Here are my picks for the HomeToys Hot Product Picks for 2005 award.
– Hannspree line of theme televisions.
– The Body Sound chair
Stay tuned for more products and picks in parts 3 of this report.
The big news in home viewing at Cedia was the announcement of 1080p RP television sets. HP, Mitsubishi, Optoma, Samsung, and Toshiba are using Texas Instruments’ DLP technology, while Epson is competing with their 3LCD technology. 1080p allows consumers to display a full 1920 x 1080 resolution. High-definition broadcasts, gaming devices, and video players are moving to this resolution. 1080p is the ultimate HDTV resolution.
Texas Instruments www.dlp.com Epson America www.epson.com
Optoma introduced their BigVizion modular 100″ DLP RPTV that can be built into the wall. Even with this large a screen, you only need 30″ of depth. What I found unique was the fact that the TV can be serviced from the front thereby eliminating the need for extra room behind the wall. This 1080p model comes in two sizes, 80″ and 100″ with 5000:1 contrast ratio. The bezel can even be customized to match your furniture or dÃ©cor.
JVC uses D-ILA technology in their RPTV line. The JVC DesignerPro series offers screen sizes of 56, 61 and 70″ with1080p resolution. Liquid Crystal on Silicon technology (LcoS) adds an inorganic alignment layer that stabilizes performance. This technology eliminates flicker, artifacts and burn-in with outstanding black levels.
JVC Company of America www.jvc.com
LG Electronics also introduced an LCoS model RPTV with 1080p resolution. The LG 71SAID is a digital cable ready model that eliminates the need for a separate set-top box to receive high-definition cable programming. This 71″ sleek model boasts a 3500:1 contrast ratio and despite its wide screen the TV is less than 22″ deep.
LG Electronics www.lgusa.com
For over 60 years Epson has developed new technologies. They now have two HD displays that use Epson’s 3LCD technology. The CrystalPRO 55 and 65″ models are true 1080P. The CrystalPRO accepts 1080p directly via HDMI and component inputs. The 55″ model is under 17″ deep. The contrast ratio is 5000:1 with a lamp life of 10,000 hours. The CrystalPRO models are backed by Epson’s 2-year on-site warranty.
Epson America Inc. www.epson.com
Plasma and LCD TV’s were everywhere at the show. But the new line to see is Hannspree. Most small flat panel TV’s are boring, not Hannspree. This company has a very large selection of theme televisions. The uniqueness of the line blew me away. Their flat panels are bordered in designs that match your interests. Some of the concepts are: baseball, football, soccer, Disney, animals, teddy bears, fire engines and flowers. I looked close at the sports models. The baseball was leather covered with baseball stitching. The football and soccer felt as though I was touching the real thing. For the girls, Cinderella’s carriage looked like it could roll away. This is a line that you shouldn’t miss.
Hannspree California Inc. www.hannspree.com
The new color for flat panel displays is called, “piano black.” This is supposed to be the new dÃ©cor color for home electronics. “Piano black” looks good on a piano but as the bezel for a flat panel display, it picks up all of the ambient light, which could be a distraction while watching your favorite show, unless the lighting is behind the panel. See Illuminiare (mentioned previously) for a solution.
The PY2DR series of plasma HDTV headlined the LG Electronics booth with their 50 and 60″ models. The PY2DR has all of the benefits of a plasma HDTV combined with a powerful 160-gigabyte HD-DVR built in to the ultra-thin cabinet. The DVR is capable of recording 13 hours of HD programming. The unit is digital cable ready with the latest Gemstar Digital TV Guide, which displays 8 days of program information. Users can store digital photos or music onto the hard drive using their digital camera or MP3 player.
LG Electronics www.lgusa.com
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Sharp Aquos series of LCD flat panel televisions. Sharp has done an excellent job with this series. With sizes ranging from 13 â€“ 65″ Sharp has a television for every room. Their 65″ LC-65D90U is a true 16:9 1080p television. What makes the Aquos so good? Sharp adds a deep crimson red to the three conventional color wavelengths to reinforce overall color reproduction. You can see the rich colors. The advanced technology reduces “mosquito noise,” picture blur, and jagged edges. The blacks are deep with a 4000:1 contrast ratio and the response of the LCD results in natural images for fast moving scenes.
Sharp Electronics Corp. www.sharpusa.com
Dust is always a problem on plasma and LCD displays. If you want to see a crystal clear image, you may want to check out Sima’s Platinum 1080 digital gel system. A small amount of this special formulated cleaning gel applied weekly will remove dust, dirt and fingerprints giving your panel maximum optical clarity. Regular use creates an invisible protective shield that repels static cling and minimizes fingerprints. There is no alcohol in the solution and it will not hurt the screen.
Sima Products Corp. www.simacorp.com
One of the fun products at the show was the Body Sound™ Chair. Hear what you feel and feel what you hear. The Body Sound chair allows users to personalize their sound space and create a movie experience at your selected sound levels. Users feel a pleasant, stimulating audio-induced vibration as the sound resonates throughout the body. The system contains an embedded, wireless amplifier with six strategically placed audio speakers. Multiple users in close proximity can experience very different sound levels and feeling intensity. The chair is a stylist, ultra-comfortable recliner. This is one chair you have to hear and feel. You really become part of the experience.
