It's not every day we get to photograph a new product in the hands of its creator. Paul Barton of PSB was showing off his first outdoor speaker, the CS1000. It's modeled on the Image B6, and sells for the same $499/pair, but comes in a differently shaped polypropylene cabinet. Note the curved mount which allows easy vertical adjustment. A spokesperson told us the speaker is bird-proof, with a steel piece that keeps little critters from getting into the port.
As I was listening to the Trinnov demo in RBH's booth, I was told about the company's brand new subwoofer amp, the SA-500, which provides 500W of class-D power. It's so new that only three exist, which were powering the company's 1010-SXN/R sub and the bass portions of two 8300-SX/Rs at the front left and right, and as I said in the Trinnov post, the sound was excellent with no hint of bloat. The rep didn't have pricing or availability.
Struggling with an in-wall speaker in one hand and a drill in the other is the bane of the custom installer. RBH offers a solution in the QM-615. It comes with a two-way Allen wrench. Connect the speaker cables, pop in the speaker, and use the rounded end of the Allen wrench to punch in spring-loaded tabs which lock the speaker into place. The more conventional end of the Allen wrench would be used to lift the tabs and remove the speaker. Price is $250/pair, shipping now. RBH also showed the new Signature SX line, with a full range of sizes and eventually some custom veneers.
The Rotel RKB-1508 delivers eight channels of 65-watt Class D. That enables it to be small, run cool, and shave your power bill. Just the thing if you need to jam an eight-channel amp into a tight spot. Price $1199.
Runco had a lot to talk about at its press conference, starting with the D-73d 3D projector. As you can see, it looks like two stacked projectors, but the Runco rep insisted that it's one projector with dual single-chip DLP imaging and LED light engines, an approach Runco calls Constant Stereoscopic Video (CSV). Unlike most 3D displays out there today, this one uses circular polarization, which means it needs a special silver screen that the company certifies under its PISCES (Polarized Image Sequence Conservation and Enhancement Standard) program. The high-end polarized glasses are called PreciseLight and can be made as clip-ons and even prescription as well as conventional.
In addition to the D-73d 3D projector, Runco unveiled another dual-chassis model, the Q-1500d LED-illuminated DLP projector, which will list for $39,000. With two light sources, this is the brightest LED-powered projector on the market with up to 1400 ANSI lumens, which means it can be used on screens up to 200 inches in size. Also, it can be upgraded to 3D operation.
Also at the Runco press conference was a new line of thin plasmas called Vistage. Interestingly, the rep avoided using the word "plasma," instead calling it a flat panel based on "emissive cell structure." C'mon, it's a plasma! Granted, it has a number of refinements, including optical precision glass and an outboard DHD processor, and it did look quite good in the demo. Three sizes will be available50, 58, and 63 inches for $6000, $8000, and $10,000, respectively.
With a flourish that says Scandinavia, Runco has introduced Copenhagen Design, a new Danish-flavored style to be incorporated into a number of its new products. But as always, the important story for us was the tech, not the look, and Runco has obviously been busy in the lab this year.
If you read our review of Russound’s Collage Powerline Media and Intercom System, you know I was extremely impressed with its ease of install, reliability, and potential capabilities. One of those capabilities – integrating with an iPod through an optional iPod dock – is now a reality because Russound is introducing the CPD1, which makes your iPod an available source on a Collage system. Since the Collage system uses Powerline technology for connectivity, there are no new wires and few additional wires that need to be run to install the system. Installing the CPD1 is just as easy (about as plug and play as you can get), and the dock adds a third source of music in addition to music stored on networked computers and each Collage Keypad’s built-in FM tuner.
Schneider is one of the most respected names in anamorphic lenses for 2.35:1 projection. The newest edition to its extensive line is the Cine-Digitar Anamorphic CDA 1.33x EL, designed for small to medium sized projectors. When it becomes available later this year there will be a promotional price on a package combining this lens with a Kino-Torsion motorized deployment system (a motorized "sled," though Schneider's Kino-Torsion model operates more like a swinging door to move the lens in and out of the way as needed). The rep on hand stated the promotional price at $4500; I was not sure at first if this meant dealer cost (CEDIA is of course, a trade show) or MSRP to the consumer. He hesitantly said it's to the consumer, so we can all hope. For those in the know, this is not a high price for a first class anamorphic lens and motorized mechanism.
In addition to its range of anamorphic lenses, Schneider Optics introduced its own single-chip, 2D DLP projector, fitted with an anamorphic lens. The trick feature here is that the motorized mechanism that moves the lens in and out of position is built into the lens case, with no need for outboard sled hardware. $23,500, including ther anamorphic lens. Available early in 2011.
FOSI wants you to see stars in your home theater – and not just on your big screen. The company’s star ceiling panels – like this 8-foot x 12 foot version – contain thousands of individual fiber optic cables that take light from three central light sources (either halogen or LED-based lamps) and create astronomically correct reproductions of the night sky on your theater (or other) room’s ceiling. Panels can be ordered in flat black or cloud-sky painted models. This particular setup included over 5,000 fiber optic runs to create a September night sky that included a comet, several shooting stars, and the ability to erupt into a brilliant fireworks display. Without the fireworks lighting, the DIY version – in which you get the fiber optic cables and a complete, full-size template for where to drill the holes for the cables in your own panel – starts at around $2,000. As far as a professionally installed, fully tricked out version with fireworks and a night sky that’s exactly the way you want it from a certain date in history (your wedding night or the evening the Normans invaded England, for example, either of which could be considered the start of epic battles) can cost, well, the sky’s the limit.
Stepladders, forklifts, crates, cartons, and loads of loads of gear were flying around on the final day before the show. But the setup was arduous for the people doing it -- in part because the powers that be at the Georgia World Congress Center decided it was not necessary to turn on the air conditioning in the vast exhibit space.
Sharp might be late to the 3D game, but it's going all in with TVs, a projector, and two Blu-ray players, the BD-HP90U ($500) and HP80U ($430). Both models can be used in a horizontal or vertical orientation.