Sim2 debuted a new variant of the C3X 1080 dubbed, HOST. This is a two-piece package where the video processing is in a separate box from the projector itself and the two are interlinked via a fiber optic connection. The fiber can be run at distances up to 750ft giving a TON of flexibility in placement.
Velodyne’s new in-wall subwoofer uses two active forward-firing drivers and two rectangular passive drivers. One passive driver fires upward at a 45-degree angle while the other fires downward at a 45-degree angle. Velodyne says this helps to cancel out vibrations that might transfer to the wall. It fits in a standard 2” x 4” wall and comes with an external 400-watt amplifier that includes a 5-band EQ, built-in test generator, microphone, and remote control.
Yesterday's photo opportunity missed a big piece of Snell news: Legendary designer Joe D'Appolito is now on staff fulltime. It's already paying dividends with three new lines, all of which repurpose the same driver array for different applications. The Signature Elegant Series comes in good-looking veneered enclosures. The Signature Hidden Series comes in plain-vanilla MDF for use in cabinetry. And the Signature Invisible is, as you'd guess, for in-wall use and supplement other non-Signature in-wall and in-ceiling models. Some of the in-ceilings got an actual 5.1-channel movie demo to demonstrate that surround can live in your ceiling. Finally, who could resist another beauty shot, this time of the $50k Illusion floorstander, a seventh-generation reiteration of the history-making Snell A Reference. It's dual 10-inch, offers bass down to 27Hz, and threatens output of 112dB. The pretty amps are from fellow D&M stablemate Marantz.
Sonos had a great booth at the show to display their new wireless audio servers. I’ve been using them for quite sometime in my own home and love their performance. Sonos was showing their new slimmed down Zone Player 90 along with the new Zone Player 120.
Both the Auditor M and the Cremona M are part of the Cremona series characterized by their grill cloth which consists of fabric like strings. $5,500-$6,000 for the Center and $5,895/pr for the Auditor M.
High-end Blu-ray players made quite a showing at CEDIA, including the BDP-S5000ES from Sony, shown here from the front and back. It's BD-Live, and it even comes with a 1GB USB memory module to enable that functionality. The player decodes all the advanced audio codecs and offers a 7.1-channel analog output. It should start shipping in November for around $2000.
Blu-ray was a big part of Sony’s press conference and their new ES flagship player was definitely the highlight. The player features top notch build quality along with full support of all Blu-ray profiles.
Sony demonstrated its new VPL-VW70 projector (about $8000) in a dedicated theater booth featuring Watt Puppy loudspeakers from Wilson Audio--driven by one of its own AV receivers. The demo featured a 2.35:1 screen, with the projector supplemented by an anamorphic lens.
Sony's new XBR8 series uses LED backlighting with local dimming. Shown here was a demo setup in which you can see a single cluster (of the many--number not specified which will be positioned behind the panel) of red, green, and blue backlights. The interesting feature here is the presence of two green LEDs. That's not so puzzling when you realize that in our HD color TV system the luminance signal is encoded with more green information than red and blue put together.
Sony shattered the quasi-content-free tradition of pre-CEDIA press events with an awesome exhibition of exhibitionist tendencies. The Bravia Internet Link will host the premiere of the blockbuster Sony Pictures film Hancock with Will Smith and Charlize Theron. The Blu-ray release of same will have Digital Copy. Wait, there's more. Sony attacks lazy liquid crystals with 240Hz Motionflow, which quadruples the refresh rate and interpolates three new frames. Blu-ray has gone from 18 to 32 manufacturers in a year, including Sony of course, which will bow the BDP-S5000ES (pictured) in November for $2000. It has an HD Reality Processor that selectively enhances sharpness in areas of the picture that need it -- not unlike what Toshiba is doing. With rigid frame & beam construction and isolated circuits, this will be the Blu player to beat. Oh, and when the floor opens tomorrow, Sony will be showing a prototype of a 400-disc BD mega-changer to make its debut in 2009. Two new ES receivers will have Faroudja video processing. SACD not dead, judging from intro of XA5400ES player. Huff, puff. If other manufacturers have this much news, I'll be dead by the end of the show.