CNet Boo-Boo – CNet gave a ‘Best of CES” award (the Las Vegas show is now over) to the Hopper—an Ergen digital video recorder that “hops” over ads automatically. The problem was that CBS is the parent company of CNet, and they are currently in litigation with the Hopper over its skipping of ads, which the network relies on for its revenue. The Ergen DVR had too much of a feature for CBS’ liking, according to Australia’s ChannelNews, and the award was withdrawn.
DEG Names Walmart Retailer of the Year – During CES, the Digital Entertainment Group gave top honor to Walmart for excellence in the merchandising and promotion of both new digital entertainment products and Blu-ray and UltraViolet titles during 2012. (UltraViolet is an enhanced copyright security system which allows such titles to be stored on the Cloud and accessed from any device which enables UltraViolet.) Their Emiel N. Petrone Innovation Awards went to three products: Oppo’s BDP-105 disc player, Sony’s XBR-84X900 4K UltraHDTV, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD.
Sony Classical Relaunches OKeh Label – With the objective of documenting “Global Expressions in Jazz.” OKeh was founded in 1918 and was known for recording classic jazz and blues artists, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Sidney Bechet. The new OKeh will focus on releasing jazz by new and established artists with a wide range of global backgrounds. Their goal is to release improvised ,isoc from all over the world. Initial releases include Bill Frisell, David Sanborn and Bob James. OKeh will be part of Sony Masterworks.
Audio Control Amp to Improve Sonics of Home Audio Wireless Distribution Systems – Audio Control has introduced the Rialto 400 Amp/DAC to improve the quality and performance of both analog and digital audio systems, including Sonos home entertainment systems. It has an audiophile-grade Wolfson DAC, AudioControl’s AccuBASS circuitry, an array of digital and analog inputs and SMART Signal Sensing, allowing the user to prioritize which input to use based on personal preference. Connected audio sources such as iTunes, Pandora and Spotify can achieve higher quality with clearer and more accurate analog signals. The amp delivers over 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms and SRP is $799.
84-inch 4K UHD Display Competitors – In spite of the derth of available content, makers of large flat-screen TVs are knocking themselves out to introduce huge 4K LED displays. China’s HiSense even expects to have an “UltraHD” 101-inch screen size later this year. They showed an 84-inch LED display at CES, no price announced as yet. Samsung’s 84-inch UHD display will be about $143,000 when available in the U.S.; Sony’s and LG’s 84-inch UHDs are somewhat more reasonable. The LG is about $19,000.