Here’s a better pic of the Sharp BD player, the BD-HP20U, that I talked about many posts below. Turns out the “10 seconds on” is not exactly true, that’s if the player is already on and ready to go. From what they were telling me, it will still turn on quickly from off, but not that quickly.
It’s $999, has HQV processing, plays Blu-ray and HD DVD. What else do you need to know? Oh, the model number probably. BD-UP5000. Look for it before the end of the year. What a coincidence it’s the same price as the product in the post below…
Released just last week, DVDO’s iScan VP50Pro is the first THX Certified scaler. It also has HDMI 1.3, and will accept and spit out just about every resolution you can imagine. Along with deinterlacing of 1080i and below, there is also mosquito noise reduction, detail enhancements, and just about every other goody you’d expect from a scaler. It’s $3,500.
Shane already nailed the Epson Cinema Pro 1080 UB ("Ultra Black") demo. It was amazing to see this kind of performance from an LCD. I'll add that Epson might be claiming a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, but that's with what has to be an awfully aggressive auto-iris in play. Kevin Miller, whose work continues to amaze, flew without a net using the chipset's native contrast ratio of 4,500:1, which is pretty outstanding on its own.
THX is working a new connect-the-world project, code named Blackbird. Having seen how easy it is for the general public to mangle their picture and sound with all the new toys they've been acquiring recently, Blackbird presents a solution for the three cardinal sins of home theater, by sending metadata in the form of control signals through HDMI to all Blackbird enabled devices in the chain.
SIM2's demo used three new projectors from that company. The first, and the one that impressed me most from a price/performance
aspect (though at $16,000 it isn't cheap by today's projector standards) was the HT-3000E. Incorporating TI's BrilliantColor technology, and SIM2's new Unishape lamp technology that can vary both the color of the lamp and its brightness in a dynamic, nearly instantaneous way, it presented a superb image with excellent deep blacks. Oddly, SIM2 was using a Firehawk screen-8' wide for the 3000E, 10' wide for the other two projectors, the C3X ($20,000) and the C3X 1080($30,000), both of which were demonstrated with anamorphic lenses. (There was a lot of anamorphia going around at this year's show.)
Ron Phone was deep in discussion when I wandered by and I didn't disturb as I was in a rush too, but I did snap this picture of their pre/pro. I've had great things to say about Sherbourn amps in the past but was disappointed when I saw this pre/pro had no HDMI switching on back. Good thing I checked their website. The PT-7010A will have a separate HDMI switcher, controlled by the processor via an RS-232 port, for, hopefully seamless operation.
At the 2006 CEDIA Stewart Filmscreen showed a new, frameless,self-supporting rear projection glass material, Starglas. The company has now come up with a wide assortment of possible applications. Here a glass panel is mounted in a shallow cabinet at the foot of a bed. When needed, it rises up to viewing height. The image is projected from the rear, perhaps, as here, from a projector mounted in a cabinet at the other side of the room (presumably, a bedroom of more than shoebox size!). Ta Da! A substitute for a large plasma. The glass in the Starglas panel, incidently, is safety glass.
The most recent projector I reviewed here at UAV was a real standout, Epson's Powerlite Pro Cinema 1080p. This projector is among the more marvelous packages of peformance and price I've seen. Especially susprising was that the color fidelity was so pristine and on this LCD projector, along with a relaxed and naturally detailed image with real depth. The only thing that held this proejctor back was slightly dim light output and softer image. The Pro Cinema 1080p UB is here to settle both scores.
I could tell you that this is a better picture of the Samsung SP-A800 we reported on earlier in the show. But it isn't. It's the Samsung SP-A400, and apart from its smaller size, it's a dead ringer in appearance for the SP-A800. It's a 1280x768 design. Didn't catch the price yet, but it's sure to be lots cheaper than the circa $10,000 price of its big brother.