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Jul222016

Podcast #749: 2016 TWICE VIP Award Nominations

The VIPs are TWICE’s (This Week In Consumer Electronics, a weekly trade magazine for professionals in the consumer electronics field) annual products awards, and only retailers and distributors can vote to honor the products that have made the biggest difference in their business. The awards are based on product features, product design and value to consumers. After voting is completed, ballots will be compiled and reviewed by TWICE editors. Winners will be announced in the Aug. 22 print issue of TWICE.

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2016 TWICE VIP Award Nominations

The VIPs are TWICE’s (This Week In Consumer Electronics, a weekly trade magazine for professionals in the consumer electronics field) annual products awards, and only retailers and distributors can vote to honor the products that have made the biggest difference in their business. The awards are based on product features, product design and value to consumers. After voting is completed, ballots will be compiled and reviewed by TWICE editors. Winners will be announced in the Aug. 22 print issue of TWICE.

Product categories are vast, anything you can imagine in consumer electronics, ranging from refrigerators and washers and dryers to dash cams, from computers to networked window coverings. And of course a few categories are in the home theater and audio visual categories. Those are the devices we’ll take a look at. Remember that these are the products deemed best by retailers and distributors and they have a slightly different point of view than the rest of us who simply use the products.

 

25. A/V Receivers $699 or less

Onkyo TX-NR757

Stepping up to THX® Theater Reference Sound is easy with Onkyo’s Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X™-ready powerhouse, the TX-NR757. Behind the sleek front panel is Onkyo’s Dynamic Audio Amplification which include discrete hi-current amplifiers delivering 180 watts/ch. of distortion-free power. AccuEQ room acoustic calibration features AccuReflex to clearly focus the latest object-based soundtracks for an immersive movie experience. Music lovers can stream audio from mobile apps such as Spotify, Pandora or Tidal via Google Cast™, AirPlay, and Wi-Fi®. As well as controlling your home theater entertainment, the Onkyo Remote App lets you send any audio source wirelessly from the receiver to a compatible speaker in another room using FireConnect technology by BlackFire. The TX-NR757 is also ready for easy custom installation with features such as RS232, IR Input and a 12 V Trigger.

 

Sony STR-DN1070 7.2 Channel Home Theater AV Receiver

Take your home entertainment up a level with the STRDN1070. 4K and HDR-compatible HDMI inputs/output support the latest video standards, including HDCP 2.2 content protection for 4K content from broadcast, the Internet and UHD Blu-ray Discs. High-Resolution Audio delivers immersive sound, while Wireless Multi-room and Front Surround let you flexibly create your audio environment. This AV receiver is compatible with wireless surround, front surround, and, of course, 7.2ch real surround. Choose your preferred surround audio mode to flexibly suit the room environment. Don’t forget to download the free SongPal and Network Audio Remote apps from iTunes® or the Google™ Play Store to use on your iPhone® or Android™ devices. The SongPal app allows you to control receiver functionality including volume and input selection. Price: $599.99 MSRP

 

26. A/V Receivers $699+

Onkyo TX-RZ810

Engineered for immensely powerful yet refined THX® Theater Reference sound, the TX-RZ810 7.2 Ch. A/V receiver also deftly streams wireless audio with Google Cast™, AirPlay, Wi-Fi®, and Bluetooth. Enjoy different a host of audio sources in different zones with Powered Zone 2 and Zone 3 line outputs or wirelessly with FireConnect powered by BlackFire. Zone 2 HDMI® shares 4k video on a second display, making the TX-RZ810 not only a wall-shaking movie-room powerhouse at 200W/Ch, but also a hub for housewide entertainment. True to the Onkyo RZ Series, the TX-RZ810 seamlessly integrates with control and home automation systems and excels on audio quality featuring Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry, which removes digital pulse noise for a smooth analog signal on all channels for crystal clear audio reproduction. Built with separate analog and digital processing, massive transformer, huge capacitors, and discrete non-phase-shift amps—the TX-RZ810’s sheer agility and dynamism exceeds the highest expectations.

 

Sony STR-ZA5000ES – 9.2 Channel 4K AV Receiver

The perfect center to your automated home entertainment universe now with just the right amount of: flexible, multi-zone, high-definition connectivity, easy IP integration with leading control systems, powerful browser-based configurability, and well-renowned ES build quality. With 130W per channel, the STR-ZA5000ES delivers cinema-like surround sound and crystal clear music reproduction for an incredible Audio/Video experience that you won’t easily forget. Price: $2,799.99

 

