Image 1 of 9
Consumer electronics companies are showing off their newest toys to the more than 25,000 attendees at CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) Expo 2006, a five-day custom home theater event taking place in Denver through Sept. 17.
rnrnSony is showcasing its newest and largest member of the Bravia family, the XBR3. The XBR3 is a 52-inch LCD that displays in high-definition 1080p resolution and has HDMI inputs with 1080p capability. Sony says its 7,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio will make black appear more black and add more detail to shadows on screen. Its price tag? $6,800.
The Sony Bravia XBR2 is the slightly lower-end version of the XBR3. This model is also a high-definition 52-inch LCD panel, but it has a silver bezel, or frame, instead of black, which drops the price to $6,300. Both models will ship in November.
The STR-DA5200ES, besides being a mouthful to say out loud, is Sony’s latest entry in the audio/video receiver category. At an HDTV conference in August, Sony Electronics President Stan Glasgow said the most pressing problem facing those in the high-definition audio and video business is customer confusion over how to set up and customize the latest gadgets. This receiver attempts to remedy that by employing a graphical interface, Sony says.
Sony PlayStation fans will recognize the icon-heavy menu system based on the game console’s Cross Media Bar user interface. Sony says the idea is that even technophobes will feel comfortable flipping through and choosing an optimum surround-sound setting or converting video from standard DVD quality to 720p, 1080i or 1080p.
Here’s a front and rear view of the STR-DA5200ES a/v receiver from Sony, on display at CEDIA Expo 2006 in Denver. The receiver will be available in October for $1,500.
CEDIA Expo, for many, was their first opportunity to see Philips’ recently unveiled television line, the HD Ambilight FlatTV. Pictured here is the 42-inch LCD with Ambilight technology and 1080i resolution.
Ambilight refers to the glow that appears to surround the panel–it’s actually just backlighting reflected off a canvas frame that comes with the TV. Philips said the lighting effect makes watching TV or movies a more “immersive experience” because it extends your peripheral vision.
The company also plays up the health and safety angle, saying the constant lighting reduces eye strain when viewed in a dark room. It’s available now for $3,499.
Though it looks vaguely like portable gaming knock-off, it’s actually a remote control. But not just any control. This one has a graphical interface to control a TV, DVD or Blu-ray player, set-top box and DVR. It can even dim and raise the lights in the TV room.
The Pronto TSU9600 has a 3.7-inch VGA touch screen, and has been designed to be highly customizable for individual users; They can pick favorite channels and choose icons indicating the media sources they have hooked up to the TV (such as a music playlist or a DVD). The Pronto will be in stores in October with a $1,200 price tag.
Pioneer announced its new Elite PureVision plasma TVs at CEDIA Expo. Pictured here is the 60-inch Pro-1540 HD. The 1080i display networks with a Mac or a PC, but requires a wired connection–Pioneer says wireless is too unreliable to stream all the HD content like movies, photos and music its users would want to move from their computer to the home theater. The user interface is Pioneer’s own Home Media Gallery.
Bang & Olufsen’s BeoVision 4 TVs are louder than ever–in color, that is. No longer are the high-end plasma displays available in just sleek, muted aluminum. The Danish company has expanded its repertoire to include a few more colors of the rainbow: a candy apple red, brilliant blue, graphite and black.
Pioneer’s first Blu-ray Disc player will be available come fall for $1,500, company representatives said at CEDIA Expo in Denver. The next-generation DVD player was created to network with Pioneer’s Home Media Gallery home networking interface. It is capable of displaying in 1080p, the highest resolution available for digital content, and can even convert standard-definition DVDs up from 480i resolution to 1080p.