Home projector offers great picture, color balance, falls short in gaming, features
Trying to find the perfect projector for a home theater can be tricky, as there are bountiful options on the market from a large number of manufacturers. Name brand aside, trying to find the right options for the based on room size, necessary features and functions can still leave consumers scratching their heads. Epson is attempting to give buyers a one-shot option to build their home theaters around, with the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 projector. But does the projector keep up with the needs of film, television shows, and gaming, or would consumers be better served elsewhere? Find out in our review.
New projector easy to install, features 2200 lumens of color brightness
Epson today announced the PowerLite Home Cinema 5025UB, the newest addition to its high-performance line of 3LCD 2D/3D Full HD 1080p home theater projectors. The new projector delivers to home entertainment enthusiasts 2,200 lumens of color brightness and 2,200 lumens of white brightness, up to a 600,000:1 contrast ratio, and advanced image processing technology for a big screen experience.
Cinema soundbar and base coming for entertainment, new portable Charge 2 speaker
This fall, three new products from JBL will be available for consumers looking to add some punch to their home theater setups without taking up much space or when listening to music on-the-go. The company announced that two new products in the Cinema line, the Cinema Base and Cinema SB350, and the Charge 2 Bluetooth speaker would be coming later in the year.
Denon DHT-T100 TV Speaker Base offers compact home theater sound
Denon has launched the DHT-T100 TV Speaker Base, a variation on home theater sound bars that have become increasingly popular. Similar to products like the Bose Solo and the LG Sound Plate, the Denon DHT-T100 sits under a TV stand, but incorporates a larger audio box in order to produce a deeper, more powerful sound.
Sound engineers from Sony Pictures claimed helped with design
Sony has revealed a new high-end soundbar designed for use in a home theater setup. The HT-ST7, priced at $1,300, is said to provide an "immersive true 7.1 home theater experience," one which also includes audio playback over Bluetooth from a smartphone or a tablet, with support for AAC and AptX, and quick NFC pairing included for Android devices.
Both receivers upscale to 4k, provide multi-zone audio
Pioneer Electronics today introduced the Elite SC-71 and SC-72 home theater AV receivers, offering enhanced audio performance utilizing the power of Class D3 amplification. The 7.2-channel receivers are designed to deliver high quality audio and video output along with multi-zone and multi-source capability, 4K Ultra HD upscaling, high-resolution audio playback and wireless control via Pioneer’s proprietary iControlAV2013 App.
VSX-70 ready for 4k, both receivers boast multiple HDMI outputs
Pioneer Electronics today introduced two new Elite home theater AV receivers, the Elite VSX-43 7.1-channel receiver and VSX-70 7.2-channel receiver, designed for expanded entertainment options controllable throughout the home. The new receivers incorporate high-resolution file format playback, expanded multi-zone and multi-source management and functionality, custom installation features, AirPlay and 4K Ultra HD compatibility. Both receivers are controllable by way of Pioneer’s smartphone apps for iOS and Android.
Raptor MultiPlex can perform four concurrent recordings, Blu-ray playback
Velocity Micro has made available a new Home Theater PC, said to be the most powerful living room computer on the market. The Raptor Multiplex offers customers an extremely capable gaming PC that also provides DVR functionality with up to four concurrent recordings through its digital TV tuners, as well as Blu-ray playback and options for media streaming.
Media extenders connectable to home automation systems
VidaBox is shipping two new media extenders. A change from previous releases that resemble home theater PCs, the vPlayer and vStreamer units are designed to be stacked with other home theater equipment, and are able to stream stored Blu-ray, DVD, and music content from any VidaBox server, Media Center, or Media Network Attached Storage.
Home cinema systems include internet radio options
Onkyo is to release two new home theater system packages that are equipped for 4K video resolution. The Onkyo HT-S7500 and HT-S6500 use Marvel Qdeo to upscale low-resolution video to 1080p, as well as the higher 4K resolution if a capable display is connected. Automatic Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding is also supported.
