The B&W DB1 sub will be a big deal when it ships in December for $4500. Its two 12-inch drivers can be equalized with an app downloaded to a PC, then input into the sub. B&W (as we persist in thinking of the company, being old-fashioned that way) also showed two new in-wall series, the 600 and 700, both with innovative back boxes that make for an easy install. The 700 Series back box is especially interesting -- it's a two-piece structure that fits into a slot in the wall, with the pieces joined by a hinge. You can see the bottom half of the back box trailing below two of the speakers in the picture.
JVC now has a two new Blu-ray players, but with a twist. The RS-HD 1250 ($1995) and RS-HD 1500 ($2550) not only play Blu-ray discs, but record them as well. Before you get all excited about this, you should know that the two cannot record HD either off the air or from copy-protected Blu-ray discs. Marketed by JVC's pro division, primarily with pro applications in mind, they can, however, copy HD video onto disc from HD camcorders, both pro and consumer. The material is first copied to an internal hard drive, then from there to to Blu-ray. The more expensive model differs in that it can record material from Final Cut Pro, has a larger hard drive 500GB vs 1250GB), and offers an RS-232 connection. Both machines have USB and IEEE-1394 ports.
Long known for high-quality audio products, Cambridge Audio is introducing the Azur 650BD Blu-ray player, which joins the growing ranks of so-called universal players that can play DVD-Audio and SACD in addition to Blu-ray, DVD, and CD. In addition, it provides BD-Live functionality and 7.1-channel analog-audio outputs, and it can decode all the audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, all for $750.
Complimenting the new 650BD Blu-ray player from Cambridge Audio is the 650R A/V receiver. This 7.1-channel AVR provides 100Wpc in an acoustically damped chassis and supports all current audio formats. It also transcodes analog video to HDMI and offers a pure analog stereo-direct mode. That's a lot of AVR for $1800.
Cambridge Audio has introduced its own truly universal, Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player, the Azur 650R, at $779. It not only plays Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs, but multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio as well--either through its analog outputs or as a bitstream over HDMI. According to the Cambridge rep, it will also decode SACD and DVD-Audio to multichanel PCM for output over HDMI
If money really is no object and you want a true digital-cinema projector in your home theater, this is the only game in town. The CAT MBX 4 is a 3-chip DLP with a resolution of 2048x1080, the same as you see in digital cinemas. It also provides D-Link decryption in order to display DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) files. Other standard features include 3-kilowatt xenon lamp, dual power supply, custom lenses, anamorphic lens with sled, custom irises, and a plenum enclosure with a cooling system that keeps the internal temperature within 3 degrees of the target at all times. The projector is fed by an outboard processor via two dual-link DVI connections, each of which provides a higher bit rate than standard DVI. If you have to ask how much, you can't afford it, but I'll tell you anyway$208,000 with the standard processor (10-bit processing, 12-bit output) and an extra $32,000 for the 12-bit processor. Heck, why not buy two for 3D?
This year marks the 20th anniversary of CEDIA's founding, a fact that was not lost on any attendees thanks to the ubiquitous signage, an example of which is shown here with Sony rep Jon Lin. A momentous occasion, to be sure. I just wish the celebration had been at a different venuethe Georgia World Congress Center was universally panned by everyone I spoke with. It's way too spread out, making it nearly impossible to walk from one end to the other in less than 20 minutes. And forget about getting anywhere offsite! Noel Lee, head monster at Monster Cable, was riding his Segue as usual, and I saw consultant Tony Grimani zipping around on a small razor-type kick scootermaybe I'll get one of those for next year!
This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Chord Electronics’ Chordette Gem is a really cool USB DAC. But as cool as that is, that’s not even what’s coolest about it. Have an iPod Touch or iPhone? Yeah, me too. I opened my iPhone's BlueTooth settings and saw the Chordette right away and paired it with a 4-digit code expertly supplied by Sumiko’s Norbert Schmied (granted, it was the 1-2-3-4 default, but my man was all over it). Right away I was playing tunes through the stereo speaker system connected to the Chordette over BlueTooth (and Light Sabers, Star Trek phasers, and other, um, iPhone app related sound effects, some of which may have been regarded as unsavory). We don’t need no stinking white cables! $799 and you’re living the dream!
