The mammoth 75-inch ES9000 LED smart TV that Samsung recently unveiled for the Korean market is making its way stateside. Today the 3D-capable, LED-backlit set was on display in New York as part of the Sammy-sponsored SpaceFest marking the Space Shuttle Enterprise’s arrival at the Intrepid. How smart TVs relate to Space Shuttle orbiters is beyond us, but the ES9000’s US debut is welcome news for those with a massive living room to fill, and were disappointed after the ES8000 75-incher shown at CES and even given a price tag earlier this year failed to materialize.
Detailed specs are currently MIA, but as we noted before in our hands-on, the 75-incher’s bezel measures just 0.31 inches, and the frame sports a rose-gold finish. There’s also a built-in web camera that retracts when not in use, and the TV comes with four pairs of 3D glasses. Being a smart TV, this guy also includes the full suite of Smart TV features, such as Smart Interaction for enabling gesture and voice controls and Smart Content for sharing media across several devices. Samsung also used today’s occasion to introduce a new Angry Birds app for its smart TVs, which lets users play the game entirely with gesture controls. The app will be available for a free download later this month, and the ES9000 will go on sale in August for a super-sized price of $9.999.
The Apple Store is slowly becoming an all-in-one shopping experience, today adding the Nest Learning Thermostat to its inventory.
The thermostat, which is reminiscent of an iPod classic click wheel, is available now for $249.95, just $0.95 more expensive than its suggested retail price. It was added to Apple.com this morning after some brief downtime, prompting speculation in the Twitterverse about everything from new MacBooks to Skynet coming online.
The Nest thermostat already has an Apple connection. Tony Fadell, Nest co-creator, is a former Apple senior vice president, and was part of the creative team behind the original iPod and iPhone. While the thermostat has no direct connection to Apple products, its Wi-Fi capabilities allow control of the Nest from any iOS device — iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
The thermostat also works with a PC or Android smartphone to adjust scheduling, change the temperature, and check weather.
Old-fashioned twisting and button-pushing also work to control the climate; you can turn the dial or navigate through its menu by pressing the LCD screen. The modern thermostat can program itself by tracking the temperature settings used over a week, and energy-saving Auto-Away settings lower heat and cooling while you’re not home.
Our pal Melissa Andresko from Lutron appeared on Fox Tech Take this week to show off the company’s C•L dimmers, which are notable for their ability to smoothly, reliably, and consistently control dimmable compact fluorescent and LED bulbs as well as old-school incandescents and halogen bulbs. Also on display is Lutron’s new Maestro occupancy/vacancy sensor, as well as those cellular shades you might remember me geeking out about at last year’s CEDIA Expo.
Epson this week announced the launch of its latest 3LCD home theater projector, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 710HD. The projector offers entertainment in 720p HD resolution.
“Whether it’s a blockbuster movie, live sporting event or videogame, the Home Cinema 710HD offers a great home entertainment experience at an affordable price,” Kristi Lanzit , product manager for Epson America, said as part of the announcement.
Last year Bang & Olufsen launched B&O Play, a sub-brand that features high quality gadgets priced a whole lot lower than what the company is traditionally known for. So far only headphones and wireless speaker systems have been released under the new name, but soon we can expect something much bigger — a TV. Speaking to FlatpanelsHD, B&O Play VP Henrik Lorensen revealed that the company will be launching a new television sometime this year. No actual details have been announced just yet, so we’re not quite sure how the new release will compare to B&O’s existing BeoVision line of high-end TVs. But at the very least you should be able to finally pick up a new Bang & Olufsen without having to spend upwards of $11,000.
Honeywell said this week that it has debuted the latest version of the Lynx Touch self-contained security system. The system includes a pair of industry firsts: Wi-Fi capability and a 4G alarm radio.
“The new Lynx Touch truly represents what today’s homeowners expect from a security system – it’s easy to use, it’s fast to install, it has the broadest breadth of communication options and it can do a lot more than just security,” Rob Puric , director of product management, Honeywell Security & Communications, said as part of the announcement.
Denon Electronics this week unveiled its new core A/V receiver line for 2012, which is available now. The line includes the 7.1-channel Model AVR -1913 (SRP: $579.99) as well as the 5.1-channel Models AVR-1713 (SRP: $449.99), AVR-1613 (SRP: $399.99) and AVR-1513 (SRP: $249.99).
“With the launch of our new core AV receiver line for 2012, we are giving more people total simplicity of setup and operation, access to online music content as well as outstanding audio and video capabilities,” Yoshinori Yamada, the company’s product manager for core products, said as part of the announcement.
For me, and countless other music lovers, I’m sure, it’s useless to resist the Dark Side known as streaming. I really want to hold a disc (and its packaging) in my hand while listening to an album, but those days are quickly coming to a close. The death knell of physical media is likely to be hastened by products such as the new integrated amplifiers from NAD. The C 375DAC and C 356DAC (really NAD’s C 375BEE and C 356BEE with MDC DACs factory installed) have been designed with streaming in mind.
Hook a Squeezebox or Sonos system up to one of these bad boys (or heck, just a plain old PC or Mac) and get ready to stream 24/96 HD music. Users will benefit from the lower levels of distortion and NAD’s PowerDrive Amplifier Technology, designed for high dynamic power and low impedance drive capability.
You’re probably thinking what I was thinking when I saw the subject line of that press release: “What the heck is an atomic preamp?” No, it doesn’t replace vacuum tubes with little nuclear reactors. (Although, seriously, how long before someone does?) The “atomic” designation comes from the fact that the Rubicon integrates Antelope Audio’s renowned 10M Rubidium atomic clock, which promises to be “100,000 times more stable than a traditional crystal oscillator.” Combine that with the company’s 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking technology, and the preamp boasts unprecedented levels of jitter management.
What does it actually do, though? As the rest of its name implies, Rubicon isn’t merely a Digital-to-Analog converter; it’s actually an Analog-to-Digital/Digital-to-Analog converter. Plug your turntable into the JFET phono preamp, and it samples your vinyl digitally, applying all of the same of the same digitally clockery that was used in the recording of the score for Avatar. Incoming audio from a PC or Network Attached Storage (yep, it’s a streamer, too, complete with DLNA capabilities) skips the Analog-to-Digital stage and heads straight for the 384 kHz DAC (the same technology used in the company’s flagship Zodiac Gold DAC).