Darth Vader and a band of Storm Troopers made an appearance at CES to let the tech world know that the entire Star Wars saga will finally ship on Blu-ray in September, 2011.
"With all six episodes available for the first time in one collection, this a great way for families and home audiences to experience the complete saga from start to finish," said Doug Yates, Vice President of Marketing, Online, Distribution, Lucasfilm Ltd. "And with the quality of high-definition, Blu-ray provides the most immersive home experience possible."
Star Wars fans will have three different sets to choose from, including:
Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray (9-disc set includes all six films) - $140
Star Wars: Prequel Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes I-III) - $70
Star Wars: Original Blu-ray Trilogy (3-disc set includes Episodes IV-VI) - $70
Amazon is already taking pre-orders on the upcoming high-definition versions, with pre-release pricing promotions for each set. The Complete Saga is selling for $90, while the other two sets are marked down to $45.
Speakal spent its time at CES showing off a handful of outlandish speakers sets, including a new line designed to appeal to fans of some of the most popular sports.
The company demoed lifelike replicas for football, basketball, and soccer, each one a 2.1 speaker dock, as well as a pair of Bluetooth stereo speakers for golfers. Each 2.1 sets features 360-degree sound distribution, a 15W subwoofer, and volume touch controls.
"The Speakal Sports Line shares passion for the game with the die hard sports fanatics," said CEO David Solomon. "These speakers are the ultimate display of fanhood with high quality audio that will rock your tailgate party with pulse pounding sound. Kick off the new season in style!"
Klipsch announced a host of new products at CES, but the news was largely eclipsed by Audiovox’s announcement of its intention to acquire the storied company outright.
Klipsch fans universally shuddered at the prospect of their favorite speaker company being gobbled up by Audiovox, a massive corporation with a long history of acquiring great audio brands and only to slap them onto dreck products (see Advent, Acoustic Research, and Jensen for three prime examples).
Wireless technologies based on radio frequencies—such as Wi-Fi and Z-Wave—might get the bulk of the attention, but most of the gear in your entertainment center still depends on good ol’ infrared. Square Connect’s new SQ Blaster ties all three technologies together in a very fashionable package.
Earplugs provide the best hearing protection from sudden and constant noise, but there are so many situations in which you can’t wear them because you must be aware of your surroundings and able talk with people. But Etymotic CEO Mead Killion showed us an ingenious, albeit expensive, solution at CES: the all-new BlastPLG line of active earplugs.
Skype video conferencing on the PC has been the reality for a while now, and their recent expansion into mobile devices has helped turned the software client into a household name. With few places left to expand it should be no surprise that the VOIP solution is coming to the living room, but this time you’ll find it packed into upcoming Sony Blu-Ray players.
At the Sony CES booth in Las Vegas they were showing demos of the interface which requires not just the player, but a separate proprietary camera accessory. Video quality will be limited to SD resolution at launch, and according to Sony representatives they have no plans at the current time to make the leap to HD.
With Video calling being a built in feature of Kinect, I’m a bit surprised Sony hasn’t tried to make this happen first on the PS3 first. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if they end up changing their mind, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
TDK was our favorite brand of cassette back in the days when we were taping our albums so we wouldn’t scratch the vinyl. Imation owns the brand now, and they’re slapping it on a new family of home-audio products—including a USB turntable and several iPod docks—dubbed TDK Life on Record.
As much as we respected TDK tape, we didn’t have high expectations for a line of audio products bearing the name. After all, the TDK we remember never manufactured anything other than tape. But when Imation’s Steven Swenson demoed some of the new iPod docks for us at the Belagio this morning, we were surprised at how great they sounded. We’ll reserve final judgment until we get a shipping product in our mitts, of course, but we now have a much different set of expectations.
Yale showed us a new deadbolt lock with an integrated capacitive touch-screen keypad at CES. The device is compatible with both the Z-Wave and ZigBee wireless standards and works with home-control gateways such as Mi Casa Verde Vera we recently reviewed.
Bowers & Wilkins has redesigned our all-time-favorite iPod dock, the Zeppelin, adding support for Apple’s AirPlay wireless-streaming technology and tucking a powerful DAC and a stronger amplifier inside the cabinet.
The tablets just keep on flying at us from the show room at CES, though this particular entry from Gigabyte has a few features that definitely warrant mention. At first glance, the T1125 looks a lot like an all in one computer--it can be jacked into a bezel and used like a computer. The T1125 also has significantly more power than your typical tablet, offering the options of either a Core i3 or i5 processor, which will run in conjunction with a discreet graphics chip. The 1366x768 resolution definitely caught our eye as well, and so did the dock itself, which has a tiny removable optical drive and USB 3.0 connectivity. Check it out below!