Across the street from the convention center, find memorabilia from last week's hysterical historical event. Blue pant suits are buy-one-get-one-free, but the Jonathan Edward's bobble-head dolls (hey, you have order these months in advance, so who knew!) were my favorites.
If you can't afford the $3500 DVDO VP50 Pro video processor from Anchor Bay Technologies, here's some great news: a new processor called the Edge that incorporates the power of the VP50 Pro in a svelte package costing only $800. It's less customizable and has no grayscale or color-point control, but it does provide outstanding noise reduction and deinterlacing as well as basic picture controls for each input, of which there are 6 HDMIs.
DVDO debuts their new Edge Video processor. Utilizing the same video processing as their flagship VP50Pro, the Edge handles the full compliment of HD and SD video processing with de-interlacing, scaling, and custom video settings. The Edge features 6 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs. The outputs are split for video and audio allowing you to run video directly to a display while sending the audio to your AVR or surround processor.
Dynaudio make great sounding speakers, but they're usually very pricey. The new DM series, made in Denmark, start as little as $875 pair for the DM 2/7, a two way with a 6-1/2" woofer (first on left) and as high as $1,350 a pair for the two-way DM 2/10 with a 10" woofer. Available in faux cherry or black, they're yeoman-like, but look promising.
Numinus can put a full star field on the ceiling in your home theater – or anywhere you want them to for that matter. If you ask them nicely, they’ll also create a sky dome for you that’ll change from daylight to nighttime whenever you choose. For the really star struck, Numinus can reproduce the way the stars looked in the sky on the day you were born, married, or, maybe, first discovered they could put a sky dome in your room. The stars can be set to twinkle (a little or a lot), and very realistic shooting stars can be programmed, too.
Epson launched several new projectors at CEDIA. The most exciting was the flagship PowerLite Pro Cinema 7500UB ($5000, December). Demonstrated with both standard 16:9 material and 2.35:1, the latter with the optional anamorphic lens ($6000) on a 101.5" wide, 2.35:1 Stewart Studiotek 130 screen, it looked superb--probably the best projector I saw at the show at its price or less, and competitive with some far more expensive designs. Blacks were excellent, too, particularly since this LCD design was demonstrated without any help from its dynamic iris.
Epson's new step-down 1080p line includes the Pro Cinema 7100 (<$3000) and Home Cinema 6100 ($2000). These do not offer the Ultra Black (UB) technology, so the claimed dynamic aspect ratio is "only" 18,000:1. Otherwise, the similarities and differences between them as much the same as the 7500 UB and 6500 UB.
With one of the longest model designations in the industry, Epson's new top-of-the-line 1080p projector will be available in two versions—the Pro Cinema 7500 UB (<$5000) and the Home Cinema 6500 UB (<$3000). Both include HQV Reon-VX processing, a purported contrast ratio of 75,000:1, Fujinon lens, and high-speed auto iris. The Pro version includes an extra lamp, ceiling mount, ISF certification, longer warranty, and anamorphic scaling with an optional Panamorph lens. Both should be available in December.
Epson has long been the leader of LCD technology and they’ve brought another high-end LCD model to the market this year. The TW750UB is their new flagship LCD projector that will be shipping this December at a price just under $5,000.
Escient has added a whole new product line, supplementing the fabulous five-year-old Fireballs with the new Vision media servers. Models include the VX600, with four swappable one-terabyte drives, enough to hold 600 movies, $7999; VX-200, two times 1TB, $5999; and VX-100, two times 500GB, $3999. Asked if Escient expected the kind of copyright lawsuits that have bedeviled Kaleidescape, the answer was no, the products are unrancorously licensed with the CCA, the DVD DRM authority. Escient is also working with Sony to make its streaming products compatible with the forthcoming 400-disc Blu-ray player. The GUI looks great, with cover view for both DVD and CD, and Rhapsody compatibility is part of the package.
Come October 1, 2008, Denon owners will be able to download firmware upgrades for their the AVR-3808CI, AVR-4308CI from Denon's website for a $100. What's that get you? Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Audyssey Dynamic EQ, for two, and Sirius radio ready capability and Rhapsody streaming capability for three and four. Meanwhile, the higher end AVR-5308CI AVR (picture) and AVP-A1HDC1 pre/pro can get a free firmware upgrade of Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Sirius Radio capability.
This crank, located in the rear of the third generation Focal Grande Utopia (above) is provided to rotate the separate driver cabinets to the correct angular displacement, dependent on the listening distance.