Digital Projection unveiled a broad line of DLP projectors at both 720p and 1080p resolutions, and in single- and three-chip configurations. Many of its projectors are available with the VIP 2000 outboard processor utilizing Silicon Optix’ vaunted Realta chip set with HQV (Hollywood Quality Video).
Meridian’s Bob Stuart presided over a demonstration of Meridian’s model 350 in-walls speakers. The speakers can be configured as more traditional passive speakers connected to traditional power amps at speaker level, and they can also be configured as full digital active speakers using all digital connections and onboard amps.
Dual ATSC tuners, dual cable card inputs, a 250 GB SATA drive that will give you 32 hours of high definition programming, HDMI output and that THX logo, a first for any DVR. What did THX do? They gave Tivo notes, and Tivo redesigned their circuit boards to reduce interference and noise as the good folks at THX found it. The thing next to the remote that looks like the world's smallest cell phone is really a wireless transmitter that hooks via a USB cable to the back of the Tivo unit and "joins" your wireless network allowing you to get program guides wirelessly. Really cool. $799. Can't wait!
Optoma announced they are shipping their HD81 1080p front projector. Hopefully they’ll be shipping one to us soon. It has a 16 step auto-iris and a separate input box with a Gennum VXP chip for scaling, all for $6,999.
Onkyo's HT-S990THX is a whole Home Theater in a Box. Actually, it's a Home Theater in a Really Big Box. For $1,099 you get a 7.1 110 watt per channel receiver, three LCR two-way speakers (with two woofers and a single tweeter) for the front channel, and four smaller two-way speakers for the surrounds and a 10" powered sub as well. There's no HDMI inputs, but there is a THX logo on the front panel that speaks volumes about the quality you should expect. Absolutely amazing at this price. I heard a rumor that Home Theater magazine has one in for review (hint: check your newsstands or better yet, subscribe!)
Hosting a Buffy the Vampire Slayer pajama party? Integra introduces a six DVD changer that will let go through a whole season of your favorite TV show without having to get up. The DPC-7.7 isn't some lowbrow unit either, featuring HDMI outputs and video upscaling to 1080i or 720p, though it won't do anything to fix Josh Wheadon's decision to shoot everything in a 4x3 aspect ratio (What were you thinking Josh???). Price is a super reasonable $400.
I just watched a short high definition demo on SIM HT 3000. That's their new 1920 x 1080 7 segment color whell DLP projector. With dual HDMI inputs and a 1.5-2.0 lens (a 2.0-3.0 lens is coming soon as well). The picture on a large screen was excellent and the unit's bluer than gunmetal finish was attractive as well. Price will be around $16,000.
Planar showed off a prototype LCD panel that is the coolest thing I’ve seen so far at the show. It’s a normal LCD panel with 800 individual LED backlights that are on an active matrix back plane. What that means is that each LED is individually addressable depending on the video signal. Want a section of the screen to be dark? Dim the backlight in that area. The result is a fantastic legitimate contrast ratio, and actual blacks (cause the light is off). The picture above is just what the backlight is doing with the LCD “off.” It’s at least a year away from a real product, but it looks amazing. More on this in the future.
Silicon Valley based Niveus Media made compelling announcements of its new media servers, which are based on Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center platform and also use Intel’s Viiv technology. While digital photos and music are on tap, as with many media servers, what will separate Niveus’ machines is the ability to handle HD DVD and other high-definition content.
These two JBL sat/sub sets are so cute, I couldn't decide which picture to run. The sexy globe at top left is the CS480 ($700 for a 5.1-channel set). The inverted wine bottle at bottom right is the CS6100 ($1000/5.1-ch set). Both are two-way designs with 3.5-inch woofers and come with 12-inch subs. You, the reader, decide--which one should I review?
When Revel revamped its highly successful 10-year-old Ultima line as the Ultima2, the Lexicon people needed come up with new high-current amps that can drive difficult loads. Say hello to the ZX-7 ($7999), RX-7 ($5999), and GX-7 ($2999). The biggest gun delivers 300 watts times seven into eight ohms, 450 watts into four ohms, and is stable down to two ohms. Oh, and make sure you've got a dedicated 20-amp circuit to run it.
Paul Barton has been putting his legendary ear (actually, both of them) to work in an overhaul of the Stratus line. He's bringing over the liquid-cooled aluminum dome tweeters and fiberglass woofers from the even higher-end Platinum line and promises furniture-grade cabinetry like the gleaming gloss-black beauties shown here. They are the GT1 tower ($1999/pair), GB1 bookshelf ($1099/pair), and GC1 center ($849/each). Strong bass and a sweet midrange are givens. These may become the midpriced high-end speakers to beat.