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Look in ways you didn’t know you

could. Hear in ways you didn’t

know existed. Where your eye bites

into a red so juicy it explodes

in a gush and runs down your

cheek. Where every image can be

tasted, every note can be felt and

every experience is magnified

in ways you can hardly imagine.

©2007 Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.

introducing

the

s e e i n g a n d h e a r i n g . c a

Classé – the power behind Bowers & Wilkins In the world of performance audio, some synergies are magical. As members of the B&W Group of companies, we didn’t leave it to chance that Classe electronics would provide the ideal complement to B&W loudspeakers. Utilizing renowned engineering skill and decades of insight, we assured it. We’re delighted that discriminating professional users, consumers and audio critics around the world have discovered the beauty of this pairing. Hear it for yourself at an authorized B&W and Classe dealer.

w w w. c l a s s e a u d i o . c o m

Classé — every detail matters.

Introducing the first luxury hi-fi computer speaker system - the Axiom Audiobyte Enjoy Axiom’s award-winning sound from your computer for Music, Movies, Gaming and iPod applications Music - iPod music has never sounded better. Movies - Become completely enveloped in the sound of movies you watch on your computer. Gaming - You won’t believe the realism you’ve been missing until you switch to the truly high-fidelity playback of the Axiom Audiobytes.

Available in eight finishes, starting at $349 for the speakers and dedicated 110-watt amplifier. For your free 30-day in-home trial and free shipping, log on to www.axiomaudio.ca Speakers and amplifier hand-built in Canada.

advice@axiomaudio.com

www.axiomaudio.ca

1-866-244-8796

productnews ViewSonic 30 Series and 90 Series NextVision LCD TVs ViewSonic's widescreen 30 Series, which includes 15.6, 19 and 22-inch models, is ideal for anyone seeking a dual purpose HDTV/PC display for smaller living spaces such as the kitchen, office, den or even an RV. If you're looking for a stylish large screen with high-end features, the 90 Series LCD TVs offer a sleek, glossy finish to complement the dĂŠcor of today's contemporary homes. The 90 Series consist of five new models ranging in sizes from 26 to 52 inches, which are just the right size for home theatres and living rooms. All five of the TVs feature a built in ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner, a precision 3D comb filter with motion adaptive de-interlacing, HDMI 1.3 and digital noise reduction. The three models, 42 inches and up, feature full 1080p native resolution. MSRP: $249 to $2499 US. www.viewsonic.com

Gemme Audio KATANA Loudspeakers The new KATANA loudspeakers from Gemme Audio feature the company's next generation VFlex Extreme technology, which allows them to play much lower frequencies than other similarly sized speakers. The KATANA loudspeakers will be offered in luxurious piano black, high gloss cabinets, and their seductive lines should enhance any decor with great style. Using Accuton's 1.25-inch ceramic tweeter and 7-inch mid/bass driver, the company claims that the KATANA loudspeakers deliver outstanding transparency, reproducing voices, piano and cymbals with natural tones that mimic life. Thanks to VFlex Extreme technology, the bass is deep, tight and toneful. Available this February. MSRP: $9300. www.gemmeaudio.com

Bell 6141 High Definition Receiver A lot of us would like to own a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) but don't have an extra $600 kicking around, which is what most PVRs cost. But now there's a cost effective solution for us. Bell's new 6141 high definition satellite receiver can be easily turned into a PVR by simply connecting any external hard drive to it. The 6141 offers an enhanced electronic programming guide (EPG) with options to view up to nine channels and three hours of scheduling per page as well as an HDMI interface for superior audio and video. Additional features include access to interactive television (iTV), Caller ID on your TV that displays the names and phone number of people of incoming calls, and USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity for future applications and hardware upgrades. MSRP: $299 or $10 per month (for a rental unit). www.bell.ca/tv 8

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productnews

Shogo Touch Screen WiFi Digital Picture Frame

Furutech Carbon Fiber Power and IEC Connectors

Shogo is the world's first touch screen WiFi-integrated lifestyle digital picture frame. Its touch screen and simple user interface make it very easy to use and navigate menus when selecting photo albums and other content for viewing. The key features of the Shogo include a resolution of 800 by 600 pixels, an internal battery and built-in memory. What makes the Shogo unique is that it can receive and share pictures as well as content remotely frame to frame. With its Shogo Friend capability, you can share your favourite shots from your Shogo, instantly and with one or multiple friends without a PC. MSRP: $299 to $349. Distributed in Canada by Fidelity Electronics Inc. (www.fidelityelectronics.com). www.myshogo.com

