Got $36,495 burning a hole in your pocket? SIM2 has an answer in the new C3X Lumis HOST. According to SIM2, this 1080p, compact 3-chip DLP projector produces excellent blacks thanks to its Dynamic Black auto iris and modulated projection lamp. The "host" part is an outboard processor/input switching box included in the price (not shown in the photo). It did produce an outstanding image.
Those who want to equip their home theater with the best performance and service money can buy might want to take another look at SIM2. The company’s latest version of its HT5000E three-chip DLP projector combines reference-quality performance with unexpectedly personal service. The projector promises high-end image quality with the latest DLP chipsets from Texas Instruments. It includes three 0.95-inch DarkChip4 DMDs that work to display clear, uncompressed 1080p material.
The photo here shows the original image on SIM2's LCD local dimming prototype (the quality of the image on the LCD screen, by the way, was far better than this shot). The photo in the next entry shows the backlighting for the same image (I asked SIM2 to freeze the source so you can see what is happening.) More details follow in the next entry.
In addition to its line of projectors (which was heavily featured at the 2007 CEDIA Expo), SIM2 has begun working with Dolby to incorporate new Dolby video technology into its LCD flat panel displays. This technology involves LED backlighting with local dimming to improve black levels. The demo in the SIM2 room (and also in the Dolby booth) was set up to show not only the original image (in the previous post), but, with the flick of a switch, the lighting pattern of the LED backlights (shown here). According to SIM2, their prototype uses 1300 LEDs.
I don't speak with any authority on this, but it would seem "easier" to produce a slim plasma than an LCD. A plasma panel is self-illuminating, but a LCD requires some sort of backlight. But JVC has developed a new slim backlight to solve that problem.
Totem Acoustics was demonstrating a speaker they call The One. Its a limited anniversary edition of the first speaker they ever manufactured. Sans a subwoofer, these diminutive $3995 (pr) speakers were extremely impressive, outperforming, to my ears, some of the behemoth tower speakers [with five and six figure price tags] that were being demonstrated by other manufacturers at the Venetian.
DreamVision just unveiled its Dream Bee projector ($5,295), a three-chip beauty with 1080p resolution and a massive 15,000:1 native contrast ratio. It features 2.35 Theatre Mode and HQV video processing to make your favorite movies stand out on your projector screen. Its processing also provides detail enhancement, digital noise reduction, and an Automatic Film and Video mode detection.
While nearly every major consumer electronics brand has a new LCD or Plasma to show off at CES, most models look similar to one another. That isn’t the case with VIZIO’s newest batch of LCD HDTVs. The VL and VT Series all feature a distinct JAVA color treatment with a sophisticated, coffee-colored frame. It’s a nice addition to an LCD that introduces several new features from VIZIO.
Blame Sony's Chief Boss Howard Stringer for commenting that OLED sounds like a Norse god. But it's not. It's an ultra flat display technology with an inherently outstanding black level. Last year, Sony showed a number of small 11-inch models, together with a slightly larger prototype. The display was essentially the same this year, except that the design has been refined and the 11-incher is actually on sale now for $2500. OLED is currently expensive to manufacturer in larger screen sizes, and reportedly has a shorter life than LCD and plasma displays. But the pictures on these small screens sure looked fantastic.
After Tom Hank’s fun snarky intro to Sony’s omnipotence in the electronics and content market, we were treated to Sony’s vision for upcoming products. It started with glasses with a portion of the lens devoted to little video screens. Imagine walking through your real life while watching a picture-in-picture movie.
The media server category is growing. Sooloos distinguishes itself by concentrating on its touchscreen interface. You can import iTunes or Windows Media Player libraries, though ripping through Sooloos will allow true gapless playback by encoding each CD as a single long file. The basic configuration holds 2500 CDs though a test version has done up to 100,000. Touchscreen is fanless, therefore totally silent, and suitable for your listening room. Rendering and storage components are separate and can be kept in a closet. You can search with multiple criteria -- jazz, or jazz with Thelonious Monk, or jazz with Thelonious Monk recorded in the 1950s. There's Rhapsody support. Meridian made a wise move by getting involved with these people (and vice versa).
Sherwood has just released its first soundbars to the consumer electronics audience, and with prices set at $160 and $130, they won’t leave you without any change in your pocket. The SB-4221i ($160) features dual 2.75-inch drivers that are driven by a 15 watt per channel amplifier. Sherwood’s $160 model also has dual built-in subwoofers that are driven by a 30 watt RMS amplifier.
I know what you’re thinking. Is that glass half empty or half full? Is it water or whiskey? Ok, that’s a trick question- the answer is obviously dependent on the answer to the first question. And what has the proverbial glass on my mind is CES 2009. I’m here in Vegas and the mood is indeed as subdued as many expected. So far it’s like low season at the hotels here. So, is our perspective on this glass half full? Or is it now a question empty or emptier? Where’s the news?