DTS to acquire SRS Labs for $148 million
DTS has announced that it will acquire SRS Labs for $148 million in a cash and stock transaction. The deal places a 38 percent premium on the market value of SRS Labs shares at the close of trading on April 16 at $9.50 per share. DTS says the deal will accelerate its growth in the rapidly growing mobile and other network-connected markets, while aligning its codec technology with SRS Labs audio processing technology.
High-end dock commands $800
Samsung has finally paired its vacuum-tube dock with a price tag, while introducing several other home theater products. The DA-E750 audio dock, which was first introduced earlier this year at CES, will retail for $800. The company is offering two other variants, the DA-E670 and DA-E570, that bring the price down to $450 and $250, respectively, but lack the wattage of the top model.
Systems target home theater audiophiles
Audio-maker Harman Kardon has introduced two new home theater sound systems, the SB 30 and the BDS x70 family, in anticipation of next week's CES show. The SB 30 is a wireless subwoofer packaged with a soundbar speaker array. The BDS x70 series is a compact all-in-one component sound system available in several configurations with either 2.1-channel or 5.1-channel audio.
Sales bring discounts up to 50 percent
Sony has kicked off its holiday sales a few days ahead of Black Friday, offering a variety of discounts on direct purchases. The company has slashed prices for a variety of products, including home theater systems, speakers, televisions, Blu-ray players and bundles, with free ground shipping on all orders.
Tiny speakers claim to rival larger competitors
(Update: fixed link) Home theater enthusiasts for many years have drawn a close association between speaker size and sound quality, however many companies, such as Orb Audio, have worked to prove that big does not always mean better. Electronista took the opportunity to try out Orb's modular speaker system, which features an eight-inch standalone subwoofer and an array of seemingly tiny drivers contained in four-inch spheres. In our full review, we will determine if the Orb system is worthy of its premium price tag.
Receiver paired with 5.1-channel speakers
Yamaha has introduced its latest home theater system, the BDX-610, which pairs an A/V receiver with six speakers. The 5.1-channel receiver features a 3D Blu-ray player, along with a network connection that enables users to access BD-Live and Netflix, among other services. Users can attach iOS devices via USB, with audio from iPhones or iPods sent as a digital PCM signal.
High-end sound bar commands $2500
Bose has introduced its first sound bars for home theaters, the CineMate 1 SR and Lifestyle 135. Both offerings maintain the company's focus on the high-end market, featuring compact speaker arrays built into a single sound-bar that can be placed in front of a television. The sound bars are paired with a wireless subwoofer to handle low frequencies.
Stream video from Internet or Blu-ray to any HDTV
Belkin has launched a new line of wireless home theater products. The ScreenCast AV 4 Wireless AV-to-HDTV Adapter F7D4515 allows up to four home theater devices to be connected to any HDTV. The Universal Wireless HDTV Adapter F7D4555 provides Wi-Fi video streaming to a smart TV, and the
Universal Wireless AV Adapter F7D4550 streams content to multiple devices over a wireless network.
QWERTY keyboard/mouse combo has up to 50m range
MSI announced that it will begin selling the MSI Air Keyboard, a wireless keyboard for home theater PCs. The Air Keyboard was first introduced last summer by Cideko and will be co-branded when MSI introduces it in Germany. The mini QWERTY keyboard measures 14.2 × 8.8 × 3.3 inches (WxDxH), and includes both gamepad and Wii-like gyroscopic sensors for cursor control. It connects connects via USB port with an included RF dongle. Range is up to 50 meters.
Players, home theater feature apps, internet
Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its 2010 lineup of four Blu-ray players along with new Blu-ray Home Theater systems. The flagship Blu-Ray player includes the BD-C6900 that features built-in 3D playback and supports the new 3D Blu-ray standard, while the BD-C7500 offers what Samsung claims is the slimmest Blu-ray player in a new "nature-inspired" contemporary form factor; the BD-C6500 combines performance and speed along with affordability and the entry-level BD-C5500 delivers an eco design. All of its players support Internet@TV, providing access to a wide range of online content.
