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CES: Picks and pans

By PC World staff
January 16, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Digital entertainment

How low can projectors go? ViewSonic demonstrated a DLP projector, aimed at gamers, that it said would sell for $399 after rebate. -- Harry McCracken

USB monitors: Both Quartics and DisplayLink showed the ability to run a monitor on a USB connection. That makes setting up multiple monitors a whole lot easier and, with the wireless USB technology that's being introduced, it could lead to a completely wireless desktop. -- Edward N. Albro

No-wires HDMI: One of the biggest disappointments that HDTV buyers experience is that they just can't get around all the ugly wires they need to connect devices to their panel. But Philips's new Wireless HDMI product should end that problem later this year. What's really nice is that it will work with any TV that uses HDMI connections (and all modern ones have that) instead of doing some kind of proprietary nonsense. Hat tip to Philips on this one. -- Ramon G. McLeod

Blue burners mature: Blu-ray Disc burners now have to keep pace with Lite-On's new drive, the 2X Blu-ray Disc Triple Writer LH-2B1S, which is the cheapest yet at just $650. And, finally, Toshiba has announced a desktop-ready HD DVD-R writer. -- Melissa J. Perenson

These will tick off Steve Jobs: Perhaps Apple is too distracted by Cisco's lawsuit to direct its legal attention toward the maker of the Podspeakers. These oddball home speakers would be right at home in Barbarella's living room. They're made by the Spanish company Scandyna and sell for $700 a pair. -- Alan Stafford

Yes honey, i'll turn it down: Yamaha has come up with a marriage saver. The My Beam feature on its latest Digital Sound Projector (YSP-1100, $1700) lets the person holding the remote focus all the sound from the TV on him, so as not to disturb others in the room. The sound projector, a one-box speaker system that produces great surround sound, already had high spousal-approval ratings for its sleek design and uncluttered look, but this new feature practically makes it a valid wedding anniversary gift. Well, that may be going a little too far. -- Ramon G. McLeod

Refreshingly fast and clear: We saw a demo of 120-Hz refresh rates on LCD HDTVs from Samsung at last year's CES, and were way impressed by the great improvement in clarity over standard 60-Hz refresh rates. But frustratingly, no 120-Hz TVs came out in 2006. This year Philips, Sharp and Samsung will all have this doubled rate in much of their lines. It's not quite as dramatic an improvement as moving from standard definition to hi-def TV, but it is a very noticeable upgrade in picture quality. -- Ramon G. McLeod

Reprinted with permission from PCWorld.com. Story copyright 2012 PC World Communications. All rights reserved.
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