If you're looking for the ultimate, high-end power and IEC connectors look no further than these new connectors from Furutech. Each connector features pure copper, rhodium plated conductors and an earth (ground) jumper system. The nylon/fiberglass body of the connector incorporates nanosized ceramic particles for absorption of vibration resonance. The housing uses multi layered nonmagnetic stainless steel and carbon fiber and incorporates acetal copolymer. All of this damping and insulation results in improvements in the frequency extension and tonal quality. MSRP: $200 (approx.). Distributed by Audiyo (www.audiyo.com, 647-294-7786). www.furutech.com

productnews Paradigm Reference Studio Esprit Speakers Paradigm says that its Reference Studio Esprit L/R and Esprit C center channel speakers were designed to provide unmatched flexibility and performance for on-wall applications. The company claims that these three-way, hybrid on-wall speakers that can be mounted, tilted, placed on a stand or shelved to serve any aesthetic without sacrificing sonic excellence. Paradigm's proprietary ABEC Automatic Boundary Effects Compensation technology, the "brains" of each Esprit speaker, accommodates placement on a wall or the new highperformance GS-40 stand. Each Esprit model comes with adjustable wall-mounting brackets that allow for angling and tilting of the speakers. MSRP: $1099 US. www.paradigm.com

Audyssey Laboratories Dynamic Volume How often do you catch yourself changing the volume level while watching movies or television broadcasts? Audyssey's Dynamic Volume is a volume leveling technology that frees listeners from the disruptive changes in volume levels while watching movies, and when broadcast material changes between television shows and commercials. The spectral content in individual channels is continuously monitored in order to maintain constant volume for stereo and surround sound. Audyssey Dynamic EQ loudness compensation technology is also integrated to make sure the correct frequency response and surround impression is maintained, compensating for the human ear's lower sensitivity to bass, treble and surround sounds as volume levels decrease. The result is a comfortable, predictable level of volume, producing clear dialogue while maintaining the full dynamics as they were intended. Look for Audyssey Dynamic Volume technology incorporated into upcoming A/V receivers and other audio video products. www.audyssey.com

Microsoft Zune is Coming to Canada Looking for an alternative to the iPod? Microsoft announced at this year's CES that the Zune player will be available in Canada this Spring. With three Zune models (4, 8 and 80 GB) and options for customization at ZuneOriginals.net, it will be easy for consumers to find the size, colour and design that best suits their personal taste. All Zune players support video, audio and pictures. They all have FM tuners, the ability to sync and share songs and pictures wirelessly and to customize the home screen image on the player with any photo. www.microsoft.ca

Outlaw Audio LCR Loudspeaker The Outlaw LCR is the first loudspeaker that uses the company's exclusive MCO (Main/Centre Optimization) selectable crossover technology. This allows the speaker's acoustic radiation pattern to be optimized for use as either a left or right front speaker or as a horizontal centre channel speaker simply by flipping a switch. The LCR features dual 5-1/4 inch SEAS woofers and a 1-inch ferrofluid-cooled soft-dome tweeter. A high-frequency adjustment switch allows the tweeter output to be boosted or lowered by 2 dB to compensate for acoustically 'live' or 'dead' rooms. Each loudspeaker employs a proprietary three-position Boundary Compensation switch to tailor output for placement near walls, corners, or in open air. MSRP (US): $649 (black) and $699 (cherry veneer). www.outlawaudio.com 10

www.canadahifi.com

Listen to your soul.

Made in Canada with pure devotion for over 20 years. For more information, visit www.totemacoustic.com

TV Viewing Distance Recommendations Brad Copeland When looking to purchase a new display, today's consumer is faced with a litany of choices. Size, technology and brand are but a few of the factors that must be taken into consideration when shopping for a TV. While the answer to the third question is never cut and dry, and the answer to the second can vary wildly within the same household depending on viewing conditions in the room, selecting an appropriate size for your new display can often be just as challenging as choosing between Brand X and Brand Y, or between Plasma and LCD. While most A/V enthusiasts will naturally want the biggest display possible, there is a point of diminishing returns that can, and often does, get reached. Remember that the point of a home theatre is to accurately re-create the movie theatre experience by immersing you, both visually and sonically, in your program material. If you find yourself sitting

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15 feet away from a 37 inch screen you certainly won't mistake that experience for being at a theatre. Conversely, if you jam a 60 inch screen into a tiny apartment and are sitting almost nose to glass, watching TV could be at best awkward and at worst physically uncomfortable. If you can't see the whole display in your field of view, you might miss out on some onscreen action. You could also strain your neck from moving your head in an odd manner, in order to try to take in everything on the screen. Sitting too close to the screen can result in seeing the scan lines or pixels forming the picture. This is called the "screen door effect", or SDE for short, so named because the picture will appear as if you're looking at it through a grid or a mosquito net. Again, this can be incredibly distracting and can prevent you from achieving the immersive experience that you've gone to great lengths to try to create.

