A 3D-capable, single-chip DLP projector was on static display at Sharp's press conference. The XV-X17000 boasts a contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and 1600 ANSI lumens of light output. It will ship in the first quarter of 2011 with two pairs of active glasses.
The Sharp 3D projector mentioned in our report on Wednesday's press conference was on demonstration on the show floor. Within the limits of the available animated material, in this case Despicable Me, it looked amazingly good. At a projected price of around $5000, give or take, it's one of the least expensive 3D projectors we've seen so far. And with a 250W UHP lamp, it was also plenty bright, at least in 3D terms, on an 87" wide, Stewart Studiotek 130 screen.
The new Sharp ZV2-1700 is the first new 3D projector we've officially heard about at the show, but we know it won't be the last. It's a 1-chip DLP. Like the Quattron 3D sets it comes with 2 pair of active 3D shutter glasses. These are triggered not only by a IR link, but by DLP-Link as well. The latter places invisible white frames into the image periodically to trigger the glasses, which works better than the usual IR link for larger, more widely seated audiences—more likely with a projector than with a flat panel display.
Sharp has finally introduced a 3D LCD TV in its Quattron line, which adds a yellow color filter to the conventional red, green, and blue filters. The LE925 will be available in two sizes52 and 60 inchesfor $4200 and $5300, respectively. Several technologies, including the separate yellow color, are said to almost double the brightness of 3D content compared with 3-color LCDs. The demo did look relatively bright, but Sharp's use of Despicable Me as demo material was unfortunate, since the 3D in that particular movie is very unimpressive. A different disc of custom content looked much better.
Which would you rather have, a budget receiver with networking features for $500, or one without them for $400? We ran a picture of the second one, the RD-705, just to mess with you a little, but the correct answer is the first one, namely the RD-705i. It has DLNA certification to pull media off your router-connected PC's hard drive and also supports Bluetooth with an adapter and wi-fi with an adapter. For your subscription music fix there's Rhapsody and for your internet radio fix there's Pandora and SHOUTcast. Auto setup is Sherwood's proprietary SNAP, not the higher-end Trinnov it's licensed for a higher-end model. HDMI connectivity is 1.4a, not 1.4 as the literature says.
Like Runco, SIM2 is taking a dual-projection approach to 3D. In this case, however, two C3X Lumis 3-chip DLP projectors are stacked in a frame for $80,000. And instead of using polarization or active-shutter glasses, SIM2 decided to go with Infitec color filters, the same technology used in Dolby 3D, which means it does not require a special screen. The projection filters can be moved in and out of the light path much like an anamorphic lens on a sled to accommodate 3D and 2D, for which the system can shine 2500 and 6000 lumens, respectively.
Aside from a bunch of projectors, SIM2 was also showing its 47-inch HDR47E LCD monitor, which uses Dolby's high-dynamic range LED-backlight technology in which each of the 2206 LEDs are individually dimmable with 20 bits of resolution, leading to a claimed contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. Normally, I dismiss contrast specs, but I can believe this oneeven on the show floor, the blacks were stunning, and bright portions were really bright; according to SIM2, the peak light output is 4000 nits, which is equivalent to 1167 foot-lamberts!
The HDR47E is intended for professional applications, such as automotive and medical imaging, and there are no specific plans to bring anything like it to the consumer market. And $35,000 for a 47-inch LCD is mighty steep. But it sure looked great playing Avatar.
At the high end of SIM2's extensive projector lineup is the Teatro 50 (single-lamp, 5000 lumens, $60,000) and 80 (dual-lamp, 8000 lumens, $70,000). As you might guess from the prices, both are 3-chip designs.
Simaudio's Moon CP-8 pre-pro is one of the few to include Audyssey MultEQ XT auto setup and room correction, because really, purchasers of a $13,000 pre-pro should not have to envy their receiver-owning neighbors. HDMI has been updated to (ahem) 1.3 which at least provides definitive coverage of lossless surround. Regarding 3D, the company says most installers and their customers are going to use outboard video processors anyway. Pair the pre-pro with the MC-8 amp, 250 watts per module, $22,000 in its seven-channel version.
SIM2 Multimedia teamed up with Krell Industries for an elaborate AV demo featuring 3D via SIM 2's Grand Cinema C3X LUMIS 3D projector. Or should I say projectors. This setup uses two Grand Cinema C3X Lumis 2D projectors, each of them 3-chip DLPs, one for each eye image, linked together electronically for synchronization and mounted together on a rigid mount for proper physical registration (as shown in the photo, $79,995 for the projector pair and mounting). This 2-projector is said to help compensate for the loss of effective brightness inherent in 3D. Current owners of a C3X Lumis can send it in to be converted to the 3D version, at a price to cover the cost of the second projector and the needed modifications.
The Smyth Realizer is a system designed to produce full surround sound through headphones. It has been shown at previous shows over the past four years or so, but has only recently become available at $3360, which includes a pair of entry-level Stax phones. To explain, how it works would be far beyond the space limits of a blog, but we hope to have a closer listen at one very soon. All I will say here is that it does work, and the result is an uncanny simulation of a full surround system with loudspeakers.