Home Theater A/V
January 5, 2011
High-definition junkies will be pleased to browse the latest news from Philips over coffee this morning. The company has announced a variety of new products at the Consumer Electronics Show this morning including its 4000, 5000 and 6000 HDTV series', five Blu-ray home theatre systems and 5 new Blu-ray players.
Kicking things off with the 4000 series, you can expect availability in 40- (40PFL4706), 46- (46PFL4706) and 55 (55PFL4706) inch screen sizes, all available with MediaConnect and NetTV sometime this May. The Philips software allows your PC to collaborate with your HDTV in order to access content from the likes of Vudu, Blockbuster and Netflix. All of this is done wirelessly as per 2011 technology. The three models will be priced at $679, $899 and $1099, respectively. 19-, 22- and 32-inch replicas minus the MediaConnect and NetTV integration will also be available for $199.99, $249.99 and $449.99, respectively.
The 5000 series is basically the same bowl of Cheerios with the addition of a Pixel Precise HD engine and a 120 Hz refresh, plus SRS TruSurround HD. Also available in 40- (40PFL5706), 46- (46PFL5706) and 55- (55PFL5706), the 5000 series will set you back $749, $999 and $1499 when they land on shelves sometime in April or May.
On to the 6000 series, available in 40- (40PFL6706), 46- (46PFL6706) and 55-inch (55PFL6706) display sizes once again, you'll get full 3D support for a little extra cash output. Coming this September, the 6000 series will cost $999, $1299 and $1699, respectively.
As for the home theatre systems, they'll ship from February to May with price tags ranging from $269.99 to $449.99. All include MediaConnect and NetTV, three sport 3D support and features like wireless rear speakers appear as the price point increases.
The Blu-ray players will also ship next month until April, beginning at $169.99 and moving on up to $219.99. 3 of the new models will include 3D support and the most expensive BDP7506 also has built-in MediaConnect/NetTV.
July 16, 2010
Logitech has outed an affordable 5.1-channel surround sound boxed speaker set dubbed Z506 priced at only $100. At that price point there is no excuse to avoid upgrading to a 5-channel system. Designed to work with a variety of devices from traditional Blu-ray players to portable media players, the Z506 speakers have color-coded connections for easy hookup and 75 Watts of RMS power.
July 2, 2010
. Brite-View today has launched a new media hub called the CinemaGo BV-5005HDThe new hub is primarily built as a movie player capable of pumping out 1080p picture, and supporting a variety of file formats including AVI, MOV, WMV, MKV, RMVB, DVD (VOB) and raw Flash. Furthermore, the BV-5005HD will play ISO disc images, and can pull video from its local storage or from DLNA or UPnP sources. Furthermore it now supports BitTorrent downloads and will play Muzee internet radio stations. For expansion it has both eSATA and USB ports on the front. Brite-View is now taking pre-orders for $110 though the list price when it ships (an unknown) will be $150.
June 23, 2010
Monster Cable has debuted the Vision Max 3D glasses, purported to be the world's first to allow 3D HDTV viewing across all models. How does it manage this? Using a combination of 2.4 GHz RF (as opposed to IR) technology, interference rejection software and sync correction. Designed to be comfortable enough for hours of use, the Vision Max 3D glasses and transmitter kit are scheduled to be shipped in September for $249.95. Extra glasses pairs will cost a further $169.95 per pair.
Continue reading: "Monster outs universal 3D glasses"
April 7, 2010
You're nothing if you don't have a branded iPhone app these days and as such, Bang & Olufsen has joined the party with BeoLink (iTunes link). The application, compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, enables users to communicate with the company's Master Link Gateway over a Wi-Fi connection and control home theater gear. As a value add, BeoLink can also be used to control home automation features such as door locks and outdoor lights. And, unlike the the company's Beo5 remote control, the BeoLink works both indoors AND outdoors.
March 11, 2010
Asus has announced what it says is the world's first 5-channel surround soundbar, the Cine5. Built for a typical home PC as opposed to a home theater, the Cine5 uses patented Embracing Sound Theater HD technology to deliver full audio surround with precise sound location.
The Cine5 can create 5-channel audio from any down-mixed 2-channel source. Its integrated speaker drivers and bass reflex port provide 15 dBs more bass than similar sized speakers and its driver configuration reduces the load on each driver by 50% resulting in better high frequency sound.