There are many schools of thought on how far away from a given size of display you should sit. Traditionally, before HD sources came along, conventional wisdom was to sit no closer than 3 times the size of the screen (measured diagonally) and no further than 6 times the screen size. This meant that for a 32 inch TV you'd want to be sitting approximately 8 feet away. Obviously one isn't going to feel immersed in a movie when the screen is occupying such a small fraction of their field of view. Luckily, the introduction of HD sources allowed us to sit much closer to the screen without seeing the scan lines or SDE. A general rule of thumb with an HD source is that you can sit as close as 1.5 times the size of the screen and you generally don't want to sit more than 3 times the screen size away. The Society of Motion Pictures and Engineers (SMPTE) has published a set of guidelines regarding viewing distances,

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SUPER SOUNDING.

SUPER LOOKING.

SUPER LOUDSPEAKERS.

More impressive sounding than your favorite theatre or concert venue! Better looking than a piece of art! Able to convince the most critical audiophile with a single audition! Is it a live band? Is it a broadway show? No, it’s Sinclair Audio loudspeakers! Hear them at your local dealer today and your music and movie excitement level will go up, up, and away!

SERIES

SERIES

The unique combination of impressive acoustic performance and gorgeous cosmetics makes the Sinclair Audio Sculptura series the future of home audio/video speaker systems.

Used as reference audio loudspeaker system by Canada HiFi, precious few come close to looking as elegant and none come close to sounding as sensational as the audiophile Brighton Series.

Sinclair Audio is distributed exclusively in Canada by

21000 TransCanada • Baie D’Urfé • Québec • H9X 4B7 • Tel./ Tél.: (514) 457-2555 • Fax/Télecopieur: (514) 457-5507 VISIT US AT : WWW.ERIKSONCONSUMER.COM • WWW.SINCLAIRAUDIO.COM

ViewingDistance as has THX, the arm of George Lucas' empire that is responsible for enforcing standards in regards to video, film and audio playback. The SMPTE guidelines recommend that the display occupies 30 degrees of the audience's field of vision. This 30 degree field-of-view has become more or less the de facto standard for all home theatre applications, direct view and projector based theatres. The THX recommendations suggest that the back row of seating in a theatre should be placed so that the screen ideally occupies 36 degrees, with 26 degrees being the acceptable minimum. To adhere to the SMPTE standards means that you would want to sit approximately 6.75 feet away from a 50 inch screen, and to comply with THX's recommendations you'd want to be sitting between 5.6 feet and 7.9 feet away. You can find a link to a viewing distance calculator at the end of this article. These calculations can be used in one of two ways. If you're buying a new TV and have mentally arranged the placement of furniture in your viewing room, you can use the "30 degree" rule to choose the proper size of the TV. If you already own a TV and you're trying to setup your viewing room properly around it, you can use these numbers to place your seating position so that you get as close to a theatre experience as can be had in the home. Resolution is another factor that you need to consider when trying to figure out the optimal viewing distance in your

www.canadahifi.com

home theatre. Higher resolutions are one of the key statistics that TV manufacturers like to trumpet, as it's an easy-to-understand statistic that consumers tend to fixate on. Simply speaking, the resolution of a display is the total number of pixels that make up the picture. Higher numbers result in a smoother, more film-like picture with more detail. The higher the content resolution and the higher the resolution of your TV, the closer you'll be able to sit without seeing scan lines, pixels or any artifacts that will detract from the film-like picture you're trying to create. Perfect 20/20 vision, in real world terms, means that the human eye can identify a 1.76 mm high object at a distance of 20 feet. Assuming 20/20 vision and a 50 inch screen, the human eye starts to see the differences between 480p (standard DVD) and 720p (some broadcast cable, some video games) at 14.6 feet, with the differences being fully apparent at 9.8 feet. Going further, the difference between 720p and 1080p (Bluray, HD DVD and some video games) will start to become visible at the above-mentioned 9.8 feet, and will become totally apparent at 6.5 feet. At the end of the day, this means that with a 1080p display and a 1080p source, you can now sit well inside the "30 degree" recommendation and experience your program material in the most immersive way. If you sit 11 feet away from a 50 inch TV, do you need to spend the extra cash to

