Toshiba Readies Glasses-Free 3D for 2013 – Toshiba first introduced glasses-free 3D LCD TVs in Japan last year with high price tags. Now they revealed they will be making 55-inch glasses-free TVs available in markets outside of Japan for the first time this year, reaching the U.S. the first quarter of 2013. Protypes drew long lines when shown at past exhibits, offering the potential for a broad early adopter audience. One problem is that although special glasses are not required, glasses-free prototypes have had limited viewing angles that require the viewer to be almost exactly in front of the middle of the screen for the best effect. Toshiba is working on this problem.
Samung Shipping 2012 Audio Products – Samsung’s audio lineup includes their first tabletop docking speakers and their first HTiBs with Samsung Allshare Play networking, Ultraviolet-based “disc-to-digital” content-sharing technology and a web browser. They have five docking speakers and three soundbar models – including one which can be split to create two separate speakers to place on either side of a TV. Five of the six HTiBs feature 3D Blu-ray and the top two models are the firm’s first with a vacuum tube preamp section. The disc-to-digital technology enables select Blu-ray players to authenticate that a DVD disc has been purchased and not rented. If the disc was purchased, users will be able to stream a cloud-based Ultraviolet-protected version in SD or HD to any wi-fi-equipped tablet, smartphone, TV or Blu-ray player equipped with a Flixster app. Over 80% of DVD titles available can be streamed under the program, which will eventually be upgraded to enable Blu-ray authentication. AllShare Play is an enhanced version of Samsung’s DLNA-based AllShare technology which lets users stream AV content to an AllShare-enabled HTiB, TV or Blu-ray player from DLNA devices in the home.
TEAC Preparing to Launch Higher-End Audio Components – TEAC has positioned its new Distinction series of components above its Reference series but below the separately-marketed top-end Esoteric series. The new series includes three stereo SACD/CD players (the Reference series has none), three integrated amps and an AM/FM tuner. Distinction’s integrated amps feature phono preamps and range from 120 to 200 watts per channel. The top two SACD/CD players have USB inputs, and the top model features dual 192K/24-bit DACs plus a coaxial input. In the Reference series is also an iPod/iPhone/iPad docking and charging cradle, the DS-H01. The latest entry-level Esoteric series SACD/CD player is the K-07, with 32-bit dual-mono DACs and from 2 to 4 times the sampling rate upconversion of PCM. The next up K-05 Esoteric deck adds a vibration-free rigid disc clamping system (VRDS).
New THX Speaker Array Concept – THX claims their Steerable Line Array Technologies will change next-generation design of audio products. The concept prototype was demonstrated at the recent CES in Las Vegas, and is capable of 96 discrete channels that can be dynamically steered to create new opportunities for CE manufacturers and content creators. The speaker system includes a special all-analog amplifier and a proprietary steerable line array of drivers. DSP is used to direct multiple beams of sound to any part of a room, to provide the best sound wherever one is seated. All seats become the best seat in the house. All the sound comes out from a long and narrow slot; the system can be made so unobtrusive that it can disappear.
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