Sony home theater systems
Sony has expanded its line of home theater systems to include three new configurations with integrated five-disc DVD/CD changers, the DAV-HDX587WC, DAV-HDX589W and DAV-HDX285, along with two new DVD players. The HDX587 and HDX589 models support 5.1-channel audio signals and offer an iPod cradle that can be used to play music or video. The systems also feature video upscaling for DVD content, along with an HDMI port for connecting HDTV sets. Digital Cinema Auto Calibration is designed to assist with proper installation, while Portable Audio Enhancer and Dialogue Enhancer are designed to enhance sound quality.
BeoSound 5 audio system
High-end home theater gear and car audio designer Bang & Olufsen recently announced the launch of its BeoSound 5 digital music system meant to let users enjoy their digital music on their traditional home theater gear. The centerpiece of the BeoSound 5 system is a tabletop and wall-mountable remote controller that sports a 10.4-inch LCD screen with 1024x768 resolution with an aluminium scroll wheel as the control interface. The remote oversees the Internet-connected BeoMaster 5 main unit that features all off the audio and video connections and contains the 500GB hard disk drive.
URC Digital R59 remote
Universal Remote Control on Wednesday introduced its Digital R50 universal remote that, unlike similar products from competitors, does not require an Internet-connected PC to set it up for use with home theater systems. Sporting a two-inch color LCD screen and soft, backlit buttons, the Digital R50 can control the functions of 18 home theater system components by copying the codes of their associated infrared remotes.
Sony multi-room theater
Sony has introduced a multitude of products for multi-room home theater integration. Two new receivers, the STR-DA6400ES and STR-DA5400ES allow HD audio/video transmission to a second room. Products in the new HomeShare HD line can be used to distribute entertainment into 16 zones, with four zones of HD video. For custom installed home entertainment and automation, Sony has unveiled new rack systems, the NHS-70c and NHS-A30C, combining whole home HD capabilities with integrated controls for movies, music, lighting, temperature, and security systems.
Epson LCD projectors
Epson has introduced a trio of new projectors at the IFA show in Berlin on Friday, including a new top-end model. The new LCD home theater projector, the EH-TW5000, features a record 75,000:1 contrast ratio and uses a new iteration of 3LCD technology that compares well against DLP technology in some of its rivals. The new Epson projector features 1,600 ANSI lumens brightness and will deliver 1080p video, while its 12-bit HQV video processor is said to lift picture quality.
JVC DLNA Blu-ray system
JVC’s newest addition to its Sophisti line-up is the NX-BD3 Blu-ray home theater system, which is the company’s first Blu-ray system and the first dedicated Blu-ray player in the industry to feature Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compatibility via a wireless adapter update. Thanks to DLNA support, the 2.1-channel system will be able to work with other types of DLNA-certified devices such as cellphones, PCs and others to share digital content, including MPEG videos, JPEG photos and MP3/WMA music.
Sanyo PLV-Z700 projector
Sanyo on Monday took the wraps off its newest home theater HD projector, the three-LCD PLV-Z700. Capable of projecting 1080p images, Sanyo is nevertheless marketing the PLV-Z700 as an entry-level projector. The company touts the new product as using the most advanced shift lens technology available, capable of shifting three entire screen sizes vertically and two screen sizes horizontally. It also sports a variable iris that adjusts the amount of light projected on the screen 60 times a second, or twice as fast as 30 frames per second tV.
IOGear DVI, HDMI products
IOGear has introduced several new DVI and HDMI accessories for home theaters and game consoles. New DVI and HDMI MiniExtender Kits allow users to expand their A/V network up to "hundreds of feet." IOGear has also released two HDMI switches including a three-port model that automatically switches to the port currently in use. A new four-port model switches HDMI via a remote control.
Yamaha launches iPod dock
Yamaha has launched the YDS-11SL iPod dock, which allows users to play the digital music stored on their iPods via their home theater system. The dock is made to connect to Yamaha's receivers as well as the company's YSP-3050 speaker bar, providing full control via the home theater electronics maker's remote. The iPod screen comes up on users' video displays via Yamaha's On-Screen Display visual interface.
