FrontRunners: Get with the Program

The latest controller in the Pronto family from Philips (www.pronto.philips.com) controls as many as 13 household systems—including A/V components as well as a home’s thermostat and security system—from its touchscreen, but the feature that sets the iPronto apart from the field is its personal electronic program guide. The integrated EPG updates itself from the Internet through a Wi-Fi home network and frees the TV or viewing screen from scrolling listings provided by cable and satellite companies. From an easy chair, a user can search the EPG to find the channel and start time of the Pittsburgh game, use the controller to surf the Steelers’ web site, and then e-mail a buddy rooting for the Broncos. With an eye toward future functions, Philips has included speakers, a built-in microphone, a USB port (for connecting to a PC and mobile devices), and slots for memory cards. The iPronto ($1,700) measures about 9 by 7 inches and weighs less than 2 pounds.

And like a supercar, their performance is world-class…
Old-school audio engineering comes alive with this modern wonder of two-channel music reproduction…
Delivering 300 watts per channel, the high-fidelity dual-mono amp can power just about any speaker...
Sony’s latest effort to revitalize its Walkman brand caters to the discerning listener on the go…
But the level of musical nuance they deliver is well worth the investment…
Photo by Luke Milnes
With a carbon-fiber cabinet and an array of 28 drivers, the new speakers look and sound beautiful…
Photo by Jonathan Beer
The camera features wireless technology along with other significant upgrades…
Photo by Malena silva
Among the finest conduits for playing music from an untethered digital device are the KEF X300A...
Photo by VZPhoto
The world’s top hi-fi manufacturers take personal listening to new levels with these small but...
Peter Luehr
Bob Ludwig has perfected recordings by some of the greatest artists of the last 40 years...