From a Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray player you can control with your smartphone to a $900 video projector that's so bright you won't have to black out your windows, we present a handful of the latest products, including one that would make a sweet gift.
4K x 2K video with to-die-for resolution now has an official name. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has decreed that it will be called Ultra High-Definition or Ultra HD. The latter rolls trippingly off the tongue, doesn’t it? Try it a few times. Ultra HD sets must have at least 8 million pixels, 3,840 horizontal x 2,160 vertical, with an aspect ratio of 16:9 or wider, and at least one digital input must provide that minimum resolution without upconverting.
Wondering what it means when you see a Blu-ray Disc with a gold seal that says “Dolby TrueHD Advanced 96K Upsampling”? In its never-ending quest to squeeze every last drop of detail out of movie and music soundtracks, Dolby Labs has created a tool that enables studios and authoring/mastering facilities to take sound quality to an even higher level.
Women are embracing technology more than ever before, buying tablets, e-readers, smartphones, cameras, PCs, and other electronics for themselves and their families. And when it comes to the traditional audio/video categories, there’s no question that the gentler sex is an equal partner in major buying decisions. If she doesn’t like the big-screen TV hubby is drooling over, chances are it ain’t gonna happen.
Planning to replace your main TV any time in the near future? Households in 14 markets around the world are now replacing TVs every 6.9 years, according to the NPD DisplaySearch Global TV Replacement Study, which is a year and a half sooner than the 8.4 years reported in last year’s study.
Looking for a little extra holiday spending money? If you purchased an LCD TV between 1999 and 2006 and live in one of the 24 states listed below, you may be entitled to a piece of a $1.1 billion settlement pie.
Let the holiday shopping begin! New products for your consideration, ranging from a 55-inch 3D HDTV to a unique pair of noise-canceling headphones featuring solid wood earcups to a sleek on-wall surround speaker.
Home Theater's new Top Picks app for your iPad is now available for free at the iTunes App Store.
The app provides instant access to our list of Top Picks recommended products across 12 categories. Each pick has a short blurb explaining why our reviewer's liked the product and includes a link to the full review.
Sennheiser IE 800 Earphones
When a company that’s been making headphones since 1945 announces that its latest earphones deliver “detailed lifelike sound” with a super-wide frequency range of 5 hertz to 46 kilohertz, your ears perk up. The heart of Sennheiser’s IE 800 “ear canal phones” is a miniature, 0.28-inch wide-range driver that’s said to eliminate slight jumps and delays in music repro-
duction that occur with the multidriver configuration used in some high-end earphones. Other sound-enhancing features include a venting system that reduces distortion (notice the tiny silver ports) and an absorber that prevents high-frequency resonances from masking quiet sounds in the midrange.
For Any Ear: Sennheiser provides a selection of oval and round silicone adapters to ensure a perfect fit. Price: $787.
Sennheiser • (860) 434-9190 • sennheiserusa.com
Denver may seem like an odd place for a high-end audio show. As a medium-sized city, you wouldn’t expect it to be a hotbed of passionate audiophiles. But when you add the attendees who drive or fly to the mile-high city to a core of local enthusiasts you have what has become the biggest consumer audio show in the U.S. Last June's Orange County (CA) show reportedly drew bigger crowds (no surprise given the huge Southern California market). But the RMAF appeared to attract more exhibitors.
Chesky Records aims to re-create the experience of listening to live music from the best seat in the house with its new Binaural+ Series of high-resolution 24-bit/192-kilohertz recordings. Specially calibrated microphones implanted in the ear canals of a dummy head are used to capture a “stunningly accurate and realistic” 3D representation of the soundfield. With traditional binaural recordings, which have been around for decades, distinct left and right channels are recorded as they would be heard by a pair of human ears and played back through headphones—left channel to left ear, right channel to right ear—to create the illusion of a 360-degree soundstage.
IP-based video is finally getting the attention it deserves from America’s favorite DVR company with two new products. The TiVo Stream set-top box transcodes video from a Premiere or Premiere Q DVR, whether live or recorded, and sends it to a secondary TV, tablet, or smartphone—even outside the home. It can stream or download shows simultaneously to multiple mobile devices without interrupting the main show on the primary TV screen. There’s also an IP set-top box that works with the TiVo Premiere Q to allow access to live or recorded TV, video on demand, and broadband-delivered content on every TV in your home. In other TiVo news, TiVo Premiere XL4 is the new name of the TiVo Premiere Elite. The company says this will “alleviate consumer confusion as they shop among TiVo Premiere products.”
Ever wish you could connect your smartphone to the TV in your living room while you’re lounging around so you could browse your apps on the big screen or watch that hilarious video you shot of your buddy impersonating Mitt Romney? Or maybe you’re on the road and want to kick back and stream a movie or watch a couple of crazy YouTube videos on the TV in your hotel room (assuming you’re not staying in a ’60s-era motel complete with the vintage Philco set). Or just think how cool it would be if instead of lugging your laptop to the boardroom, you could jack into the projector and run a PowerPoint presentation from your phone. If nothing else, you’d certainly impress the boss.