BodySound Technologies Inc. www.bodysoundsystem.com
If you are into sound and motion, Crowson may have the product for you. In our everyday life we experience not only the sounds around us but also the movement. You not only hear the train, but you feel its vibrations. During a concert, you not only hear the music, you also feel it. Crowson has a patent pending technology that adds new realism to the home theater experience. Crowon’s TES 100 is placed between the furniture and the floor. Without using any tools, in ten minutes you are ready for a motion sensation. To appreciate this system, you have to see it . . . no, feel it.
Crowson Technology LLC www.crowsontech.com
The digital music era is upon us. Most of us have a CD collection. Now we have to organize that collection into organized digital music libraries for use on digital stereos, iPods, computers and home theater equipment. Riptopia does this for you. Just send in your collection and in 48 hours you have your entire collection in a digital format. Riptopia can create organized digital music libraries in a variety of standards including, MP3, WMA, WMA lossless, AAC and WAV.
Riptopia, LLC www.riptopia.com
Ready to copy your VHS tapes to DVD? Make back-ups of your DVD’s for use in the RV? Sima’s GODVD! Makes it easy to convert your private collection of VHS and DVD originals to DVD. The device digitizes the video signal to reduce video sync noise and features 4 output settings to improve video quality. It is easy connect to any DVD recorder. This device makes it effortless to store your old movies on DVD rather than storing those big VHS cassettes.
Sima Products Corp. www.simacorp.com
Want to control the lighting in your house but don’t want the wires? Vantage Controls has a wireless system, which controls every device in your house with just one remote. One button fades your lights and activates your audio/video equipment just like in the movie theater. Varying brightness levels will enhance your dÃ©cor and set the mood for any activity. The lights even behave as though someone were home while you are away on vacation. Controlling light levels will reduce your energy costs. Vantage Controls has the system that’s right for you. Check with Vantage to get their virtual tour of a Vantage home.
Vantage Controls, Inc. www.vantagecontrols.com
OpenHouse Wiring Solutions
Lighting control systems have been around for some time now. Previously, you had to hard-wire your house making retrofitting difficult and expensive. CentraLite Systems knows all about hardwiring, and has used this knowledge to develop the StarLite Lighting Control System. Now a homeowner will save big on installation costs and remodeling hassles with wireless, because it works through the house’s existing wiring. Programming is easy with StarLite’s simple voice commands and intelligent system feedback. You can have 100 lighting scenes, 512 dimming levels and 50 timed events. It’s simple, reliable and affordable.
CentraLite Systems, Inc. www.centralite.com
Niles Audio has supplied control systems for over 25 years. Now they are introducing the first modular multi-zone system that provides you with all of the popular sources like XM and Sirius satellite radio, an iPod interface, and an AM/FM tuner. I found this system easy to control with their iRemoteÂ®.
Niles Audio Corporation www.nilesaudio.com
Just when you thought that you’ve seen it all, Elan™ Home Systems comes out with the VIA!dvdjÂ® DVD controller, which allows you to manage, select and view your entire DVD collection from just about anywhere in the house. The VIA!dvdj can control up to four Sony DVP-CX777ES 400 disc DVD changers. You never have to think where your discs are located in your changer. Pushing one button accesses all of your DVD’s automatically. You see your entire collection on the screen. You can sort through your collection alphabetically, by title, director, actor, genre, rating or year. You can also see the DVD-case cover art of all of your movies. It’s cool and it’s fun.
Elan Home Systems www.elanhomesystems.com
DVI cables usually have a distance barrier of about 20 feet. StarTech has an assortment of out-of-the-box ready, plug-in extenders. Now you can maintain your signal quality up to 330 feet. These extenders are compatible with flat panels, digital CRTs, LCDs, projectors, and HDTVs.
Extended distance HDMI and DVI cables were presented at the Sheer booth. These cables are designed for extended distance transmission and exceptional durability. Sheer takes its commercial grade cables and brings them to the Home Theater experience. The HDX24 cables have more robust construction, featuring ultra-low attenuation, wide bandwidth, larger conductors, and exceptional flexibility. The cables are available as pre-terminated cables with all metal shells and integrated strain reliefs. Sheer cables can be run three times as far as standard consumer cables.
Sheer Sound Cable www.sheersoundcable.com
Xantech introduced a new digital music server at the show. The XMUSIC digital music server is capable of delivering four different songs to four different rooms of the house at the same time. It can store up to 2,800 hours of music at maximum compression. The music can be organized by song title, album, artist, genre, or a custom play list. With a 20X ripping speed, you can transfer your entire collection in no time.
Xantech Corporation www.xantech.com
The Tera music system from ReQuest delivers huge CD quality storage. It holds up to 2000 CD’s in uncompressed WAV format. Add this to ReQuest’s multi-zone system and you can listen to different music in four different zones at the same time. The zones can be expanded with the ReQuest F.Series.
ReQuest, Inc. www.request.com
LG Electronics introduced a dedicated “digital media recorder” using the Microsoft Program Guide service. The LRM-519 is a combination DVR and DVD recorder powered by Windows Media center technology with a 160-gigabyte hard drive. You can now share your music and memories between your XP-based PC and TV. If you are not at home when your favorite TV program airs, the LRM-519 can store cable, satellite or over-the-air programs. With two USB ports it is easy to plug in an external hard drive to expand storage capacity. With the program service guide, you can search up to 14 days of programs. You can then record just one program or an entire season. The recorder allows up to 90 minutes of “live” TV pause. This unit has many more features that you have to check out.
LG Electronics U.S.A. www.lge.com
Because of the number of products covered in this article, it is divided into three parts. This is part #2. Click here for part #3 ” Loudspeakers, iPod systems, Power conditioners and more.” To go back and read part 1 click here.
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