Pioneer has unveiled four new AV receivers in its high-end Elite line for 2008. The VSX-01TXH ($750) and VSX-03TXH ($1,000) will be first out the door in June, followed by the SC-05 ($1,800) and SC-07 ($2,200) in August. (A 2007 model, the VSX-94TXH, remains in the lineup as well and is widely available for 25 percent off its $1,600 MSRP.) In addition to all of the cutting-edge features (HDMI 1.3; upscaling of analog video sources to 1080p HDMI output; on-board decoding for the Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution, and lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks found on Blu-ray Discs; multi-source output for up to three zones; Pioneer's top-notch MCACC auto-calibration), the SC-05 and SC-07 boast network connections for streaming digital media from DLNA-compatible network sources, including PC hard drives. The 05 and 07 also offer some super-tweaky features that will potentially appeal to audiophiles, including the Precision Quartz Locking System (PQLS) that's said to offer optimal CD playback from Pioneer's new Blu-ray players by eliminating audio jitter.… Read more
In June 2007, Tivoli Audio unveiled two Wi-Fi radios at a Manhattan event: the Tivoli Audio NetWorks tabletop radio and the portable NetWorks Go (pictured above). Both models were said to offer identical functionality: the capability to tune in any MP3, WMA, or RealAudio Internet radio station, network audio sources (PC-based digital music collections), and standard over-the-air FM radio. And it wasn't just vaporware, either: company founder and CEO Tom DeVesto used the prototype to quickly pull up two distant stations based on requests from the audience. Unfortunately, neither product was released. The fall 2007 release window came and went, and it wasn't until February that a brief notice on Tivoli's Web site officially rescheduled the release date to June 2008.
However, it looks as if later this week we'll be getting updates on these products.… Read more
A second Blu-ray home theater system has joined Samsung's product lineup. The HT-BD2S is essentially identical to its predecessor, the Samsung HT-BD2T, but with two important distinctions: the BD2S has small satellite speakers (versus the four tallboy models that anchored the BD2T), and it's available for an even $1,000 (a 33 percent discount off the BD2T's asking price).
Does the downsized price and speaker size make the HT-BD2S more attractive than its big brother?… Read more
The good news is that Sony seems to be coming out with some interesting new offerings on the home-media front. The bad news, at least for those of us who reside in the States, is that many of them are being released in Europe.
Just like the shiny aluminum high-end PC speaker we saw yesterday, Sony's Bravia DAV-F200 home theater system is designed to pack more power into a smaller form. In this case, according to Newlaunches, that means virtual surround sound without "the unnecessary clutter of six speakers." Instead, it uses its "S-Force Front Surround&… Read more
Looks like it wasn't the HD DVD/Blu-ray battle that was keeping potential customers away from high-definition video players after all.
The NPD Group released some of its retail sales tracking data Wednesday that showed sales of Blu-ray standalone players (not a PlayStation 3, combo player, or PC with Blu-ray drive) had mostly decreased since the beginning of the year.
Standalone Blu-ray player unit sales in the U.S. decreased 40 percent from January to February and saw a very slight increase (2 percent) between February and March, according to NPD.
HD DVD players fared even worse--player unit sales … Read more
Leading chip and consumer electronics companies say they are pursuing powerline networking on the road to the completely connected digital home.
Intel, Texas Instruments, Infineon, and Panasonic said Tuesday that they are working on a home-networking standard that uses electrical and phone lines and coaxial cable that consumers already have wired into their homes, according to a Reuters report.
The four are the largest members of what they are calling the HomeGrid Forum. The group says it plans to work closely with the International Telecommunications Union to promote the standard the ITU is already developing, called ITU-T G.hn. The … Read more
Not long ago the idea of adding 500GB of storage space to a home media system was unthinkable to the average consumer, unless one was willing to pay ungodly sums of money. What a difference a couple of years make.
Iomega is releasing its "ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive" at that half-terabyte mark, a considerable leap from the 60GB capacity of its last generation. As storage technologies continue to drop in price--the new ScreenPlay is selling for around $200--it's positioned to compete with a growing number of products such as LaCie's "LaCinema Premier," which was … Read more