Home Theater News

Sharp Unveils 11 New LCD TVs – Halts CRT Sales

sharpSharp finally gives up CRTs and announces several new LCD TVs. Ok, now let’s just get the rest of the world on new tech and we’ll be set.

Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd. announced today that it has ceased all sales of cathode-ray televisions (CRTs), and has sold all remaining stock in Canada.  Sharp says it will focus on the marketing of its AQUOS line of LCD TVs, and today unveiled 11 new AQUOS LCD TV models, ranging in size from 26″ to 45″, and extending its total LCD TV offering to 22 models. 

The 11 new models feature a myriad of styles, and all contain Sharp’s high-resolution, low-reflection Advanced Super View (ASV) LCD panels, produced at Sharp’s Kameyama factory in Japan.  Sharp explains that this proprietary technology includes anti-glare Black TFT technology, allowing viewers to watch “crisp and vibrant images without glare, even in the harshest lighting conditions.”   All AQUOS models, the firm claims, absorb 98.5 per cent of all ambient light, and offer high brightness and contrasts ratios.  The AQUOS also has a 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle, meaning viewers can clearly view the screen from just about any angle or position.  

Read “Sharp Unveils 11 New LCD TVs – Halts CRT Sales”

Microsoft and Intel to Back HD-DVD Format

hd dvd backed by intel and microsoft
Microsoft and Intel are throwing their full weight behind one side in the long-running battle over the format for the next generation of high-definition DVD’s.

Tuesday the two companies will announce that they are backing the HD-DVD format developed by Toshiba over the Blu-ray standard championed by Sony, Matsushita Electric, Samsung and others. Microsoft announced in June that it would work with Toshiba to develop high-definition DVD players. Now, Microsoft and Intel say they will develop software and chips that will allow personal computers to play the next-generation DVD’s from Toshiba.

The companies said they had not ruled out
Read “Microsoft and Intel to Back HD-DVD Format”

Xbox 360 Launch Date Released

xbox 360 released
Finally, we get the word on the release date – November 22, 2005. Let the gamers’ rejoicing begin. Microsoft seem to really be aiming for the Japanese market, and this announcement comes on the eve of Tokyo Game Show 2005.

Xbox 360 will arrive on store shelves Tuesday, November 22 in North America, Friday, December 2 in Europe, and Saturday, December 10 in Japan.

This marks the first time a game console will be launched in 3 regions at roughly the same time.
Some lucky Tokyo Game Show goers get to see some great titles firsthand, like:

Bomberman — Act Zero (Hudson Soft Co. Ltd.)
Call of Duty 2 (Activision Inc.)
Dead Rising (Capcom)
Dynasty Warriors 5 Special (Koei Co. Ltd.)
FINAL FANTASY XI (Square Enix Co. Ltd.)
Gears of War (Microsoft Game Studios)
Kameo: Elements of Power (Microsoft Game Studios)
Need for Speed Most Wanted (Electronic Arts)
Project Gotham Racing 3 (Microsoft Game Studios)
Resident Evil 5 (Capcom)
Ridge Racer 6 (Namco)
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)
Saint’s Row (THQ)
Test Drive Unlimited (Atari Inc.)
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (Ubisoft Entertainment)


MTV to be in HD – I Want My MTV-HD!

Wow, maybe MTV can get back to showing actual Music Video!
mtv to be in HD

MTV Networks is to launch its first all-high-definition network, MHD, on January 16, although no carriage agreements have been announced yet. The network will feature an array of music genres – rock, country and hip-hop – with programming taken from MTV as well as MTV2, VH1 and CMT.

And even CMT – Yeehaw! 😉

As concert films rather than music videos are traditionally shot in HD, a large portion of MHD’s schedule will be filled with concert acquisitions and repurposed series, including MTV Unplugged, the MTV Video Music Awards and VH1 Storytellers.

Please guys, no more reality shows, we beg you…


Mirage Projector Screen – More Info

mirage screen for front projectors

We’ve got more info from CEDIA about the mirage projector screen that works well with lots of ambient light.

If you haven’t heard about this material, it could be the Front Projector Cave Dwellers’ dream come true.

“The manufacturer claims 10x higher contrast ratios than standard front projection screens and 2x the brightness.”

The screen features:

Support for all optical front projection formats (LCD/DLP/LCoS)
Capability to have projection in brightly lit rooms
10x higher contrast (in ambient light) than standard front screens
2x brighter images
50 customer frame options
Screen sizes from 60″ – 100″ (4:3) or 60″ – 120″ (16:9) in 1″ increments

Shipping will probably bite your wallet, as the screen must ship as a full sheet – it’s very think and can’t be rolled up.