The black glossy soundbar is simply placed under your computer monitor and you're set to go. Unfortunately there is no word yet regarding US availability or pricing.
March 9, 2010
Onkyo has pumped out its latest AV receiver, dubbed the TX-SR608, a 7.2-channel, THX-Select2 Plus hub of hardware that sits comfortably with the plethora of other Onkyo home theater gear. So what kind of features does this bad boy sport? Try three-stage Darlington output topology which increases power from 90 to 100 Watts, Audyssey DSX dimensional sound processing, Dolby PLIIz capability, Faroudja DCDi cinema video processing capable of upscaling inputs to 1080p over an HDMI output. Connections include 6(!) HDMI 1.4 (capable of passing 3D video) and a PC input. Shipping in April, the Onkyo TX-SR608 AV receiver will set you back a cool $599.
February 18, 2010
Sony has introduced 4 new A/V receivers today, one of which is the company's first 3D-capable receiver. The STR-DN1010 supports 3D pass-through from connected devices to a compatible HDTV through HDMI 1.4 (4 supporting ports), has 7.1 channels, supports all the HD audio codecs, upscales content to 1080/24p, sports a further 3 component ports, and supports Sony's S-AIR technology so with the addition of a few separately purchased components can stream wireless audio to over 10 rooms. It's a bit pricey at $500 but given the relative newness of the 3D market, what can we really expect?
Sony's other 3 A/V receivers announced today don't have the same 3D support but similar features on a declining scale according to price. The STR-DH810, STR-DH710 and STR-DH510 will cost $400, $300 and $230, respectively, when released in March. The 3D STR-DN1010 won't ship until June.
January 10, 2010
I really doubt I'd ever fork out $1799 for an A/V receiver, even if it included an integrated Profile 2.0 Blu-ray deck. But if this sounds like a cool idea to you, you might be interested in Denon's new S-5BD BD/Receiver, introduced at CES 2010. The 5.1-channel unit includes the following features:
2-source, 2-zone distribution
BD Live connectivity
3 HDMI 1.4 inputs and 1 output
SD card slot
USB port for iPod connection
support for Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio
RS-232 networking support for custom installations
The Denon S-5DB receiver will ship in March 2010.
Along with Vizio's 37 LED HDTVs announced at CES 2010, the company has also made a big effort this year to service home theater enthusiasts looking for audio/video gear. Here's the rundown of its CES announcement.
VHT200 and VHT212 HD sound bars
The VHT212 sound bar is the premium of the two with a 32-inch design, 2.1-channel configuration, wireless subwoofer and iPod dock. It has four 3-inch high efficiency mid/bass drivers with two 0.75-inch neodymium tweeters. The wireless subwoofer has one 5.25-inch long-throw high-excursion driver in a solid wood cabinet with frequencies down to 35 Hz. Its 2.4 GHz wireless connection synchronizes with the sound bar from up to 60 feet. Its wireless iPod dock can be located anywhere in the home as it uses High Definition Wireless Audio (HDWA) to communicate over Wi-Fi with other A/V components. The VHT200 sound bar has support for Dolby Digital as well as SRS TruSurround HD and SRS TruVolume. Other A/V components can be connected through one S/PDIF digital audio input and two RCA stereo analog inputs. Both sound bars are shipping April 2010 with MSRPs of $249.99 and $149.99 for the VHT212 and VHT200, respectively.
VHT512 sound bar
The 5.1-channel system is completely wireless and has front left, center and front right channels with four 3-inch mid/bass speakers and two 0.75-inch neodymium speakers. The wireless subwoofer includes a 6.5-inch long-throw high-excursion driver that produces bass down to 35 Hz and can connect to the sound bar from 60 feet. The rear channel speakers connect to the subwoofer and have two 2-inch drivers and a 1.2-inch tweeter. The system also includes an iPod dock and onboard decoding for Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II playback and SRS CircleCinema HD. Wired inputs include an S/PDIF digital audio Input and a pair of RCA stereo analog inputs. Shipping in May 2010, the VHT512 will cost $399.99.
