Wolf Cinema is a new video projector manufacturer working with the audio leader, Sumiko. The upstart is geared completely to the custom installation market where dealers and customers can essentially custom build their projector to fit the needs of their specific room. The systems consist of custom cases around a 3-chip DLP system fitted with high output Xenon lamps.
JVC debuted the new RS20/HD750 at the show. The RS line refers to JVC’s professional line while the HD moniker is for the consumer line. These new projectors feature a slimmer case than the previous generation and some new processing from HQV. These are the first projectors we’ve seen to feature THX certification. They seem to build on the previous RS2 with their 30,000:1 contrast ratio but feature an adjustable aperature allowing you to dial in the overall brightness to your taste.
Stewart Filmscreen thinks it would be real 90210 of you to show movies outside. First place to start is with a weather resistant screen assembly. Secondly, don’t turn on the projector while standing in pool of chlorinated water.(Seriously though, this is strictly a “rear projection” solution). Stewart’s Oasis screens are available in sizes up to 124” wide by 92” high, way bigger than that crusty old LCD you’ve got hanging under the straw roof cabana by your kiddie pool!
Once you mastered the art of the motorized up and down, there’s no stopping you, nor should there be. Stewart’s new Black Out Shade system uses whisper quiet motors, a choice of Mermet shade fabrics, and prices that aren’t that far out of line with regular Hunter-esque style shades that leave gaps around the edges of windows. Once I hit the show floor, I’ll try to get some pictures and put them up.
Every multi-room receiver I’ve used or reviewed has only been able to send standard definition video to a second zone. The Sony STR-DA6400ES is the first I’ve seen that can send high def audio and video to two zones. That’s because HDMI doesn’t easily support transmission over more than, say 50’, without some sort of inline booster, and once you get up in the walls and through the ceilings and down again, 50’ disappears real fast. But by using CAT5e wiring found in much mid-to-high level new construction, Sony has a found a much longer (at least 300’) path. for high def video and audio. Sony uses two Faroudja DCDi Cinema chipsets to support scaling up to 1080p in both the main and secondary zone.
In these tough economic times, oh wait, I’m reading from a 3”x5” card left over from last week’s convention. Anyway, times are tough if your dealer base is heavily invested in new home construction. So SpeakerCraft is doing something about re-edumicating them. Laugh all you will, and you will because SpeakerCraft VP of Marketing Dave Donald will make you, but their common sense business practices are a clear value added to their dealer clientele, many of whom know their “craft” but not necessarily how to survive and prosper. Hats off to CEO Jeremy Burkhardt for the advice. I’m stealing some ideas for a completely unrelated business (especially the one about not letting yours sales staff dictate what you sell), because they simply make great sense!
Sure, I could show you a picture of SpeakerCraft’s new ROX speakers which look more like rocks than ever(though they’re easy to spot nonetheless – they’re the ones making music), or how their two color choices, granite and sandstone, are not just skin deep, making chips unnoticeable, or how drainage has improved so that those 5-inch, 6-inch, or 8-inch full range speakers (or 8-inch sub) will last a lifetime (or until rock is no longer in vogue), but I’d rather express all these sentiments in dance.
Toshiba's press conference revealed many new models of LCD TVsin fact, the company admitted that its product cycle is now closer to six months than one year in order to get new technology to market sooner and to remain cost-competitive for the key holiday selling season. Among the new sets in the upscale REGZA line is the XV series, which sports a "double-skin" cabinet with a cool 3D look and Pixel Pure 4G processing. Also new is Super Resolution Technology (SRT), which is said to upscale standard-def material to HD resolution far better than what is available in most TVs. Another new feature is AutoView, which dynamically adjusts all settings according to an ambient light sensor and detects film-based content.
Never one to rest on its laurels, Panasonic unveiled two new Blu-ray playersthe DMP-BD35 and BD55. Both are BD-Live capable and feature 7.1 decoders, P4HD video processing, PHL (Panasonic Hollywood Labs) Reference Chroma Processor, and HD Networking with an SD card slot and Viera Link (HDMI CEC). The BD55 also provides a 7.1 analog output and 96kHz remastering. Prices are TBA, and both should be available in a few weeks.
LCD projectors are among the most cost-effective ways of getting a really big picture, and Panasonic's offerings have shown steady improvement over the last two generations of 1080p models. Now comes the third-gen PT-AE3000, which improves on its predecessors in three ways. First, it has an advanced optical system with manually aligned aspherical glass lenses.
Sharp sees the worldwide market for LCD flat panel televisions growing rapidly in the next year, despite a slower economy in the US, and it's ready to meet the demand. While it has a number of new models, the ones that caught my eye were the Aquos Limited Edition designs. Available in October at prices yet to be announced, these sets will be available in two sizes: 52" (the LC-52XS1U-S) and 65"(the LC-65XS1U-S).
If you look closely in this picture of the chaos that immediately followed the Sony press conference, you’ll see…chaos. If you look a little closer, you’ll see some pencil-thin speakers (actually, I think the term they used was “the width of a finger” but I may have been in the middle of a mile-high altitude-induced alcohol-enhanced stupor at the time so it might as easily have been “the width of a fingerling potato”) on display here as part of the BDV-IT1000ES - Sony’s first ES HTiB that includes an integrated Blu-ray Disc player. The main speakers each measure approximately .75-inch wide by 22 inches long, and they’ll come with the rest of the system when it ships in October and you fork over the required $1,999.
Bringing back fond memories of the one misdirected year (1998) when CEDIA held its convention in New Orleans (just after another near-miss storm) and not many conventioneers (including me) made it to many of their appointments or meetings, SpeakerCraft enlisted the aid of some scantily clad acrobatic dancers to catch the attention of the press folks who didn’t go to the Toshiba press conference. (It worked.)