A company best known for architectural speakers moves into multizone technology with a vengeance. Nirv is the name the tattooed folks at Speakercraft have given to a system that operates with the 10-button remote pictured here. The remote's got a mic built into it, for home intercom use, and that barely scratches the surface. The concept is to use a single Cat5 cable to send HD video, HD audio, control, data, paging, and voice anywhere in the home. Any zone can be turned into a home theater and grab content from any source in any other zone. The system learns how you use it. Settings follow users from room to room, including parental controls, indicating unseen depths of moral fiber in people with multiple pieces of body art, or maybe it's just Metamucil. An installer can walk the user through setup, and when that's done, an easy repeatable interface takes over. Dealer cost 10 grand. In addition to the Ruckus speakers already reported on, Speakercraft also announced several new in-wall and in-ceiling models, including the AIM 10, a three-way, 10-inch pivoting unit selling for $8250-1125. Oh, and a debut surround receiver was also announced -- the Vital 910 ($1125). This company was always interesting. Now it's fascinating.
As we previously reported, the H-PAS speaker technology making its debut at Atlantic Technology's off-site exhibit has been one of the most eagerly awaited events of the show. Simply put, this bass-building speaker technology works -- with tympani, bass clarinet, and of course pipe organ. While the midrange was not perfectly balanced, and we were informed that voicing will be tweaked, it was clear that Atlantic is correct in claiming that deep bass episodes don't starve the mids and highs or collapse the soundstage. What makes it work is what Tribeman calls a cascading of well-known speaker design elements such as bass reflex, inverted horn, acoustic suspension, and transmission line. In other words, "it's all in the plumbing" -- the drivers and crossover are nothing special. Credit is due to the inventor, Phil Clements of Solus/Clements. The prototype shown uses a pair of 4.5-inch woofers and is said to be flat down to 30Hz.
This mockup gives an indication of what the production model may look like. However, Atlantic is studying the use of 5.25-inch woofers in lieu of the 4.5-inchers shown here. It may ship in December give or take a month. Atlantic also plans to license the technology to a half-dozen other manufacturers including at least one "super high end" player and various "upper mid-fi" brands, according to Tribeman.
Phil Clements, father of H-PAS technology, explains its use in a bar speaker. While Atlantic is studying this prospect, the product shown is pre-H-PAS. It is a seven-channel configuration with three tweeters and two 4x6-inch woofers in the front and two on the sides for surrounds. Channels are shared among the drivers with a triple voice coil structure. A "180-degree feel" is promised.The bar is the FS-7.0. With eight-inch sub, it is the SB-8800 system. Shipping in September for $800 (for the bar) and $300 (for the sub).
It is large, as many of us discovered when we walked through it to get to the Omni for preshow events. Atlanta itself is large, spread out, surprisingly hilly, and not walkable. However, I am grateful to finally attend a CEDIA Expo on the east coast. Perhaps Atlanta will grow on me during the next two CEDIAs, which will return here.
Projectiondesign's new Avielo Quantum, at 6.5 lbs., is the smallest and lightest of the company's 1080p, single-chip DLP home theater projectors. It's available with four different lenses, incorporates Projectiondesign's RealColor color management system, and is hand-built at the Projectiondesign factory in Fredrikstad, Norway.
For the 3-chip DLP experience, Projectiondesign is introducing the Avielo Helios, the flagship of the Avielo range. Included are Projectiondesign features such as RealColor advanced color management and Advanced Color Optical Processing technology (ACOP), which together are said to allow for accurate calibration to the REC709 HD color standard.
Other than the TH-85PF12U plasma and an extensive 3D demo, Panasonic has been pretty tight-lipped about what it's going to be showing at CEDIA. But late-breaking news from the IFA trade show in Berlin has revealed a new LCD projector, the PT-AE4000. Like it's predecessor, the new model lets you store lens zoom and focus settings for content with different aspect ratios, such as 16:9 and 2.35:1, providing a poor man's anamorphic capability. New to the AE4000 is an aspect-ratio detection function that automatically selects 16:9 or 2.35:1 depending on the incoming signal. The projector should be available in October for less than $4000.
With Anchor Bay's Video Reference Series technology on board, Lexicon's new BD-30 Blu-ray player ($3499) is the first entry in that product category for the company best known for its high end pre-pros, A/V receivers, and power amps. The BD-30 plays back not only Blu-ray, DVD, and CD, but also SACD and DVD-Audio. With Profile 2.0 and BonusView, together with full support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-Master Audio (internal conversion to PCM or bitstream out), plus multichannel analog outputs, it's well-armed to join the Blu-ray player wars.
Revel has announced two new subwoofers, the Ultima Rhythm2 (shown) and the Performa B150. The latter is the first major redesign of the current B15a since the latter's introduction at the start of the millennium. The B150's 15" driver offers a linear bass excursion of 1.5-inches, driven by an amp that features 1200 Watts of continuous power and 2400W peak. The Rhythm2 (shown) goes this one better, with an 18" driver and 2400 Watts continuous, 5600W peak from its on-board amp. No delivery dates or prices were announced.
Mark Levinson has announced a new No.500H series of audiophile power amplifiers with a new balanced CFA (current-feedback amplifier) design. There are four different models in the lineup: the monoblock No.531H ($6500 each), the No.532H (2 channels, $8000), the No.533H (3 channels, $10,000), and the No.535H (5 channels, $12,000). All are rated at 300 Watts per channel into 8 ohms except the No.535H (200Wpc), and all are expected to ship in October.
JBL's new LS series loudspeakers are ready for their close-ups. They combine proprietary PolyPlas polymer-coated-cellulose-fiber cone woofers (say that fast, three times) and the company's Bi-Radial constant-directivity high frequency horns with real wood veneer cabinetry. The line includes the LS Center ($799) LS40 stand-mount ($699 each, shown here), and two floor-standers: the LS60 ($1099 each) and LS80 ($1499 each). The latter two employ 3.5-way crossover networks.
In terms of video, CEDIA is a projector showcase, and Digital Projection is all over that theme. Among the company's product introductions at the show will be the Highlite Cine 280, a 1080p, 3-chip DLP model that is said to pump out up to 2000 lumens with 12,000:1 contrast. The enclosure reflects the same design aesthetic as the Cine LED and Cine 260 projectors as well as the CineSkin enclosure, all of which have been previously covered in this blog. And at about $30,000, it's the most affordable triple-chipper ever offered by Digital Projection.
In a sign that Blu-ray has finally arrived, Toshiba (yes, Toshiba) is launching its first Blu-ray player. The BDX2000. It offers full BD Live capabilities, Bonus View (such as picture-in-picture video commentaries), and an SD card slot for viewing personal photos and videos. It can also decode the new audio formats (Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio) internally and send them to your A/V receiver as multichannel PCM or, alternatively, as bitstreamsin both cases over its HDMI output. Available in November at $250.
JBL is bringing its A game to CEDIA with a plethora of products, such as the new Performance LS series of speakers, which includes the LS40 bookshelf ($700 each), LS60 and LS80 floorstanders ($1100 and $1500 each, respectively), LS Center ($800), and LS120 subwoofer ($1100 each). All the main speakers feature a 3/4-inch ring-radiator ultrahigh-frequency driver, a horn-loaded titanium compression driver for the highs, and polymer-coated cellulose-fiber, 6.5-inch cone woofers. The 12-inch sub reaches down to 25Hz backed by 400W RMS (700W peak).