But for me, projectors were the main attractions in the Mitsubishi booth. The currently available HC9000D LCOS design (2D and 3D, $6000) looked fabulous in 2D (it was not being demonstrated in 3D when I was there). I was surprised, in fact, at how bright it looked on its 143-inch diagonal, 16:9, Stewart Studiotek 130 screen (gain 1.3).
DNP Denmark may not be the most well known name in screens, but it makes some unique products. Hidden behind the bobble heads in the darkened area to the right of center here is the DNP Supernova Epic, a 132" diagonal, 2.35:1, 0.8 gain model with side masking. Made in Scandinavia, so you know it's expensive. All yours for $20,000.
DNP was using projectors from projectiondesign, and while that company has no booth at CEDIA this year, I was told to watch out for press releases. We will.
Carver's assets have been bought from their previous owner by the Carver Holding Group and many of the company's world-beating products will be reintroduced in early 2012. That will include amps of seven, five, and two channels, not to mention mono-blocks. What caught our eye was a new product, the CSB-601 2.1-channel soundbar. In development is a surround pre-pro. Welcome back.
James Loudspeaker caught our eye with more than one fascinating product. The SPL-618 three-channel soundbar ($6000) features an unusual tweeter array, as you can see. It reminded us of the petals of a flower. Each quartet of tweeters is angled inward -- not with the intention of creating a sweet spot, but to provide good dispersion via summing. The 2.5-inch-deep bar can be made in various widths.
James Loudspeaker's 63SA-7 in-wall or in-ceiling speaker builds a pipe-shaped speaker three inches in diameter into a much larger back box. What if something goes wrong after the box is sealed into the wall? Just pull out the cylinder, detach its RK-45 connector, and pop in a new one. CTO Michael Park has earned the gratitude of CIs and their clients.
We didn't hear much of what Noah Kaplan said during the Leon Speakers press event -- too many people, not enough decibels. But his Living Space Theater soundbar, two-thirds of which is pictured, could be heard over the noise of the show floor, summoning vocal clarity and pretty good bass considering its depth of less than two inches. The amazing Trithon REYN made a welcome reappearance. Kaplan will make CEDIA history at an event tomorrow evening in which he will paint a mural accompanied by musician Adam Roberts.
The Polk SurroundBar 500 ($999) was first announced a year and a half ago but took some fine tuning. It moves the messy details of connectivity to an outboard rack-size box, left, allowing the enclosure to be just 0.9 inches deep. It can operate in three-, five-, and seven-channel modes. The woofers at the sides have dual voice coils to make such complex motion possible. The picture may not do justice to the dimpled surface of the drivers, which we assume is for air-flow control. Oh, and have we mentioned that Polk has overhauled its excellent LSi Series for the first time since 2002? There are two towers, a monitor, two centers, and a surround. One or more of them will prove quite reviewable.
Each of these three in-ceiling models has a concealed woofer mounted at a diagonal. It fires through apertures at the front, where there are also tweeter and midrange drivers. Prices range from $400-1000/pair with ascending woofer sizes from 6 to 8.6 inches. Two buttons tailor the speaker to the space. They include a notch filter and a circuit that adjusts for room reflections.
The relaunched MK Sound has introduced something it never had before: a true tower loudspeaker. Previous ones were actually just stand-mounts on tower-shaped pedestals. The THX-certified F-950 ($2200/pair) has two 5.25-inch woofers with dual magnets for extra oomph plus a soft dome tweeter in a box to protect it from its own back wave. Also shown were three new THX-certified subs (8, 10, 12 inches) using MK's famous push/pull technology.
Klipsch now makes headphones, as shown by Brooke Hilsmeyer. The killer is the MODE noise-canceling model which sounded great and worth $350. There is also a smaller non-NC Reference 1 and an S4A earbud, designed especially for use with Android devices.
The Integra DTR-80.3 nine-channel receiver ($3000) and DHC-80.3 pre-pro ($2600) and their Onkyo equivalents are the only receiver/pre-pro that upscale to 4K by 2K. That they can be ISF-calibrated for each source component is just as unusual and even more impressive. Pictured: Ten reasons why custom installers like to do business with Integra.
The Onkyo TX-NR5009 ($2899) and TX-NR3009 ($2199) and their Integra equivalents are the only receivers that upscale to 4K x 2K. But they weren't as photogenic as the two docking systems, the iOnly Play, left, with cool sliding cover over the dock; and the iOnly Bass, right, which is large enough to accommodate an iPad. Pricing $249 for either.
Last month, Sharp unveiled its new Elite-branded LED-backlit LCD flat panels, which I hadn't seen until now. Licensing the Elite moniker from Pioneerwhich collaborated on the new panelsSharp has hit a grand slam, filling a distinct void in high-end flat panels left by Pioneer's departure from the TV business. The PRO-X5FD has all the bells and whistles3D (including 2D-to-3D conversion with user-controllable effect), access to online content (Netflix, Vudu, etc.), THX certification for both 2D and 3D, and ISF certification to name a few.
Projectors are always big at CEDIA, and Panasonic has two new models on display. I already covered the PT-AE7000U in a previous post, but new at the show is the PT-AR100, an entry-level, 1920x1080 LCD model spec'd with 2800 lumens of light output and a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000:1. Features include a 2x zoom lens, lockable joystick to adjust the horizontal and vertical lens shift, and the ability to change the lamp and filter without unmounting the unit. It will be available by the end of October for a list price of $1999.
In addition to its mainstream consumer plasmas, Panasonic makes a line of professional models for broadcast monitoring and high-end custom installations. New from the company's pro division at CEDIA is the 65-inch TH-65VX300, which boasts over 12,000 steps of gradation and the ability to reproduce the DCI color gamut as well as Rec.709, SMPTE-C, and EBU. It provides circuit-board slots to customize the input complement, and its internal scaler can be bypassed if you have a better outboard processor. It looked quite good under less-than-ideal conditionswhich it should for $6250.