get a 1080p set or will a 720p set do just fine? Only you can be the judge of that. Even though you may technically be beyond the range at which you can resolve the difference between 1080p and 720p, you might notice some increased three dimensionality in the 1080p picture. Most HD broadcast cable, for example, is 1080i material. This means the display will be showing a 1080i signal pretty much "dot for dot", and not having to scale it down to fit it on a display with less pixels. In theory this should result in a better, more pure picture. Mileage will vary though, depending on several factors. Everyone's eyes see slightly differently. A display that looks great to me might be exhibiting SDE to you, or viceversa. As always, take these recommendations as just that, recommendations. Grab a few of your favourite Blu-ray discs or DVDs and head to your local home theatre emporium to check these stats out for yourself. Your home theatre can be a very significant investment and, ultimately, you are the one who needs to be satisfied with your purchases and how they are setup. The website below contains a Viewing Distance Calculator that will assist you in choosing the recommended TV size and viewing distance for your home theatre: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/vie wingdistancecalculator.html

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ViewingDistance as has THX, the arm of George Lucas' empire that is responsible for enforcing standards in regards to video, film and audio playback. The SMPTE guidelines recommend that the display occupies 30 degrees of the audience's field of vision. This 30 degree field-of-view has become more or less the de facto standard for all home theatre applications, direct view and projector based theatres. The THX recommendations suggest that the back row of seating in a theatre should be placed so that the screen ideally occupies 36 degrees, with 26 degrees being the acceptable minimum. To adhere to the SMPTE standards means that you would want to sit approximately 6.75 feet away from a 50 inch screen, and to comply with THX's recommendations you'd want to be sitting between 5.6 feet and 7.9 feet away. You can find a link to a viewing distance calculator at the end of this article. These calculations can be used in one of two ways. If you're buying a new TV and have mentally arranged the placement of furniture in your viewing room, you can use the "30 degree" rule to choose the proper size of the TV. If you already own a TV and you're trying to setup your viewing room properly around it, you can use these numbers to place your seating position so that you get as close to a theatre experience as can be had in the home. Resolution is another factor that you need to consider when trying to figure out the optimal viewing distance in your

www.canadahifi.com

home theatre. Higher resolutions are one of the key statistics that TV manufacturers like to trumpet, as it's an easy-to-understand statistic that consumers tend to fixate on. Simply speaking, the resolution of a display is the total number of pixels that make up the picture. Higher numbers result in a smoother, more film-like picture with more detail. The higher the content resolution and the higher the resolution of your TV, the closer you'll be able to sit without seeing scan lines, pixels or any artifacts that will detract from the film-like picture you're trying to create. Perfect 20/20 vision, in real world terms, means that the human eye can identify a 1.76 mm high object at a distance of 20 feet. Assuming 20/20 vision and a 50 inch screen, the human eye starts to see the differences between 480p (standard DVD) and 720p (some broadcast cable, some video games) at 14.6 feet, with the differences being fully apparent at 9.8 feet. Going further, the difference between 720p and 1080p (Bluray, HD DVD and some video games) will start to become visible at the above-mentioned 9.8 feet, and will become totally apparent at 6.5 feet. At the end of the day, this means that with a 1080p display and a 1080p source, you can now sit well inside the "30 degree" recommendation and experience your program material in the most immersive way. If you sit 11 feet away from a 50 inch TV, do you need to spend the extra cash to

get a 1080p set or will a 720p set do just fine? Only you can be the judge of that. Even though you may technically be beyond the range at which you can resolve the difference between 1080p and 720p, you might notice some increased three dimensionality in the 1080p picture. Most HD broadcast cable, for example, is 1080i material. This means the display will be showing a 1080i signal pretty much "dot for dot", and not having to scale it down to fit it on a display with less pixels. In theory this should result in a better, more pure picture. Mileage will vary though, depending on several factors. Everyone's eyes see slightly differently. A display that looks great to me might be exhibiting SDE to you, or viceversa. As always, take these recommendations as just that, recommendations. Grab a few of your favourite Blu-ray discs or DVDs and head to your local home theatre emporium to check these stats out for yourself. Your home theatre can be a very significant investment and, ultimately, you are the one who needs to be satisfied with your purchases and how they are setup. The website below contains a Viewing Distance Calculator that will assist you in choosing the recommended TV size and viewing distance for your home theatre: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/vie wingdistancecalculator.html

