IOGEAR took the wraps off a prototype of a Wireless 3D Media Kit that can wirelessly stream HD video and audio up to 100 feet and supports full HD 3D video with resolutions up to 1080p (24/30/60 fps) along with 5.1-channel digital audio. The transmitter includes four HDMI inputs, one composite, one component, and one USB. The receiver has one HDMI output and one USB port. The USB ports are to be used with wireless keyboards (which IOGEAR also happens to make). The receiver also has built-in IR that allows control of hidden source devices. Each transmitter can support up to four receivers. Price for one kit (includes one transmitter and one receiver) is projected to be under $500 when it begins shipping sometime in June of 2011.
VideoEFx showed a prototype of a small box that takes any 2D HDMI source and converts the image on the fly to a simulated 3D that can be viewed on any 3D HDTV. The company demonstrated the device with the same football game running on a 2D HDTV sitting next to a 3D HDTV. I must say that, although the effect didn’t have quite the depth of video shot in 3D, it was surprisingly good. The estimated retail price is targeted to be $399. No word on when the product will be available since it has not yet been approved by the FCC.
3D isn’t just for your living room TV. Innovision showed off one of the company’s HoloAD “three-dimensional holographic messenger” that creates glasses-free 3D moving images. Innovision promotes the cool-looking device to be used for digital signage.
When the 3D Blu-ray spec was announced, everyone said it would require HDMI 1.4, which implied the need for new HDMI hardware. But then I learned that the Sony PlayStation 3, which has HDMI 1.3, can be updated to provide 3D capabilities with new firmware. That seemed odd, so I visited the HDMI Licensing booth and found out that all the versions of HDMI are merely specifications that define what features they will support, and manufacturers are free to implement all, some, or none of them. Also, HDMI 1.3 and 1.4 are capable of the same maximum bandwidth—10.2Gbps.
Greensound Technology unveiled a line of three speakers and a subwoofer made of glass. The speakers are said to produce sound from 70 Hz to around 17 kHz. Round holes strategically cut into the glass cause the upper frequencies to be emitted by the upper portion of the glass panel with the lower frequencies emanating from the lower region. Pricing ranges from $4,000 to $19,000/pair.
Accessory and cable maker Accell introduced the UltraCat HD, a transmitter/receiver package featuring HDBaseT technology. It can be used to send uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power, RS232 and infrared control signals over a single Cat5e cable for up to 100 meters (approximately 328 feet). Accell says the extenders are optimized for HD video and support all resolutions and video formats including 1080p, 4K, and 3D. HDBaseT technology is an exciting alternative to HDMI for many applications and can even be used to power devices (including TVs) when built-in to the device. We should start seeing more HDBaseT-enabled products later this year.
First announced at CEDIA in September, the AVR500 is a stripped down version of the AVR600 with no preamp outs, no phono input, and two sub outs instead of three. It provides 100Wpc of Class AB power and uses a Pixelworks video processor for $3800.
Arcam is one of those legendary "low end of the high end" amp makers that traditionally "punches above its weight," if you'll forgive the use of two audio-reviewing cliches in one sentence. Now it's in the iThing docking system business with the rCube ($800), shipping now.
After five years, Arcam has updated its Solo Music CD/tuner/integrated amp to the Solo Neo by adding a network card with WiFi so you can stream music from your PC. Also available is a USB port for music files on a mass-storage device, all for around $2000.
Why shouldn't your multiroom preamp recognize each member of the family and his/her favorite source components? The Audio Design Associates Suite 32 does just that, "redefining multiroom" with its Profiler software. If your daughter uses just an iPod and satellite dish, that's all she'll see on the keypad. The hardware looks kind of like two Suite 16s bolted together in a single chassis. Pricing starts at $10,000 for the preamp. Add another zero for keypads, amps, and such. ADA also talked up its TEQ Trinnov room EQ system, not for the first time, but it's shipping soon. TEQ is more sophisticated than the version of Trinnov built into Sherwood receivers -- for instance, whatever mic you use will have its own calibration file which will be fed into the system before it starts making decisions about what room correction your space needs.
We're pleased to announce that the AudioQuest exhibit has won the Home Theater 2011 CES Blog's Award for Distinguished Achievement in Promotional Artwork Evoking a Nightmare for this image of the giant red wolves that savaged us in our dreams. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but we woke up in our hotel bed missing a leg.
Vuzix’s new “augmented reality” glasses have tiny video cameras on the front and small high-resolution display screens (one for each eye) behind. The setup allows virtual images to be laid over 3D video of the real world captured by the front-facing cameras. Potential applications could include virtual instruction manuals or training videos.
B&W announced that it has updated the 800 series with diamond tweeters in all models as well as improvements in the other drivers and crossovers, resulting in greater dynamic range, lower distortion, and higher power handling. Prices range from $2750 for the HTM4D center-channel to $24,000/pair for the 800D, and all models should be available to consumers by April. You can read more on the 800 series and diamond tweeters, here.