JVC has announced six new projectors, three in the consumer Procision series (DLA-X9 at $11,995, DLA-X7 at $7,995, and DLA-X3 at $4495), and three models in the Reference Series (DLA-RS60, DLA-RS50, and DLA-RS40). The models at the same level in both series are equivalent in features and price (the DLA-RS-60 and the DLA-X9, for example) apart from slight cosmetic differences and different sales channels.
Along with just about everyone else at CEDIA, Mitsubishi is demonstrating a 3D projector, this one based on Sony's SXRD technology. The Diamond 3D has no official model number yet, but it's targeted to throw 1200 ANSI lumens with a dynamic contrast ratio of 150,000:1. Interestingly, it can use Panasonic or Toshiba active glasses, though no glasses or IR emitter are included for an undisclosed price that I was told will be "less than the Sony."
I was surprised to see a front projector in the NuVision booth, and even more surprised to learn that it's been available for several months already. The ProVu P2 is a tweaked Vivitek H9080FD LED-illuminated DLP projector, and the result is simply stunning. The demo was in a separate building of the convention center, but it was definitely worth the walk—using a Stewart Studiotek 130 screen (100 inches diagonal) in a blacked-out space, we saw clips from Avatar, Cars, The Dark Knight, and Baraka, and the colors were gorgeous with no hint of inaccuracy. Likewise, the detail was exquisite.
Another new product in the NuVision booth was the FX10CS LED-backlit LCD TV, which will be available next year in 55- and 72-inch (!) sizes for $9000 and $16,000, respectively. This model uses LG's panels with true 480Hz refresh rate; the 55-incher has 240 backlight zones, while the 72-inch monster has 480 zones.
NuVision is getting in the 3D game with the FX10LS LED-edgelit LCD TVs. The largest 55-incher will be the first to ship for $7000, followed by the 46-inch ($5500) and 40-inch ($4500). This TV uses Samsung panels with a true 240Hz refresh rate, and the demo looked quite good.
Among Sony's new offerings at CEDIA is the super-slim NX810, a 3D-capable, LED-edgelit LCD TV that will be available in 46-, 55-, and 60-inch screen sizes. No pricing was available at the press conference.
The big story at Sony's press conference was the VPL-VW90ES SXRD projector with 3D capabilities. This is the first projector to carry the company's ES (Elevated Standard) designation, which includes a 5-year warranty among other things.
At the Integra booth were a half-dozen new receivers: two THX Ultra2 Plus certified, two THX Select2 Plus certified, and two non-THX certified. There was also an Ultra2 Plus pre-pro. But what got our attention was the top receiver, the DTR-80.2. For a mere $2800 it offers a massive toroidal power supply which accounts for much of the $600 difference between it and the next model down. Power is rated at 145 watts per channel. Also on board is Audyssey MultEQ XT 32, the newest version with the highest-resolution EQ filters, and DSX height/width enhancement. Video prowess includes Reon processing and ISF calibration modes. The product is Made for iPod/iPhone, certified for Windows 7, and boasts various internet radio portals and subscription music services including Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, Napster, Mediafly, Slacker, and vTune. Sorry about the flash-marred picture, but it does show the navigation controls just to the left of the volume knob, which is kind of cool for us old-fashioned front-panel-oriented folk. Please also note that Integra stuff is sold exclusively by people qualified to install it.
Why is a handle protruding from this cutaway mockup of JL Audio's Fathom IWS in-wall sub? It's to demonstrate how the enclosure floats in a padded chamber, thus reducing bass-ruining resonance. Fathom IWS is available in two versions, one with a single amp and cabinet ($2500) and one with dual amps and cabinets ($4500). Both 2x4 and 2x6 construction are accommodated. This product was first demonstrated at CEDIA two years ago but is finally shipping this year.
The beautiful Totem Tribe 5 is 48 inches high with four Montreal-made woofers and a tweeter with no crossover circuitry to pollute the sound. It is ported at both the top and bottom of the enclosure and can produce SPLs of up to 110dB into eight ohms. The speaker can function as an LCR, so you can use five or more of them in a surround system, though Totem also offers smaller complementary models. Price is $3000 with custom finish or $2200 if you're not as fussy. Want sub with that? The Tribe Sub sells for $1795 with outboard amp. It can sit on a pedestal, hide under the sofa, or be built into a wall.
Andrew Jones of TAD has been designing hugely underrated speakers for Pioneer for years. Until now his bleeding-edge designs have been high-priced. But the SP-BS41-LR hits a new low price point of $199/pair in hopes of moving units through big-box retailers. The curved cabinet is cooked and formed, in lieu of the more conventional cut and fold process. Center and surround models are available to form a 5.1 system that will go for under $1000. The slim tower at far right is the Series 9, whose drivers were designed specifically for the enclosure. A vertical tube feeding out the bottom sucks away standing waves.
The world-beating PTM series power amps from Audio Design Associates include six- and eight-channel models but nothing in the more popular seven-channel configuration -- till now. The PTM-7150, at 150 watts into eight ohms and 250 into four, uses a new thermal design that combines the company's traditional fan-cooled approach with heat sinking. The amp monitors itself and the fan kicks in when needed. This makes for a quieter, albeit larger, amp that needn't necessarily be banished to a closed gear closet. Price $10,000. Incidentally, the PTM is a tribute to ADA cofounder Peter T. McKean. We still miss him.
Which would you rather have, a budget receiver with networking features for $500, or one without them for $400? We ran a picture of the second one, the RD-705, just to mess with you a little, but the correct answer is the first one, namely the RD-705i. It has DLNA certification to pull media off your router-connected PC's hard drive and also supports Bluetooth with an adapter and wi-fi with an adapter. For your subscription music fix there's Rhapsody and for your internet radio fix there's Pandora and SHOUTcast. Auto setup is Sherwood's proprietary SNAP, not the higher-end Trinnov it's licensed for a higher-end model. HDMI connectivity is 1.4a, not 1.4 as the literature says.
The most gripping thing at the MonsterCable press conference -- besides Noel Lee shifting his Segway back and forth within a foot of the edge of the stage -- was the Revolution 200 remote. For $249 it integrates lighting into the usual a/v functions, and as the picture shows, it looks crazy cool. Monster says its Max 3D eyewear is the only one to work with all 3DTVs. It costs $250 including the RF transmitter which provides greater freedom of movement than an IR transmitter. The FlatScreen SuperThin 300 is, at one inch, the thinnest power center for use behind a flat TV. Don't want your surge suppressor to burst into flames? The HTS 1700 ($400) has fireproof MOVs. Don't want your touchscreen devices to spread bubonic plague? CleanTouch is your hot ticket. Oh, and Monster HDMI cables now operate at a Simplay-certified 17.8Gbps. If you can see far enough into the future where such a thing might be relevant, your eyesight is better than ours.
HDMI has an up-and-coming competitor in HDBaseT, as one of us will undoubtedly report later in the show. In the meantime, here's a harbinger of the future at the Tributaries booth, where Joe Perfito showed us his various HDMI extenders, all of which convert HDMI to something more suitable for a long cable run. The HX1C6-PRO converts to HDBaseT, extending range to 328 feet with either 8- or 12-bit color. For companies like Tributaries this is a bittersweet moment. Once they sold cables for three-connection component video and various digital and analog audio formats. Then all that got replaced by do-it-all HDMI. Now HDMI, which can still fetch a fair price for cables, may be about to give way to HDBaseT, which uses commodity-priced Cat5e or Cat6 cable. Fortunately Tributaries also has a line of surge suppressors. Onward into the future.