LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) TV technology is alive and well in Philips's Cineos lineup, including the 55-inch 55PL9774 rear-projection HDTV monitor (you'll need a separate high-def tuner). An LCoS display has smaller spaces between pixels than in other types of fixed-pixel TVs, so pictures look smoother. The 55-inch Cineos has a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels and features proprietary Pixel Plus technology, said to improve standard-definition video by upconverting it to high-def resolution. You can hook up high-def sources to the set's DVI (Digital Visual Interface), VGA, or two component-video inputs, and dual analog TV tuners let you watch two standard-def shows at once. Price: $4,000; stand, $500.
The Xd stereo subwoofer/satellite system is NHT's first speaker system using digital signal processing (DSP) to smooth frequency response, reduce distortion, and provide a wider soundstage. At its heart is a two-channel amplifier/processor with both RCA and balanced XLR inputs and two pairs of outputs to biamplify the speakers. Rated power is 150 watts for each of the four outputs. The speakers each have a 5 1/4-inch woofer, a 1-inch tweeter, and a sealed enclosure. The amp's active crossover has sharp filters to ensure minimal interference between the woofers and tweeters, further widening the sound field. The 500-watt subwoofer has two 10-inch drivers and a rated low end of 25 Hz (-3 dB). Speaker stands and 50 feet of 14-gauge cable are included. Price: $5,500. www.nhthifi.com, 800-648-9993
Adding a new ingredient to the "home theater in a box" concept, the receiver in Kenwood's NHT-815DV system has an Ethernet port for receiving streamed media from a PC. There's also a PC Card slot, and front-panel inputs make it easy to hook up a videogame console. Dolby Headphone processing will simulate surround sound for your ears only, and separate signals can be fed to your phones and the speakers. The receiver's digital amplifier is rated for 100 watts x 6 channels. The front speakers in the 6.1-channel speaker system each have a tweeter plus four 2 3/4 -inch midrange drivers, while the center and surrounds have two mids. The bass module has a 6 1/2-inch driver and a 100-watt amp. You can spin discs with MP3 and WMA files on the separate DVD player. Price: $1,400. www.kenwoodusa.com, 310-639-9000
Answering the call of gamers who demand immersive surround sound to match today's stunning graphics, Spherex - a new brand from Canadian speaker maker Audio Products International - gets into the game with its Xbox 5.1 surround sound system. The system includes five pod-shaped speakers that use Mirage's Omnipolar technology and an 8-inch subwoofer with all of the audio connectors, plus a control box. There's one analog and three digital audio inputs, plus a USB port for streamed digital audio. The amplifier in the sub is rated to deliver 50 watts to each front speaker, 25 watts to each surround, and 100 watts to the sub itself. Each satellite has a 1-inch tweeter mounted in the middle of a 4-inch woofer. Price: $499. www.spherexinc.com, 416-321-6211
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.