31. Soundbars

Sony HT-NT5 Sound Bar with High-Resolution Audio/Wi-Fi

The ultimate Hi-Res sound bar for your 4K home theater experience. The NT5 packs power and performance worthy of any home theater into a sleek, beautiful design. Experience the sonic details of every movie, playlist, and videogame thanks to the clarity of Super Tweeters and support for Hi-Res Audio playback. And connect your compatible device wirelessly to stream music from all your favorite services. It’s an easy way to expand your home theater setup. With three HDMI inputs, one HDMI ARC output, a USB input, as well as digital optical and analog connections, there’s space for all your equipment. All in a sleek and stylish sound bar. Price: $799.99 MSRP

 

Vizio SmartCast 38” 3.0 Sound Bar System

Vizio’s SmartCast 38” 3.0 Sound Bar System come with a free iOS and Android Smart Cast app to control the soundbar via Wi-Fi from anywhere in the house. The app lets users search, browse and discover content across multiple apps as well as play, pause, change volume and access all of a bar’s settings. The soundbar also has an LCD display remote to control basic functions.

 

55. Blu-ray Disc Player

Philips 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player with HDR BDP7501

The Philips BDP7501 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player with HDR support is the best way to realize the full potential of your 4K television. With incredibly sharp 4K images with vivid colors and contrast made possible thanks to High Dynamic Range support. The beauty of 4K Ultra HD is in savoring every detail. • Premium compact design with real brushed aluminum chassis. • High Dynamic Range (HDR) for impressive detail in shadows and brilliant highlights. • Plays 3D Blu-ray and DVD as well with real 4K upscaler • Enjoy all your non-4K content in 4K UHD with a true 4K upscaling engine. Authentic and clear sound experience • Dolby TrueHD for high fidelity sound • DTS-HD Master audio for precise lossless sound quality Complete digital TV connectivity made simple. • HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 for years of worry free 4K interoperability. • Discrete HDMI 1.4b Audio output for connecting to legacy audio receivers. • Wireless LAN 802.11ac with MIMO antennas for seamless streaming of online 4K content. • Fantastic USB multimedia playback support with HEVC, H.264, AAC, MP3, JPEG and more. A world of online entertainment • Enjoy your favorite Netflix content in HD and 4K with fast Netflix performance. • A lean-back big screen YouTube experience for the entire family.

 

Panasonic Smart Network 3D Blu-ray Disc/ DVD Player DMP-BDT27

The Panasonic DMP-BDT270 features 4K up-scaling, Internet apps, and External HDD Playback while playing FullHD 3D Blu-ray Discs. Content can be shared across devices via the Miracast technology.



56. Home-Theater Projectors

Sony VPL-VW5000ES 4K SXRD Home Cinema Projector

The VPL-VW5000ES is the world’s most advanced 4K projector designed specifically for home theater use. Enjoy 5,000 lumens of brightness, HDR compatibility, and the ability to simulate the new ITU-R BT2020 color gamut on top of the full DCI color space. The laser-based light source provides up to 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation for constant picture quality and reduced running costs. In addition, the SXRD® panel technology featured in the professional cinema projectors delivers native 4K resolution images, with no artificial pixel enhancement. Every detail is clear and natural, without jagged edges or visible pixels. For home installations with larger screens, this projector is the truly the ultimate home cinema display. Price: $60,000 MSRP

 

Sony VPL-VW665ES 4K SXRD Home Cinema Projector

Bring the immersive excitement of true 4K cinematic images into every living space. The VPL-VW665ES Home Cinema projector makes a stylish addition to any interior. With advanced SXRD® panel technology, this projector delivers incredible 4K images with four times the resolution of Full HD. You'll experience rich colors, impressive 1800 lumens brightness and huge 300,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio - for vibrant, detail-packed pictures with native 4K resolution that always look clear and sharp, even in day lit living rooms. Price: $14,999.99 MSRP

 

BenQ i500

BenQ’s i500 is a stylish mini projector designed for today’s modern lifestyle. This compact WXGA device projects images up to 80 inches at just 3.3 feet from the wall, enabling big screen entertainment even in tight spaces. The projector’s Colorific™ technology delivers pristine full HD picture quality with a 500 lumen LED light source for up to 20,000 hours of use — providing a long lasting experience. The lightweight, personal entertainment hub enables multimedia content streaming via Bluetooth®, so users can enjoy movies, music, games, photo slideshows and more at the push of a button from any smart device or computer. With an Android OS and a built-in media player, i500 can instantly launch today’s most popular apps and streaming services like YouTube, Vimeo, Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, video games, and more — without any special cords, cables, or streaming boxes. The i500 sports a contemporary gold finish to seamlessly blend with existing décor, and dual 5W fine-mesh-covered chambered speakers specially tuned to produce clear voices and rich sound quality without external speaker connections. The stylish i500 does all of this via wireless LAN with no other connections required, and it can even play video or music content from a USB stick or display Excel, Word, or PowerPoint documents without a PC. For even more convenience and the ultimate versatility, the projector offers a selection of the latest inputs, including HDMI x 1, USB 2.0 x1, USB 3.0 x 1, audio I/O as well as a mic in.