Walking around CEDIA, you'll see tools you never knew existed designed to solve problems you never knew anyone ever had. Although I've always believed that (1) you should always use the right tool for the right job,(2) you can never have enough tools, and (3) battery/electric tools are always better than ones that require my own muscle power; there are some tools on display here that even I can't justify having at home. My wife will probably say I have a hole in my head when I say I need this tool, but I can't help wanting the awesome Hole Pro Adjustable Hole Cutter drill attachment. It's capable of cutting smooth holes in all kinds of materials (dry wall, plywood, even some metal). But wait - there's more! As the name implies, it's adjustable; so this one tool can be used to drill anything from a 1 7/8-inch hole to a 17-inch hole. And the clear plastic housing not only catches all the dust and debris as you're cutting - it also serves as a support housing that makes sure you drill the hole perpendicular to the plain of the surface you're cutting. A built-in depth gauge prevents you from drilling too far into your wall and into a water pipe or speaker wire. Models range from $119.95 to $164.95 depending on the maximum size hole the tool will cut. Check out the videos of the Hole Pro in action at the company's web site www.holepro.com.
Classe's Delta series of components incorporate beautiful industrial design, but their curved enclosures prevent them from being rack mounted. To address this problem, the company is introducing the CT series, which includes several new power amps and a rack-mountable version of the SSP-800 pre/pro. The amps boast a new thermal-management system and other refinements that led one rep I spoke with to exclaim, "They're the best-sounding amps we've ever made." Prices range from $5000 for the 300W monoblock to $9000 for the 5x300W CT-5300.
One of custom installation's most prominent brands introduces a line of home theater products. The AMS-AIP Adagio Media System includes a receiver-like component, multizone distribution for four to six rooms -- expandable to 24 -- HDMI and DVI switching, easy setup via front panel or Adagio Composer software, QuickSwitch HD technology, Audyssey MultEQ XT auto setup and room corection, Gennum VXP video processing, and a choice of 12-button keypads or LCD controller. For a signal source, Crestron offers the ISERVER networked audio server. Other possible accessories include the MLX-2 LCD remote, and CEN-IDOCV iPod dock.
Things are tough all over. This man is the prettiest model that Definitive Technology could afford to show off its new Mythos XTR-50 ($799 each). Bada-bing. Actually that’s Definitive’s man in charge, Paul DiComo. The new XTR-50 is Definitive’s answer to the flat panel’s ongoing bout with anorexia. Although the speaker also ships with attractive table-top stands, the XTR-50’s wow factor is its shocking 1.6” depth, which is all the more startling when wall-mounted around one of the latest wafer-thin flat panels. Wall mounting is ultra simple with the supplied brackets, and they can be oriented horizontally or vertically (even the Definitive logo detaches and re-attaches to match). Now all you need is a flat panel that doesn’t look fat when surrounded by two or three XTR-50s.
Three new models from this formidable Baltimore-based company include an ultra-thin on-wall or on-shelf model plus two in-walls. The biggest news is the Mythos XTR, a 1.5-inch-deep speaker designed to complement a flat-panel TV. That DefTech is giving it the coveted Mythos name is significant. It is said to deliver punchy dynamics by coupling the drivers to four dome low-bass radiators. The speaker also uses the same aluminum tweeter found in the high-end Mythos ST SuperTower. The XTR-50 will ship in the first quarter of 2010 for $799, to be joined for two additional Mythos XTR models later in the year. Also to be shown at CEDIA are the in-wall DI 5.5LCR and DI 6.5LCR, which go with the previously introduced DI 5.5BPS bipolar surround. Woofer sizes are indicated in the model numbers. Prices: DI 5.5LCR, $399/each, DI 6.5LCR, $499/each.