B&K showed its new Reference 70 Series 2 AV pre-pro. It will accept multichannel PCM audio over HDMI, but does not decode Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD Master Audio internally. It does offer full video transcoding, as well as video processing via the HQV REON chip from Silicon Optix.
The B&K 30.2 digital brick amp comes in 30, 60, or 100 watts times two. You can fit three of 'em on a plate (bottom) or six on a larger plate (hanging, top). Controls are on the back, but if you prefer them on the front, you want the ST30.2. B&K also showed the AVR707 receiver, with 200 watts times seven, due in 2008; and the AV1230, which covers 16 zones with two-channel goodness.
In what is becoming an annual tradition, we asked Steven Stone about his footwear for the show. The contributor to many fine publications replied that he brought three pair of suede shoes to CEDIA this year. Of course the blue, blue, blue suede shoes are the ones we wanted to snap.
Before introducing its new D-ILA front projectors JVC offered a fascinating glimpse of what's beyond HD. It showed some flight simulation clips and some native 4K movie material (from and odd movie called The Trident) on its 4k x 2k D-ILA system in a movie theater-sized venue, on a screen not quite movie sized. This is far more pixel density than current 1920x1080 HD, and the depth and dimensionality of the image quickly demosntrated why I believe digital cinema in theaters needs 4K to take off.
Epson and Atlantic Technology are teaming up to bring out the world's largest HTiB. There are two versions. Each one includes a drop-down screen with built-in Atlantic Technology speakers (LCR), a DVD-based media center (with HDMI inputs and upscaling capability), and rear speakers (also from Atlantic Technology) that can either hang on each side of the projector or be mounted on the wall. For $4,999, you get a 720p Epson LCD projector with the system. For $6,999, you get an Epson 1080p model. Both systems come with racetracks to help hide the wires for installations even I could do.
Every show has a surprise, and for me CEDIA's 2007 surprise was the demo I saw from the St. John Group, the importer/distributor perhaps best known for handling the Cabasse line of loudspeakers. This group has picked up Screen Research for distribution, and now has a projector line to shine on those screens: CineVERSUM.
Sharp is finally releasing a Blu-ray player, and they’re claiming it’s all their parts. Certainly a subtle, but perhaps unintended, dig at Sony. The BD-HP20 will ship this month for $549. It will do 1080p/24 and they claim it will go from off to picture in less than 10 seconds. I’ll believe that when I see it. Sorry for the crappy pic. When I do a booth tour later in the show, I’ll get a better one.
The people at Boston Acoustics couldn't resist assembling a bunch of their colorful Horizon speakers into a chandelier (and we couldn't resist taking a picture of it). Injection-molded plastic enclosures, shaped to maximize the front and minimize the back, are braced both by the molding and by MDF. Complete 5.1 systems range from $499-700 with black or white grilles plus optional grilles in eight other colors for $19-100 depending on size. Boston also showed the SoundWave cubes, which stand on one of their corners, in seven colors for $99 each. They're indoor/outdoor.
Has that pun been used before? Well, the classics always endure. The French company's globular speakers include the way-cool iO2 floorstanding model at center, with its angular solid-wood base, and the tiny Alcyone mounted to the wall at top right. The latter comes with a magnetic stand and can produce 93dB with one watt of power, an enviable and pragmatic sensitivity rating for home theater applications.
The Azur 340R surround receiver (center, $679) is a third-generation product from Cambridge Audio. It delivers 50 watts times five with two HDMI-in and one out (video switching only). Oh, and Cambridge is now offering a turntable!
Is it possible to get all the goodness of the Canton exhibit into one photo? We'll die trying. At left is the revamped Vento, with a rounder gloss enclosure, new midrange and tweeter and crossover, and smoother mids and highs (we're told). Available in a month or so. At right is the Karat, revised from 3-way to 3.5-way to eliminate lobing. A 5.1-channel set will go for $4500. Not pictured: the new Chrono line, positioned between the GLE and Ergo lines, about $5000 for a 5.1 set, and the rather stylish looking DSS 303 iPod docking system, also with USB for non-Apple players, for $499, available in a few months and so new it hasn't even been announced till now.
The Cary Audio Designs' Cinema 11V High Definition Video Processor ($3000) provide thesvideo switching that the company's Cinema 11a preamp-processor ($3000) lacks. But it can also be used as a stand-along video processor with other gear. It has Faroudja technology to provide video upconversion to a maximum of 1080p. It also claims to provide an output refresh rate of up to 120Hz, though we know of no current video display that can accept a direct 120Hz input (the new displays coming on line with 120Hz capability produce 120Hz internally from a 24/30/or 60 Hz source). There are six HDMI 1.3 inputs and two HDMI outputs, plus a full complement of analog video inputs, including RGB inputs and outputs on BNC connectors. CRT projector owners, take note.
Terrestrial Digital is making an HDTV tuner / antenna similar in design to the LaCrosse Micron antennae, except of course it has a built in high definition tuner. How good is the tuner? Who knows, who cares, because the unit only outputs composite video or s-video with two channels of analog audio.