With one of the longest model designations in the industry, Epson's new top-of-the-line 1080p projector will be available in two versions—the Pro Cinema 7500 UB (<$5000) and the Home Cinema 6500 UB (<$3000). Both include HQV Reon-VX processing, a purported contrast ratio of 75,000:1, Fujinon lens, and high-speed auto iris. The Pro version includes an extra lamp, ceiling mount, ISF certification, longer warranty, and anamorphic scaling with an optional Panamorph lens. Both should be available in December.
Like its immediate predecessors, TiVo's latest DVR, the HD XL, has garnered THX certification for video and audio. The whopping 1TB (yes, that's 1 terabyte) hard disc can store up to 150 hours of HD content, and it can be yours for only $600.
The BD1 control center from the Thiel Zoet collaboration is shown here driving multiple Thiel SCS4D speakers. The current version of the controller can only accept optical and coaxial digital signals, and can distribute Dolby Digital and DTS audio as well. However, TrueHD and DTS-HD MA will have to wait for another version (I'm guessing the BD2) that will come out sometime next year.
This is the latest trend in whole house mobility. Face it, you'll be in the kitchen, the den, the bedroom, the bathroom or the garage with your iPod Touch not far from hand. But nobody carries around a remote. Other companies making the iPod Touch part of their tool drawer include SpeakerCraft. The ability is there, why not use it?
The Thiel SCS4D is an the IP addressable version of their SCS4 debuted at the last CES. The SCSrD is powered by 250 watts of class-D amplification. The Cat5e cable in the back and the power chord are the only indications that we're not in Kansas anymore.
Revel has announced a whole new range of on-wall speakers designed for use with other components that dwell on the walls. The line, an unusual one for this audiophile-oriented company, also includes a wireless subwoofer.
The LaserView RPTV that Mitsubishi has been promising is almost here. The single model (65" only, for now), which uses lasers as a light source and a DLP chip as an imaging element, is expected to ship at the end of this month (Sept) for $6995.
A year or so ago I reviewed an Arcam AV receiver. It was one of the best sounding pieces I have experienced. But its HDMI inputs were switching only--no audio over HDMI. That has been corrected with the new AVR600 ($4000; $4500 with Internet LAN connectivity). It will also decode all of the latest audio formats, including DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. It's also one of the first AVRs to feature Dolby Volume. 120 Wpc, availability expected in late November.
Proficient is not a new company, but this is its first line of receivers. Of the three designs here (one of them 2-channel stereo), the M80 ($1250) is the most interesting. Rated at 130Wpc x 7, it offers full decoding for DTS HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. Available early in 2009.
Sony demonstrated its new VPL-VW70 projector (about $8000) in a dedicated theater booth featuring Watt Puppy loudspeakers from Wilson Audio--driven by one of its own AV receivers. The demo featured a 2.35:1 screen, with the projector supplemented by an anamorphic lens.
Come October 1, 2008, Denon owners will be able to download firmware upgrades for their the AVR-3808CI, AVR-4308CI from Denon's website for a $100. What's that get you? Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Audyssey Dynamic EQ, for two, and Sirius radio ready capability and Rhapsody streaming capability for three and four. Meanwhile, the higher end AVR-5308CI AVR (picture) and AVP-A1HDC1 pre/pro can get a free firmware upgrade of Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Sirius Radio capability.