Aside from a bunch of projectors, SIM2 was also showing its 47-inch HDR47E LCD monitor, which uses Dolby's high-dynamic range LED-backlight technology in which each of the 2206 LEDs are individually dimmable with 20 bits of resolution, leading to a claimed contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. Normally, I dismiss contrast specs, but I can believe this oneeven on the show floor, the blacks were stunning, and bright portions were really bright; according to SIM2, the peak light output is 4000 nits, which is equivalent to 1167 foot-lamberts!
The HDR47E is intended for professional applications, such as automotive and medical imaging, and there are no specific plans to bring anything like it to the consumer market. And $35,000 for a 47-inch LCD is mighty steep. But it sure looked great playing Avatar.
Krell is finally about to ship its Evolution 555 Blu-ray player ($15,000, November), and a rep was quick to point out that it's not a rebranded Oppoit was designed and built from the ground up by Krell. It has most of the bells and whistles, including access to Hulu and Netflix, WiFi, UPnP (not DLNA), and an iPad control app; 3D will come in a firmware update next year. Processing is provided by Sigma Designs VXP, and if you connect it to a Krell pre/pro via HDMI, it will jump right to the disc menu, skipping all those pesky trailers and FBI warnings.
Audio Design Associates (ADA) introduced two versions of a new multichannel power amp at CEDIAthe PTM-7150 (seven channels, $10,000) and PTM-5150 (five channels, $8000). Each one pumps 150Wpc into 8Ω, 250Wpc into 4Ω, and around 600Wpc into 2Ω. It operates in pure class-A mode for the first 50 watts, after which it moves to class-AB, and a patent-pending cooling system uses a high-volume/low-speed fan under the heat sinks to keep the amp cool and quiet.
As I was listening to the Trinnov demo in RBH's booth, I was told about the company's brand new subwoofer amp, the SA-500, which provides 500W of class-D power. It's so new that only three exist, which were powering the company's 1010-SXN/R sub and the bass portions of two 8300-SX/Rs at the front left and right, and as I said in the Trinnov post, the sound was excellent with no hint of bloat. The rep didn't have pricing or availability.
After several years of prototype demos at trade shows, Audio Design Associates (ADA) is finally releasing a consumer version of its Trinnov room correction technology in three standalone boxesthe TEQ-4 ($10,000), TEQ-8 ($12,000), and TEQ-12 ($15,000); the model number indicates how many audio channels each one supports. The first step is to play test tones and measure several listening positions with the included microphone, which uses four pickups spaced so that the speakers' positionincluding heightcan be measured accurately.
You might think CEDIA would be a poor environment in which to meet women – but it turns out that a broad assortment of the best and brightest women in the CE business were in attendance at the Women in CE Breakfast Saturday morning. The organization aims to help women become a more important part of the industry than simply the “W” in Wife Acceptance Factor, and today’s annual meeting kept them abreast of the many benefits of mentoring. Interestingly, the sponsor (who shall remain nameless but she knows who she is) of the table at which I sat had mentored me in the fine act of drinking me under the table the day before, so I feel perfectly justified making this politically incorrect post.
SpeakerCrafts’s latest outdoor subwoofer aims to go low – really low, as in subterranean. In fact, this woofer goes so low all you can see is a small, hooded port that’s exposed above the surface of the ground. The rest of the “BoomTomb” is buried underground for a near-total stealth look. Inside the BoomTomb is a 10-inch long-throw woofer, and a hood covers the top of the port to protect the stuff inside from the elements and curious critters. A dedicated 250-watt amp gets to stay inside next to the rest of your electronics where it is (hopefully) warm and dry. No word yet on pricing.
We can think of a few other manufacturers who have showed impressive-sounding new speakers behind an acoustically porous curtain and then whipped the curtain aside to reveal a compact satellite/subwoofer set. The latest is Cambridge Audio's Minx, with its three-inch cube available in single (Min-10) or dual (Min-20) versions with three tough little subs. The smallest 5.1 configuration would cost a reasonable $550/set with additional cubes at $80/each. If you are considering adding, say, DPLIIz height or DSX width speakers to your system with minimal fuss, this modular easy-mount approach may be just the thing. The full-range drivers had a pleasingly warm sound that did well with male vocals and had no nasty ringing. Bass was strong if a little tubby (but we were sitting against the rear wall). Minx got our attention and we hope to follow up with a review.
It's not every day we get to photograph a new product in the hands of its creator. Paul Barton of PSB was showing off his first outdoor speaker, the CS1000. It's modeled on the Image B6, and sells for the same $499/pair, but comes in a differently shaped polypropylene cabinet. Note the curved mount which allows easy vertical adjustment. A spokesperson told us the speaker is bird-proof, with a steel piece that keeps little critters from getting into the port.
Coaxial driver arrays lay beneath the Granite-52 outdoor rock speakers from Earthquake Sound. They go for $450/pair plus another $799 for the Granite-10D subwoofer. A spokesperson said reliability in the tough outdoor environment is one reason to go with Earthquake. The company also showed the SWAT 2.4 wireless transmitter/receiver combo, $349/pair, which can be powered by USB or wall wart. Maybe just the thing to make the leap from your main rack to the sub or surrounds when conventional speaker cabling is inconvenient.
Have you been playing dirty, dirty records? Sumiko hates that. At its booth were the Okki Nokki record cleaning machines. Judging from the bottle and brush sitting on top of each one, this must be a wet-system cleaner. The product is available in black or much hipper white for $499 without dustcover or $549 with dustcover, because it's worth another fifty bucks not to let your record cleaning machine get dirty, right? Also on display were a full panoply of compact and affordable phono preamps including something we hadn't seen before: a tube model.
Epson has become well known as a major producer of high quality, relatively affordable LCD projectors. Now, using its expertise as a premier imaging chip producer, it has produced an offshoot of LCOS, which differs in that it grows the active elements onto quartz rather than silicon. The result is a reflective LCD, or in Epson's words, RHTPS, for Reflective High Temperature Polysilicate.
Digital Projection offers so many models it's hard to keep them straight. They range in price from around $5000 to the sky's the limit, and include 3D designs, LED-lit models, and much more. The only common thread is that they are all DLPs, both single-chip and 3-chip. Most important, however, is the high quality we've consistently seen from them on the screen, both at shows such as this one and in our own in-house evaluations.