Philips recently introduced the ultra widescreen Cinema 21:9 LCD TV. It is actually the first LCD TV in the world that features a 56 inch screen with the 21:9 aspect ratio. The wide format means less action is cut off from movies filmed for theatre screens but since many movies are shot in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio you still wont be getting full screen action without some cut off. The Cinema 21:9 LCD TV will be available in Spring 2009. More detailed product specifications will be available at the end of February 2009.
The SC-ZT1 by Panasonic is a wireless home theater system that uses the 2.4GHz band to send uncompressed audio to all four speakers. The SC-ZT1 is somewhat unusual as its technically a 4.0 system--there are just the four, spindlelike speakers that each have four vertically aligned speakers within them, which the SC-ZT1 uses to create a virtual 7.1 surround sound effect. The SC-ZT1 lacks a dedicated, separate subwoofer but each speaker has an integrated subwoofer to fill in the low end. The SC-ZT1 is slated to be released in the spring, with pricing to be determined.
Designboom in collaboration with Plantronics and Altec Lansing held a design competition focusing on audio product innovation. 3487 designers entered with a detailed highlight of all the entries available here . The winning entry in the future speakers category was a tiny speaker (right) that plugs straight into a 3.5 jack much like a usb stick but for sound. Other design included a light bulb shaped bluetooth speaker (center) and a speaker (left) with a flexible top plate that changes color and height along with the music.
When opening up your walls to string wiring through just isn't a valid option several companies now manufacture paper thin wire that can be run along the outside of the wall and then painted over leaving an invisible uncluttered solution to your wiring needs. Speaker, ethernet, component, cat5 and HDMI wires are available in various lengths from FlatWire and Taperwire . FlatWire is also working on safe flat 120V AC electrical wiring which they hope to have available soon.
At CES this year Asus demonstrated a concept of a full HTPC enclosed in a keyboard. The Asus EEE keyboard was no thicker than your average keyboard but housed a working computer (most likely an Intel Atom) that used ultra-wideband wireless HDMI to transmit the video and audio signal to a television with a receiver in back. Making thing even cooler is the inclusion of a small touch screen on the keyboard right side that can display the desktop, multimedia controls or anything else. No word yet on price or real specs but Asus CEO Johnny Shih claims it will be available in the next three to six months.
The OLED Association are demonstrating a few proof of concept products at CES that show the potential of Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode . The first is a display that can be folded in the middle like a book while still maintaining a consistent picture. Also shown was a transparent display that displays images through glass in only the areas specified by the display. Oh Gizmo! has a few more pictures from the OLED Association's booth.
SlingPlayer Mobile gives consumers their entire home TV experience, including local channels, local sports teams, video on demand, pay per view, etc. Any program that you can watch on your sofa back home, you can now watch via your iPhone using a standard network connection (3G Cellular, WiFi). In addition, SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone users can also control their home digital video recorder (DVR) to watch recorded shows, pause, rewind, and fast forward live TV, or even queue new recordings while on the road.
Panasonic has announced three new DVR models. All feature Dual Digital TV Tuner, Blu-Ray burner, and DLNA Support giving you the possibility to access recorded TV programs from your PC or other devices. The DMR-BW95 (1TB), DMR-BW850 (500GB) and DMR-BW750 (320GB) with be available soon in Japan. Source news release.
Plushdepartment sells beautiful and simplistic computers including this gold plated computer and amplifier combination. Housed inside one ceramic casing is a full fledged Intel Core 2 computer and in the other case an audio amp. Plushdepartment's PCs are handmade and available in a variety of finishes available including gloss, brass, terra cotta and matte. More pictures and details available on the company website.
Ace Computers is the first company to offer a CableCard-compatible HTPC's for less than a grand. The LMS 250 comes with either a AMD Phenom X3 triple-core CPU or Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, DVD burner, and internal ATI Digital Cable Tuner. Both options run Windows Vista Home Premium and the newest Windows Media Center with CableCard support. Ace Computers is planning to show off the LMS 250 at CES next week. Source.
AVSForums has uncovered Samsung's 2009 lineup of televisions. Officially scheduled to be announced at CES Samsung will be updating its Series 3 through 7 HDTVs. Changes include support for 1080p movies encoded in the MKV, WMV, VOB, AVI, TS, 3GP, MGP and ASF file formats. An Internet@TV feature will replace InfoLive, and use Yahoo Widgets to integrate Internet content onto the screen while watching TV. Connecting devices to the TVs, including external drives, will be made possible through a pair of side-mounted USB 2.0 ports. More info available in the original AVSForum thread.
PonyCanyon, a subsidiary of Japan's Fuji TV, announced the first ever commercial Blu-ray/DVD disc. Originally developed by JVC more than two years ago, the disc has a blue laser top layer (25GB); underneath there are two more layers just like an ordinary DVD (8.5GB). The Hybrid BD/DVD disc is compatible with current DVD and Blu-ray players. Infiniti storage media (the company manufacturing the disc) claims that it achieves a compatibility of 99% according to tests made on 64 Blu-ray and DVD players. CDRinfo story with illustrations .
Philippe Starck is a french designer with products in both the Museum of Modern Art and Target. Here's how he describes his Zikmu Wireless Speakers, "Our design focused more on making the air vibrate. There is actually a three-dimensional feel to this vibration, meaning that the air is palpable, almost humanlike in presence, like a fragrance." In other words its a wireless speaker system with an ipod dock. Press release.
Introducing NVIDIA's Ion Platform. Combining Intel's Low Power Atom processor with the GeForce 9400M, the platform is capable of playing HD video (8 - 25Mbps H.264) on a motherboard just bigger than the palm of your hand (Pico ITX form factor) and with very low power consumption. Read AnandTech's preview to get a more detailed technical analysis of the future of Netbooks and small form media devices.
Mvix has a few multipurpose media boxes but the MvixPVR has almost everything. Official info is scarce but it supposedly functions as a PVR with component inputs for recording HD content to a 3.5 sata drive (not included). Additionally it includes HDMI output, 1080p playback, built-in iPod dock, torrent client, 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, USB, and 802.11g. Translated specs sheet .
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As flat panels themselves become increasingly slimmer, customers are looking for even more ways to get these mounted TVs and monitors as flush with the wall as possible. The Video Mount Products IWB-1B is an in wall box that allows up to a 32-inch flat panel to fully collapse into a wall. It installs easily between two 16-inch on center wooden studs, has integrated cable and electrical knockouts, and a high load capacity. The IWB-1B works with the LCD-1B and LCD-2537B mounts. The IWB-1 is yet another option for discerning installers and customers who demand both aesthetic appeal as well as the famed VMP reliability. Whether in the office, commercial install, home, or any other application where a low-profile wall mounted flat panel option is desired, the VMP IWB-1B is the answer.