CEDIA's Last Day at Last
Then, of course, there are those products you hear about later that you wished you had actually stumbled across while you were there.
One of those cool-but-missed items was a "motion hardware kit" from Reversica that lets you hide a flat-panel TV behind a set of shelves. Reversica's Gyre 6300 is designed to hold up to 375 pounds in a cabinet space only 17.5 inches deep. Reversica says, "As easily as opening a door, a Gyre-equipped cabinet twists completely around hiding the plasma or LCD and revealing shelves for whatever the homeowner wishes to display. . .books, stemware, china, a wine rack or collectibles could be stored on the other side." There's also a Gyre Slim, a 7.5-inch deep version that can be used to hold thin decor items, such as framed art (but probably not one of those cheap posters from your college dorm room) or a mirror, on the side opposite your flat-panel TV. According to Reversica, both models can be installed in walls, above fireplaces, or built into cabinets and alcoves. The rotating kit is sold unfinished. "Contractors, cabinetmakers or furniture makers take care of all woodwork." Evidently you can't buy the Gyre 6300 directly from the company. They say they sell to "contractors, builders, cabinetmakers and others in the trades" with an MSRP of $3,000. Flat-panel TV is optional.
Something big I did manage to see in person was Sharp's LC-65D90U, "the world's largest available Digital Cable-Ready LC HDTV." Although Sharp has touted this 1080p set before, they're now saying you'll be able to own one in November for only $20,999.99 (MSRP). (It's important that they get that last 99 cents, too. Profits on LCD TVs are slim enough already.) The Sharp folks say that with the new Kameyama factories for LCDs coming on line, we should see larger size LC HDTVs becoming more common - and most likely less expensive. Before you go clearing a spot on the wall for this 65-inch behemoth, though, be advised that the LC-65D90U is heavy (although Sharp did design handles on the back side of the panel to help installers avoid dropping and then paying for the set). Wall anchors from Lowe's - even a giant set of molly bolts - won't do the trick when it comes to mounting it on the wall.
Speaking of big, BG, the company formerly known as Bohlender Graebner, showed off their latest in-wall speaker system anchored by the $9,999 a pair Radia R-800 81.5-inch tall in-wall speaker system. Yes, you read that right. 81.5 inches is not a typo. The R-800s are a three-way discrete line array in-wall system with an active woofer section powered by an included external 1,000-watt sub amplifier. Believe it or not, the system sounds so good you'll wonder why it's only ten grand.
The R-800 uses a new patent-pending 10-inch by 5-inch planar magnetic ribbon driver, the Neo10, with an operating frequency range that extends down to 150 Hz. The R-800s were matched with BG's new Radia R-400C center channel and Radia R-88 in-wall active subwoofer system. The R-88 system ($3,000) comes with a dedicated 1,000-watt BGA-2500 amplifier that's capable of driving another R-88 ($1,000 each).
Even Bigger Screen
Keeping with the big theme, I got a great view of the outside - and inside - of Optoma's BigVizion customizable, modular 100-inch rear-projection display designed to be installed or built into a wall. Optoma says the BigVizion "will be among the first 'video wall' concepts to feature 1080p resolution and ISF 3C modes." The hidden HDTV's guts will use a single-mirror system and require an estimated depth of 30 inches for the 100-inch diagonal screen size. (An 80-inch version will also be available.)
Finally, on the other extreme of image size, AMX's new 5-inch Modero Widescreen touch panel which AMX describes as a "subtle, yet feature rich touch panel [that] offers what no other panel of its size can - audio/video-ready capabilities, a 16x9 widescreen user interface and the unique AMX Modero design all rolled into an unbelievably sleek flush-mount wall display." Its 800x480 screen includes an integrated motion sensor that can be programmed to activate the user interface upon approach.
That's the news from Indianapolis. Next year, it's on to Denver (where we might hear the latest buzz about plasma TVs…)