RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

By: Trevor Flynn [01.25.05]
Reflections by Carl Nelson

Original Author's comments in white
Editor's comments in grey.

Discuss this article in the forum


The Phantom

On a walk through Nvidia's display area I spotted this little puppy sticking out like a sore thumb.

First thing I thought when I saw this, was "Oh Sweet, an actual working Phantom demo!". Oh how naive I was, just because every single other machine hooked up to a monitor along that and every other wall was a usable demo I should've known that the Phantom setup was in screen saver only mode.

For all of the trash that has been talked about this platform, I for one hope that it actually comes to fruition before it becomes obsolete, if only for the tilted keyboard/mouse setup.

I want that keyboard/mouse for my HTPC! I hope someone copies the solution and makes it available for everyone once Infinium inevitably folds and goes away.

After strolling through several more booths touting the wonders of Windows Media Center we headed down a level to check out some of the home theatre setups being shown off.


These are the Ultra High End speakers from Swan Speaker Systems, Swans 2.2.

They are described as a wall of sound, and at roughly eight feet, these are both some of the biggest and nicest sounding speakers I have ever seen or heard. Speaking of sweet speakers though...


Big points to Runco for having what was one of the coolest demos on the show floor. So much so that there was actually a twenty minute lineup to get into it!

Runco teamed up with Krell speakers and D-Box to offer what could be the most complete home audio experience ever. The Runco projector displayed crystal clear images, the Krell speakers made you feel like you were in the movie, and the chairs...well the chairs they moved along with the action. And we're not talking just your butt vibrating along with the bass. The seat and arms of the chairs were able to tilt, swivel, and yes even vibrate.

Electronically programmed into each chair were movie specific movements that followed along with the action on screen. Now, the first two clips they showed were from Star Wars and Harry Potter, and I must say I was less than impressed. Next however they showed the scene from Spiderman 2 where Spiderman stops the train from running off the end of the tracks, and man I got to tell you, it was one of the coolest things to experience. And you can experience it as well, for the low low price of $6000.

Runco sets the standard for digital projectors, and Krell has consistently made some of the best home theatre speakers since the early 80's. This is the first time I have witnessed the ass-shaking effects of D-Box, and I must say I was impressed! Like Trevor, I was less-than-blown-away by the first 2 demos; the Star Wars scenes amounted to a gentle swaying that didn't seem to go with the scenes very much, and the Harry Potter Griffin-flying scene was similar - the motion wasn't programmed very consistently.

But when the Spiderman 2 demo started, I was blown away! Of course, you wouldn't want to watch a movie like this every time, but once in a while, when the right movie is chosen, this thing would be great fun!

After another quick trip to the press lounge it was time to head out once again to get prepared for the evenings events.

Next Page: (Maximum PC Party/Spy Another Day/Monster Awards)