June 13, 2008
| by Rebecca Day
The consumer electronics industry opened its doors to the public in New York City this week at Digital Downtown, a technology showcase being held at the World Financial Center. Manufacturers representing a broad swath of CE companies showed everything from HDTVs to lighting controls to car audio systems.
Several companies used the event to unveil new products. Hitachi demoed its new 50-inch plasma TV Model 50X902. The Director’s Series TV will retail for $4,699 when it ships in August. Features include a power swivel - controllable from the remote, a selection of color temperatures and viewing modes and Hitachi’s Reel 60 60Hz frame rate technology and Cinema 48 viewing option to replicate the experience of the theater. Color expansion technology in Vibrant mode brings out color lost in the compression process. The TV is Energy Star-compliant.
At the Toshiba booth, staffers demoed the company’s new website called FindtherightTV.com. Users can plug in information at the site to determine the Toshiba TV that best fits their needs.
Philips showed two new iPod Docking Entertainment Systems with integrated speakers. The DC910 ($149) and DC912 ($179) include SD card slots, USB ports and built-in radio tuners. The iPods can rotate horizontally for viewing movies. The DC912 adds a subwoofer.
Lutron unveiled a new light switch design. The long, thin Vieri switch features selectable LED lighting in white, green and blue colors. The company also showed a new Grafik Eye system called the QS that combines control of lighting and electronic shades in a single-room solution. A display on the control panel shows the percentage of lighting capacity being used and the corresponding energy savings.