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  1. Soundbars
    2018 was an interesting year at CES when it comes to audio. While the 2-channel high-end show held at The Venetian shrank, soundbars and lifestyle audio systems were ascendant. Soundbars in particular had a good year, with advances in terms of smart functionality. To recognize these...
  2. Latest Industry News
    Before I left for CES 2018, I heard someone say that display technology has come about as far as it can, and all we could expect at the show was incremental improvements. I strongly disagree with this assessment, and the video displays at CES were a testament to continued innovation. Of course...
  3. Soundbars
    At CES 2018 I had a chance to demo the HW-N650 in a private screening room, away from the chaos of he show. And the experience immediately demonstrated why Samsung is such a serious force to contend with when it comes to soundbars. With the HW-N650, we're looking at a soundbar sporting a new...
  4. Receivers, Amps, and Processors
    Since the day Dolby Atmos was introduced, one of the most common requests among home theater enthusiasts has been the inclusion of front-wide speakers in a 3D immersive audio speaker configuration. Another common request? Allow for six overhead channels. At CES 2018, not only did Denon answer...
  5. Soundbars
    Soundbars are evolving. They are becoming smarter and taking on more tasks. In 2018 some soundbars learned a new trick—they can listen. What made TCL's first-ever soundbar interesting is that it is also the first Roku soundbar. Now, "Hey Roku" is poised to join the likes of Alexa, Hey Google...
  6. Soundbars
    OK let's get this out of the way... when it comes to soundbars and price/performance ratios, Polk already has my respect. Its Magni-Fi series are among the best I've heard at under $500. Now, the company is offering a marriage of fidelity, price, and convenience that's almost unfathomable. And...
  7. Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP
    The Hisense Laser TV has been demonstrated at CES for the last couple of years, but it finally started shipping in November 2017. The idea is to package an ultra short-throw (UST) projector with an ambient light-rejecting (ALR) screen and a sound system and sell it as an alternative to a large...
  8. LCD Flat Panel Displays
    Here's a fun little item from CES 2018: the Hisense HX43A69 retro LCD TV. It's a modern 43" 4K/UHD, HDR-capable, Android TV with a retro design complete with large volume knob and speaker grille. I was told that the Hisense HX43A69 is a prototype and will not be sold. Too bad; it would make a...
  9. Soundbars
    It is completely fair to say that before I heard the Sony HT-Z9F soundbar demo at CES 2018, I had prejudged it as unlikely to impress. That is the hazard of judging a book by its cover, or in this case a soundbar by its compact and minimalist appearance. And yet there it was, a 3.1 soundbar...
  10. High Dynamic Range (HDR) & Wide Color Gamut (WCG)
    Most TV manufacturers now embrace Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) as well as HDR10 and HLG. The only major exception is Samsung, which has steadfastly refused to adopt Dolby Vision in its TVs and UHD Blu-ray players. Then, about a year ago, Samsung introduced a new format called HDR10+...
  11. Latest Industry News
    AVS Forum's quickly growing YouTube channel has just reached 10,000 subscribers and shows no signs of slowing down. We're adding new video content regularly, featuring the best new product reviews, tips, and show coverage. Subscribe to AVS on YouTube by clicking the button here and never miss a...
  12. OLED Technology and Flat Panels General
    File this one under "Cool stuff I saw at CES 2018" ASUS showed off its ProArt PQ22UC, which at first glance appears to be a  very good, but typical monitor. And then you lift it off the stand and realize it's an 8.5mm thick (or thin, really), 4K OLED with HDR10 compatibility—that's powered by...
  13. High Dynamic Range (HDR) & Wide Color Gamut (WCG)
    One of the most promising display technologies is quantum dots. At CES 2018, I got a quantum-dot update from Nanosys, one of the main suppliers of quantum dots to the display industry. Quantum dots (QDs) are microscopic spheres of semiconductor material that absorb blue light and emit light...
  14. LCD Flat Panel Displays
    CES is the world's largest trade show, and two of the biggest booths at the show belong to Samsung and Sony. At this year's event, I used a Samsung Gear 360 camera ( $168 on Amazon ) along with a Zhiyun Crane V2 gimbal stabilizer ( $400 on Amazon ) to create walk-through 360-degree video of the...
  15. Speakers
    2018 finds high-end audio at a crossroads. Technology is making affordable high-quality audio more accessible than ever. Meanwhile, quite a few of the high-end outfits that occupied many of the hotel rooms at CES shows of years past have fled for greener pastures in Munich, Chicago, Denver...
  16. Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP
    Most of the 4K/UHD DLP projectors I've seen have been underwhelming, with poor contrast and, in many cases, lots of rainbow artifacts. However, I saw one at CES 2018 that far exceeded my expectations: the Wolf PRO-617. Wolf Cinema is probably best known for its home-theater projectors based...
  17. Speakers
    SVS came to CES 2018 with its powerful new 4000 Series subs and put on surround-sound demos for attendees. However that series was announced prior to the show—I previewed the PC-4000 here —so its inclusion in the show was not unexpected. However, SVS did have a surprise up its sleeve: In an...
  18. 3D Displays
    As I've said many times, 8K resolution is pointless for consumers sitting at a normal distance from even a large screen. However, at CES 2018, I saw a use case that makes 8K entirely worthwhile for home use: Stream TV glasses-free 3D. When I first saw Stream TV glasses-free 3D on a 4K/UHD TV...
  19. Soundbars
    TVs weren't the only things introduced by Samsung at CES 2018. The company also unveiled some new Samsung soundbars. The high- and mid-level models carry the Sound+ moniker and feature several technological innovations. A slim profile is optimized for no-gap wall mounting with super-slim...
  20. High Dynamic Range (HDR) & Wide Color Gamut (WCG)
    One of the most impressive demos at CES 2018 was the 85" Sony 10,000-nit display. It was billed as the "X1 Ultimate Full-Spec HDR 8K Display," referring to its use of Sony's prototype X1 Ultimate video processor, 8K resolution, and "full-spec HDR." As many of you know, three of the major high...
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