The Reference 3.5 from Anthony Gallo Acoustics replaces the Reference 3.1. It was shown at the last CES but is now moving into production. New features include a patented cylindrical piezo film tweeter. The woofer enclosure, just one-quarter of a cubic foot in volume, includes a dampening material that is encased in plastic mesh and therefore does its job exceptionally well. Results: sassy crystalline highs, well-developed and well-controlled bass, and since Anthony has a good ear, a musically adept midrange as well. A second set of speaker terminals is provided for speaker-level output to a sub.
Monster Cables nedw Digital Express brings wireless HDMI video connections (up to 1080p) to your current television set. You'll need cables to connect the source to the transmitter, of course, and from the receiver to the set, but in between all is wireless RF. The transmitter and one receiver package is expected to sell for $1000 later in the year when the system ships to stores. Extra receivers will run $400. The Monster's gonna get yolu whether you're wired or wireless.
This Tokai Challenger, using Sharp solar cells, won the 2009 Global Green Challenge, an 1864 mile race across Australia. The weather was clear and sunny throughout, which was probably why they chose to race in the Australian Outback instead of from Juno to Seattle. The single seat, three wheeled car comes in any color as long as the underside is white and the top is plastered with 2176 black solar cells.
The Eos Converge Wireless Multi-room Audio System is a CES Innovations 2010 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree and a "Best of Innovations" winner in the Computer Accessories category. The three new models include a standalone transmitter ($99) that accepts standard analog audio or an audio signal from your computer via a USB connection, a standalone pre-amp out only receiver ($99), and a receiver with a built-in 15 watts x 2 amplifier ($149). The system uses 2.4GHz frequency transmission, has a range of approximately 150 ft, and requires virtually no setup other than plugging in the power cords (and the speaker wire, and USB cable, and audio cable).
Panasonic has two samples of its 152" (diagonal) plasma at the show. This one is showing 4K source material in 2D on the 4096 x 2160 pixel screen (that's 17:9, slightly wider than standard widescreen). The set is made from a full; Panasonic plasma mother glass, in its latest generation. This 2D picture was stunning. No price was announced, but if you have to ask...
Panasonic's new "Infinite Black Pro" technology will appear in many of the company's new 2010 sets this year (from the G-series up), including all the 3D models. A new filter has been devised which is said to minimize reflective light and increase through-the-glass transmittence from the pixels. A native contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 is claimed.
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:
NewKinetix Re (the e is supposed to have a line over it, but I don't know how to generate that character - basically because I'm alphabetically challenged) is a plug-in accessory for an iPhone or iPod touch that turns either device into an IR remote control. Other such IR-enabling products already exist, but as far as I can tell the NewKintetix unit is the first one that does not require a separate box to generate the IR signal. One can be yours soon for $49.95.
CDT's great-sounding mini-sats can be configured in many ways. Our favorite is the 5.1-channel set featuring six sats (two for the center channel) and sub. Unfortunately there isn't an official price attached to it. Want height effects without height processing? CDT suggests you put two sats above the screen and link them to your system with an outboard crossover and attenuator. Yeah, the idea seems weird, but we heard it and it sounded great. Price $350. Two sats and sub go for $500. The new So-Na-Wall flat speakers cost $800/pair.
Epsilon is a French company founded in 1938. While these globular objects can serve as passive speakers, the active version is more interesting. It's got 100 watts of ICEpower amplification and connects wirelessly. Look for it in the third quarter for whatever the U.S. equivalent of 1200 euros will be then (currently a bit north of $1700).
This marriage of high-end speaker company and high-end media server is one of the most exciting things at the show. The speaker is thiel's SCS4D stand-mount, an IP-based speaker with 32-bit DSP, 200 watts of internal Class D power, and 6.5-inch coaxial driver array. Its tightly focused and well-balanced sound is a stunning example of the Jim Thiel legacy. The Olive media server can rip or burn via slot-load CD drive, has 2TB of storage, and in the back are both analog and USB inputs, so you can add more source components to this self-contained system. Server's wi-fi but speakers need an ethernet connection. Starter system with one zone is $7900, additional zones (basically more speakers) $5250 per zone.