Of the two towers and one stand-mount labeled "new" at the Focal booth, the center of attention was the 30th anniversary tower, the 826W, at left, price n/a. New beryllium-tweeter models included two more towers and another stand-mount ranging from $4495/pair to $12,495/pair.
Mordaunt-Short's Performance 2 grabbed our eye immediately with its high-gloss black lacquer finish. The very chunky two-way monitor goes for $4500/pair. More accessible, perhaps, is the new Aviano line, a little of which is lurking in the background of the pic. It includes two towers, two monitors, center, and two subs ranging from $495/pair for the Aviano 1 two-way monitor to $1495/pair for the Aviano 8 three-way tower.
American Recorder's HD Fidelity speakers can be purchased with a setup kit that includes an SPL meter and something else that piqued our interest. See the thing jutting out of the speaker on the right? That's the laser alignment tool, your new best friend for correct speaker placement. Great Sound Begins with a Great Setup, says the company.
Samsung's HT-BD8200 soundbar has an integrated Blu-ray player, wireless sub, 300 total watts of power, 2.1-channel virtual surround technology, wi-fi readiness, Netflix savvy, and Pandora compatibility for $800. Also shown were a Blu-less bar, plus a couple of HTiBs, one based on a slim tower, one based on small satellites.
Now that I've seen the new VX-33 projector after writing about it before the show, I can confirm that it is indeed bright enough to fill a giant screen and compete with some ambient light. The demo was a football game on a 14-foot-wide Stewart GrayHawk with the room lights on, and the picture was plenty punchy.
Another new "entry-level" DLP projector line introduced by Runco at CEDIA is the VX-3000, which replaces the RS-900. Three models will be availableVX-3000i ($9000, internal processor), VX-3000d ($12,000, DHD 3 external processor), and VX-3000d Ultra ($20,000, DHD 3, five lens options, can use CineWide with AutoScope anamorphic system). The color wheel in these projectors has been designed specifically for reproducing D65 white, and calibration reduces the light output much less than most projectors.
Among the many new products introduced by Runco at CEDIA is a new entry-level line of DLP projectors, dubbed LightStyle. Three models comprise the linethe LS-3 ($5000) and LS-5 ($7000) are single-chip, 1080p, while the LS-7 ($15,500) is a 3-chip 720p. The sleek design looks more like a Planar projector, which is not surprising since Planar bought Runco in 2007.
One of the big buzzes at this year's show is LED illumination in front projectors, and Runco is in the thick of it with the Q-750, marketed under the QuantumColor moniker. This projector uses Luminus PhlatLight LEDs and recalibrates the color every time it's turned on, which guarantees no color shift over the life of the projector. Speaking of color, it can reproduce a gamut 135 percent larger than NTSC, and it comes with several preset gamuts, including Rec.709, SMPTE C, DCI (the digital-cinema standard), sRGB, Adobe RGB, and the native gamut of the LEDs.
At CES last January, a group of journalists was invited to see a demo of HQV processing after the brand and intellectual property had been bought from Silicon Optix by IDT. Unfortunately, we were sworn to secrecy until the development was farther along. At CEDIA, the embargo has finally been lifted, and I can write about the new HQV Vida processing chip, which was launched at the end of July.
This Finnish manufacturers specializes in active, meaning powered, speakers. Its demo reviewed the reasons, which include eliminating impedance interaction between amps and speakers, and crossovers that don't heat up and waste juice. There were two demos, one of which featured the gigantic HTS3B shown here. Dynamics and admirable bass control were what we heard.
Lots of audio/video receiver makers are showing net-enabled receivers (and rarely calling them receivers). Sherwood's NetbBoxx R-904N has seven times 100 Class D watts and ships with both a front-panel USB input and a wireless dongle. Video is output at 720p/60. Compatible content sources include YouTube, Shoutcast internet radio, CinemaNow, Hulu, Netflix, CBS, CNN, and Amazon VOD. Shipping in October for $649, but not in white, the photo notwithstanding.
Paradigm's new Special Edition Series, shown, is positioned between the Studio and Monitor lines. It includes a tower, two monitors, and sub starting at $299 for the SE1 monitor. The sub's feet can be detached and reattached so it can be used front- or down-firing. At the bottom of the picture are two six-sided subs which use PerfectBass equalization and vibration-canceling circuitry. The smaller one is the Sub 2 ($3499). The larger one is the Sub 1 ($7499) whose 4500-watt RMS amp runs six 10-inch drivers at 126dB and 40Hz, and down to 7Hz. At the top of the picture is the Millennium 20, a hybrid in- or on-wall speaker for $529 each. Not pictured is the upgraded Signature Series which uses a corrugated surround that allows the woofers to produce more output. That in turns means the tweeter and midrange don't need to be choked down. The S1 now comes with a choice of beryllium ($799) or aluminum ($599) tweeters. Sister brand Anthem showed its BLX-200 Blu-ray player ($799). Anthem's first receivers are promised for the first quarter of 2010.
The Power WL subwoofers from Phase Technology can run wired or wireless using an uncompressed signal in the 2.4GHz band. They're available in eight-, ten-, or twelve-inch versions at prices from $900-1300, backed with a 900-watt amp, allowing linear peak-to-peak excursion of 2.5 inches. Why are the active drivers on the bottom and the passive radiators on the front? The designers found the subs were "walking themselves across the floor," and therefore swapped the drivers to keep them in one place.