Van Den Hul's HDMI Flat 180 is pleasingly plump, tomato red, and has a hinged connector that can take sharp turns. Every phat HDMI cable should be so agile. It's HDMI 1.4 compatible, and at $175 per meter, it ought to be.
My search for home theater displays at the Venetian hotel, home of the high-end audio exhibits, was frustrating. And while I enjoyed checking out the audio rooms, looking mainly for speakers suitable for home theater (but also for the fun of it!), their prices were often a put-off for multi-channel applications). The Meridian room did not break the price barrier either, but the quality of the system was outstanding. The company left its big 4K projector at home and settled on the smaller DLA-MF10 with an ISCO anamorphic lens (about $28,000 --$15,000 without the lens) and 8-foot wide (approximately) 2.35:1 Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. Even though this projector is based on an older JVC DLA design (extensively modified courtesy of video expert William Phelps) the picture was to die for.
The TV Hat people say it's "the next revolution in video viewing". That's quite a statement for a modified baseball hat that includes a pouch for most sizes of portable video players and a built-in magnifying glass to make the picture seem larger. Some important warnings:
The weather in Las Vegas is ideal with slightly chilly mornings, light to moderate winds and clear skies that allow visibility for dozens of miles. This view taken from the 30th floor of the Hilton Hotel is looking northeast past Nellis Air Force Base in the distance and towards the barren Nevada desert. The image at the top of the photo is a reflection of a chandelier in the glass, not a UFO. Area 51 is many miles from here.
I saw a couple of LED-illuminated DLP front projectors at CEDIA last year, so it wasn't all that surprising to see another one at CES. Vivitek introduced the H6080FD, a 1080p projector with a single DMD chip and RGB LEDs that are supposed to last 20,000 hours. This 1080p model claims 800 lumens of light output and a 50,000:1 native contrast ratio. Availability is said to be the May/June time frame, and the price will be around $20,000.
Vizio is getting on the widget bandwagon with Vizio Connected HDTV, a feature set that will be added to all XVT models this fall. With 802.11n WiFi and an Ethernet port, it can run various widgets to access online weather, news, and so on, and new widgets can be downloaded from the company's website into the TV's Widget Gallery shown here on the left of the screen. Also included is a new Bluetooth remote that slides open like a smartphone to reveal a QWERTY keyboard.
After its meteoric rise in the flat-panel business, Vizio is expanding into the realm of Blu-ray players with the VBR100. It's BD-Live with 1GB of internal memory, it has 7.1 analog audio outs, and it can bitstream and decode all the advanced audio codecs. It should be available in April forget this$200, the magic price point. Mainstream, here we come!
The 55-inch VF551XVT is Vizio's first LCD TV with LED backlight and local dimming. Slated for June, it also operates at 240Hz and offers a USB port and five HDMI inputs. The price? Only $2000! For that little, I could certainly tolerate the garish red soundbar grille below the screen.
Yeah, it's one of those kinds of things. We're sworn to secrecy (hopefully not too much longer), but we were one of the few who were given a glimpse at a new speaker line from a brand new company called GoldenEar Technology. New companies come into existence all the time, of course, but what makes this one so special is the fact that it's being started by Sandy Gross and Don Givogue, two of the founders of one of our (and many, many other' people's - if all of the stellar reviews and impressive sales numbers are anything to go by) favorite speaker brands, Definitive Technology. Gross was also one of the founders of another speaker brand you might have heard of: Polk. So when we heard Sandy Gross was working on a new speaker, our ears started to tingle (and not just from being at CES for several days). We can't tell you many of the details, but what we saw was elegant, affordable, and has all the makings of another blockbuster line of gear. To use a Vegas analogy, it's the kind of thing you might get if Frank Sinatra and Elvis had a love child. (Yeah, I know it's not biologically possible, but this is Vegas, after all...)
One of the fun things about CES is you get to see some of the technologies that manufacturer's are working on. It doesn't mean they plan on releasing it to the public any time soon but it gives you some insight of what's on the drawing board. Hitachi showed a TV that could be controlled by a serious of gestures with your hand and arms. It's not SciFi anymore.
Achromatic is the name of a new line from the venerable (and underrated) Anglo-Chinese brand Wharfedale. In addition to the $399 sat/sub set, the line also includes towers, monitors, and subs. The existing Evo2 ($600-1900, shown) and Opus2 ($1700-5000) lines have been beefed up with aluminum-coated copper wire for better heat dispersion. They continue to have kevlar woofers and soft dome tweeters.
It's the BGX-4850 BG Radia/THX Ultra2 Certified In-wall Subwoofer. After many months of tweaking and a few delays the BGX-4850 Architectural Subwoofer is here. The BGX-4850 is a joint development between BG Radia and THX and has resulted in a very unique in-wall subwoofer design. The BGX-4850 is the first in-wall sub to receive THX Ultra2 certification and the first to incorporate THX Balanced Bass-line technology to deliver vibration-free bass from an in-wall subwoofer.
When the press conference for CISCO filled to capacity they announced it could be watched from the Press Room. Several of us headed over to find them still trying to get the feed linked in. However, once they did there was no audio, only the Power Point slide show. But wait, you can view it online. Everyone pulls out their laptops, heads to the URL, only to find a screen that says you must register first. OK! Logging in now...uh but you don't have the most current version of Real Player. Honestly, I didn't know that people were still using that. I haven't come across that in so long that obviously I didn't have the most current version. A quick download, but the site didn't recognize the plug-in. NEVERMIND