I get tons of e-mail asking if there are any Blu-ray recorders available in the US, and up to now, I've had to say no. But JVC changed my answer with the introduction of the SR-HD1500 and HD1250. They can't record over-the-air, cable, or satellite content, nor can they be used to duplicate copyrighted material. Instead, they are intended to record camcorder footage on recordable Blu-ray media. The camcorder can be connected via FireWire or USB, or a memory card can be inserted in the unit's card reader, and the footage is copied to an internal hard disk. It can then be edited and burned to BD-R or BD-RE with or without menus. The HD1250 has a 250GB hard disk and will list for $1995, while the HD1500 has a 500GB hard disk, can accept Final Cut Pro files, and will list for $2550; both will be available in October.
At last year's CEDIA, JVC showed its 4K projector intended for flight simulation and similar applications. Today, the company introduced a version for the ultra-high-end consumer market. With 4096x2400 resolution, the DLA-RS4000 uses a xenon lamp to output 3500 lumens and boasts a native contrast ratio of 10,000:1 with no dynamic iris. This THX- and ISF-certified monster will be available next month for $175,000 (including an outboard I/O box and your choice of lens). The main demo consisted of upconverted 1080p, and the black level wasn't as deep as I expected, even in the mostly darkened room, but some still photos at 4K, such as the screen shot shown here, looked spectacular.
JVC surprised me with the intro of a 3D-capable LCD TV. The 46-inch GD-463D10 uses circular polarization and passive polarized glasses to achieve the 3D effect, which uses alternate lines on the screen for each eye, effectively cutting the vertical resolution in half. It can also display 1080p at full resolution in 2D. The GD-463D10 is available now for $8995. I thought the demo looked pretty good, but not good enough to change my mind about preferring a good 2D image.
Aside from the DLS-RS4000 4K behemoth, no less than six new projectors were announced at JVC's press conference todaythree in the Reference series from the company's professional division and three in the Procision line from the consumer group, all with HQV video processing. At the top of the heap are the DLA-HD990 and RS35, which feature hand-selected and -tuned optics, 70,000:1 native contrast ratio with no dynamic iris, inverse telecine back to 24fps with 96Hz refresh rate, and ISF and THX certification. Both will list for $10,000 and should be available this month. Stepping down the model ladder, we come to the HD950 and RS25, with 50,000:1 contrast and THX movie mode for $8000. The entry level is occupied by the HD550 ($5000) and RS15 ($5500) with 35,000:1 and 30,000:1 contrast, respectively. The demos looked quite good, especially because JVC always goes to great lengths to show its projectors in a darkened environment.
JVC is introducing a whole new range of its DILA projectors at the show. There are six new models, three from the consumer division and three essentially identical models from the pro division. The star of the six is the DLA0RS35 (pro, $10,000), available this month. It has a claimed peak contrast ratio of 70,000:1, adds JVC's 120Hz Clear Motion Drive, and is both THX- and ISF-certified. The consumer version is the DLA-HD990, at the same price.
The new, smaller Kaleidescape Mini System can hold up to 225 DVDs or 2500 CDs with expanded optional storage (75 and 825 respectively with the standard storage that comes with the unit. $7995 with standard storage.
Knoll Systems or Richmond, BC has announced two new projectors built by the company from the ground up: the HDP1100 and the HDP1200. Both are single-chip DLP designs with 7-segment color wheels said to "virtually" eliminate rainbow artifacts. The projectors are available with either sort- or long-throw, all glass Nikon lenses, and offer an anamorphic aspect ratio for use with 2.35:1 screens and add-on anamorphic lenses. The HDP-1100 ($5999) is short-throw, while the HDP-1200 ($6799) is long-throw.
The new IDT HQV "VIDA" advanced video processing IC improves on the performance of the Previous HQV processors with advancements in noise reduction, adaptive de-interlacing, scaling and detail enhancement.
Projectiondesign will be introducing its Avielo Chroma DLP projector with LED illumination. No price was available at press time. The projector is said to produce a wider and more consistent color gamut with its red, green, and Blue LEDs. While the desirability of a wider gamut is debatable given the standard HD color gamut that most program sources use (a playback gamut that's wider than the source simply distorts the colors), more consistent color is always welcome. And unlike conventional lamp-based projectors, the Avielo Chroma's LEDs are said to produce the same color balance throughout their claimed lifetime of 50,000 hours.
Lexicon has entered the growing field of truly universal Blu-ray players with the BD-30, which can read SACD and DVD-Audio in addition to Blu-ray, DVD, and CD as well as all recordable disc formats. It conforms to Profile 2.0, which means it can access BD-Live content online, and it provides a USB port that lets users access A/V material on a USB storage device. Video processing is performed by Anchor Bay's well-regarded VRS chipset, and the player can decode all current audio formats to PCM via HDMI, though the press release seems to imply that it has no multichannel analog output, which is odd considering the $3500 price tag.
I already blogged about the Lexicon BD-30 universal Blu-ray player, but no one outside the company knew before the show that it has received THX certification. At the Lexicon booth, I also learned that it can decode DVD-Audio and SACD and send multichannel PCM via HDMI, a great feature in this $3500 player. The BD-30 is pictured here with the MC-12HD pre/pro, which just received a firmware update that lets it accept a 7.1-channel PCM bitstream from Blu-rays that offer itthe previous version was limited to 5.1 PCM.
With Anchor Bay's Video Reference Series technology on board, Lexicon's new BD-30 Blu-ray player ($3499) is the first entry in that product category for the company best known for its high end pre-pros, A/V receivers, and power amps. The BD-30 plays back not only Blu-ray, DVD, and CD, but also SACD and DVD-Audio. With Profile 2.0 and BonusView, together with full support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-Master Audio (internal conversion to PCM or bitstream out), plus multichannel analog outputs, it's well-armed to join the Blu-ray player wars.
In addition to the SL90, LG also introduced the SL80 line of LCD TVs, which use conventional fluorescent backlighting. Even so, their depth is a svelte 1.8 inches, and they also incorporate a "single layer" design with a single piece of glass covering both screen and narrow bezel. Three screen sizes comprise this line42, 47, and 55 inches. The SL80 is available now for retail prices of $1600, $1900, and $2800, respectively.