Monster and Hitachi Release New Gear At Digital Downtown
Several leading CE vendors used this week’s Digital Downtown consumer electronics showcase and conference, held at the World Financial Center until Saturday, took the opportunity to unveil new products.
Monster Cable’s Noel Lee, the company’s Head Monster, announced his company was going wireless - or at least branching out into the category. Coming in the fourth quarter is the Monster Wireless Digital Express HD system, a solution based on HD ultra wideband (UWB) technology and designed in partnership with chip maker Sigma Designs, a company that produces chips for many Blu-ray player models. The system will output 1080p video and other content over a home’s existing coaxial cables to an unlimited number of TVs, Lee said. The system’s Intelligent Array Radio technology, which uses three antennas, does not require line-of-sight operation. It will be packaged with an integrated IR remote control.
Monster also unveiled the Outlets to Go 3/USB, featuring a USB quick-charge port.
During his “Need For Speed” talk at the conference, Lee said that just 30 percent of consumers who bought HDTVs included an HDMI cable in the purchase, which highlights the need for clearer delineation of HDMI’s benefits at the point of sale. The company is continuing its educational efforts in that vein, he said, with its “Need for Speed” program and its HDMI “badging” packaging that notes each type of HDMI cable’s specific application.
Hitachi Home Electronics took the wraps off a new line of 42- and 50-inch plasma HDTVs. A 50-inch model will be included in the company’s Director’s Series and another in the V-Series, both scheduled to hit the streets in August. A 42-inch A-Series model is scheduled for next month. Hitachi’s Ultra Black panels feature a boxed cell structure for deeper black levels and a proprietary phosphor formulation. Other features, said Bill Whalen, director of product development, include new anti-reflective filters and a new digital video processor, which uses second-generation Reel60 “judder” reduction technology. The sets’ Cinema48 feature, which works with 24p HDMI inputs, provides a more movie theater-like visual experience, according to the company.