This year, Ford cars will come with Sony-branded audio systems. Car makers have been scrambling to get name-brand audio systems in their cars for a number of years now, but Ford scored a real coup by getting one of the biggest names in consumer electronics on board. Initially, Sony will supply amps and speakers to Ford. At 2008 CES, Sony had one of its OEM amps on display that will go into Ford cars, a 10-channel amp with 8 35 watt powered channels and the capability to do 5.1 surround sound. This amp uses flash memory to store acoustic … Read more
Polk Audio has officially unveiled its first single-speaker all-in-one home theater system, the SurroundBar 360. The system is comprised of just two components--a single elongated speaker (44 inches wide) designed to sit beneath your flat-panel TV, and a DVD player/amplifier head unit that houses the electronics. While the SurroundBar concept isn't new for Polk (the speaker-only 2005 version was designed to be paired with an AV receiver), the latest iteration utilizes a new active (powered) design that's said to maximize the speaker's eight drivers. In addition to the disc player and AM/FM radio, the head unit offers all of the standard DVD player outputs (including HDMI). Input capabilities fall short of HD switching, but the 360's analog composite and S-Video inputs will be upconverted via the HDMI output. A USB input is also available for digital photo playback and music players.
We had the opportunity to hear an early version of the SurroundBar 360 put through its paces by company founder Matthew Polk himself.… Read more
After a busy first day in Las Vegas, here are the highlights from the editors covering computers and PC hardware at the show.
CPUs and GPUs Intel, AMD toss in their chips at CES Mobile Penryn: Early test results ATI releases new laptop graphics Nvidia announces new chipsets, Hybrid SLI New PC platforms from Intel will face hurdles
Creative has announced plans to release the Xdock HD, an HD-quality iPod video dock. The Xdock HD is due for a spring release with a retail price of $399. Four bills might seem like a steep price for an iPod dock, but the Xdock HD has some serious technology under the hood.
First and foremost, the Xdock HD provides a means to play iPod video content at 720p or 1080i resolution. This feat is accomplished by Creative's own video upsampling technology, which transforms your puny iPod videos into HD-worthy gems.
The second great asset of the Creative Xdock HD is its ability… Read more
Now here's something you don't see everyday: an MP3 player with GPS capabilities. The new iRiver W7, one of a slew of devices the company has on display at CES 2008, doesn't come with a built-in GPS antenna. Rather, you have the option to buy a car mount cradle that adds the functionality. The fact that the antenna is part of the cradle and not the player is actually quite compelling: it means the player can stay relatively compact and impressively thin for pocketability during "on-the-go" use, while still offering a handy navigational feature for … Read more
For those of you who have made it to CES at least once in your life, you probably know all about the amount walking and waiting in line and shoving that goes in to any good trip to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show.
For those of you who haven't been lucky enough to enjoy the horror that is CES, allow me to fill you in on why it's an utter waste of time. Is it a nice networking opportunity? Sure. But beyond that, the world of CES is marked by pure crap.
Here's why.… Read more
At CES, XM satellite radio was being secretive, encasing its floor area in black walls. But we swung an invite to the inner sanctum and got treated to a smorgasbord of new XM services available now and in the near future. The first thing our XM spokesman showed us was a whole new interface for XM's music channels. We've seen plenty of boring fonts for XM radio interfaces in cars and car stereos, but we've never seen the cool graphics for channel identification and the backgrounds that XM showed us. According to XM, these graphics are part … Read more
Gesture recognition and proximity sensors are promising to become major technologies for in-car interfaces, and JVC has stolen a march on the competition with the unveiling of its El Kameleon KD-AVX44. The buttonless single-DIN size stereo marks the return of the Kameleon nameplate, which first appeared in 1999 as a line of products that disguised themselves when not in use by blacking out to prevent theft. The modern iteration of the Kameleon also remains in darkness until a driver or front passenger reaches out to make a control selection whereupon the system's built-in proximity sensor detects the presence of … Read more
If you want access to your iPod tunes while on the road but don't necessarily want to rip your dashboard apart to install an aftermarket stereo, then the Alpine eX-10 is probably a good bet. Like the Harman Kardon Drive + Play 2 that we saw last year, the eX-10--which is powered by a car's 12-volt cigarette lighter adapter--makes use of a full-color LCD display and a wireless control module to let drivers browse their iPod libraries, select tunes, and even view album art. With music selected, the audio output is either streamed to the car's stereo via … Read more
As if to prove that it's not even close to backing out of the MP3 player market, iRiver debuted a whopping 12 new MP3 players at this year's CES. The company also introduced a sweet-looking, multifunctional home entertainment system as well as three E-Dictionary products and two GPS devices. Naturally, not all of the gadgets are available in the U.S., but it's still an impressive feat given the relatively small size of the company.
It was hard to narrow it down, but I think my favorite is the … Read more