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Consumer Electronics are Going Green

going_greenThis year, the expectation has been set for citizens, companies, and government to act with an environmentally conscious mindset.  Is this a trend for 2009, or is it a lifestyle that will be adopted to improve our society?

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2009, many company’s booths featured “green” products, alternative energy sources, eco-friendly packaging, and environmental efforts.  This is a convention that we, as an audio video dealer, try to attend consistently so that we stay informed of the latest developments in the field of electronics.  Some of these companies had a separate “green” section at the booth, and some had side-by-side models of “green” models and previous models of their products to demonstrate the improvements in eco-friendliness.

The efforts demonstrated by these companies included, but were not limited to:

use of recycled materials in product manufacturing

buy-back and recycling programs for used products

new products on the market that are more energy efficient

charitable environmental causes and projects

emphasis on compliance with Energy Star ratings

Specifically, Toshiba was honored with “green” ratings by Greenpeace for its eco-friendly laptop, Portege R600, which fell on the list shortly under the “greenest” product, Lenovo’s L2440x computer monitor.  Toshiba has begun a tree-planting program in Southern California’s areas damaged by wildfire, to make an effort toward their goal of reducing their carbon footprint upon the planet.

LG, Panasonic, and Samsung are among some of the companies who are now producing TVs and/or washer and dryer sets that operate on less wattage than the previous generations of these products.  The LG50, LG60, and LG70 series of LCD televisions also include an ambient light sensor for adjusted power usage, so when less energy can be used to operate the device, it will.  In addition, Panasonic and Sony are also involved in recycling and buy-back programs for CRTs, laptops, batteries, and other types of electronics that need to be disposed.

In an effort to create awareness of power usage, energy-monitoring devices are starting to appear on the market from companies such as:  P3 International, Ecobutton, and Green Plug.  These plug-in devices monitor and measure energy flow and may cause idle devices to hibernate when appropriate.

Alternative energy sources have been extended to produce a device we all probably thought was either earthunimaginable or would only exist in the millennial world of the Jetson’s:  a pocket sized solar panel.  The smallest version of this portable energy source, made by PowerFilm, unfolds from a package that is wallet-sized, holds two AA batteries, and retails at $55.  This is an incredible tool for hikers, backpackers, boaters, and members of the military.

Across the board, electronic companies are making efforts to give consumers the option of being “green” in their purchasing decisions.  It is up to us to meet their challenge not only this year, but in our future.

We look forward to bringing you greener ideas and products with out future home theater design. Doing our part creating a greener earth.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Industry News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pioneer releases long-awaited Elite KURO Signature Series

By Joanna McDonald

Everyone, from the amateur home-theater enthusiasts to the guys who review the latest and greatest technology for a living, has been blown away by Pioneer Elite KURO Signature Series Monitors. The word kuro means “black” in Japanese, and they aren’t kidding.’s Geoffrey Morrison mistook the monitor for being off the first time he saw it: “One had that subtle and comforting glow that any flat panel has when displaying ‘black.’ The other panel was clearly off. Then an image appeared–on both screens. It was a ruse; the other panel wasn’t off at all. It was on. The black level was that good-CRT good.”

pioneer-elite-kuro-signature-hdtvPioneer has released only two sizes, the 50-inch PRO-101FD and the 60-inch PRO-141FD. They were specifically designed for custom home-theater installations with a cash-rich consumer in mind (not very many of us, these days), and the price tags—$4,500 for the 50-inch and $7,000 for the 60-inch—ensure that they’ll stay true to their Elite name.

The black level in these monitors is .004 ft-L. That’s .002 foot-lamberts lower than the previous record, held by the Sharp LC-52D92U, and that’s an LCD. It’s the deepest, purest black you can buy in a flat-panel right now.

Home-theater gurus will love the multitude of features Pioneer makes available. Five of the seven picture modes can be completely adjusted. There’s a room-lighting sensor that automatically adjusts the picture to look its best for the conditions. Color, noise, brightness, contrast, and detail can all be adjusted. Six high-definition and five standard-definition aspect ratios allow you to fine-tune for just the right picture. The menu setup is a little different; it minimizes the picture to the right side of the screen, but allows you to preview any adjustments you make to the picture. Internet connectivity allows the picture to be adjusted remotely, among other things

The styling of the unit itself is what you’d expect from a high-end flat-panel: glossy, streamlined black frame and non-swivel base, detachable speakers on either side of the display, a simple gold “Elite” embossed on the bottom of the frame like a code—if you know, then you know what it is. As a Pioneer dealer I would recommend you check one of these out!

January 8, 2009 Posted by | HDTV | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment