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CES 2004

 

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Alpine had their new F#1 Status equipment on display. The DVD 9990 is a DVD-A player. It's accompanied by a new smaller but still powerful processor. All F#1 equipment now also uses a revamped all digital version of their Ai-Net bus. Alpine's DVA-900 and H-700 are getting a revamp and are now branded the 901 and 701. They are a leading force in the ultimate high end car audio segment. Alpine also had a creative touch screen display that "touches back". A rather unique and innovative feature.

Phoenix Gold displayed their MPH-10K amplifier. At 10,000 watts and 152 output devices it's not for the weak of heart. With a cost of $1/watt, it's not for the weak of pocket book either.
Sony showed their Blu-Ray DVD player and it was actually playing a disc. They had the output connected to an HD DLP set, and it looked fantastic. Now if we could only end the war and get the decision made.

This HD model is a proof of concept, and the Sony rep claimed they are ready for manufacture. At an initial price point over $1000, the device will really be only for early adopters. Keep in mind that SD DVD players (not progressive) were similarly priced when first introduced, and are now available for less than $100.

Definitive Technology's Mythos home theater speaker system is shown on the left. These slim looking speakers surely would complement your flat panel display nicely.
Sherbourn displayed the 7/2100 amplifier with its new faceplate, which has a nicer curvature than its predecessor.
Swans' impressive looking T600HT speaker system (T600F $1200/pair, T600C $500 each, D3.0R $300/pair, and Sub200 $400 each) was on display.
Morel had the colorful Octave-Octwin 5.2 ($4400/pair) and 5.2M ($2400/pair) speakers.

Bravo Media Center

Multi-zone streaming media centers were on display from several vendors.  This unit from Bravo supports up to 16 zones is supplied default with a 160GB of space and is controlled via several interfaces including a RS-232, a web browser and PDAs. 

 

Denon AVR-3805

Denon released an update to their 3800 series of receivers with the AVR-3805.  The most impressive addition to the 3805 is the 3rd generation Denon-link technology to allow digital transmission of DVD-A signals.  Denon feels optimistic this will soon allow for SACD digital transmissions as well.

 

Dish Network 811 HDTV Receiver

HDTV is gaining tremendous market share.  Dish Network has a promotion that allows new subscribers to buy this 34 HDTV and 811 HDTV receiver for $999.

 

Marantz SR-8400 and DV-8400

Marantz refreshes its receiver line with the new SR-8400.  It has an almost identical feature set to the SR-9300 in a less expensive and slightly smaller package.

 

XBOX 5.1 System

XBOX is creating an entire media experience with its new digitally amplified 5.1 system.  The cool looking speakers are technology licensed from Mirage.

 
BenQ's new PE-8710, which uses the TI HD2+ DLP chip.
Marantz VP12S3 three-chip DLP projector. Great picture, but it is $38,000.

 

Cindy, our marketing guru, conducts a phone conversation from the "floor" of the Hilton hotel lobby. All the chairs were occupied by some of the 140,000 attendees. Busiest CES we have ever seen.
Voom is entering the High Definition satellite broadcast market by offering 39 HD channels on its satellite dish.
The Voom Set top box.  Voom is working with a company called Ucentric Systems to take HD recording and home media networking to new levels.  PVR and distributed video functionality should be in place by summer.

 

Microsoft was showing off their HD Format based WMV-9

 

Definitive Technology introduced an extension of their 7000 series powered bipolar towers with the BP7002 ($1099/ea), BP7004 ($799/ea), and BP7006 ($599/ea). The BP7002 sounded excellent in stereo in their display room.

 
Primare is now marketing a $4000 integrated surround amplifier called the SPA20. The unit is relatively slim and has the typically clean Primare design.
Theta Digital is introducing the Casablanca III, the latest in their line of well regarded processors and the product of more than two years of development.  This unit brings the Casablanca up to date with all of the latest surround processing formats, including DPL-IIx.
Theta is also implementing a proprietary SACD and DVD-Audio interface on an RJ-45 cable that works with their Compli DVD player, which should be available in March, 2004.

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