Toshiba had two big announcements at the show. On the TV side, two new 1080p LCDs in their Regza line are sporting what they claim to be the thinnest bezel on the market, at 0.9 inches. As you can see in the pic, it is indeed very thin. Look for them this month for $1,900 for the 40RF350U and $2,500 for the 46RF350U.
Toshiba had a press conference, which was an hour of graphs, charts, heat, and blown-out sound effects. I’ll give them credit for the Star Trek theme (of course I would), but after the dozenth time of “HD DVD has won!” or “LCD is the best!” I tuned out.
JVC was first out of the gate last year with Clear Motion which interpolates an extra frame for each frame its given, clearing up motion blur significantly. I saw it in Japan last year and it was clearly working. I guess Toshiba saw it too, because their ClearFrame technology potentially does the same thing. Of course, JVC is on their second generation and they gave away some information at their press conference that was interesting. Each interpolated frame is created by examing 4,000 pixels in the frames before and after the frame being created. That's a lot of hard math. Toshiba didn't specify exactly how there's works (or if it did as well in the Math section on the SATs), but no doubt, the combination of quicker refresh times and 120 Hz technology has brought LCD panel technology a long, long way in very short amount of time.
Toshiba's execs literally beamed in from the 23rd century to inform us of its new LCD flat panels and HD DVD players, the latter of which have already been announced. But speaking directly to the Trekkie nerd inside me.
Infinity will please the custom install crowd, as well as consumers who are constantly repositioning their subwoofers in search of that perfect location, with the first wireless subwoofer we've seen. No, it's not battery-powered, but the PS212W ($679) requires no signal link to the receiver or pre-pro. It incorporates a 400W amp and a 12" Metal Matrix Diaphragm driver.
The wireless banner tastefully emblazoned across the grille does not come standard.
Transparent enclosures are a staple of product exhibits but in the case of the Velodyne DD-10 ($1999), this is the actual product! Good art is destiny in this cynical blogging game, so you don't get to see the arguably newsworthier MicroVee six-inch sub, with front-firing driver and passive radiators on the side, and 1000 watts of Class D power. Velodyne, ever versatile, also has in-wall and in-ceiling models. And it showed, yet again, the 1812 Digital Drive monster sub, one of the few subs with a crossover--from a 12-inch driver to an 8-inch one. We never tire of seeing and hearing its mighty cones vibrate.
Verity Audio showed a prototype of its new EXR center channel design, the first of a new line of Verity EXR speakers. But the $15,000-$20,000 price for the center channel speaker alone is intimidating, to say the least.
One of the few non-excruciating audio auditions at CEDIA '07 was Wisdom Audio's L75i demo. The planar speaker, powered by Classe amps, shone with material featuring Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, and Miles Davis. Music worth hearing: a novelty. Wisdom prides itself on the non-disintegrating metal in-wall frame. True, the bass was boomy in the rear of the room, and the ostensibly in-wall product was shown on-wall, but this was the rare public exhibit that didn't make us hate the product.
SE2 Labs has what is most likely the ultimate HTiB. It looks like an expensive espresso machine, but there's so much audio/video goodness inside this beautiful box that the approximately $20,000 price tag seems dirt cheap. Seriously, these guys have put just about everything you'd ever want in terms of high-end home theater gear and capabilities into one extremely well-machined chassis. All you need to add are speakers and an HDTV.
Five new sound-bar products from Yamaha include the YSP-4000 ($1800), with 5.1 channels in one convenient box. It does XM, FM, and iPod with optional dock. And it offers a greater range of surround adjustments from the remote than previous products. Whizzing race cars illustrated how well it works.