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Virtual CES 2001 Report
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2001 International CES Report


RF remote extender
When it came to naming their new IR-to-RF converter, Zenith delved into their roots and come up with the "Space Command", the title that graced their first-ever wireless remote control back in 1957. The new patented "Space Command" is a small cartridge into which users install a smaller version of an AA or AAA battery. The cartridge fits into the remote control's battery compartment and capitalizes on the RF signal generated by the IR diode in the remote control. The transmitted RF range is expected to reach 100 feet. The new device will carry a list price of $39.95 and will be available in the second quarter of 2001.

DVD recorder & more
Zenith is jumping headfirst into the DVD recording market with a new DVR (digital video recorder) based on the DVD-RW format and CD-R/CD-RW digital audio. The DVR will feature 19 jacks, MP3 and HDCD decoding, Dolby Digital/DTV output and progressive scan playback. The model is planned for fall 2001 availability and is expected to cost less than $3,000.

Zenith's DVD lineup is also growing with two new progressive scan players - a $799 five disc changer available in summer 2001 and a $599 single disc player available this spring. Rounding out their line are a basic $249 five-disc model and a $159 single disc unit, available respectively in summer and spring.

New high-performance displays
A new 60 inch plasma display panel will top out Zenith's HDTV offerings. The new unit achieves a contrast ratio of 350:1 and a peak brightness of 200 cd/m, displaying 16.7 million color images. It will feature soft-touch screen controls and full remote control. Expected availability to consumers is mid-2001, at a suggested retail price of $27,999. Zenith is also releasing a 42-inch widescreen enhanced-definition television (EDTV) that's only 3 inches deep. The new model will feature a peak brightness of 310 cd/m and a contrast ratio over 500:1, with a 160-degree viewing angle. This model will be available during the fourth quarter of 2001 for $7,499. A 40" model (pricing not announced) with even higher brightness levels will also be available in late 2001, while a 36" model will be released in fall 2001 for $6,499.

In terms of rear-projection monitors, Zenith announced three 16:9 widescreen integrated HDTVs, five 16:9 HDTV monitors and four 4:3 HDTV monitors. The rear-projection HDTVs will be available in 64, 61 and 56-inch variants, each with an all-format ATSC DTV receiver and high-performance NTSC analog tuner. They offer digital convergence, digital comb filters, GuidePlus+ program guide, picture-in-picture, universal remote control and much more. They will also include an extensive jack panels including Component video, multiple S-Video, 15-pin VGA/HD-DBS inputs and concealed front jacks. The widescreen 64-inch model features 9-inch CRTs which the other two feature 7-inch tubes. The 61-inch model incorporates a fixed screen protector while the other two include removable protectors. The 64 and 56-inch models are available now for $7,999 and $6,499 respectively, while the 61-inch unit will be available for $5,999 during the third quarter of 2001.

Zenith's five widescreen HDTV monitors include a 60-inch 16:9 LCD rear projector and 65-inch, two 61-inch and one 56-inch 16:9 CRT rear projectors. The LCD model, planned for fall 2001 availability, offers a resolution of 1280x720 and achieves a contrast ratio of 200:1 and peak brightness of 680 cd/m. Pricing has not yet been set. The CRT models all accept HDTV inputs and are capable of displaying 1080i signals. All feature 7-inch CRTs and offer high-resolution component video inputs and 3D Y/C digital comb filters. Jacks include S-Video, Component and RGB inputs. All feature Zenith's EZ Link digital set-top box connector, built-in screen protector and NTSC tuner. Planned for summer availability, the 56, 61 and 65-inch models will sell for $3,499, $2,999 and $4,999 respectively.

Finally, four 4:3 rear-projection HDTV monitors will be available in 50-inch and 60-inch models. All provide high-resolution display capability, two-tuner picture-in-picture, screen protector and multiple jacks. Higher models include 3D Y/C comb filters. Prices are expected to be $2,299 and $2,499 for the 50-inch models, and $2,799 and $2,999 for the 60-inch versions. Availability is planned for summer 2001.

New front projectors
Zenith is also releasing new LCD, DLP and CRT front projectors. The first LCD model, the LXG-200, offers up to 2,000 ANSI lumens, a projection size from 30 to 300 inches and a throw distance from 4.9 and 51 feet. Pricing for this model is not yet set. The LXG-120 offers 1,200 ANSI lumens, a projection size from 40 to 300 inches and a throw distance from 5 to 54 feet. Pricing is $6,495 with availability now. Both units feature 1024x768 resolution and are compatible with NTSC, HDTV, PAL, SECAM, NTSC 4.43, PAL-M, PAL-N, UXGA/SXGA, SVGA and CGA models. Other features include auto tracking, flip horizontal/vertical, digital zoom, freeze video, blanking, and a laser pointer remote control.

New DLP models include the DXG-210, which offers 1,000 ANSI lumens and true XGA resolution with selectable 16:9 and 4:3 aspect rations. The unit also offers a video enhanced color wheel, one-button auto image setup, RGB inputs, S-Video and composite inputs and compatibility with NTSC, HDTV, PAL and SECAM video modes. The DXG-210 will be available in March 2001. Available now is the DSV-110, which offers 700 ANSI lumens and 800x600 resolution for $7,995. On the CRT front, Zenith has two all-new models available now. The Pro1200X is designed to project images from 4.6 to 20 feet in diagonal and features 8-inch CRTs. It also offers HDTV resolution up to 1080p and data resolution up to SXGA. The Pro1200X carries a suggested list price of $29,999. The Pro900X, with 7-inch CRTs, is available at a suggested list price of $12,600 and is designed to deliver HDTV images up to 20 feet diagonally.

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