cancellation circuit in the player? That's what Sony has done with some new Walkman MP3 players. Now you can enjoy the considerable benefit of noise cancellation while using any headphones or earbuds you fancy. Not your father's old cassette player.
The Sony Vaio WA1 Wireless Music Streamer ($350, availability TBA) looks like a boombox. A real smart boombox. It streams music from a PC via wireless home network or wireless P2P connection. Compatible file formats include MP3, AAC, unprotected WMA, and Sony's own massively popular ATRAC codec.
The HD-capable Bravia Internet Video Link (pricing and availability TBA "within the next few months") will bring free a/v content to the majority of Sony's 2007 TV line, starting with Bravia LCDs. It is intertwined with content partnerships involving AOL, Yahoo, and of course Sony's own music and motion picture divisions.
JBL's new ES Series will include a tower with six-inch woofers ($500/each), plus a center ($329), surround ($329/pair), bookshelf ($400/pair), larger bookshelf ($500/pair), and a couple of subs ($450 and $550). I'm still waiting to get my hands on the cute bottle-shaped CS 6100 unveiled at CEDIA in September 2006. It's on the way!
In the deep dark recesses of the Texas Instruments booth was a tech demo of something their engineers cooked up. It’s a DLP with an LED light source, but unlike the Samsung LED that we reviewed in the January issue, it has an impressive contrast ratio (a claimed 100,000:1). They’re doing it by modulating the LEDs with the video signal, along with some other tricks. It’s not a real product, but it shows off what’s possible.
Viewsonic showed off several displays (some of which were prototypes) that had a built in iPod dock so you can watch your iPod video on a big screen. There were a lot of these types of things at the show.
Shipping in April the TX-42F430S (42-inch $2,000) and the TX-47F430S (47-inch $2500) have a subtle but classy black and gray metal aesthetic. They also sport 4 HDMI inputs (capable of 1080p), integrated tuners, and a claimed 5000:1 contrast ratio.
You don't see the parts inside a speaker enclosure. So when you lay eyes on the latest generation of Wharfedales to live in the now-familiar curved enclosure, you won't see the fat, sexy, new magnets and capacitors that will provide "better dynamic range" and "much better high-frequency response." Is the familiar dark-hued tone of recent Wharfedale product about to change? I'd like to find out in my own environs.