Epson Ensemble cinemas
Epson today announced it released two complete home entertainment systems, with the Ensemble HD 720 and Ensemble HD 1080 systems. Either is capable of throwing up high definition images on a 100-inch motorized screen that is part of each package courtesy of Epson's PowerLite 3LCD three-chip HD projector. As the product names suggest, the projectors are the main difference between the two packages, with the former capable of 720p (1280x720) HD images, the latter of 1920x1080 (1080p) resolution video.
Gefen HDMI IR Extender
Gefen on Thursday introduced its newest connectivity product, the HDMI IR Extender. Aimed at custom installations, the HDMI IR Extender will allow users to control their HD source units from another room without having to purchase and run lengthy HDMI cables through their walls. The Sender and Receiver connect via two standard Ethernet (CAT-5) cables, and can deliver 1080p resolution video signals over up to 300 feet or 1080i resolution over up to 150 feet. Audio is likewise transmitted.
InFocus' X10 projector
InFocus on Wednesday introduced the X10 Full HD 1080p projector in the UK. Part of the company's Home Theater range of offerings, the X10 features a 16:9 native aspect ratio, and a contrast ratio of 2500:1, which can be boosted to 7500:1 via the active iris built into its lens. The DarkChip1 DLP chipset was sourced from Texas Instruments.
InFocus' X10 projector
InFocus on Thursday introduced the X10 Full HD 1080p projector in the UK. Part of the company's Home Theater range of offerings, the X10 features a 16:9 native aspect ratio, and a contrast ratio of 2500:1, which can be boosted with a button push to 7500:1 via the company's Active Iris in the lens.
Monster Cable wireless TV
Monster Cable announced today it will offer a wireless transmitter for HDTV signals that will connect a home theater's TV set with a digital signal box or DVD player. The wireless system is comprised of a receiver that plugs into the HDTV's HDMI port along with a transmitter unit that will hook up with the signal source. Called Monster Digital Express HD, the set-up will also upscale non-HD signals to HD resolution.
ASUS PX24 Full HD PC
ASUS on Monday revealed its Mini PC Nova Lite PX24, a computer it claims is the world's smallest to offer 1080p, or full HD, playback capability thanks to a dedicated graphics card. Combined with its compact 9.5 by 7.2 by 2 inch size, low 26dB sound levels and touch-button interface, ASUS hopes the PX24 will find its way into living rooms as a high-performance home entertainment center in a small package.
Hitachi's CinemaStar HDDs
Hitachi on Wednesday unveiled a pair of new hard drives to add to its CinemaStar line, with the C5K320 and the 5K500. The former is a 2.5-inch hard drive with up to 320 GB capacity, while the latter is built around a 500GB, 3.5-inch hard drive. All of Hitachi’s CinemaStar hard disk drives are designed to extend the recording capacity of DVRs in home theater setups, but can also work with media center PCs.
Pioneer Elite BD players
Pioneer USA on Wednesday announced the Elite BDP-05FD and Pioneer BDP-51FD BonusView Blu-ray Disc players have been added to its line-up. Both receivers are said to offer the next generation in Blu-ray playback quality, with HDMI 1.3 technology, four Wolfson Professional Audio 12-bit digital-to-analog converters, and 1080p / True 24fps output. The players are designed to complement Pioneer's other home theater products, including the KURO line of plasma HDTVs and Elite receivers, to bring users a movie-theater like entertainment experience.
Sony Bravia DAV-F200
Sony on Tuesday launched the Bravia DAV-F200 home theater system as an alternative to multi-speaker set-ups. The cleanly styled receiver features 2.1-channel virtual surround sound programming and comes with an HDMI output for 1080p video up-converting. The Bravia Sync system allows for integration with Sony's Bravia line of TVs, and controlling both components with just one remote. The DAV-F200 is powered by Sony's 405W and 32-bit S-Master digital amplifier.