Mitsubishi formally announced a new 1920x1080 LCD projector at CEDIA,the HC5000U, equipped with an auto iris, lens shift, and a price of $4495. The video processor is the new REON chip from Silicon Optix, lamp life is claimed to be 5000 hours, and fan noise is specified at 19dBA (a very low figure) in low lamp mode.
I finally made it over to Thiel’s live demonstration featuring the CS3.7 floorstanders with the just announced SCS4 bookshelf speakers pulling center channel and surround duties. And wouldn’t you know this was another one of the few places in the entire CEDIA Expo at which one could actually hear some music?
NAD's new M5 CD/SACD player features AES/EBU PCM digital output, separate 2-channel and 5-channel analog outputs, bass management for SACD, Burr Brown 24 bit 192 kHz audio DACs, and pure class A discrete gain modules. With a suggested list price of $1,799.00 it complements the rest of the NAD Master series of components.
Toshiba today announced their next generation HD DVD players, which has to be some kind of record. After all, the first generation of players has only been out for 6 months. The HD-A2 is $499 and will be out in October. It’s still 1080i. More interesting is the HD-XA2, at $999. This one (shown) is 1080p and HDMI 1.3. It will be available in December.
The Harman Specialty Group's booth was nearly set up for Thursday's official opening when we snapped these photos of the new Revel Ultima2 series. The tallest is the new Salon2 ($22,000/pair), the smaller floor-stander is the new Studio2 ($16,000/pair, not shown, but similarly styled) The others were the Gem2 (not shown) and Voice2 (photo below). The new Ultima2s will roll out gradually, with the Salon and Studio due around the first of the year and the other pieces scheduled in late winter or early spring 2007.
Stewart Filmscreen announced its new StarGlas rigid rear projection screen with the screen element sandwiched between two layers of safety glass. It's available in both 0.6 and 1.0 gain versions and is said to be durable, easily cleaned, and, according to Stewart's Joachin Rivera (shown here with the screen), ideal for indoor, outdoor, or even exterior wall use (rear projection from inside, viewing from outside).
Toshiba fired another salvo in the ongoing next-gen HD disc format war by announcing that it will have its second-generation HD DVD players to market by the end of 2006.
The $499 HD-A2 will street in October, with the step-up $999 HD-XA2 following in December.
Oh, I could tell you about the Yamaha's RX-V2700 7.1 channel receiver's Ethernet connection lets you access Internet radio stations and music stored on computer drives, or how the RX-V2700 has 140 watts for each of its seven channels, or about how they extended the room optimization (equalization) module to go down to 31 Hz instead of 63Hz. Or I could mention that the receiver will supersize your 480i video to 480p, or even 720p or 1080i using the Anchor Bay Technology's ABT1010 video chip. Or I could say that if you use Yamaha's $100 iPod docking station, you can control the iPod with the receiver's remote. Or I could say that the can get all this for only $1,699.
Silicon Valley based Niveus Media made compelling announcements of its new media servers, which are based on Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center platform and also use Intel’s Viiv technology. While digital photos and music are on tap, as with many media servers, what will separate Niveus’ machines is the ability to handle HD DVD and other high-definition content.
NuVo Technologies showed off the company's new Grand Concerto multiroom audio system. The coolest part of the system is the new control pad that uses an OLED display that the NuVo people say can show up to eight readable character lines. The character height for each line is selectable, and different lines can have different character heights. The NuVo folks say that, in addition to being bright enough to be readable in rooms with lots of sunlight, the control pad display has a 180-degree viewing angle.
Optoma announced they are shipping their HD81 1080p front projector. Hopefully they’ll be shipping one to us soon. It has a 16 step auto-iris and a separate input box with a Gennum VXP chip for scaling, all for $6,999.
Optoma was producing a terrific picture on a big screen (estimated at about 12-feet wide) using an add-on Schneider anamorphic lens on the company's new HD81 1080p single-chip DLP projector. The projector goes for $7000, the lens is a $4000 option (lens available in November)
Optoma took two of their pro projectors and electronically stitched together this widescreen image. The seam is barely visible here, but a bit more visible in the flesh. Engineers playing games. The image was much sharper than this available light image suggests.