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CES 2008 Wishlist |

The big consumer electronics show begins in one week on January 7th. Here are my top wishes for PS3 fans:

Better HDTVs

Most current TV models max out at 1366 x 768 resolution and there are only a very few models with LED back lights. I’m really hoping the selection of models with full 1080p support and LED backlights improves.


There are a few good HDMI receivers out there, but the selection is limited and the prices are very high. I’m really hoping this situation improves. An HDMI receiver is required to hear games run with full PCM 5.1/7.1 audio. I have yet to experience this and I’m very excited. Supposedly, this is noticeably better than regular DVD level Dolby Digital 5.1.

Mid-Level Speakers

Some users use the junky speakers in their TV and others use full blown speaker systems with dedicated amplifiers. But there is a middle-ground for users who want something better than integrated TV speakers, but cheaper and smaller than a full blown home amplifier/speaker setup. There are some good options such as this, but I would still like to see something more like this but one than can handle a full 5.1 PCM signal. Such an offering would be ideal for PS3 owners, and I don’t know why such a product hasn’t hit the market yet.

Sony Music Store

Amazon, Wal-Mart, and iTunes all have decent music distribution services. But they all seem to be missing features that I want. The DRM-free catalogs are still somewhat light, Amazon and Wal-Mart are stuck on the older MP3 format (I wonder why newer formats such as AAC aren’t an option), and I still can’t get SACD quality music and multi-channel music. I’m hoping Sony unveils their store and delivers on some of my most wanted features.

Any other wishlist items?

  • Lots of the 1366 x 768 displays you’re looking at are probably plasmas. Take a look at LCD for the more affordable 1080p options. Plasma 1080p sets are expensive.

    If you want a HT sound system with higher-end features you’ll just have to play higher-end prices. There are some less expensive HDMI receivers being released already. (Take a look at Onkyo for example.) The sound quality from a less expensive receiver plus some 5.1 speakers from Energy or Paradigm will blow away any HTIB (home theater in-a-box) system you could put together. Of course you have to pay more, but as always, you get what you pay for.

    As far as CES 2008 is concerned, I’m looking for more pre/pro’s with the features that I want, at reasonable prices. Something like the Anthem AVM50 is awesome, but costs way too much for me. I hope to see the trickle-down effect come into full force.

  • 1080P LCDs are now less than 900$ here (British Columbia). Last year that is what I paid for a 720P one (although the 900$ 1080P is a cheap brand at Walmart).

    That’s for a 42″ size screen.

    I thought about upgrading but decided to stay with the existing 32″ 720P screen as it fits my room better, and got a Pioneer 5.1 stereo instead. That makes a huge difference to all things PS3. (300$ for a display model from Costco, including speakers…awesome deal!). I went with a optical capable unit instead of HDMI for the receiver; I can’t honestly tell the difference between optical digital and HDMI digital, and it was a bit cheaper.

  • Matt

    You are not now and most likely never going to see 32″ 1080p. 1080p is completely useless under 42″ unless you sit close enough to lick your TV. 1080p is only necessary if you sit extremely close or go larger than 50″. Any Home Theater magazine will tell you this. LCD is available in both 720p and 1080p and the 720p option is more than most people need for the size they purchase. This is a great way to save a lot of money.

    I too look forward to cheaper HDMI 1.3 in receivers under $1000. This is the year I upgrade and want as much packed in as I can afford. I hear you on wanting HDMI on a budget but we are still a few years away from it becoming reality. It really doesn’t matter because with the crappy speakers you get with a HTiB the audible difference will never be noticeable. I strongly believe you need to spend over a $1000 just on speakers to be able to begin to notice the lossless audio difference.

  • Darrin

    Henning, yeah, there are definitely some reasonably priced 1080p LCD sets now. None are LED-lit but that will just have to wait. And there are a few HDMI receivers priced within reason, but the selection is very sparse at the moment.

    west coast, you can’t tell the difference between optical and HDMI? Did you use a hi-res source such as a Blu-Ray movie with a lossless soundtrack or a PS3 game such as Resistance or Ratchet?

    Matt, I can *see* the difference between 720p/1080p on 27″-32″ sets. Don’t tell me I can’t see it, it’s not even that hard to spot.

    Also, I want a low-end speaker setup for my girlfriend’s place and a high end setup for my place. I use a dedicated receiver and high-end speakers, but for my girlfriend, I want something that’s cheap, doesn’t need a dedicated receiver, and has decent, but not necessarily amazing quality.

  • west coast ps3

    I don’t have really high end speakers and that is probably why I can’t tell the difference. I think the optical out is “good enough” though, it’s pretty awesome…easy to hook up, setup etc.

  • derrickgott007

    I want to hear more about the supposed S.E.D tv’s. Supposedly they would make 61″ 1080p tv’s less than $1000.