updated 10:25 am EST, Fri January 4, 2008
Polk SurroundBar 360 DVD
Polk Audio on Friday marked CES with the creation of its first SurroundBar home-theater-in-a-box setup. The SurroundBar 360 DVD Theater involves just two pieces thanks to virtual surround sound effects: a single, bar speaker and an all-in-one console that includes a DVD player as well as a signal amp, an AM/FM radio, and the necessary connections for the TV. The namesake SurroundBar speaker can simulate bass-rich Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1-channel surround without distinct satellites or subwoofers while fitting underneath a flat-panel HDTV.
The console includes an upscaler to bring even RCA and S-video signals up to HD resolution without artifacts and also serves as a digital audio and video player, decoding MPEG-1/2 videos, JPEG images, and MP3 songs. USB connections also let it take in content from devices with mass storage such as cameras and some portable music players. Polk has not set a release date but expects to sell the new SurroundBar kit only slightly higher than its speaker-only setups at $1,200.