Other bits and pieces we saw on the show floor include this floor standing rear speaker from M&K â€“ the speaker manufacturer of choice for SkyWalker sound, where the audio all the Star Wars films are recorded and mixed.
This neat little unit, the CS-22, is a rear speaker that features M&Kâ€™s unique Tripole surround technology, where sound emanates from three directions at once for a more diffused and realistic surround experience. On the CS-22 one of the speakers fires straight up. The benefit of the CS-22 is quite obvious â€“ it can be neatly mounted by the sofa or wall out of the way, without having to be placed on a stand or attached to the wall. Taller versions of the speaker are also available.
Hush is one of our favourite manufacturers of Media Centre PCs, thanks to its stunning chassisâ€™ and virtually silent operation. Its latest system now features a VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) for information at a glance.
Another big name for streaming media round the home is Kiss. Recently bought out by Linksys, itself a Cisco company, Kiss now has access to a lot more resources, so we should see some interesting products coming out of itâ€™s labs soon. The DP-600 is a DVD player thatâ€™s capable of displaying DivX HD and WMV HD. It also has HDMI output and USB slots for reading from USB keys or external hard disks and built-in Wireless. Thereâ€™s no hard disk in the 600, but we can expect a future model to feature one.
Kiss demoed to me its Kiss Online service that contains content in several languages. The network connectivity also means that you can remotely set up your own Kiss device to record over the Internet using any web browser â€“ even a WAP phone â€“ a really great feature. The DP-600 only features an analogue tuner at the moment but I was told that a DVB-T version will be along soon. The media extender is essentially the same box without the DVD transport.
Sennheiser launched its first Bluetooth Headset, the BW900, sporting a rather bizarre snail-like design. It uses â€˜Adaptive Intelligenceâ€™ to automatically adjust the volume depending on the ambient noise. This means it will turn the volume up when used in the car when driving at speed, but keep it low if used in a quiet office. Neat.
Senheiser also claims that it can be used over a difference of 100 metres â€“ 10 times that of regular Bluetooth. It also features a hot-swap battery so that should it run out of juice you can carry on the conversation thanks to a built-in back-up battery that last about 45 seconds. Clever. Such tech doesnâ€™t come cheap however â€“ with a dollar price of 329.95.
Finally, I couldnâ€™t help but take a snap of the new Palm 700w Treo. The 'w' refers to the fact that itâ€™s running Windows. News of this product surfaced some time ago, but itâ€™s still weird to see it in the flesh.
M&K, Hush, Kiss, Sennheiser, Palm