I have an interesting post today. Got an invite to a bloggers breakfast hosted by Philips Electronics. The event showcased "next generation high-definition and fully inclusive high-fidelity surround audio" movie and gaming experiences, based on Philips' new range of HDTV and audio products. Curious?
Well, I love food and I love tech (especially when it comes to movies and gaming), so certainly I had to come take a look. It was held at Corduroy Cafe in Vivocity.
They started with the demos of the big screen HDTV but let me jump straight to the Philips Ambisound HTS8100 Soundbar home theatre system first. This is something I really like. If you've ever owned a 5.1 multiple speaker home theatre system, you might be well-acquainted with the hassle of ugly wires and plugging in of so many components. Not to mention worrying about your dog/cat/gerbil chewing through the many cables, leaving you with effectively just 1.1 sound quality!
With Ambisound, that's history. A whole array of technologies (you can read more on the website, I won't bore you with details) enable 5.1 surround sound through one single speaker bar and a subwoofer. That's it. No rear or multiple speakers necessary! You still get the immersive multi-dimensional sound - the difference was clear when the presenters played demos of both multichannel and stereo modes.
Interestingly, this award-winning technology was developed proudly in Singapore itself, by Singaporeans. It was spearheaded after focus group research found that many consumers did not like the clutter and wiring hassle associated with multiple speakers. I fully agree! My home already has too many cables as it is!
Form factor really shines in the Ambisound products, right down to the subwoofer. DoubleBASS(tm) gives you extra deep bass performance (my bassist hubby will be happy to know that). You can even connect your iPod - that's always a big plus in my books.
If you prefer the more conventional two speaker format, there is the HTS6600 (S$1,018) which uses the same Ambisound technology. It's just the DVD player/display panel, two speakers and a subwoofer for the same 5.1 surround sound effect. But you know the HTS8100 Soundbar is just so much more cooler!
Now for Philips Ambilight in the flat screen TVs. This feature is not new - it's been around since 2004. You may have already seen it in the shops. A soft background glow is projected onto the wall surrounding the TV, and it changes colour to match the on-screen visuals. No big deal?
Well, it seems this is not just an "aesthetically cool" feature. This lighting effect has been scientifically proven to reduce eyestrain and increase viewing comfort. The 2007 FlatTV range now features LED lighting for greater saturated colours and energy efficiency. I must say it did look somewhat soothing.
It's also fully HD-ready in 1080p resolution. You can plug in your Xbox, Playstation, Wii gaming consoles, Blu-Ray players and PC media centers to the system. Car chases, crashes, shoot-them-ups will be bigger than life!
I have a Philips "Pixel Plus" TV at home but I think that picture improvement feature is well and truly outmoded by the new Perfect Pixel HD engine that these new models sport. The picture quality is indeed very sharp, vivid and clear, even when viewed from a distance. Ah sigh. Must learn to be content with what I have...
This 47-inch beauty you see here retails for S$6,599. The 42-inch version can be had for S$4,999. Know what you want for Christmas now?
OK, OK, enough about technolust...onto another kind - food! We had a nice spread catered for us. I'm not sure if any of this is available on the regular Corduroy menu, but some of it sure is tasty.
Rich, soft, flavourful. The scrambled egg married the salmon well. It was so comforting, I regret not taking an extra portion, along with the chicken sausage, which was extraordinarily juicy.
Bit early in the day for Caesar's salad? The lettuce may look a bit bruised but still had some crunch. Fortunately, the prawns were nice and firm to the bite. But I would probably not get this dish for breakfast on my own.
The creaminess of the salad overwhelmed the delicate apple bits in this little starter. Went well with the new potatoes, although I would have preferred it more tangy than sweet.
The hash browns were well-fried - still crunchy despite being cold. Didn't get to try everything else. Most of my food-testing was done very hurriedly.
I know a lot of people swoon over macarons. Their appeal still eludes me. I gingerly tried one - ack, sickeningly sweet. Meltingly soft and creamy but still not my kind of thing.
This was not too bad. Crusty brown on top but soft and tender inside. Went very well with the milky vanilla sauce. I always like bread-and-butter pudding. Comfort food.
Many of the little desserts got swiped before I could try them. Must have been good. Fruit salad nobody much touched. Guess the chocolate cakes were too enticing.
It was a pretty enjoyable event with a good turnout - more than a dozen bloggers were present and they were not afraid to ask questions. This is one of the first of such events I've seen targeting bloggers as a media platform and viral/word-of-mouth marketing. Hopefully we'll get to see more in future as the blogosphere expands and matures in Singapore.
#01-106, 1 HarbourFront Centre Walk, VivoCity