Life’s Good: LG 2013 Product Showcase

LG-84-inches

LG invited us to take a look at their plans for our living room for 2013. Whilst we didn’t enjoy their choice of curtains, they had some amazing suggestions for audio/visual equipment.

The future’s looking pretty clever, with 90% of LG’s upcoming TV and AV roadmap Smart-enabled. Smartphones have really set the bar quite high for this version of artificial intelligence so it’s good to see manufacturers stepping up to this challenge. We covered LG’s magic remote when it was launched but it’s impressive having a first-hand play with the 3D gestures and voice commands. LG’s Smart TV platform still hasn’t quite make social media on TVs useful, but the automatic inclusion of streaming services such as iPlayer, LoveFilm and Netflix is delightful and speaks to a more modern way to consume content. LG were also keen to show off their range of second-screen options that enabled you to move your content around the house – the living room of the future may be the kitchen, or garden or wherever you happen to be. LG were keen to show off their monster 84-inch ULTRA HD TV (LM960V), which is available to buy in the UK now. The LA960W was far more modest at 47- and 55 inches and beautifully designed.

LG-Magic-Remote-Hand

But great looks are nothing without great sound and LG had a range of home cinema options for us to play with. The BH9430OW is a classic surround sound set-up, the kind which I actually see less and less of these days. Bundled with a 3D BluRay player, the system cranks out 1460W of power through aramid fibre speaker cones, for crisp sound. The two rear satellite speakers are wireless, which is a boon for those hoping for a clutter-less environment. The 3D sounds is impressive, but it’s hard to gauge if it’s a distraction or part of an immersive experience in a media showcase setting. The NB4530A was LG’s take on the increasingly popular soundbar. At just 35 mm the 310 W soundbar can comfortably blend into most homes and can wirelessly sync with your TV or smartphone and even comes with a wireless subwoofer (we’re keen on anything that cuts down on cable clutter!).

LG-CM-Micro-System

As music lovers, we also enjoyed the CM2630DAB, even though a CD playing hi-fi system felt incredibly old-fashioned, despite the inclusion of Bluetooth streaming and USB connection. Our modern-minds felt much more at home with the ND8630 Dual Docking station, that works with Android and Apple devices. The ND8630 has Bluetooth and Airplay streaming and NFC connectivity, all so you can access its 80w of rich sound.

CM2630DAB:£199
NB4530A: £349
BH9430OW: £699

Image courtesy of Twitter user @jegarharp

Watch 2D films in 3D on a new Toshiba TVs

The chaps at Toshiba have been busy little bunnies and have released a whole raft of goodies on the unsuspecting buying public.

Toshiba-TV

First up are the company’s first CEVO engine powered TVs.

These are the first in the UK to feature the CEVO engine, which offers a powerful, multi-core processing platform to enhance picture quality. The TVs can display Full HD 3D images and also have processors dedicated to 2D-3D image conversion. 2D content can be upscaled to high-quality 3D, allowing you to watch your 2D films in 3D.

The CEVO Engine also runs 3D Resolution+ and NetResolution+ technologies, which can upscale and enhance lower resolution 3D and online content to near Full HD quality.

The REGZA WL and REGZA YL series have launched with Toshiba Places – a platform for accessing and sharing web-based content and services directly from REGZA TVs. This offers access to social networks, video portals, news services and on-demand TV services, and you can create a customised, personal entertainment experience and share content with friends.

Toshiba Places enables users to create bespoke personal profiles that can be accessed across Toshiba devices. Users can begin a film or video on a laptop, pause it, and then continue watching on a REGZA TV from the same point they left off. Virtual bookmarking keeps track of your content, and a fully integrated networking platform lets you share content with other users.

There’s also built-in access to YouTube and BBC iPlayer and built-in Freeview HD and they look good too, having won a product design award.