 

58. TVs: 40 to 57 inches

Peerless-AV UltraView Outdoor TV

Completely weatherproof and maintenance free, Peerless-AV’s UltraView™ TVs make it easy and affordable for homeowners to add digital entertainment to their outdoor living spaces. Available in 49", 55", or 65", the TVs are equipped with an LED backlight to provide a full HD 1080p resolution for bright and crisp visuals. The UltraView™ TVs also come with an IP68 rated waterproof and dustproof universal remote that can be programmed to control up to three additional devices. The UltraView™ TVs are functional for all seasons, built with weatherproof internal speakers and the ability to operate at a range of -24°F to 122°F, offering users confidence in the TV’s quality and performance. With a fully sealed design, there is no need to change filters or service the TV, creating a maintenance-free entertainment solution for year round use. Installation of the UltraView™ TVs is best suited for shaded outdoor areas, and out of direct sunlight. It is the perfect addition to a deck, patio, gazebo, hot tub, outdoor kitchen or any high-end outdoor entertainment area. Peerless-AV’s line of UltraView™ TVs are available now through Peerless-AV direct sales representatives and authorized distribution networks.

 

Hisense H8 Series

In 2016, Hisense will offer High Dynamic Range technology to consumers at market-disrupting prices in its H8 series. The new 4K Smart TV series employs HDR for incomparable color accuracy, and multi-zone local dimming ensures supreme contrast ratio for an amazingly realistic image. Unique to Hisense TVs, the series also debuts HDR decode, which future-proofs the television for any content providers create. Available in 55” and 50” class screen size, the H8 series features UltraSmooth Motion™ to create and insert frames into the picture and enables backlight technologies for effortless transitions between fast action images. For a true sensory experience, this TV enhances sound through dbx-tv Total Technology audio suite, which makes it possible for even small television speakers to produce immersive sound with deeper bass and minimal distortion. Designed for uninhibited entertainment, the H8 series also offers 4K media player and receiver capabilities, and has a built-in app store and web browser for seamless searching. The H8 series embodies Hisense’s mission to make groundbreaking, innovative technology available for the masses at an affordable price point. Driven by HDR capabilities, this TV will deliver the most authentic 4K picture quality directly to the living room next year. The Hisense H8 series is shipping to retailers in May 2016.

 

LG SUPER UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV Model 55UH8500

LG’s 55-inch UH8500 is part of LG’s premium “LG SUPER UHD TV” lineup, delivering LG’s best 4K LED experience with advanced technologies that display a billion rich colors, smoother motion and elevated brightness plus High Dynamic Range (HDR). In fact, LG SUPER UHD TVs deliver the first complete HDR experience as they offer both available HDR formats – HDR 10 and Dolby Vision™ – offering access to more HDR content and making it easy for consumers to choose a premium TV with the confidence that they won’t miss any content that becomes exclusively available in either format. TVs from other manufacturers, like Sony and Samsung, don’t offer this. LG SUPER UHD TVs can reproduce a wider pallet of a billion rich colors for a more lifelike picture that is consistent at wider viewing angles, thanks to its IPS 4K Quantum Display. LG’s Ultra Luminance algorithm and “Color Prime” technology work together to deliver improved peak brightness and a wider color palette. The TV’s thin bezels offer an immersive viewing experience, and Harman/Kardon-designed speakers provide cinematic sound. The LG 55UH8500 includes an updated version of LG’s award-winning Smart TV platform, webOS 3.0. Consumers can enjoy an intuitive interface with lightning-quick transitions between broadcast TV, streaming services and external devices, and stream 4K HDR content from services like Amazon Video, Netflix and VUDU and additional content from streaming services and IPTV channels.

 

Philips 6000 series Google Cast TV 55PFL6921

Google Cast™ is a technology that lets you cast your favorite entertainment from your phone, tablet or laptop right to your TV. Easily control your TV with apps you already know and love from your iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or tablet, Mac® or Windows® laptop, or Chromebook The beauty of 4K UltraHD TV is in savoring every detail: High Dynamic Range for a bright whites, deep blacks and stunning color contrast Micro Dimming LED array backlight reacts to the picture to produce a dramatic image every time BrightPro backlight with almost twice the brightness of a conventional TV for dynamic images 4K Ultra HD performance for years of worry free 4K enjoyment Pixel Plus UltraHD is a picture processing technology that delivers content that is vivid, natural, and real 120 Perfect Motion Rate gives you increased pixel response times Enjoy all your HD content in 4K UHD with a true 4K upscaling engine Authentic and clear sound experience: 20 Watts RMS of rich surround sound to complement lifelike 4K images Immersive sound with clear voice designed by sonic emotion Dolby Digital Plus for the ultimate movie experience Complete digital TV connectivity made simple: Wi-Fi 802.11ac with MIMO antennas for seamless streaming of online 4K content. HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 on all HDMI ports means years of worry free 4K interoperability. Fantastic USB multimedia playback support with HEVC, H.264, AAC, MP3, JPEG and more.

