Digital Projection unveiled a broad line of DLP projectors at both 720p and 1080p resolutions, and in single- and three-chip configurations. Many of its projectors are available with the VIP 2000 outboard processor utilizing Silicon Optix’ vaunted Realta chip set with HQV (Hollywood Quality Video).
On Wednesday I got my first look at Sharp’s XV-Z20000, a 1080p single-chip DLP front projector, albeit in a static demo. The new unit is finished in a sleek, glossy black and peaking around the back revealed two HDMI inputs in addition a DVI/HDCP input,
Perhaps even cooler than the $999 720p Optoma (see below), Mitsubishi revealed a $4,495 1080p projector, called the HC5000BL. It’s going to use the Reon VX chip from Silicon Optix and have a claimed 10,000:1 contrast ratio with a dynamic iris. No DLP here, it has 3 LCDs inside. They’re hoping to ship later this month.
On Saturday afternoon I made it to an off-site hotel suite to get a sneak peak at prototypes of two of SIM2’s new 1080p DLP projectors with Greg Nicoloso of SIM2 and .Gordeon Sell PR’s Raney Nelson. Fired up at the suite were a Domino single-chip 1080p DLP targeted to sell at around $10K in November, and the HT5000 ($50K, available in November), which is the big dog, three-chip 1080p DLP with an eye-searing 4000-lumen rated light output.
Optoma had an incredible picture in their theater. It was sharp, bright and best of all, cinemascope wide. The HD81, a single chip 1080p DLP projector that ships at the end of the month will cost $11,000 with the anamorphic lens that lets you get the most out of 2.35:1 movies if you have an extra wide screen. The 171" screen was certainly bright enough even given its size. The processing they do to stretch the image vertically so that all pixels on the DLP chip are used seemed to work great. Runco does the same thing, but with a motorized switchable lens assembly that costs a great deal more.
TI featured SIM2's new 3-chip 1080p projector at their booth. While it looked great for the most part, it was hard to get a handle on just how good it really is since three of the four demo clips relied heavily or entirely on computer animation, and the fourth was a grainy, oversharpened trailer for a new upcoming Rocky (!) movie. Rocky 12, I think. An lovely but alarmingly enthusiastic presenter extolled the praises of TI's DLP technology until my teeth hurt. This must have been for the benefit of those in this professional CEDIA audience who may have never heard of DLP before.
CES 2011 has come and gone, and by the end, my dogs were barking big time! Last year, my pedometer recorded a total of 15 miles during the show, a figure I beat by 33 percent this year—I walked 20.34 miles, which translates to 42,959 steps. Thank goodness for orthodics and support socks!
Stay tuned for more videos from the show as well as my wrap-up reports…
Control4 continues its dominance in affordable home theater and whole-house automation with a huge presence at CEDIA. While the main central components - the $599 Home Theater Controller and the $1499 Media Controller - remained basically unchanged, the company announced a new in-wall touch panel (approximately 10") and ugrades to its 4Sight subscription service that allows a homeowner to both monitor and change the status of lights, garage doors, and other household gadgets via the Internet using any browser.
I really like the look and simplicity of ELAN's new ole' Film Interactive Touchpad (F.I.T.), and at $390 it's priced more like a keypad than a touchpad. The new in-wall controller uses predesigned thin film overlays on top of the touchpad surface. Since the button layouts are preset, it's extremely easy to program the pad to control the gear in your system. When installed in a full-blown ELAN multizone system, the pad displays system status info on an OLED window near the top of the pad - but it can also be used as a standalone touch pad controller in any system. (You won't get system status info, though.)
Acoustic Research is taking the idea of a "bookshelf" speaker to a new extreme with this model from the Home Decor Series. The SAT510, a quite substantial traditional bookshelf speaker, hides inside a fake-but-convincing shell designed to look like four well-read, weathered books. The front of the books have tiny perforations that let the sound through. Other various disguises - like table clocks, lamps, and planters - are also available.