CES: Video Proliferates in Las Vegas
Konka, based in San Jose, California, has some fun little sets in candy colors and an assortment of 4:3 displays in bright see-through cabinets à la the Macintosh Imac. Konka is also showing several widescreen digital displays in various sizes, the largest of which—the 34-inch HD3498u—offers full 1080i resolution and Dolby Digital surround decoding. Konka's top models offer not only all ATSC formats, but include inboard line doublers for the best display of NTSC analog video. "One good look deserves another," the company's advertising proclaims.
Fujitsu, the longtime leader in plasma displays, has unveiled a group of high-resolution LCD projectors said to create unrivaled image accuracy in SXGA, SVGA, and VGA modes. Flagship model LPF-8200 has a brightness of 2300 ANSI lumens, and can magnify any section of the displayed image up to 64 times its normal size. All Fujitsu LCD projectors are DVD-compatible and highly portable—the lightest weighs a tad over 14 pounds, and the heaviest less than 54. Fujitsu's latest PlasmaVision Slimscreen is a 42-inch-diagonal only 3.3 inches deep and capable of displaying all ATSC formats, including what the manufacturer calls a "full 1024x1024 high-resolution pixel array."
Always an industry leader, Sony has introduced some stunning small-screen sets—such as the FD Trinitron WEGA 13-inch flat screen, which will go on sale this summer at $329 retail. Available in three colors—gray, blue, and white—the small sets offer "superb image quality," according to Sony marketing manager Julie Werbitt. "The new 13-inch FD Trinitron WEGA TV is setting a new design trend in the home," says Werbitt.
Faroudja, almost legendary for extracting the utmost from any video format, has introduced what it calls "the ultimate digital video processor/scaler": the DVP5000. The device is the first on the market to automatically upconvert 1080i (interlaced) to 1080p (progressive) resolution. The box allows 720p signals to pass through unaltered, but automatically upconverts 480p to 960p. Broadcasts in 480i can also be automatically upconverted to 1080p. All the processing is "completely transparent" to users, and results in what Faroudja is hyping as a "startlingly filmlike image from any source." The DVP5000's proprietary processing eliminates "any visible artifacts," according to company representatives. Retail price is projected at under $30,000.
Vidikron is once again astounding showgoers with dazzling video. The company experienced some financial difficulty last year, but has emerged in a strong position with excellent products. A new high-resolution LCD projector, the Epoch D-2200, looks like a "Best of Show" candidate, with astounding picture quality on an 86-inch-diagonal screen. A short ABC Sports HDTV tape montage has attendees abuzz on the Las Vegas Convention Center floor. The D-2200 handles all DTV formats as well as PC and Macintosh computer outputs, and its top-end resolution is 1024x768. The projector works at varying distances from either the front or the back of the screen, as a ceiling-mount or on a tabletop. Luminosity is 2200 ANSI lumens, and maximum throw distance is almost 56 feet. The projector is expected to be available sometime in February at a suggested price of about $13,000.
No home theater is complete without proper seating, and Bass Industries of Miami, Florida is here to fill the bill. The company has a full line of beautiful and extremely comfortable theater seats on display at the Convention Center. Recommended ride: the fully adjustable, all-leather Penthouse Lounger, complete with cup holders in its extra-ample armrests. Upgrade your movie house to first class.
Video fans can also update their surround sound speakers later this spring with a new dipole from PSB. The $695/pair model 10S combines the drive units from a pair of Image 1B speakers in a unique wide-dispersion cabinet for both rear- and side-channel effects. The 10S should arrive at PSB dealers in April.