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Show-Offs

Prince’s Dream of Gold Guitar Comes True

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As the story goes, Prince had a dream in which he played a gold Fender Stratocaster. Makes sense - a true American icon playing the quintessential iconic electric guitar. The instrument was built at the Fender Custom Shop in Corona, CA., home of one-of-a-kind guitars owned by many famous musicians.

This story in the December 14 issue of Los Angeles Times reports that Prince will auction off his gold leaf axe after a string of shows in New York and New Jersey this month. The gilded Stratocaster appeared Wednesday night, December 15, at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J and will also be played at a December 29 gig at Madison Square Garden, N.Y., N.Y. The best part of this story is that the proceeds of the auction will benefit the Harlem Children's Zone, a community organization that serves more than 17,000 children. Kudos to Prince, a man of many dimensions. But wait, there's more to it:

Stocking Stuffer for For Vinyl Junkies: A Laser Turntable

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I know, I know. Vinyl's dead. But just in case you're one of the five remaining people who own records, you should know about this contact-free, 5-laser pickup turntable. Hear same sparkling sound on the thousandth play with no damage. And hear scratched records better than ever. Model LT-2XNP plays 33, 45 and 78 RPM records including all vinyl records between 7-inches and 12-inches in diameter.

 

MSRP $19,100

To learn more about the ELP Laser Turntable, click here:

Malls Become Deluxe Demo Showrooms

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It's only logical. Setting up shop in the country's largest malls exposes swarming holiday masses to new products and technologies. Take 3Di TV, for example. Sure, some of the population has heard of, or even owns 3D TV. But there are many who have yet to experience the latest immersive 3D movies or games. So, Panasonic has launched "Unwrap 3D" - a two-week, 14-city mall tour designed to give consumers a chance to experience the world of Full HD 3D Home Entertainment - which will kick off in major malls across the nation on December 1.

Related Topic: Mall Tour Kicks Off Home Telechat

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So I'm promenading through one of country's premier malls and I come across a small shed with glass walls. Peering in, I see two people at opposite ends, talking to video images of each other on flat panel displays. It's Cisco's Umi Telechat. Little known - this is a consumer version of Cicso's "Telepresence", a staple of the corporate world. So reliable, lifelike and secure, this videoconferencing system is used in the highest levels of government. Cisco has now packaged it for us consumers for $599.

To find out Umi's Mall Tour locations, click here:

To see a cool YouTube clip, click here: 

Media Décor Art and Frame Catalog Now Available in the Apple iBookstore

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Media Décor, a pioneer of designer solutions for concealing flat-screen TVs, has launched the Art and Frame catalog app available now on iTunes and the iBookstore. The free app allows Apple® iPhoneTM, iPod touch®, and iPadTM users to view Media Décor's array of over 70 frame styles and more than 2,000 artwork choices including limited editions. 
 
According to Vanessa Sayen, Sales & Marketing Manager for Media Décor, "The iPad has become an important selling tool for dealers and interior designers and being able to download our catalog and show it to a potential client brings to life the variety of options available."

The Secret Planet of Demo Software

We frequently cover the world of demo software to test home theaters and screening rooms, taking them to the limit of high performance. There is also a robust sub-culture of software fanatics who dwell in a galaxy somewhat removed from us hardware junkies. They thrive on the latest news from major motion picture studios, memorizing each monthly list of new releases. They can quote obscure facts about upcoming film restoration. You might call them ‘techno movie geeks' and they are serious about their passion. To visit their planet, click here:

Out of This World Demo Scenes

July 23, 2010 By Dennis Burger 28 comments
Out of This World Demo Scenes

Escape from reality with these truly transcendental Show-Offs discs
    
With the unbridled verisimilitude of 1080p and uncompressed multichannel surround sound, the home theater experience at times verges on being unflinchingly lifelike. Sure, there’s a lot of appeal in that, but sometimes you might just want to be transported to another reality altogether.

With that in mind I give you four favorite Show-Offs that don’t just peel back your eyelids or rattle your naughty bits, they take you to another place entirely.

Age Defying

May 24, 2010 By Dennis Burger 20 comments
Age Defying

Further proof that you should never judge a Show-Off by its cover

You know what they say about assumptions: Everybody makes them and yours stink—or something like that.

When it comes to selecting great demo material for your home theater, making hasty assumptions about the age-appropriateness of your movies and games can lead to uncomfortable results, or cause you to overlook otherwise wonderful little gems.

Pimp Your Projector

March 9, 2010 By Dennis Burger 26 comments
Pimp Your Projector

Let your projector strut its stuff with one of these visually stunning Show-Offs selections

Spec sheets and reviews can tell you a lot about a projector, but let’s face it: Without good content, even the most highly lauded, feature-packed projector in the world is little more than a bulky, expensive light source.

If you’re looking to impress your guests with your new projector, don’t bore them with stats, figures and features. Just stick one of these luscious-looking Blu-ray discs in and let the images do the talking.

Digital Hi-Fi

November 18, 2009 By Dennis Burger 28 comments
Digital Hi-Fi

Digital hi-fi never really went away, but it’s back and better than ever after taking a bit of a beating.

If your golden ears have shied away from the digital domain before, though, it’s time for another listen. Not only are old formats like SACD finally reaching their full potential thanks to pure digital interconnectivity, the new high-resolution audio formats found on Blu-ray are making access to eerily  high-fidelity music playback easier than ever.

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