Consumer Electronics Show update

January 8, 2005

ces_2005Voom DVR confirmed

I say confirmed in the sense that they (Voom) stated at CES on the 7th of January 2005, that subscribers can expect the long awaited Voom DVR to ship March of this year (2005). Yeah, that was long winded but I wanted to choose my words carefully as this isn’t the first time Voom announced a date for the DVR only to delay it thereafter. I’m not aiming for pessimism here, to the contrary, I can’t wait to see it happen. I’d just rather use words like ‘scheduled’ or ‘hopefully’ until someone actually has one installed and working.

From what I could gather from the threads over at Satelliteguys, this isn’t exactly the same setup that was described at last years CEDIA, but similar. The equipment is said to be manufactured again by Motorola, and does have some interesting features such as the ability to create ‘DVR channels’. So instead of going through all of your recorded material lumped together, you can view a ‘channel’ of specific programming.

Stewart displaying their own black screen?

Without naming names, a friend (also in the industry) wrote me to say an ‘acquaintance’ of his who’s out at CES and who also happens to be a Stewart screen dealer, told him Stewart is taking dealers aside, showing them to a private suite to demonstrate a ‘black’ screen. I know this third party innuendo stuff is really vague, but if it’s true this is great news; as we’ll have more than one source for black screens in 2005. I don’t really have any more info than this. Supposedly this ‘dealer’ was asked not to mention anything (yet), which would explain the lack of details he was willing to delve out. **Update 1/10/05** this turns out to be a slightly different solution, and has at least one ‘unique’ attribute to it.

Both Dolby & DTS displayed their new ‘lossless’ formats

Dolby was running a 13.1 channel setup in a special theater constructed on-site, their Dolby Digital Plus defaults with 7.1 channels and goes all the way up to the demonstrated 13.1 channels. On the DTS side, DTS-HD was showcased on several receivers and processors. DTS-HD is the lossless compression counterpart to MLP lossless from Dolby.

Now some of you might be thinking ‘oh great another surround format’ and while I get sick of upgrading just like anyone else, these formats are important for one fact alone. Up until now no matter how good your receiver or processor was, you were technically only hearing a portion of the original soundtracks bandwidth (much like a high quality MP3). Now Dolby and DTS are offering lossless, i.e a un-compromised ‘near copy’ of the original soundtrack from the film. This is going to be a huge step forward in home cinema sound reproduction.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Home Theater News