VSB200 and VSB201WS sound bars
The 2-channel VSB200 and 2.1-channel VSB201WS are both 40-inch sound bars with Dolby Digital decoding and a new remote control. Both have four 3-inch mid/bass transducers, two 3/4-inch aluminum dome neodymium tweeters, and a 32-bit 150MHz DSP audio engine producing 90 dB SPL @ 1W/1m. The VSB201WS also includes a wireless subwoofer with a 6.5-inch driver producing frequencies between 35 and 80 Hz. It can be placed up to 60 feet away from the sound bar. Both sound bars will ship in January costing $349.99 and $199.99 for the VSB201WS and VSB200, respectively.
January 9, 2010
Sling Media has been busy at CES 2010 debuting a whole slew of new and impressive home theater products. Here's the rundown:
Slingbox 700U--the smallest Slingbox yet, the 700U enables existing, internet-connect set-top boxes to have Slingbox functionality. For those of you that aren't familiar with the Slingbox, it allows you to 'placeshift' your living room TV content to any device, anywhere. The 700U connect to your existing set-top box through a USB connection, decrypting and then transcoding incoming video to be sent to a device. This is obviously aimed at service providers who don't want to put the time and money into developing their own placeshifting technology.
Sling Touch Control 100--a "next-generation, touch-screen device with an interface based on Sling Media's popular SlingGuide electronic program guide." Also known as a touchscreen remote control, the Touch Control 100 features a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display with 272 x 480 resolution, IP control of HD DVRs and other SlingGuide-enabled devices over 802.11 Wi-Fi, non-IP control over IR with the latter including most gadgets on a home theater rack. The Touch Control 100 is also aimed at television service providers as an alternative to the typical electronic program guide.
Sling Receiver 300--a companion product to SlingLoaded set-top boxes, the Receiver 300 lets users replicate set-top box functionality from their main TV to a secondary HDTV without running wires or purchasing a second set-top box. The Receiver 300 simply hooks up to the second TV via HDMI, component or composite inputs from which content can be transmitted up to 1080i. Audio is also transmitted via inputs on the second TV. The Receiver 300 is small enough to be placed behind a TV and is aimed at television service providers.
Sling Monitor 150--a 15.6-inch, 720p portable display that includes built-in speakers and a folding stand for wall mounting and countertop use. The Monitor 150 accepts content from your main DVR via 802.11n wireless. Inside the monitor is dual-band 2.5 GHz/5 GHz, 802.11n networking capabilities with an internal MIMO antenna and WEP, WPA and WPA2 security support. Like Sling Media's other new products, the Monitor 150 is aimed at television service providers.
Adobe Flash Platform support--a partnership with Adobe means that the Slingbox Solo and Slingbox Pro-HD will both natively support Adobe Flash Player and Flash streaming for H.264 video and audio.
January 6, 2010
Samsung has completed its home theater gear downpour at CES 2010 in Las Vegas today with the HW-C700 and HW-C500 A/V receivers. The former is a 7.1-channel system while the latter is a 5.1-channel system, both designed to complement Samsung's 2010 Blu-ray players. Both come with a bunch of Samsung sound technologies and include a certified iPhone/iPod dock. The standalone receivers don't include speakers (hence the standalone!) but can be purchased as the HW-C770S and HW-C560S A/V receivers which include speakers and a subwoofer.
Read--2010 Samsung A/V receivers
December 28, 2009
Androidforums.com user kwaping dug up a nifty piece of info in the FCC database a couple of days ago that could be of importance to home theater fanatics. According to the filing, the upcoming Google Nexus One mobile phone will have an add-on Bluetooth dock dubbed the "Nexus One Dock" or the CR B410. Interestingly the Nexus One has built-in Bluetooth so the dock could be, for example, connecting the Nexus One to a home theater AV receiver as a remote or something similar. It'll be impossible to verify this until an actual commercial release which could be in early January, but it's a possibility nonetheless.
December 23, 2009
Yamaha continues its pre-CES 2010 product release frenzy with the YHT-S400 sound bar home theater audio package. Made up of a 2-inch high sound bar small enough to sit in front of most 32- to 50-inch HDTVs without blocking the screen, and a subwoofer-integrated receiver, the Yamaha YHT-S400 is capable of receiving HD audio signals from Blu-ray players, has 3 1080p-compatible HDMI inputs and a single output, and includes a number of proprietary audio technologies. The YHT-S400 also supports the company's YDS-11 iPod dock and the YBA-10 Bluetooth wireless receiver enabling streaming of A2DP audio from mobile phones, laptops and desktop computers. Available now, the Yamaha YHT-S400 is priced at $599.95.