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Never heard of Gemini? Well, they’re the folks that market various accessory products under other brand names – like Zenith and Philips/Magnavox. Of interest at this year’s show was the Philips PM8TSMD (who comes up with these model numbers?) remote with backlit LCD touchscreen. This $80 8-device clicker features learning technology, modifiable touchscreen layouts and a large built-in code library. Another remote control shown was the Zenith 2NLCD7, a 7-device learning remote control with a small status LCD screen and plenty of hard buttons.
Crestron, the company famous for whole home audio and automation systems, has teamed up with Philips to release a “MiniTouch” LCD remote control. As the official press release states, it has the “familiar look and design of a Philips Pronto”. In fact, the unit shown at CEDIA was essentially identical on the outside to a Philips ProntoPro with the Crestron logo. The MiniTouch features a 100 foot RF range compatible with their CNRFGWA-418 RF Gateway and any Crestron 2-Series control system. Instead of using ProntoEdit, the MiniTouch uses Crestron’s VT-Pro-e software for programming. As a new Philips partner, look for more Pronto-based products in the future.
Although not new, it was interesting to finally see Samsung’s nearly-vaporware DLP rear-projection displays at CEDIA. Offered in the 43” HLM437W, 50” HLM507W and 61” HLM617W versions, these displays incorporate Texas Instruments’ 1280x720 HD2 DLP chip for enhanced contrast ratio and crystal clear detail. With a depth of just 15.7” for the 43” model, these displays are as compact as they are good looking. Other features include multiple widescreen format inputs, a computer RGB input, DVI HDTV interface, 30 watt audio system and 3:2 pull-down. The 61” unit adds Faroudja DCDi processing to improve picture quality. The 43” will retail for $4000, the 50” will go for $4500, while the 61” will cost $6000.
Inexpensive progressive scan players seem to be the norm these days, and Samsung’s joining the crowd with their $250 DVD-P721M. This basic player includes a Memory Stick interface for direct playback of digital audio recordings digital photos. Other features are pretty much standard for DVD players: 3:2 pull-down, DVD-R, CD-R, CD-RW and MP3 support, composite, S-Video and component outputs and virtual surround. The player comes with two remote controls, the regular control and a compact palm-sized version that Samsung calls the “EZ Remote”.
Finally, how about some big wall-mountable displays? Samsung’s 63” HPM6315 is the worlds’ largest plasma display, and it can be yours for just $20000. The plasma features a 1366x768 native resolution, 160 degree viewing angle, 450cd/m2 brightness and 500:1 contrast ratio. At 158 lbs, however, you’ll need a sturdy wall to stick it on. Or, how about the $10000 40” LTM405W LCD panel, which is only 2.2” thick and features a 1280x768 resolution, 170 degree viewing angle, 500cd/m2 brightness, 600:1 contrast ratio and 22ms response time. It sports dual NTSC tuners, DVI with HDCP interface, PC input and 20 watt audio system. And at only 52 lbs, your wall will thank you.