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GutWire Audio Cables

Suave Kajko I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Herbert Wong, co-founder of GutWire Audio Cables, a Canadian manufacturer of high-end audio cables. During our lunch-meeting Wong offered some interesting insight into the world of high-end cables that I'm pleased to be able to share with the readers of CANADA HiFi. SK: When and how did you get into the high-end cable making business? HW: I grew up listening to a Technics stereo system. This system had everything: A turntable with a parallel tracking arm, a CD player, a tuner and a cassette deck. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even throughout high school. I also remember the very first audio magazine that I ever read. The cover had the giant Infinity IRS Beta loudspeakers, big Krell amps and Audio Research components. These images really stuck in my mind. That's when it hit me - I wanted to become a part of this industry. After college, I finally had money to build a better stereo system and audio became my hobby. One thing www.canadahifi.com

led to another and I began tinkering with power cables. At that time, the idea of upgrading to a better power cable was still very young. Around the same time, I met Alex Yeung who had very similar interests. Together we founded GutWire Audio Cables in 1998. We spent over a year on the research and development of our first product. The G Clef power cable was our first cable that came to market in 1999. SK: Can you tell us about your company's approach to cable design and development? HW: Our process typically starts with the design of the cable architecture. We then build a prototype cable and begin our listening tests with it plugged into various components of an audio system. Most of the time the first prototype does not yield the results that we are looking for so we end up going back to the drawing board. We repeat this process until we are satisfied with the results. A new cable design can take a month or a year, we never know how long it will take before it goes

into production. The cable can appear great on the test bench but may not sound as good as we'd like it to. Good specifications don't necessarily translate to musically sounding cables. Research and development consumes the most time in the product development cycle and can be very frustrating. Once a prototype is developed to our satisfaction, we like to take it to some of our dealers so that they can listen to it and give us their feedback. For example, when we updated our cables to the Squared series, it took us nearly a year to find exactly what we were looking for. We had built many prototypes that did not pass our criteria. Our criteria is simple, the cable must sound musical. SK: Can you tell us about the conductor materials and construction techniques used in GutWire cables? HW: All of our cables use high purity oxygen-free copper as the conductor material. After much experimentation and many hours of listening, we found copper to be more musical sounding than other materials. Copper is capable of 17

GutWireAudioCables delivering the most neutral, transparent and natural audio signal. Our cables use unique wire-weave patterns and employ multiple shielding layers to reject Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI). Every GutWire cable is terminated with a crimped (cold-welded) connector. Our research showed that cables with crimped connectors offer several benefits over soldered connectors: Well-defined soundstaging, maximum dynamics, real-life midrange and amazing 3D imaging. When developing our Squared series cables, we discovered that using minimal insulation and increasing the shielding produced sound that was more open and dynamic, with improved transients and better imaging. SK: Why is proper shielding important in all analogue cables? HW: With the vast number of wireless devices such as wireless routers, cordless phones and cell phones found in our homes today, proper shielding is one of the most important design aspects of a high quality cable. Shielding is particularly important in interconnect cables because they carry very low voltage signals which are prone to outside interference. SK: Why are all GutWire connectors gold plated? HW: Gold plated connectors provide better conductivity. Also, unlike copper which can oxidize over time, gold-plated connectors do not. SK: What do you say to someone that is skeptical about upgrading the power cables in their system? People realize that electrical cables travel for tens of kilometers before they reach your home. How can upgrading the power cord, the last 6-feet of the electrical system, make a difference in a system? HW: A lot of people use water filters at home. Water travels through kilometers of pipes before it reaches your home. People use these filters so that they can enjoy clean drinking water. A good qual-

