Toshiba also debuted their Cinema Series Pro line of LCDs, in 42 and 47-inch varieties. They’re both 1080p, have 12-bit processing, and an 8ms response time. It sports a RJ-45 connector to connect the TV to a PC to view pictures and apparently get your email. The 42LZ196 will be $3,399 and the 47LZ196 will be $4,599. Both are available this month.
Toshiba today announced their next generation HD DVD players, which has to be some kind of record. After all, the first generation of players has only been out for 6 months. The HD-A2 is $499 and will be out in October. It’s still 1080i. More interesting is the HD-XA2, at $999. This one (shown) is 1080p and HDMI 1.3. It will be available in December.
After giving out sales percentages that show Harmony remotes have almost taken over the world, Logitech showed off their newest Harmony remote control, the Harmony 1000. The design is a departure from that of the current models, which are the traditional long and skinny shape. The Harmony 1000 is rectangular, less than 1/2 inch thick, and has a 3.5-inch color touch screen that's very bright - the Logitech folks said they're using a screen originally designed for car GPS navigation systems - and extremely sensative to the touch. They've redesigned the screen layouts, too, making using the new remote even easier than any of their other models - which I wasn't sure was possible. It'll be available for $499 in October. Infrared extenders are $149.
In a 2,000 square foot house filled with HP gear and PCs that was built specifically on the parking lot outside the convention center, Exceptional Innovation demonstrated the company's Life|ware 1.0.2 home control software that's designed to create a fully integrated electronic home based around Media Center PCs. The new Life|ware software builds on Media Center features and, based on direct connection with Life|link Devices-enabled devices, can control things like motorized shades, motorized mounts for plasma or front projection TVs, lighting, and even your oven. You can even schedule things by astronomical time.
In a world where manufacturers all too often behave with a depraved indifference toward the muscles of the lower abdomen, Thiel has introduced a speaker that poses no hazard to the delicate. True, Jim Thiel dodged the all-important weight question, but judging from the way he picked it up and casually hefted it, the SCS4 should be just my kind of speaker. It has the same coaxial driver array as the SCS3, uses a challenging (Jim said) first-order crossover, and will ship before year-end for less than $1000. I will try this at home. The Thiel exhibit is using it as the center and surround speakers in a demo system with the floorstanding CS3.7--unveiled nine months ago at CES and previously unheard--serving as front left/right.
The STR-DA5200ES is one of two new models in
Sony's higher-end ES receiver line. The 7 x 120
watt receiver has auto setup that that runs in just
30 seconds. With top-notch Faroudja DCDi video
processing, it upconverts video sources to
1080p, offers scalable picture-in-picture for
source monitoring, and offers on-the-fly color
correction. The icon-based menu system hails
from PSP. Available in October for $1500.
Sharp showed a new line of LCDs sporting a new bezel design; piano black with silver. The 42-inch (LC-42D62U), 1080p model has a claimed 6ms response time and a 1300:1 native contrast ratio at a price of $2,499. Also in the line are a 46-inch LC-46D62U ($3,499), and a 52-inch LC-52D62U ($4,799). Both of these larger panels are 4ms. They will have 1080p inputs and will be available in October. The XV-Z20000 projector (we saw at CES 9 months ago) is coming out this month in all its 1080p glory for $11,999.
For those not excited about projectors (see below), Sony unveiled a 52-inch LCD, the KDL-52XBR2. It’s 1080p of course, and sports a 1300:1 “on-screen” contrast ratio. It’s $6,500, but if you don’t like silver, the KDL-52XBR3 is $300 more and has a black bezel. They’ll be available in November. Also, the BDP-S1 Blu-ray player should ship late October.
To very few people’s surprise, Sony announced a “Baby-Ruby”, as in a baby brother to their 1080p SXRD front projector the VPL-VW100. What was surprising is the price: $4,999, lower than most people were expecting. They also claim it will take the 1080p/24, and display it at 96Hz. The 1080p SXRD chips carry over, this time in a smaller, yet still stylish, case. The model number is VPL-VW50. Oh, and it will be available this month.
NuVo Technologies showed off the company's new Grand Concerto multiroom audio system. The coolest part of the system is the new control pad that uses an OLED display that the NuVo people say can show up to eight readable character lines. The character height for each line is selectable, and different lines can have different character heights. The NuVo folks say that, in addition to being bright enough to be readable in rooms with lots of sunlight, the control pad display has a 180-degree viewing angle.
The equipment rack in the CEDIA Home of Electronic Lifestyles, jointly sponsored by HP and Lifeware provided the heart of a connected home on display across from the convention center. Perhaps putting the rack holding the utility gear for the bathroom would not always be the best choice.