Cedia in Perspective
Covering a trade show as massive as CEDIA dampens your desire to write your regular blog, so first off, apologies for the month plus a day delay since my last refresh.
One night in Denver, I went out with some Sony folks and a Sony ex-Pat who now works for Sonos. By my third mojito, John (that's his name) had me believing Sonos was the holy grail of home music distribution systems. I'll be checking out the system later this year with any luck. There's some question as to whether I can keep my AAC-encoded music collection on the USB-connected external hard drives and interface that in, but worst case, I can move it off to an unused laptop and make that my "server." Products like the Sonos ZoneBridge 100 should let me extend the system from the first floor theater to a ZonePlayer 90 in my 2nd floor bedroom almost 100 feet away where it can feed an existing two channel system. Or using the 55 wpc stereo Sonos ZonePlayer 120, you'll only need to add speakers to any room to be in business.
Recycle your wire – products from companies like Liberty Cable promise to reuse your existing RGB+HV coaxial wiring that's still up in your ceiling from that now dim CRT projector by attaching converter boxes on both ends to push HDMI signals through them. They don't convert HDMI to RGB and back again. That would be a horror show. But so is trying to get that HDCP handshake working with intervening contraptions, so it looks like it will be a few months before I get to try their HDMI-over-Coax solution.
Meanwhile, I didn't get to see this either, but FlyWire by Belkin is a $1,500 solution to do with air what Liberty does with your old projector cables, get HDMI from your receiver to your projector, wirelessly. Count me in for a FlyBy when it comes out later this year.
But as awesome as CEDIA is, the best part of being involved in this industry, even as peripherally as I am, is coming home and knowing that your system, regardless of the budget, was put together with a keen eye towards balance and judicious component selection. So last night, when my daughter Laura invited 14 young people (law students, law grads and/or their dates) over last night for a real middle-eastern three-kebab dinner, I went into the adjoining home theater room, put on the David Gilmour Live at Royal Albert Hall concert blu-ray on the just-returned-from-service PS3 player, brought the screen down, fired up the JVC HD1 projector, killed the lights and cranked up the Marantz SR-8002 AVR that feeds the Martin Logan Prodigy/Request/Theatre-I speakers and that still-earth-shaking Velodyne FSR-18 subwoofer. The guest bathroom is off the home theater, so there was no way to avoid the system after a few Sam Adams (hey, Armenians make bad beer), and everyone had to pass through and got a gander. Most of them sat down for at least a song or two before returning to group and I had to gently turn down requests for adoption from a few of the guys with assurances I would help them pick equipment when the time came.
For me, Floyd and Kebabs put things into proper perspective.