New Products - February/March 2005

Toshiba Connect Toshiba's RD-XS52 DVD/hard-disk recorder to your TV by its digital HDMI output, and it'll upconvert standard-def video from TV programs, DVDs, and even camcorder footage to the 1080i or 720p HDTV formats. Its 160-gigabyte (GB) hard disk stores up to 135 hours of video from the built-in standard TV tuner, a camcorder connected to the front-panel FireWire input, or your cable box or satellite receiver (which you can control from the recorder via an infrared emitter). When you're recording to the hard disk or DVD-RAM, you can watch a program from the beginning while it's still being recorded - and you can pause the show. Dubbing from the hard disk goes at 12 x speed for DVD-RAM or a lightning-fast 24 x for DVD-R. Price: $600., 800-631-3811

Hitachi-0205.jpg HitachiWant to jump right into HDTV? The Quick Start tuner onboard Hitachi's 57-inch UltraVision 57S715 HDTV automatically finds all of your high-def and analog channels at startup, integrating them into a single menu. The CRT rear-projection set displays images in the 1080i format using a new Super-Contrast lens system that's said to help produce a bright, razor-sharp picture on its wide 16:9 screen. The TV has a CableCARD slot for digital cable, an HDMI input, an optical digital audio output, and a USB port for viewing digital photos. Less than 2 feet deep, it weighs 205 pounds. A backlit remote control is supplied. Price: $2,700., 800-448-2244

BW-0205.jpg B&W The five M1 satellite speakers and AS2 subwoofer in B&W's Mini Theater 20 home theater speaker system are designed to take up minimal floor and shelf space while still providing serious bass for movie soundtracks and music. The 34-pound AS2, which comes in black or silver and has a 10-inch driver and 150-watt amplifier, is rated down to 32 Hz. Each M1 speaker has a 1-inch metal-dome tweeter and a 4-inch woofer with a woven fiberglass diaphragm. Height is 9 5/8 inches, which includes a built-in table/shelf stand - floor stands are optional. Speaker wire passes through either the stand or the supplied wall bracket, which helps hide it. Price: $1,499; floor stands, $125 each., 800-370-3740

NOTE All prices and product information are supplied by the manufacturers. Dealer prices may vary.