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LG is getting out of plasma TVs

On the B-side of LG’s announcement that it will start selling two 4K OLED TVs, is the bad news for plasma. Korean papers Yonhap News and The Korea Times report home entertainment division lead Ha Hyun-hwoi’s comments that the company will end production of plasma TVs soon. According to Ha, LG is conducting an internal study to decide when it will end plasma production — not a bad run after rumors said it would shut down in 2008 and 2009 — and will make an official announcement on the issue soon. LG is the last major brand making plasmas after Samsung announced its exit earlier this year, and Yonhap says that once LG shuts down, China’s Changhong Electric Co. (the same company once on the receiving end of $1 billion worth of stolen plasma tech from LG) will be the only major manufacturer left in the game. If you don’t love LCDs and you’re not ready to drop $3,500 on a 55-inch OLED, it may be time to grab one of the few remaining plasmas and ride that out for the next few years.

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PS3 720p limitations – HDMI 1.4

There has been much talk on our forums about the Playstations 720p 3D gaming limitation. Many people have assumed that the issue is with the hardware but Sony have stated that it is actually the HDMI 1.4 standard which is the cause of the resolution limitation.

                                                                    

HDMI 1.4 is a standard which calls for the following restrictions – 720p 60fps, 720p 50fps, and 1080p 24fps. Sony have therefore taken the route of forcing all 3D game related content to 720p which means they can use the higher frame rates for a smoother gaming experience. Obviously this is not an ideal situation as the PC environment does allow for dual DVI configurations to achieve higher frame rates at 1080p but unfortunately this is not possible on a PS3.

The graphics hardware in the Playstation 3 is still quite capable, although its obviously looking rather outdated by PC standards so perhaps the HDMI 1.4 standard has worked in Sonys favour, especially when trying to power a modern gaming engine at high resolutions.

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AudioControl Maestro M3 Theater Preamplifier/Processor

maestro 

AudioControl, a U.S. designer and manufacturer of high performance theater components has again raised the industry standard with their new premium theater pre-amplifier, the Maestro M3. The Maestro M3 delivers an awesome combination of theater processing plus it allows users the unique ability to extend video and audio signals over CAT-5/6 wiring via AudioControl’s Active Balanced Outputs. Additionally the Maestro M3 incorporates a distinctive look that is elegant and effectively portrays the true high-end nature of this product.

“A principle design goal of the Maestro M3 was to be AudioControl’s premium, top-of-the-line theater processor which encouraged the design team to adopt a “cost is no object” approach,” commented Tom Walker, president of AudioControl. “At the end of the development process, the Maestro M3 ended up being equipped with an incredible list of features making it a high value to our dealers. What we are most proud of is the stellar video and audio performance and the gorgeous chassis design.”

Stylish Design: The simple yet elegant design of the front panel on the Maestro M3 is highlighted by the refined Rose Gold lettering on a high gloss black front. AudioControl’s tasteful cool blue display compliments this exquisite design.
Serious Audio and Video: In addition to the numerous inputs, the Maestro M3 has audiophile quality pre-amp outputs that provide up to 10 channels of balanced (XLR) and unbalanced output. Audiophile quality components combined with state-of-the-art DA converters deployed across each channel provide maximum sound quality. A Stereo Direct mode allows for disabling of digital processing when using 2 channel analog sources.

AudioControl Maestro M3 - Back

Among the twenty video inputs are five discrete HDMI inputs which can accept high resolution signals (up to 1080p deep color) and route the signals to one of the dual assignable HDMI outputs. A broadcast quality internal video scaler allows for upconverting, scaling and frame conversion of all video sources to HDMI.

Feature Laden: The Maestro M3 is equipped with an unprecedented number of video and audio inputs, which support all of today’s digital and audio formats, including HDMI v1.3 (1080p). All of the latest Hi-Definition surround formats from Dolby and DTS are supported. The AudioControl Maestro M3 is also one of the first theater products to utilize Dolby® Volume technology which provides a consistent volume level across all sources and content, and a reference-quality listening experience at any volume level. For those looking to enjoy their LP collection, a Moving Magnet phono input is also provided on the back panel. The Maestro M3 is highy automation friendly and can be controlled via IR, RS-232 or via IP control over an Ethernet connection.

Active Balanced Outputs: The Maestro M3 is equipped with AudioControl’s Active Balanced Circuitry which provides the unique ability to extend selected video and audio signals over standard CAT-5/6 cabling. The rear panel of the Maestro M3 is equipped with several RJ-45 connectors that can extend component, composite, and even HDMI signals over the Cat-5/6 cabling to AudioControl Active Balanced receivers (sold separately).

AudioControl demonstrates their commitment to reliability by backing the Maestro M3 with their five-year Bulletproof Warranty.

The Maestro M3 theater processor will make its world debut at the 2009 CEDIA Expo in Atlanta. AudioControl will also be displaying the Pantages G3, the new companion amplifier to the Maestro M3.

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