A year or so ago I reviewed an Arcam AV receiver. It was one of the best sounding pieces I have experienced. But its HDMI inputs were switching only--no audio over HDMI. That has been corrected with the new AVR600 ($4000; $4500 with Internet LAN connectivity). It will also decode all of the latest audio formats, including DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. It's also one of the first AVRs to feature Dolby Volume. 120 Wpc, availability expected in late November.
The new Vista line by Boston Acoustics may be hard to photograph, but they are stunning and come with end caps in variety of finishes (a striped "ebony" wood was beautiful). In common with all the speakers in the line is a new Super Wide Bandwidth tweeter which is capable of being crossed down as low as 2 kHz while retaining good horizontal dispersion, according to reps in the BA's booth. Pictured are the $3,398 a pair VS 336 floor standers (3-way, with three 6-1/2" drivers) and the $1,699 VPS 210 subwoofer (500 class D watts into a 10" driver / 10" passive). There's a 3 way center and an LCR as well that could be used as a center as well some smaller bookshelves in the line. Special red and Arctic white finishes are available for a 20% premium as well. Unfortunately, the demo material used was worthless for giving any impression on how they might sound.
ZvBox’s Zv-100 takes the VGA output of a PC, encodes it on the fly to 720p, and creates a channel that can be sent via coax to any HDTV in your house that has a digital cable (QAM) tuner. Since all it does is convert the output to an HD channel, your computer operates the same way it always does, and you’ll be able to watch or views any content your computer can provide as long as it has the proper codec or program. The beauty of the ZvBox system is that since it is codec agnostic, it can work with iTunes as easily as it works with Windows Media Player – or any other player or website.