The Specimen Little Horn Speakers are made using high-density fiberglass and available in a variety of colors. The base is made using heavy, void-free Baltic birch plywood. The base houses the driver and acts as a compression chamber for the horn. A special inverted design enables the low frequencies to emerge at the top of the enclosure. An octagonally fluted horn carries them upward and lets them flourish into the room. The Little Horns can be used with almost any stereo system, and are also uniquely suited to low-power (10-watts or less per channel) single-ended triode (SET) tube amplifier. The Little Horn Speakers come with a choice of Fostex full-range drivers providing various performance levels, efficiencies, and power handling capabilities and is available for an indrutory price of $1500 for a pair.
The VIA VB8003 Mini-ITX board uses VIA's new VIA Trinity' platform and combines a 1.6GHz VIA Nano processor, VIA VX800 unified media system processor and an DX10.1 S3 Graphics 435 ULP onboard discrete graphics processor. The S3 Graphics 435 ULP also features the ChromotionHD™ engine, providing true HD quality 1080p playback on the latest HD standards including Blu-ray Disk, H.264, VC-1, WMV-9, MPEG-2/4 and AVS, at resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels. The VIA VB8003 Mini-ITX board features a comprehensive array of on-board multimedia I/O, including two HDMI ports, a DVI port and a VGA port. By harnessing the power of both the S3 Graphics 435 ULP graphics processor and the integrated IGP of the VIA VX800 MSP, the VIA VB8003 can be configured to power up to four, independently configurable displays at resolutions up to and beyond 1080p.
CNET ranked the OPPO BDP-83 player above all other Blu-ray players currently available. The universal disc player is capable of handling Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, DVD-Audio and CD with CNET and others declaring it the best of the best when it comes to image quality and stability. Those looking for features like Netflix or Pandora radio might be disappointed because the player lacks any network connectivity but if you have another device for streaming media this might be the perfect fit player. AVS forums has a huge thread on the player here.
The Ceton Multi-Channel Cable TV Card enables Media Center PCs to play or record up to six live channels of HDTV at once and stream live HD channels or recordings to multiple HDTVs throughout the home, all from a single cable connection. Initially the Ceton Multi-Channel Cable TV Card will be available in a 4-tuner configuration, but they also plan to introduce an entry-level 2-tuner version for consumers as well as a premium 6-tuner version for specially pre-configured OEM PCs. The four-tuner version of the card will retail somewhere between $300 and $600 with a release date sometime in 2010.
Microsoft and CableLabs are finally allowing anyone to purchase and add CableCARD tuners by themselves to their Windows 7 systems. Previous to yesterdays announcement only authorized OEM builders could install CableCARDs into their builds. Microsoft also announced that, with Windows 7, it has increased the number of TV tuners that can be connected to the PC from two to four per tuner type, thereby allowing customers to simultaneously record or watch as many as four digital cable TV channels.
The new LG 15 inch OLED HDTV will go on sale in Korea in November, and will be available in the US and Europe sometime next year. The unit's design separates the screen from the tuner components almost like a folded up piece of paper showing off just how thin the actual display is. No word yet on pricing but LG will be displaying the unit at the upcoming IFA 2009.
The C-200, the followup to the popular PopcornHour media streamer is now available for pre-order for $299 directly from their webpage. The C-200 contains an upgraded Sigma SMP8643 667 Mhz processor, HDMI 1.3 out, two SATA slots, a drive bay for mounting your own HDD, DVD or even Blu-ray drive. It supports more than 30 codecs, including MPEG 1, 2, 4, AVI, H.264, Xvid, MKV, Windows Media and has a has a built-in download utility, eliminating the need to rely on your PC to download files from the Internet. Popcorn Hour also makes it easy to download and stream content directly from popular Internet sites like YouTube, Blip.tv, Revision 3 and dozens of other online content sources. Engadget has some videos of the Blu-ray interface and other features.
Iogear has just released it's Avior line of peripherals. The line includes wireless audio and video receivers, power-line stereo systems, switches and the usual audio/video cables. The Avior 4-Port HDMI Control Center can hook up four HDMI devices, ranging from Blu-ray players to computers, which can all then be accessed and switched through one 2.4GHz wireless keyboard with built-in trackball. The 4-Port HDMI Control Center is HDMI 1.3 and HDCP compliant and is equipped with IOGEAR's Display Emulation Technology which reads and remembers the monitor's parameters (EDID) eliminating any delays or change in video resolution when switching between, HDMI devices and computers.
