Expo Intros Making The Connection


Indianapolis - Custom products are connecting with consumers and with one another.

To connect with consumers, suppliers here at the CEDIA Expo will unveil the industry’s first hard-drive-based on-demand movie server, the first home-dedicated Sirius and XM satellite tuners, and the first digital-cable-ready HDTVs.

The first digital-cable-ready TVs will be demonstrated by Panasonic and Hitachi.

Based on suppliers’ Expo plans, consumers can also look forward to more choices of wall-hanging speakers for use with plasma and LCD displays, more receivers with automatic room-acoustics correction, and a greater selection of universal DVD players that play DVD-Audio, DVD-Video and SACD discs.

To connect products in different rooms, suppliers plan to exhibit devices with a greater variety of connectivity options, including Ethernet, WiFi, CAT5 and IEEE 1394b to join the venerable RS-232 port.

To simplify connections among products in the central A/V stack, more receivers will upconvert composite and S-video inputs to component-video output, and more receivers will feature industry-standard 1394 connections that connect to a greater selection of universal players with 1394 outputs.

In satellite radio, dealers touring Sirius Satellite Radio’s first Expo booth will find single-zone models from Kenwood and Audiovox and a three-zone model from Antex for distributed-audio applications. For its part, Crestron plans to unveil a single-zone XM Satellite tuner for the home.

Also to distribute audio throughout the house, Denon and Fosgate Audionics will join Yamaha and Integra in using PC-network technologies, such as wired Ethernet or wireless WiFi.

Other distributed-audio solutions will include products from GE Interlogix, Niles and Atlantic Technology. They plan to join a growing crowd of companies that send audio over inexpensive CAT-5 cable.

To distribute high-definition video over CAT-5, AudioControl will show its first devices that send and receive 720p and 1080i component video over CAT-5.

Also for video distribution, startup Kaleidescape will unveil a hard-disc-drive multizone video server that can hold up to 12 300GB hard drives to store movies 'imported' from hundreds of DVD discs, the company said. Movies are distributed on demand to clients in multiple rooms via CAT-5 Ethernet wiring. Demonstrations are planned at the Runco and Dolby booths.

Increasingly, audio systems will include more universal DVD-AV/SACD players as Denon, Marantz and Pioneer expand their selections. The Marantz and Denon products, like a Samsung DVD-Video player, will also feature DVI-HDCP video output for a direct digital connection to high-definition (HD) displays and upconversion of DVD-Video to HD.

Zenith To Show LG Products, HD Recorder

Indianapolis - Zenith will use CEDIA Expo to take the wraps off some of the first products in its new high-end LG line, including new LCD TV and plasma display panels and an HDTV-capable digital video recorder.

Zenith will also show a Zenith-branded DVD recorder and a 17W-inch HD-capable LCD TV monitor.

LG model RU-23LZ21 is a 23W-inch HD-compatible LCD TV that features 1,280 by 768 pixel resolution, 350:1 contrast ratio and 450 candelas per meter squared brightness output. The viewing angle is said to be 176 degrees, and Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing technology is included. Slated for an October delivery, the LCD TV, which has an internal NTSC tuner and stereo speakers, will carry a $2,299 suggested retail price.

The Zenith-branded L17W36 is a 17W-inch HD-compatible LCD TV, which is slated for a September delivery at a $1,299 suggested retail. The unit offers 1280 by 768 pixel resolution, 450 candelas per meter squared brightness, a 400:1 contrast ratio and a 176-degree viewing angle. Faroudja DCDi imaging processing and stereo speakers are built into the panel.

In plasma display panels, Zenith will offer the LG-branded DU-50PZ60, a fully integrated 50W-inch high-definition TV set boasting 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution and an internal ATSC tuner. The set offers a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 1000 candelas per meter squared brightness, a flexible twin picture-in-picture function and RGB output jacks. The set is scheduled to ship to dealers in November at a $10,999 suggested retail.

An ATSC tunerless version — LG model MU-50PZ90V — is slated to ship in October at a $9,999 suggested retail. The 50W-inch HDTV plasma monitor offers virtually identical picture performance as the fully integrated set.

The LG LST-3410A will be shown displayed as an 'HDTV digital video recorder.' The set-top box contains tuners for ATSC (digital terrestrial), NTSC (analog terrestrial) and QAM (digital cable) signals. It will not include a slot for a CableCARD to unlock scrambled digital cable channels.

Added to the box will be 5.1 channel Dolby Digital compatibility, 120 GB hard drive and a DVI with HDCP digital output. The recorder will ship in November at a $999 suggested retail price.

Also slated is a Zenith-branded DVD recorder (model DVR313), which is based on the DVD-R/RW recordable disc formats. The unit is also compatible with DVD video, VCDs, audio CDs, MP3 and CD-R/RW discs.

The DVR313 will output user selectable progressive scan or interlaced video, and includes an internal Dolby Digital decoder. Four high-speed scan rates are offered at 2x, 4x, 16x and 100x rates.

The deck is slated to ship in the fourth quarter at a $499 suggested retail price.


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