Last week, I wrote about the DreamVision Starlight3 LCoS projector ($9500), which is available in several finishes, such as the faux carbon-fiber pictured here. Today, I popped in to see a demo of the Starlight2, and it was mighty impressive on a Perfect Vu unity-gain screen (2.35:1, 140 inches diagonal) using a Schneider anamorphic lens ($8000)great blacks and colors on clips from Avatar and Up.
Coaxial driver arrays lay beneath the Granite-52 outdoor rock speakers from Earthquake Sound. They go for $450/pair plus another $799 for the Granite-10D subwoofer. A spokesperson said reliability in the tough outdoor environment is one reason to go with Earthquake. The company also showed the SWAT 2.4 wireless transmitter/receiver combo, $349/pair, which can be powered by USB or wall wart. Maybe just the thing to make the leap from your main rack to the sub or surrounds when conventional speaker cabling is inconvenient.
Calibrator extraordinaire Kevin Miller was demonstrating Epson's latest flagship, the THX-certified 9700UB, which has two primary improvements over the previous 9500UBprocessing for a fixed anamorphic lens and better panel alignment. (We got right up next to the screen, and the alignment was indeed superb.) Also, all controls remain active in THX mode, which is great news for those who understand that no projector can be perfectly calibrated at the factory, because it depends on the screen and environment. Clips from Alice in Wonderland and Remember the Titans looked amazing on a 96-inch-wide Stewart Studiotek 130, even with a calibrated light output of only 450 lumens.
Epson has become well known as a major producer of high quality, relatively affordable LCD projectors. Now, using its expertise as a premier imaging chip producer, it has produced an offshoot of LCOS, which differs in that it grows the active elements onto quartz rather than silicon. The result is a reflective LCD, or in Epson's words, RHTPS, for Reflective High Temperature Polysilicate.
Among all the super-expensive projectors at CEDIA, some of the biggest buzz has been about Epson's entry into the LCoS market, which turns out not to be entirely true. In fact, Epson has developed a new but related imaging technology it calls "3LCD Reflective," which is basically liquid crystal on quartz instead of silicon. (Keep in mind that quartz is silicon dioxide, so maybe it's not that different after all.)
High-end speaker maker Focal brought the company’s new highly affordable Bird speaker line to spread its wings at CEDIA. The three different Bird-series 2.1-channel packages include a pair of satellites and an amplifier with a built-in subwoofer (yes, that’s an amplifier with a built-in sub, not the other way around). Look for 5.1-channel versions next year.
Focal is growing its Utopia line with the Viva, which comes in two varietiesa vertically oriented LCR that is also used for the surrounds and a horizontal center-channel that is otherwise essentially identical. Both incorporate the company's IAL2 beryllium tweeter and third-generation W-cone midranges and woofers for a frequency response from 39Hz to 50kHz (±3dB) and a sensitivity of 92dB/W/m.
The 2010 CEDIA Expo may be over, but the memory lingers on. In fact, I saw so much that I couldn't post all of it during the show, so I'll be posting more storiesalong with my photos from the floorall this week. Meanwhile, here's my take on the event as a whole.
Jeff Graham, CEO of iSky, shows off a demonstration mockup of an iSky fiber optic star ceiling panel with blue LED lighting around the edges. iSky panels can be mounted directly to the ceiling or used with regular drop ceilings. Each iSky panel contains a built-in illuminator and only requires a low-voltage jumper between panels. The constant-voltage design is said to be simpler to install than a more complex constant-current system. In addition to looking incredibly cool, the iSky panels also be ordered as reflector or diffuser panels for acoustic treatment of your home theater’s ceiling.
When chip giant IDT bought the HQV technology form Silicon Optix almost two years ago, I was a bit concerned for its future. But I needn't have worriedIDT has continued to develop the algorithms with spectacular results. At a breakfast demo today, we saw a prototype of IDT's latest algorithms, which provide motion estimation and motion compensation (MEMC) frame interpolation for 120Hz ad 240Hz LCD TVs.
When Sharp introduced its new four-color Quattron sets at last winter's CES, they were met with a collective, "Fine, but where's the 3D." Sharp's Quarttron launch may have been buried in an avalanche of 3D news at that time, but the company knew that it had 3D designs waiting in the wings.
At the Integra booth were a half-dozen new receivers: two THX Ultra2 Plus certified, two THX Select2 Plus certified, and two non-THX certified. There was also an Ultra2 Plus pre-pro. But what got our attention was the top receiver, the DTR-80.2. For a mere $2800 it offers a massive toroidal power supply which accounts for much of the $600 difference between it and the next model down. Power is rated at 145 watts per channel. Also on board is Audyssey MultEQ XT 32, the newest version with the highest-resolution EQ filters, and DSX height/width enhancement. Video prowess includes Reon processing and ISF calibration modes. The product is Made for iPod/iPhone, certified for Windows 7, and boasts various internet radio portals and subscription music services including Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius, Napster, Mediafly, Slacker, and vTune. Sorry about the flash-marred picture, but it does show the navigation controls just to the left of the volume knob, which is kind of cool for us old-fashioned front-panel-oriented folk. Please also note that Integra stuff is sold exclusively by people qualified to install it.
Martin Logan's new Motion Series is a downsized line of towers with folded motion ribbon tweeter, shown. Both this smaller Motion and the existing larger Motion have complementary center and surround models. The company also showed the new ESL tower, which offers its famed electrostatic goodness at less than $2000/pair.
Why is a handle protruding from this cutaway mockup of JL Audio's Fathom IWS in-wall sub? It's to demonstrate how the enclosure floats in a padded chamber, thus reducing bass-ruining resonance. Fathom IWS is available in two versions, one with a single amp and cabinet ($2500) and one with dual amps and cabinets ($4500). Both 2x4 and 2x6 construction are accommodated. This product was first demonstrated at CEDIA two years ago but is finally shipping this year.
JVC's press conference was full of 3D projectorssix in all, though in typical JVC fashion, the company's pro and consumer divisions each offer the same projector with different model numbers, which means there are really three new 3D models, all of which use active-shutter glasses. Click the link for prices.