Vacuum inventor James Dyson unveiled his "Wrong Garden" fountain at this year's Chelsea Garden Show. Inspired by the works of MC Escher, the water in the fountain appears to flow uphill, cascading over the top of a series of four ramps. To achieve the illusion of water traveling upwards water is pumped out of the tops of each ramp, cascading water down both the ramp and over its edge. Bubbles rising inside each ramp give the illusion of water flowing uphill, and all together it makes it look like the water is defying gravity. BBC Source.
Asus's Eee "Home Theater PC in a keyboard" might be available as early as October according to DigiTimes and its Taiwanese industry sources. The keyboard PC made its debut at CES but it's launch has constantly been pushed back, first from June to August and now to October. The good news is the price is reported to be in the $400 to $500 range. French site Blogeenet has got its hands on an actual unit and they have discovered some actual hardware details including a 1.66GHz Atom N280,Nvidia ION chipset and a 5-inch, 800 x 480 pixel touchscreen. Watch this video of the touchscreen interface at work.
Sony has taken the wraps off of a new line of streaming audio products, dubbed "Altus." The four debut products will be available exclusively through Best Buy. All of the products use Sony's proprietary S-Air wireless technology to communicate with one another, which means that other S-Air-compatible products--including many of Sony's recent home theater and home audio systems--can stream audio to the Altus products. The lineup includes the ALT-SA31iR ($700): an iPod/iPhone docking station and two high-output wireless speakers alongside an AM/FM tuner and S-AIR remote that can stream to other S-AIR receivers. The AIR-SW10Ti ($400): an iPod dock consists of a compact docking station with two built-in speakers and a wireless sub-woofer. The ALT-SA32PC ($500): an S-AIR transmitter that connects to your PC (via USB input) and two wireless speakers.
Japanese design company Nendo have created a wireless speaker shaped like a bird cage. Called Music Cage, the speakers can play music from a computer over a wireless connection or from a bluetooth enabled mobile phone and is available in black or white. Unit can be either stuck on a table or suspended from the ceiling. No word yet on the quality of the sound.
Designer Joey Roth's Ceramic Speakers boast only 10 watts of output per channel, though each 4-inch full-range driver is housed in an acoustically dead porcelain and cork chamber that should do quite a lot with quite a little. Made from porcelain, wood and cork, Roth chose the materials not only for the aesthetic appeal they add to desktops, but also because porcelain's density and "acoustical deadness" rivals that of wood or plastic enabling the cone shape. Due out in October, Roth will be accepting pre-orders via his site starting September. No official word on pricing yet, but Roth expects they will be in the $400-500 range.
Dell hasn't officially released any specs for their tiny Dell Inspiron Zino HD yet but what they are saying is that it will have "desktop parts". This could mean this small unit might become a real option for people looking for a living room media PC when its released this fall. Slashgear has pictures of the unit including the back ports and it looks like it will have four USB 2.0 port, two eSATA ports, HDMI, audio in/out, a serial port, a card reader and an optical drive. If the hardware is something other than an Intel Atom this could be very interesting as the unit is only a little bigger than an external hard drive.
Onkyo's new TX-NR807 Home AV Receiver allows users direct access to Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius Internet Radio, vTuner streaming radio services, or access MP3, WMA, FLAC, Lossless, Ogg Vorbis, and AAC files from any computer or storage device with it included Ethernet port. The TX-NR807 has six HDMI 1.3a inputs, 1080p video upscaling of all sources using the powerful Faroudja DCDi Cinema processor chip. On the audio side it has a full suite of surround processing, including lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The Onkyo TX-NR807 is one of the first receivers to incorporate Audyssey DSX technology, which allows the back surround channels to be retasked for front-wide speakers to expand the width of the sounds stage, or for front height speakers to provide vertical ambiance effects. The receiver also includes Audyssey MultiEQ room calibration technology, plus that company's Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ processing. Dolby ProLogic IIz processing is also included to provide an alternate implementation of height channel technology.
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