These screens should be available in November.

I can’t wait! This should be a very wife-friendly purchase. “Just think Babe, you can knit beside me while I watch the big screen!”

Audioholics source

Epson Home Theater Front Projectors – from CEDIA

epson powerlite cinema 550

More coverage by Audioholics at CEDIA:

3 new home theater front projectors from Epson.

For the entry level HT Dude:
Epson PowerLite Home 20
480p native
estimated street price at a grand
1000:1 contrast ratio
1,200 ANSI lumens
comes with its own 80″ portable pull-up screen!

for Mid-Level HT Dudes:
Epson PowerLite Cinema 550
720p native
$2,499 “minimum retail price”
3000:1 contrast ratio
1,400 ANSI lumens
HDMI connections
cinema filter

And Epson’s top of the line:
Epson PowerLite Cinema 800
takes the Cinema 550 and adds:
5000:1 contrast ratio
1,600 ANSI lumens
10-bit color
ISF-certified calibration
and will have a minimu retail of $4500

All of these machines are 16:9 native and should be available in October.

Epson Home Theater Front Projectors

Yamaha RX-V2600 and RX-V1600 Receivers

yamaha rx-v1600

More CEDIA coverage – these receivers caught my eye. They have HDMI switching and upconverting features:

The RX-V2600 can convert 480p signals to HD resolutions (720p, 1080i), and is the first and only receiver in its class to offer the benefits of superior up-scaling technologies. These models also include HDTV (720p/1080i) compatibility via a component video upconversion feature, which can upgrade composite and s-video signals to component video format for ease of installation.

Also some interesting “zone” features for multi-room installs. Get your groove on all over the house.

For multi-room custom installations, power amp channels can be assigned in two ways:

* The first uses five channels for the Main Zone and two channels for Zone 2, for enjoying 5.1-channel sound in the main room.
* The alternative would be three channels for the Main Zone and two channels each for Zone 2 and 3, allowing users to enjoy music in all three rooms without the need for extra amplifiers. Music can even be heard in Zone 4 by using the Speaker B output function.

This unit comes with extra remote for another room. A man can never have too many remotes. High tech equipment that women aren’t qualified to handle – we just can’t get enough.

Great features at a mid-range price:
RX-V2600 to retail at $1,399.95
RX-V1600 to retail at $1,099.95

Units to be available in October.


More info

DLP 1080p Chips for Projectors Arrive!

The news from CEDIA begins!

texas instruments 3 chip dlp

Texas Instruments at CEDIA today announced and showcased 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080) chipsets for the front projection market.

DLP 1080p resolution chips will be made available to customers for both single-chip and 3-chip applications, enabling incredible detail for the ultimate HD viewing experience.

Bring on the 1080p goodness from TI! T and I, much better than that other acronym T and.. well you get it.

Press Release

HD-DVD Launch Delayed by Toshiba

Article – HD-DVD Launch Off Til ’06

The next-generation DVD format known as HD-DVD won’t be launched in the United States until early next year because of a lack of coordination between partners handling the hardware and software, a Toshiba official said Friday.

Hmmm, now that sounds pretty bogus. “Lack of co-ordination between hardware and software partners.” Huh?

And then:

The consumer electronics company, which is the major backer of the HD-DVD format said, however, that technology will be launched in Japan before the end of 2005 as planned.

So, let me get this right. Hardware/software coordination is going to hold off the US HD HVD release, but they’re moving right along with it in Japan? Can somebody explain how these two statements line up? I mean, does the software need to be translated into English to work on this continent?
blu ray vs hd dvd scales
Ok, I was pulling for this format, but this is really stupid. The biggest thing in this industry hd-dvd had going for it was lead time. Now they bungle that.

The scales continue to tip in favor of Blu-Ray. Let justice be done!

First 65-inch 1080p Plasma HDTV from Panasonic

panasonic 65 inch dlp plasma

Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, today announced it will launch the world’s first 65-inch 1080p (progressive) high-definition (HD) plasma TV TH-65PX500 / TV-65PV500 on November 1 … in Japan.

In line with a bunch of other new “firsts,” Panny’s upcoming 65″ DLP plasma offering, the Panasonic TH-65PX500 (TV-65PV500) , is sure to please. “The high-end model of the VIERA TV line has two built-in digital and two built-in analog tuners.” Wow, 4 tuners – how many PIPs is that?

No mention of a US release here, come on Panny where is the love?

Press Release