On hand at the Meridian party was the latest and smallest member of the company's well-regarded DSP speaker line, the DSP3200. This self-powered, bi-amped gem accepts a digital signal and sports a 6.5-inch woofer and 3-inch full-range driver that's the same as the one used in the McLaren supercar audio system. By Meridian standards, it's a bargain at $6500/pair.
The CEDIA nightlife got off to a grand start at the Georgia Aquarium Wednesday evening, where Meridian hosted a delightful party. A scuba diver greeted guests while gigantic whale sharks and other denizens of the deep slowly cruised by. The acrylic window that separated us from the fish measures 63 feet long by 27 feet high, and it's two feet thick to hold back 6.3 million gallons of artificial sea water.
Mitsubishi's Diamond 3D prototype was being shown on an 107-inch wide, 2.1 gain Draper screen. Without the 3D glasses in place, the image was very bright. With them on, it was unacceptably dim. More work is still underway on this design (including the 3D glasses; Panasonic glasses were used in the demo). Photo courtesy of Scot Wilkinson of www.ultimateavmag.com.
Along with just about everyone else at CEDIA, Mitsubishi is demonstrating a 3D projector, this one based on Sony's SXRD technology. The Diamond 3D has no official model number yet, but it's targeted to throw 1200 ANSI lumens with a dynamic contrast ratio of 150,000:1. Interestingly, it can use Panasonic or Toshiba active glasses, though no glasses or IR emitter are included for an undisclosed price that I was told will be "less than the Sony."
The most gripping thing at the MonsterCable press conference -- besides Noel Lee shifting his Segway back and forth within a foot of the edge of the stage -- was the Revolution 200 remote. For $249 it integrates lighting into the usual a/v functions, and as the picture shows, it looks crazy cool. Monster says its Max 3D eyewear is the only one to work with all 3DTVs. It costs $250 including the RF transmitter which provides greater freedom of movement than an IR transmitter. The FlatScreen SuperThin 300 is, at one inch, the thinnest power center for use behind a flat TV. Don't want your surge suppressor to burst into flames? The HTS 1700 ($400) has fireproof MOVs. Don't want your touchscreen devices to spread bubonic plague? CleanTouch is your hot ticket. Oh, and Monster HDMI cables now operate at a Simplay-certified 17.8Gbps. If you can see far enough into the future where such a thing might be relevant, your eyesight is better than ours.
No, KEF hasn’t invented an invisible-wall speaker, although it might look that way from the display. In fact, KEF’s new custom-installed ceiling speakers boast a smaller, enclosed PC board crossover that helps reduce the amount of environmentally unfriendly chemicals required in the production of the speakers. Despite the “green” nature of the speakers, KEF wisely chose to keep the color of the slim bezels and magnetically attached grilles white which will still let them cosmetically match the “greenest” of homes.
Stealth Acoustics has a problem. They don’t want you to see their speakers, especially their newest models called the LinearResponse Series. Although I couldn’t see him, Stealth Acoustics’ representative says the new speakers are an improvement over the previous generation using similar custom carbon-fiber motor and cone-woofer technologies. But the really big enhancement is the use of a new face-panel material that provides a flatter front surface area, which means installers won’t need to pre-plaster or otherwise pre-treat the front face-panel before installation. The new design can be installed and painted or wallpapered over immediately. That’s a huge time-saver, and – as with anything as labor-intensive as custom install projects are – a big money-saver, too.
Another new product in the NuVision booth was the FX10CS LED-backlit LCD TV, which will be available next year in 55- and 72-inch (!) sizes for $9000 and $16,000, respectively. This model uses LG's panels with true 480Hz refresh rate; the 55-incher has 240 backlight zones, while the 72-inch monster has 480 zones.
NuVision is getting in the 3D game with the FX10LS LED-edgelit LCD TVs. The largest 55-incher will be the first to ship for $7000, followed by the 46-inch ($5500) and 40-inch ($4500). This TV uses Samsung panels with a true 240Hz refresh rate, and the demo looked quite good.
NuVision was demonstrating its P2, LED-illuminated, 2D single-chip DLP projector on an 87" wide, Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. Using 0.95-inch DLP chip, or DMD, it was more than satisfyingly bright and punchy, though I did note what appeared to be a slightly too vivid color balance and (perhaps) minor gamma issues. $17,000. The anamorphic lens shown in the photo is an extra cost option, and was not used in the demo.
I was surprised to see a front projector in the NuVision booth, and even more surprised to learn that it's been available for several months already. The ProVu P2 is a tweaked Vivitek H9080FD LED-illuminated DLP projector, and the result is simply stunning. The demo was in a separate building of the convention center, but it was definitely worth the walk—using a Stewart Studiotek 130 screen (100 inches diagonal) in a blacked-out space, we saw clips from Avatar, Cars, The Dark Knight, and Baraka, and the colors were gorgeous with no hint of inaccuracy. Likewise, the detail was exquisite.
With a name like Okki Nokki, it has to be good! This German company has come up with what it calls "the VIP of record-cleaning machines." You spread the included cleaning fluid on a vinyl record and attach the aluminum vacuum arm, which sucks up the fluid and, presumably, any dirt or dust on the surface. The RCM also comes with a goat-hair brush for $500 ($50 more for the clear dust cover). Michael Fremer should definitely hear about this!
Optoma has a new outboard 3D converter, which should be available in November. The projected price of this small, unassuming box is expected to be $399, and it is said to be compatible with any projector that can do 720p and 120Hz. The demo was not encouraging, but perhaps some fine tuning will line things up better.
This router-shaped device is actually the Millennium Sub with drivers on the exterior of its extruded aluminum enclosure. A wireless option can feed up to four subs. Mate it with the Millennium One satellite speaker, also in tough extruded aluminum. The back piece can serve as a stand or mount and can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally. The One is $249/each, the Sub is $1399.