Grant Clauser

Grant Clauser
D-Box Motion Effects System Gets Cheaper

D-Box, the company that puts roll, pitch, heave and shake into your home theater experience, just announced a new way to get the body-jarring in your house for a lot less money. The new GPH-120 is hybrid motion system that be configured either as a PC gaming chair or as a home theater chair.

Philips, Funai Launch New Eco LCD Lines and BD Players

This was a first for Philips, no CES show floor exhibit. Instead, the company, post the acquisition by Funai of its TV business, held private viewings in a ballroom at the nearby Renaissance Hotel. There the company showed off three upcoming lines of LCD TVs, most boasting Philips’ trademark EcoTV logo, as well as two new Bl-ray players and a Blu-ray home theater system. Nowhere in the new lineup will you find either plasma or Ambilight--the a feature that characterized Philips flat panel Tvs for several years.

Chicago and Denver First Cities with Tru2Way

From Abt Electronics in Glenview Ill., Panasonic and Comcast kicked off a limited launch of tru2way technology to Chicago electronics shoppers. A similar kickoff happened in a Denver Ultimate Electronics store. Both independent retailers, plus Chicago and Denver Circuit Cities, are introducing Panasonic’s first two tru2way-compatible TVs this month. The technology, developed by Cable Labs, allows TVs to receive cable programming plus all the service provider’s interactive features such as a program guide and video-on-demand, without requiring a set-top-box. Panasonic’s chief technology officer Dr. Paul Liao and Comcast’s senior vice president of product development Mark Hess were on hand at Abt Electronics

Rothfest Combines Good Deals with Good Times

Ramsey, NJ-based CE distributor M. Rothman & Co. held it’s 10th annual dealer show at it’s headquarters September 23 and 24, this time dubbing it Rothfest and offering attendees free concerts. About 1,500 people were expected at the two-day event. The idea behind Rothfest, said associate vice president Stephen Bodnarchuk, was two-fold: to show appreciation to the dealers as well as increase awareness of 4th-quarter promotions. “It’s a selling show,” he said. The selling part involved the manufacture showroom, which was lined with vendors such as Pioneer, LG, Universal Remote Control, Audiovox, Toshiba, Omnimount, JVC and others. Dealers browsed the 30-plus vendor

Sharp Unveils Limited Edition Aquos Line

Sharp took the wraps off a new Aquos Limited Edition line of TVs at CEDIA. The LE line includes its first RGB LED back-light model with local dimming. The back-light style allows the TV to produce 150 percent of the NTSC color gamut while the local dimming allows for a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Also included on these models is a 10-bit panel, 120Hz refresh rate technology, AquosNet integrated and a separate input box with 5 HDMI inputs and an optional wireless connection. A separate speaker, using Sharp’s 1-bit digital amplification system and co-developed with Pioneer is also part of the package. At its

SIM2 Partnership Promises New HD Format

Attendees of SIM2’s CEDIA 2008 press conference were expecting to hear all about new projectors. Instead, after a discussion of the David Lynch endorsement—announced the previous day—the company dropped a bomb on the crowd with the news of a partnership with a company promising a new high definition delivery format. SIM2’s partner, Entertainment Experience, made up of former Kodak Digital Cinema people, is coming out with a home theater media system it’s presently calling “Better Than Blu.” The complete system includes a SIM2 projector, modified to display the wider color gamut of Better Than Blu, plus a media player and downloadable or disc-based

Sony Intros Ultra Thin and 240Hz TVs

Sony unveiled two new BRAVIA LCD TVs at CEDIA with industry-first features. The KDL-52XBR7 LCD TV features 240Hz high frame rate technology called Motionflow 240 which the company says is ideal for sports and video game viewing. Sony says the Motionflow algorithm quadruples the frame rate of conventional LCD TVs by interpolating three new frames for each existing frame. Other features on the model include Sony’s Advanced Contrast Enhancer (ACE), which produces a dynamic contrast ratio of 80,000:1 Sony’s latest digital video processor, BRAVIA Engine2, that enhances all incoming signals to match the TV’s 1080p resolution. The second major TV release is the 40-inch BRAVIA