The REGZA WL and REGZA YL 3D Pro-LED TV series will be available in 42in, 46in and 55inch panel sizes.
2D- to 3D conversion is also available from Toshiba’s new Satellite P-series and L-series multimedia laptops. The P-series features 3D-ready screens, 3D Blu-Ray playback and screen sizes from 15.6in and 17.3in screen sizes. The P-series also features a 3D webcam above the screen, while the top-of-the-range P755 includes nVidia 3D vision active shutter glasses so that you can watch 3D games and films on the laptop.

Under the bonnet you’ll find second-generation Intel processors – Core i5 or i7 Sandy Bridge and nVidia graphics and on board are Harman Kardon speakers.

The L-series comes in 13.3in, 15.6in and 17.3in and you can connect to a 3D TV for playback. They also feature the Toshiba TruBrite HD+ screen and integrated Onkyo speakers. Buyers can customise the laptops with a choice of Intel or AMD processors, as well as Blu-Ray or DVD prices and a choice of colours including Modena Red and Grace Silver.

Toshiba has also recently launched two new Blu-Ray players offering next generation 3D Blu-Ray playback and Dolby TrueHD, and two new high-def camcorders the Camileo P100 and Camileo B10. The P100 has a 3in LCD touchscreen for control and an Upload button to share your videos instantly with social networks.

No prices have been announced as yet, but you can find out more at www.toshiba.co.uk

TruLink 1-Port 60GHz WirelessHD Kit review

Like most people reading this, I have shiny flat screen TV and nothing detracts from its futuristic chic more than the mess of cables and wires dangling from the back. I can wirelessly stream HD content from YouTube or my local network or hard drives, which feels like I’m living in the future. But one peek behind the set and the tangled mess of wires instantly reminds me of a Korg MS20 or an old-fashioned phone switchboard. CablesToGo want to drag me kicking and screaming into the future with the TruLink 1-Port 60GHz WirelessHD Kit.

Wireless-HDMI-bridge

Simplicity is the watch word with the Wireless HD Kit and when the loan unit arrived at LG Towers we were surprised at how little there was to the device. It’s pretty much just two black boxes (like miniature bricks almost) with an on/off switch and an HDMI slot at the back. The remote control has an on/off button and a “Wireless” button. I’m not going to go as far as to say it’s idiot proof technology. But it’s pretty close.

The TruLink 1-Port 60 GHz WirelessHD Kit enables high definition wireless transmission between your television and your HDMI components. You can have full HD 1080p signal from your computer, Blu-ray player, yada yada yada to your HDMI-enabled television. As I’ve said, it’s almost the living embodiment of plug-and-play and requires no software, no drivers and no setup. 

But we’ve all been burned by promises of technological marvels before. Does it work? Well yes after a fashion. Similar to the TruLink Wireless VGA kit we tested last week (they really hate cables over at TruLink it seems) picture quality is clear and stutter free if you don’t go crazy with the limits. It’s fun seeing how far back you can take your laptop before the signal starts to cut out and for most people the distance is reasonable – you can stash all your hi-tech bumpf in one corner of the room and let your lovely flat screen shine in all its glory on the other side.

Alternatively, you can also dig a massive tunnel through your walls and snake cable through – but I lack the bravery to try and this seems like a slightly more elegant solution.

Wireless Soundbar gives sonic muscle to svelte screens

Today’s flat screen televisions may provide sharper than a knife HD picture quality, but the trade off is there’s not a lot of room inside them to generate the sound to match the visuals. The collars don’t quite match the cuffs so to speak. And lets face it, terrific audio can make a world of difference when you’re watching a movie or a concert, it just adds that extra bite to the whole thing…

Wireless-Soundbar

Roth’s new BAR 1 audio system includes a slim line soundbar and wireless sub woofer .that carries more than enough firepower to deliver plenty of high quality audio right into your living room.

The Bar 1 has eight mid range drivers peaking at 64 watts (32wX2), two high frequency tweeters offering 32watts RMS and the wireless sub woofer pushing out an impressive 260 watts with a wireless range of just under 30 feet.
The soundbar itself at just two inches deep is discreet enough to fully complement the sleek lines of your table top TV or be up next to the wall mounted flat screen and Roth thoughtfully provides a flush wall bracket for just that purpose.

