Fans of Sony products are often disappointed at the January Consumer Electronics Show to discover that the company doesn't have very much to say. Sure, there's a big Sony booth and a handful of token product announcements and press releases, but it's always small potatoes compared to the dozens of new items on display from competitors such as Samsung, Philips, and Panasonic. But that's entirely by design: rather than get lost in the CES maelstrom, Sony opts to launch its new line of products at its own Sony-only line show. We've got complete coverage of … Read more
Sony's new line of Bravia home theater systems may be turning heads, but the company is also debuting a troika of more traditional, component-based home-theater-in-a-box systems (HTIBs). Two of the three systems don't include DVD players (so you're not paying extra for something you already own). And while these systems may not have the slick look of the Bravia line, the inclusion of a full-scale A/V receiver offers the flexibility of more A/V inputs.
The "HT" line is composed of three products: the HT-DDW790 ($200, March), the HT-DDW990 ($300, May), and the HT-7100DH ($… Read more
Sony has taken the wraps off its latest lineup of all-in-one home-theater-in-a-box systems (HTIBs). The 2007 line spans seven products: three models being sold under the Bravia banner--a label previously reserved only for the company's flat-panel TVs--three affordable component-based systems and one model that integrates a complete surround speaker system into a TV stand.
The Bravia line includes the DAV-HDX265 ($300, March), DAV-HDX267W ($300, April), and DAV-HDX500 ($500, March). Each model is a 5.1-channel system with a five-disc CD/DVD changer built into a unified slim head unit, all of which are designed to match the eponymous flat-screen … Read more
It's a common problem: your point-and-shoot camera's microphone picked up nothing but wind while you were at the park shooting a video of people flying kites. The solution? Wipe over the track with music. But putting licensed music over the videos not only requires video editing software, but also the digital rights to publish. YouTube has rolled out a new service called AudioSwap which hopes to quell both of those problems.
To use AudioSwap, just pick a video you've uploaded and browse the provided audio list. You'll get a preview right away, and with the click … Read more
The onslaught of flat TVs has clearly been confounding for furniture makers, which have lost their staple faux armoires and have been struggling to come up with an equally popular replacement ever since. Evesham, at least, is making an effort to add function to form with a TV stand that also serves as a surround-sound system.
The "Sound Stage X1" matches many of today's plasma and LCD designs with a glossy black and glass finish, which masks nine--count 'em, nine--speakers built into its frame, according to Pocket-lint.
The stand isn't the cheapest at nearly $600, but … Read more
Add NHT to the list of home audio companies aiming to get a piece of the flat-panel TV pie. The respected speaker manufacturer has just announced its Verve line of home-theater speakers, which are specifically designed to complement the flat-panel HDTVs. The Verve line will be available in a variety of configurations ranging in price from $1,359 to $6,750, each of which will comprise two relatively trim models of satellite speakers and one slimline subwoofer.
The two satellite speakers measure 5.5 inches wide and 6.25 deep. The larger one is 15.5 inches high and is … Read more
Maybe it's our midlife crisis taking over again, but we have a serious crush on Amadana, the Japanese company that created the bamboo-clad DVD player and other gorgeous products that reflect its zen-like design philosophy. If Amadana had a retail outlet, we imagine it would look like a cross between an Apple store and a Buddhist monastery. (We just wish the company would change its logo, which looks way to much like Amana's.)
An early leader in the "name soon-to-be a verb a la Google and TiVo" category here at Demo '07 is Yodio, an audio-publishing system to produce and send audio with digital photos.
After three and a half years of development, the Seattle-based Yodio (short for "your audio") is being unveiled in the next hour here at Demo 07. It works like this: take a digital photo, call Yodio's toll-free number, and record a message (but keep it under two minutes). Yodio syncs the MP3 file with your photo, which then can be sent to anyone … Read more
The KEF FiveTwo Series speakers got a lot of coverage when they were announced in the fall. "Two speakers, sounds like five," declared Gizmodo, and that was indeed the draw. Available in two versions--the 15-inch-high Model 7 and 40-inch-tall Model 11--the FiveTwo Series speakers are KEF's first stab at virtual surround. Using multiple drivers (each model is named for the number of drivers it utilizes), the FiveTwo speakers deliver the five (front left/right, center, and surround left/right) channels of a true surround system from just two front speakers.
CNET was able to put both FiveTwo … Read more
Much has been made of how the PS3 is Sony's not-so-secret weapon in the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war. But I actually held out some small hope--call me naive--that the PS3 might be able to breathe some new life into Sony's near-dead, high-fidelity audio format, SACD (Super Audio CD), which competes with another near-dead, high-fidelity audio format, DVD-Audio.
In case you hadn't heard, the PS3 supports playback of SACD discs. There aren't a whole lot of SACD discs out there, but I happen to own five of them. I made an effort to find them the … Read more