Other than people rushing out to Circuit City thinking they're going to get some great liquidation deals (ha, ha), there's not too much new on the home theater front, so I figured I'd share some photos I snapped on the CES show floor at the Hitachi booth. Hitachi isn't much of a name in the U.S. TV market, but the quicker they can get any of these prototypes they were displaying on store shelves, the sooner they might be.
The company seems to be taking bezel design to a new level with some of the models of the Wooo TV, which is their line of super-thin sets that are already available in Japan. Rather than just offering a java-brown bezel like Vizio will be releasing or a ruby-red one like those on Samsung's Touch of Color HDTVs, Hitachi is working with different textures as well, like this woven one below:
Even more striking was this gold-leaf bezel, though I'm not really sure I'd ever design a room around this motif:
If wall-mounting your HDTV isn't cool enough for you, Hitachi was showing a prototype set that can hang from the ceiling. Some Wooo TVs already support streaming video from an ultra-wide-band unit to the screen wirelessly, so you might only need to run the power cable down along with the support wire.
To show how thin this particular Wooo set is, Hitachi has placed it on an angle on a scale. It weighs around 10 kilograms, or about 22 pounds. I just thought it looked cool sitting there at a 45-degree angle.
Searching for your lost remote could become a thing of the past if this gesture-controlled set ever reaches the market. Different hand movements let you change channels, power the TV on and off, and so forth.
While this looks like an ordinary glass panel, speakers are actually built into it, which helps shave inches off a TV that would otherwise come with speakers mounted on the side or underneath the screen.