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ity power cable works similarly to a water filter. A lot of people think of a power cable as the last 6 feet of the electrical cable system. I see it as the first 6 feet from the wall outlet to your components. SK: What performance improvements can you expect when upgrading the power and interconnect cables in your system? HW: In an audio system you can expect a quieter background, better extension in the high and low frequencies, better imaging and better separation. In a video system, you should get a more stable, brighter picture with deeper colours. SK: What is the most rewarding aspect of your profession as a cable designer? HW: Many audio enthusiasts who upgrade their systems with GutWire cables discover a renewed interest in their music collection. They start to dig out recordings that they haven't listened to for long periods of time. It is very rewarding for me to receive this kind of feedback. Our customers are not just concerned with how deep the bass will go or how the details will improve after upgrading their cables. I believe that it is the musicality of our cables that draws them back to the music. SK: How much of the total music or home theatre system budget should be dedicated to cables in your opinion? HW: In my opinion, cables usually last longer in a system than the audio video components themselves. A CD player may be upgraded two or more times before the interconnect cables are upgraded. Power cables may stay even longer in the system. I recommend dedicating approximately 30 percent of the entire system's budget to cables. Cables are just as important as any component in the system. SK: What is the first cable that you recommend upgrading in a system? HW: I recommend starting with the power cable for the source. Good, clean

electricity is fundamental for any audio or video system. SK: Are all GutWire cables made in Canada? HW: All GutWire cables are hand-made in our Markham, Ontario manufacturing facility with the exception of the Do-ItYourself (DIY) cable B-12 which is made in the US; and the IS14-2 and MP14-4 cables which are made in Taiwan. SK: Is GutWire currently developing any new products? What can we expect to see from your company in 2008? HW: We have some exciting new products coming out in 2008. Our long-awaited six outlet power conditioner is almost ready for production. Our Chime series will enter its third generation. We are also going to see some expansion in our Sseries cables. SK: Thank you for sharing these insights into high-end audio cable production with us. It should also be mentioned that in addition to cables, GutWire manufactures high-end extension outlets and AC line conditioners. If you would like to learn more about GutWire Audio Cables products, please visit their website at www.gutwire.com. Editor's note: The opinions and conclusions expressed in this article are those of Herbert Wong and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of CANADA HiFi. There are many different approaches to high-end cable design and manufacturing.

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2008 Consumer Electronics Show Report Phil Gold Close to 150,000 industry insiders attended the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 7th-10th, including your intrepid reporter, Phil Gold. The CES is the biggest show of any kind in North America, and puts a severe strain on both the transportation system and the hospitality trade. Lines for taxis and hotel buffets can be up to an hour long, while public transportation or driving is frequently an exercise in frustration. CES covers many fields from iPods and cameras to computers and musical instruments. A huge amount of space is devoted to In Car Entertainment. This is the place for manufacturers to meet distributors and dealers, for companies to spotlight their latest products or give sneak previews of upcoming gadgets, and to get the word out through the press whose numbers grow every year. Audio Video is concentrated at the massive Las Vegas Convention Center where Sony, Panasonic, HP, Samsung and others have a huge presence. High End Audio has largely migrated to the Venetian Hotel, but some manufacturers exhibit at the Hilton Hotel and others rent palatial suites at unadvertised locations where attendance is by invitation only. In four days, one reporter can only scratch the surface of such a vast event, and this article does not purport to represent the best of CES or even the most relevant. Rather it covers the rooms that caught my eye for one reason or another. Maybe I know the people, they're Canadian, I just like the sound, or perhaps they just serve the best coffee. Here goes. We start with B&W, the world's largest speaker manufacturer, making their first appearance at CES in fifteen years to

highlight their first Mobile Audio sound system in the gorgeous new Jaguar XF. B&W worked with Alpine to produce the best in-car sound I've experienced.

with a resolution of 4000 x 2000, but you'll need a six figure budget to secure yours.

B&W also showed a new iPod based sound system, the aptly named Zeppelin ($599 US). Many other companies including even Focal and Krell are supporting the iPod now.

New from Sony is the Blu-ray based Home Theatre PC - the VGX-TP25E/B ($3000 US). Many smiling faces were seen around the Sony booth as Blu-ray now looks to be winning the format war for high definition video following Warner's January decision to drop support for Toshiba's rival HD DVD format. Many in the industry are pleased that a winner is emerging - the uncertainty was killing sales.

New from Thiel is the THIELnet system for wireless home theatre sound. The main advantage here is simplicity of installation while maintaining Thiel's renowned sound quality. Of course it's not completely wireless - now you have to run a power cord to each wireless speaker. A number of industry rivals are developing similar products. Is it too much to ask for the industry to get its act together to support a common standard?

What better to show those Blu-ray discs than the latest plasma displays! Pioneer's prototype Project Kuro 50" screen is only 9mm thick and offers the blackest blacks imaginable. Meanwhile Panasonic offers the world's largest plasma screen at 150"

www.canadahifi.com

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CANADA HiFi Magazine - Feb/Mar 2008 Issue - PART 1