The Sherwood Newcastle R-972 will deliver HDMI 1.3 connectivity, six HDMI inputs, lossless audio decoding (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio), and a graphic onscreen user interface when it's released in August for $1,500. (Note that the back panel image shows four HDMI inputs, but Sherwood has pledged that the shipping model will include six.) The product becomes the first officially announced receiver we've seen that incorporates all of those bleeding-edge features. Its step-down model, the R-872, offers similar HDMI and lossless decoding capabilities with "only" four HDMI inputs and a text-only onscreen interface, … Read more
Speaker wires and A/V cables are the bane of any home theater system. In recent years, most mainstream manufacturers have offered one of two options to cut the number of wires: produce virtual surround systems that offer only one or two speakers (plus a subwoofer); or utilize a wireless rear speaker module that eliminates the need to run speaker cables the length of the room (but still necessitates quite a few cables of its own). But true wireless A/V systems have remained elusive.
Enter Neosonik. The start-up hi-fi company is using CES to highlight its home theater technology … Read more
We heard about Philips' 1.1 virtual surround system, the HTS8100 SoundBar, before CES 2007, but now that we've got the final specs, we're even more eager to give it a whirl when it comes out around the middle of this year, for $999. What differentiates from the single-speaker competition (a subwoofer is also bundled in) is the inclusion of a built-in DVD player, which will catch the eye of minimalists who want to pair it with a flat-panel TV and call it a home-theater day.
The HTS8100 is only five inches thick and features Philips' proprietary Ambisound … Read more
Soundmatters' last virtual surround effort, the $400 MainstageHD, did an excellent job of delivering a faux surround effect from a single box. Now that more established players such as Yamaha, Polk Audio, Niro, and Sharphave joined the single-speaker surround-sound fray, Soundmatters has upgraded its product portfolio to compete accordingly. As evidenced by the name, the Slimstage promises to deliver a surroundlike effect from a thin, flat-panel-friendly form factor. Despite measuring a mere 39 inches wide by 3.3 inches high by 3.4 inches deep, the single enclosure encompasses four main drivers plus nine "bass drivers," including three … Read more
We've been begging for someone to come up with a wireless home entertainment system for some time, and we're amazed to report that our wishes may actually be fulfilled in our lifetime (maybe). Recently we heard of wireless speakers from Avega and ZON Audio, and now Tech Shout says Neosonik plans to launch what it claims will be "the world's very first fully digital wireless home theater system" next month.
The company makes some pretty bold claims, so we'll be anxious to see if the reality lives up to the hype. Neosonik says signals … Read more
In some ways this speaker system is the polar opposite of the super-thin model just blogged. We're talking about direction this time, not dimension. Now that we've thoroughly confused you, read on.
Where the Final Sound model lies flat and immobile, the "TIME Five" from SpeakerCraft can be mounted flush on the ceiling but can "automatically drop down to a 15-, 30- or 45-degree angle and then rotate to aim toward any position in the room." With a remote control, the company claims, it can create a "theater in motion" experience.
We … Read more
Commence drooling, Apple fanboys and girls.
In a matter of weeks, the SlingPlayer icon could be bouncing in a toolbar near you. SlingCommunity.com has a video demo of the original place-shifting technology on a white MacBook and an interview with SlingMedia's head of PR, Brian Jaquet, at last week's Digital Life Show in New York.
Jaquet said the SlingPlayer Mac will be available in public beta for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs at the end of October or early November. Sling Media told CNET News.com last month it would be ready in 30 to 45 days, … Read more
The folks over at Home Theater Blog report that Samsung has finally released a firmware update to its $1,000 Blu-ray player, the BD-P1000, which Samsung acknowledged had a problem with overzealous noise reduction that softened the picture. As CNET and others have reported, this wasn't the only issue with the player, and the BD-P1000 has taken its share of hits in the early going. That's the price you pay for being first to market with a new technology. (Toshiba, too, has had to update the firmware on its first-generation HD-DVD player, but it managed to put something … Read more
If you can't decide what kind of HDTV set to buy--or whether you even want one--here's a way to experiment without shelling out thousands of bucks to find out.
Start-up AutumnWave makes a tuner that can plug into a laptop's USB port and pick up high-definition broadcast signals, effectively turning a computer into an HDTV. All you need besides the device, which is about twice the size of an iPod, are the right kind of monitor and AutumnWave's software to make it work.
A News.com reporter tried it out and said he would buy it … Read more