The unit connects to the television via twin RCA’s or a 3.5mm stereo jack making it fully compatible with all your music media including iPods and CD’s. The soundbar’s plug and play format makes connectivity a breeze.
Company founder James Roth bullishly predicts “At last, no more fiddling with the TV remote in an effort to hear exactly what your TV’s pretty pictures are actually saying”

So plenty of audio muscle then to match the clarity of your flat screen. The only draw back could be the rather hefty price tag of £329 srp.

It must be Loewe: New high-end Individual range of LED TV range

Latest Gadgets were invited to take a look at the high-end of high-end televisions at Loewe. Loewe are a German manufacture of quality flatscreens, and their latest, “Individual” range, looks set to continue the firm’s tradition of “meaningful innovation” with a frankly stunning flatscreen.

Loewe-Individual

Energy efficient, LED backlit and with Full HD 400 Hz motion picture display the Individual range starts well and then gets better.
Individual is almost like a bespoke television, with the ability to add features that matter to you. The dual channel versions of the Individual TV are equipped with the integrated Loewe DR+ hard disk recorder, with 250 GB of onboard memory for HD recordings.

An HDTV tuner is integrated as standard affording terrestrial, cable reception, and satellite-based digital reception in Compose 40, 46 and 55, while 24p motion picture display affords perfect playback of Blu-ray disks and retains the all important “film look”.

Connectivity on the Individual is also impressive. I’ve used a lot of DLNA systems, the worst of which have unattractive file browsers and clunky navigation. The Individual has one of the best looking navigation systems I have seen and was the first time I’d used an onboard connectivity option and not pined for the elegance of XBMC or the Apple TV.

Loewe MediaHome enables, images, music and videos to be played via USB or the network. Even better MediaNet, enables Internet content such as Internet radio, Internet video or Web TV to be viewed. Best of all, Loewe say there will be software updates, enabling new functions over time, so you are no longer at the mercy of whatever website/streaming service was popular at the time when you bought your TV.

Priced firmly in the “if you have to ask” range of goods, the new 40 and 46 inch LCD televisions will be available from the end of May, with the 55 inch available from July and the 32 inch from August.

Bang & Olufsen BeoVision: 46 inches of style and substance

Hot on the heels of Bang & Olufsen’s 40-inch BeoVision television comes a new, larger version. This one is a 46-inch model that will be available from April. The BeoVision 10-46 is essentially the same as its little brother but with a viewing area that is 32 per cent larger.

These extra inches may appeal to all those who believe bigger is better. However, if there is someone else in the house who needs convincing over the need for such a sizeable piece, there have been a few changes in style that are worth highlighting.

BeoVision

First of all, the rear cover is now white, instead of black. This works with the aluminium frame to help lighten the look of the TV and will appeal to those who don’t just want a large, black hole gracing the corner of the living room.

The other new feature is the fabric grille that covers the speaker at the front. You can pick from a choice of six colours – black, blue, dark grey, silver, orange or white – so you can choose one to blend or contrast with your living room. As the grille is attached by magnets, it is easy to change around if you fancy a new look, or decide that orange is too distracting or black is just so last year.

If blending with your home décor is of limited interest, don’t worry, the techy side of things is all in place. The BeoVision 10-46 is HD-ready and has an LCD panel with edge-type LED technology and a 200 Hz refresh rate to help keep the image smooth and stable. There’s also integrated surround sound and DVB-HD module, plus the facilities to add up to five extra speakers and several set-top boxes.

Of course, B&O are not known for being a budget brand, so – although we don’t know a price just yet – it seems safe to assume that the BeoVision 10-46 may remain a dream for most of us. However if you win the lottery and decide to go for it, this could be a screen that appeals to both the masculine and feminine sides of your brain.