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Each year since 1976 new products in various categories of consumer electronics are selected as especially innovative. The products are judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers, and members of the trade press. Categories include audio accessories, audio components, digital imaging, home networking, home theater accessories, personal electronics, video components, video accessories, and more.
To see all the categories and products, check out the Consumer Electronics Association Innovations Honorees Web site. Here are highlights from the Innovation Honorees roster based on products available now or coming soon from B&H:
Featuring wireless rear speakers, Panasonic's Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System provides a full-HD 1080p output from its integrated Blu-ray Disc player. There's an option to increase the 5.1 speaker system to a 7.1 system that incorporates two additional wireless surround speakers. And there's an integrated universal dock for your iPod.
Nominated under the Eco-Design and Sustainable Technology category, the Bravia KDL-40V4100 LCD HDTV is called the company's most efficient and environmentally-friendly television. It is Energy Star-compliant and features a power save mode.
This Best of Innovations 2009 winner for Home Theater Accessories features a 3.5-inch touchscreen that can be configured according to the activity. The major difference between the 1100 and the Harmony 1000 is that the 1100 adds RF control to its predecessor's IR capability. Also, the 1100 is more expensive and black rather than silver.
This all-in-one network music player receives digital music anywhere in your Wi-Fi-equipped home without wires. The component integrates speakers, a display, and tuning knob. You can listen to Internet radio or music stored on your computer.
With a one-terabyte hard drive, the TiVo HD XL stores 150 hours of high-def programs. This premium DVR is THX-certified, assuring optimum sound and video. With the ability to aggregate programs from cable and over-the-air TV, download video from the Internet, and stream YouTube and Netflix content, the TiVo HD XL beats your cable company's DVR.
The JBL On Air WEM-1 Wireless Expansion Module adds wireless capability to any speaker. It includes a small transmitter, a receiver/amplifier, and a remote control. It operates within a 70-foot range using a proprietary 2.4MHz system.
Finally, there's a portable media player with noise-cancellation so you can hear your music and videos clearly, even during a flight. The player contains a 2-inch QVGA screen, 8GB of flash memory. FM tuner, and SenseMe software for grouping your songs based on beats per minute, making it simple to match your mood.
Attach this battery-powered speaker to the earphone jack of your iPod, and the palm-sized Orbit speaker pumps distortion-free music into a 360-degree sound field. It's also a way to supplement the speakers in a notebook computer or another digital music player.
The Best of Innovations 2009 in the Digital Imaging category, the T700 is a 10-megapixel camera and portable photo album with 4GB of internal memory. That's enough storage for viewing nearly 1,000 full-resolution or 40,000 VGA-quality photos on the high-resolution 3.5-inch touchscreen.
Despite its retro styling including two analog dials that measure remaining battery power and memory capacity, the TL9 is a compact 10.2 megapixel camera with all the latest features and an MP3 player. And yes, you can view a slide show while listening to music.
An honoree in the Eco-Design and Sustainable Technology category, the BG108000-04 is an 8-outlet surge protector that eliminates wasteful standby power to your electronic devices. The power strip helps you reduce energy consumption, save money, and lower your impact on the environment.
The N+ Wireless Router accommodates four Ethernet-connected devices at gigabit speeds and a USB-attached storage device such as an external hard drive or thumb drive for network access to content. The N+ Wireless Router is based on the draft 802.11n 2.0 technology. The router sports a speedometer bar for clocking your download speed.
The Simultaneous Dual-N Band Router is engineered for lag-free gaming and streaming high-definition video. It also provides twice as much bandwidth as other wireless routers for browsing the Internet and sharing files.
The sleekly-designed HP MediaSmart Server is a home server that enables a family to store, backup, and share its digital media and other files across multiple Windows or Macintosh computers. Note: the nominee models are the EX485 (750GB) and EX487 (1.5TB). B&H currently offers the EX470 (500GB) and EX475 (1TB) versions.
The GoStudio lets you record podcasts, interviews, classes, music, and more onto your iPod whether you're at home or somewhere else. You can use the GoStudio's built-in microphones or attach your own. There's a built-in speaker and you can power the GoStudio from batteries.
Featuring a 3.5-inch LCD screen, this digital microscope incorporates the features of a professional grade microscope. Users can view, capture, and save high-resolution images. There's top and bottom LED illumination, a mechanical stage, 512MB of internal memory, a USB connection, and SD card slot.
It's the first recreational camera built into a mask for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. You can take still images and video, and operation is mostly hands free. The 302 incorporates a 5 Megapixel camera. Video is captured at 15-25 frames per second at VGA resolution. This is a great way to preserve someone's underwater memories.
By combining a self-alignment system called LightSwitch Technology, Advanced Coma Free Optics that results in a clear image, and multimedia output, the telescope incorporates the most advanced electronics and optics found in a consumer telescope. In-depth audio and video tutorials on more than 500 celestial objects are built in. There's a CCD camera for saving images to your own SD card.