Toshiba Intros New Fall TV Line with Advanced Video Processing

“Roll with the Changes” is Toshiba’s theme for the 2008 CEDIA Expo, and VP of Marketing Scott Ramirez drove home that point by coming onstage at the company’s opening day press event with REO Speedwagon’s song of the same name playing. Among the changes Toshiba is rolling with are the trends in TV sales. Ramirez noted that plasma TV sales dipped by 1 percent, while LCD sales rose by 54 percent overall and 97 percent for size 40-inch and above. Toshiba’s increase, he pointed out, was 117.5 percent. “That’s where the growth is in the industry.” He added that 40-inch and above currently represents

Toshiba Launches Better DVD Player

Toshiba may not have come out on top of the high def disc format war this year, but that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t have something to say in the continuing DVD market. As was hinted at a few months ago in Japan, the company is launching a new standard definition upconverting player with new color, sharpness and picture enhancements powered by the company’s new XDE (eXtended Detail Enhancement) technology. The new $149 XD-E500, says Toshiba, is more than just an upconverting DVD player—though it does scale 480i/p DVDs up to 1080p via HDMI 1.3. The XDE technology provides additional picture modes to

Pioneer Launches New Home Theater Products

At a hotel suite in Manhattan Wednesday, Pioneer offered reporters previews of it’s latest home theater products including a new generation of KURO plasma TVs, Elite AV receivers, Blu-ray players and a front projector—a whole new category for the company. Last year it was the company’s KURO line of plasmas that brought Pioneer the most attention. The company introduced two KURO televisions (50- and 60-inches; $5,000 and $6,500) for AV retail distribution and two KURO Pro TVs and plasma monitors designed specifically for the custom installation channel. In side-by-side comparisons with last year’s models, the new models clearly exhibited superior contrast

Sony Introduces Home Theater Products, Others at Line Show

While Sony had a booth loaded with new products at CES, the company saved the best for its annual dealer Open House this week in Las Vegas. The company showed new products in all categories, from Blu-ray to digital imaging. In the home theater-in-a-box category Sony introduced a series of Bravia Theater Systems that work with the new Air Station wirelesses multi-room module. The Air Station (AIR-SA10) connects wirelessly to select Sony receivers via 2.4GHz to allow music streaming from the CD, DVD or connected MP3 player. The top of the line DAV-HDX576WF ($500) is a 5-disc standard upscaling DVD player with 5.1

Mitsubishi Reveals World’s First Laser TV

LAS VEGAS- At a Palm Casino nightclub packed Monday night with dealers and journalists Mitsubishi finally took the sheets off a technology the company had been talking about for more than two years. The laser TV, a rear projection technology that replaces the lamps with lasers, displays twice the color gamut of any other current television technology and uses much less power, said Mitsubishi’s Max Wasinger. “Nothing can reproduce the color intensity of the laser,” he added, and noted that laser manufacture is one of Mitsubishi’s core competencies. The 65-inch, 1080p widescreen HDTV model shown was about 10-inchs deep and is expected to be

Sharp Launches Aquos Net and Introduces New LCD TVs

While Sharp introduced a number of new LCD TVs, the most innovative news to come out of the company’s CES press conference was the creation of AQUOS Net, a free Internet feature that allows users to receive a number of Web-based services directly on their compatible AQUOS TVs. TVs with the AQUOS Net feature include an Ethernet jack and can be configured with ‘widgets” to receive weather, stock quotes, news updates and similar information. However, one of the most practical applications of the service is that it allows for better customer support, trouble-shooting and TV set-up. In fact, through AQUOS Net, a remote technician

Toshiba Expands Super Narrow Bezel LCDs, Acknowledges Times are Tough for HD DVD

After the Jan. 4 bombshell news from Warner that the studio would end support of HD DVD in the spring of 2008, attendees at Toshiba’s January 6 press conference expected to hear some disappointment from the company heads. Opening up the presentation, Toshiba president and CEO Akio Ozaka stuck to the original statement released earlier, saying that they were surprised and disappointed, but reiterated the format’s recent sales successes. VP of Marketing Jody Sally came on stage next and delivered a clearly emotional speech. She opened by saying that it’s been difficult to read the pundants declaring HD DVD dead. “HD DVD is

Another Year to Remember

I remember when HDTV was just a blip on the radar at the Consumer Electronics Show—a $20,000 blip in most cases. The canned content displayed on those early sets (from Sencore hard drive servers) look good on those displays, but not nearly as good as what we now get daily from our local broadcasters or cable. Now, seven years into the real HDTV revolution, so much has changed. More than 16 million HDTV products have been sold. The country is blanketed with signal coverage from multiple sources, and we’re even in the mists of a new format war. So there are old and