 

59. TVs: 58 inches and larger

Hisense H10 Series

Hisense will offer consumers the third generation of its proprietary Ultra LED technology in the H10 series with 240-zone full array local dimming, quantum dot and the addition of streaming High Dynamic Range (HDR) content from Amazon. Available in 65” with a curved screen, the H10 series will feature new Ultra SmartPeaking™ technology that provides control of brightness, processing the image in different zones and overdriving the brighter spots up to 1000-nit peak brightness. The Quantum Dot Nanocrystal Backlight with Rec. 2020 Color Space delivers a much wider color spectrum and a more vibrant display than conventional LED TVs. The series will have unique UltraBlack™ Local Dimming for dynamic contrast and tight blacks for near-perfect quality. UHD Upscaler displays all Full HD and 4K UHD content to take advantage of the upgraded pixels. The H10 has High Dynamic Range that meets the UHD Alliance Premium. With 4 HDMI connections, built-in apps, and a curved screen, the H10 series is designed for the most immersive viewing experience for the consumer. Access to Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, UltraFlix 4K streaming, the app store and web browser guarantees constant 4K entertainment at the touch of a button. The Hisense H10 series utilizes the most sophisticated picture technologies to design a captivating viewing experience with leading-edge entertainment options. Revamped ULED technology with renewed focus on brilliant color and powerfully contrasting black and white levels delivers a TV that’s a beacon for unprecedented home theater innovation. The H10 series is shipping to retailers in October 2016.

 

Sony XBR-65X930D 4K HDR Ultra HD TV

To support an enhanced viewing experience that goes beyond the screen, this X930D model shines with a 65 inch 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) display. Powered by Sony’s 4K Processor X1™ advanced image engine, this television delivers a better 4K and HDR viewing experience. The XBR-65X930D features dramatic brightness and black levels bringing scenes to life with dark, inky blacks and stunning bright whites. An ultra-thin design creates an expansive, border-less picture and the optional flush mount system enables the TV to be mounted closer to the wall than ever before. Bring your favorite content to life through the Google™’s Android TV™ operating system, making your home smarter with access to a growing number of apps and support for IoT (Internet of Things) devices; this TV is more than just a smart TV. Price: $4,999.99 MSRP

 

Sony XBR-75X940D 4K HDR Ultra HD TV

At just over 2 inches thin, this X940D model shines with a 75 inch High Dynamic Range display. Powered by Sony’s 4K Processor X1™ advanced image engine, this television delivers a better 4K and HDR viewing experience. The XBR-75X940D is equipped with Sony’s unique color technology. A TRILUMINOS Display and X1 picture engine that can provide a wider color range and more realistic color details, producing subtle shades and depth of color to maximize the HDR experience. An ultra-thin design creates an expansive, borderless picture and the optional flush mount system enables the TV to be mounted closer to the wall than ever before. TV lovers can bring their favorite content to life and watch hit shows and timeless movies from Google Play™, Amazon Video, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, PBS and PBS KIDS. Users can also access a huge selection of games and additional apps from the Google Play store right on the TV; this TV is more than just a smart TV. Price: $7,999.99 MSRP

 

LG SIGNATURE OLED TV (Model OLED65G6P)

LG OLED TV is an entirely new category of television using revolutionary technology that delivers exceptional picture quality, with perfect blacks and incredible color even from wide viewing angles. The LG SIGNATURE OLED features an Ultra HD 4K OLED panel with HDR, the latest version of LG’s award-winning webOS Smart TV platform, and a never-before-seen “Picture-on-Glass” design, making it the most coveted of any TV on the market. OLED HDR delivers a stunning high dynamic range picture because only OLED pixels can switch off completely to create infinite contrast and perfect blacks like no LCD TV can. The LG SIGNATURE OLED TV delivers the first complete HDR experience with both available HDR formats – HDR 10 (certified as “Ultra HD Premium” from UHDA) and Dolby Vision™ – for access to more HDR content. With both formats, LG makes it easy for consumers to choose a premium TV with the confidence that they won’t miss content that becomes available exclusively in either format. The LG SIGNATURE OLED TV reproduces the most lifelike images of any television, while offering a truly unique design. The OLED65G6 boasts an impossibly slim profile, picture-on-glass design, redesigned stand and miniscule bezels. With LG’s latest webOS 3.0 Smart TV platform, users can enjoy an intuitive interface with lightning-quick transitions between broadcast TV, streaming services and external devices, and stream 4K HDR content from services like Amazon Video, Netflix and VUDU and additional content from streaming services and IPTV channels.

 

 

 

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