Everyone wants a piece of Apple's pie - or at least a piece of the iPod. With over ten million units sold (and more to come), the little digital music wonder is a clear favorite among music lovers. Manufacturers other than Apple have taken note of the iPod's popularity and are stumbling over each other in a rush to score big on the iPod craze by bringing out some sharp iPod accessories.
Anyone who has ever shopped for A/V equipment knows the pain of having to choose between two (or more) pieces of gear. Although each one may be almost exactly what you wanted, neither is 100 percent perfect in terms of features and performance. A new web-based build-to-order product configuration tool from Integra and Integra Research aims to eliminate such buying dilemmas.
Philips' latest touch-screen remote control, the RC9800i, is part of the company's Connected Planet concept that aims to provide easy access to and control of digital entertainment from home entertainment components, the PC, and the Internet. In addition to controlling legacy and networked audio/video devices, the RC9800i includes built-in Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) connectivity that can be used for accessing PC multimedia files as well as Internet content.
At a time when the world is pondering the potential of 50 GB of storage on a high-definition Blu-ray disc (around 40 GB for the HD DVD format), marketing for a prerecorded 8 cm (approximately 3 inches) standard-definition Mini-DVD format is about to be unleashed. Although playable on standard DVD players, movies and other video content on Mini-DVDs are really meant to be viewed on special hand-held Mini-DVD players.
It's normal for a company making amplifiers to boast about how much power, how many channels, and the massive size of some of the internal components (such as power supplies and heat sinks). Rotel's attitude toward their new RMB-1077 multichannel amplifier, therefore, is rather unique.
Not content to rest on their laurels (laurels can be so uncomfortable at times), Atlantic Technology has upgraded their well-regarded System 4200 THX Select home theater speaker system by adding an "e" to the model number. Well, in all honesty, Atlantic Technology has done more than simply reprint brochures with the new nomenclature. (Although it is a great, money-saving idea...) The new improvements include permanently attached finishing panels on the front- and center-channel speakers and a couple of improvements to the system's subwoofer.
Cablevision's recent announcement of the pending sale of the VOOM satellite (along with other assets related to VOOM) to Echostar Communications Corp. (DISH Network) should cause a twinge of sadness in the hearts of all HDTV lovers. Whether you admired VOOM's pluck in attempting to go against the two established satellite services (DISH Network and DIRECTV) or thought that Cablevison Chairman Charles Dolan must have been smoking something beyond cigars when he came up with the idea for an HD-centric satellite service, the virtually certain discontinuation of VOOM (Echostar will most likely use the satellite to expand its own channel offerings) is no happy event. During its brief existence, VOOM brought more high-definition content into the homes of its approximately 26,000 subscribers than all other providers put together (cable, satellite, and over-the-air terrestrial broadcast). As many a pair of eyeballs with HDTVs sitting in front of them know, HD content is an addiction that continually demands to be satisfied. Where, oh where, will we now go to get our daily HD fix?
The final day of CES always brings a little sadness with it - sadness that you didn't bring more comfortable shoes. Yet, when all is considered, CES is still one of the most exciting times for consumer electronics geeks (and the Consumer Electronics Association counted over 140,000 of them at the Show). Since all the press conferences and nearly all of the scheduled meetings are over, it's a great day to wander the 1.5 million square feet of the show floor and catch up on all the things you missed (and find some nice surprises, too).
One of the main reasons why dealers and press types come to the Consumer Electronics Show every year is to see first hand the just-released and soon-to-be-released electronic gadgets and home entertainment gear. But, if you've got "connections", the best thing about CES - other than free dinners and drinks - is the chance to get an up close and personal look at technology that's still in the development stage. These "revealing" meetings generally take place in an unassuming hotel room off the beaten path, are bereft of any glowing press releases, and require a secret handshake (or sometimes a signed non-disclosure agreement) to gain access. HP, for example, showed us some things that we could tell you about, but we'd lose the ability to use our knee caps if we did. (I'm just kidding about the knee caps, but we did swear ourselves to secrecy until they're ready to let the electronic cat out of the bag.)