Among Sony's new offerings at CEDIA is the super-slim NX810, a 3D-capable, LED-edgelit LCD TV that will be available in 46-, 55-, and 60-inch screen sizes. No pricing was available at the press conference.
The big story at Sony's press conference was the VPL-VW90ES SXRD projector with 3D capabilities. This is the first projector to carry the company's ES (Elevated Standard) designation, which includes a 5-year warranty among other things.
The custom speaker giant showed the FloBox and FloBox Mini personal music systems, which include iPod/iPhone/iPad docks, and a CD slot in the larger model. The Vital receiver line is being expanded to include the Vital 250 stereo integrated amp, also with iThing (our term) dock. We were also intrigued by Roots, the company's first box speakers, including three satellite models and two subs in five colors. The subs have boundary compensation, notch filters, and other useful adjustments. The company continues to be a major power in custom install speakers, including the BoomTomb, an outdoor subwoofer that can be buried, emitting bass through a port that communicates with ground level. All products ship by year-end. In his discussion of the economic climate, Jeremy Burkhardt said 15 percent of the company's dealers had gone out of business, but there was virtually no bad debt among the ones who remained. He urged the press to tell dealers that they need to transcend old ways of thinking if they want to survive even tougher times ahead.
Famous for in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, SpeakerCraft decided to go back to its founders' roots with the new Roots standalone speakers, which include three 2-way satellites and two subwoofers (one of which is shown in red here). A similar design aesthetic was applied to the FloBox, which combines the Vital 250 integrated amp with a speaker system that includes a 5.25-inch woofer, two 3-inch midrange drivers, and two 0.75-inch tweeters.
I've seen plenty of integrated amps with iPod docks, but the Vital 250 from SpeakerCraft is the first I've seen with an iPad dock. It provides 50Wpc and a Cirrus Logic upconversion chip intended to improve the sound of compressed MP3 files for $700.
SpeakerCrafts’s latest outdoor subwoofer aims to go low – really low, as in subterranean. In fact, this woofer goes so low all you can see is a small, hooded port that’s exposed above the surface of the ground. The rest of the “BoomTomb” is buried underground for a near-total stealth look. Inside the BoomTomb is a 10-inch long-throw woofer, and a hood covers the top of the port to protect the stuff inside from the elements and curious critters. A dedicated 250-watt amp gets to stay inside next to the rest of your electronics where it is (hopefully) warm and dry. No word yet on pricing.
Stewart Filmscreen is well known in our industry as a pre-eminent provider of projection screens, but its name recognition does not extend as far into the design community and even less into the general public. So Stewart has teamed up with Swarovski, a world-renowned supplier of decorative glass crystal, to create the Couture Collection of fixed screen frames in which tiny Swarovski crystals are embedded.
Several of the 3D projectors at CEDIA use passive-polarized glasses, which means they require a special silver screen to preserve the polarization of the light from the projector. However, such screens are not ideal for 2D imagestheir high gain results in hot spots and other issues that degrade the quality of 2D content. Stewart Filmscreen has come up with an ingenious solutionthe Daily Dual, which consists of a fixed silver screen and a retractable white screen that covers the silver screen when displaying 2D material. It ain't cheapa 132x74-inch system will set you back $15,000but if you prefer polarized 3D projection as I am starting to, it's clearly the best way to go.
Triad is an in-room/wall/ceiling speaker company that specializes in making solutions for problems that real people often run into when putting together anything other than the standard, run-of-the-mill home theater system. For example, the company’s in-room speakers are voiced to identically match the in-wall versions (both the 4-inch and 6-inch deep versions), which also happen to perfectly match the in-ceiling versions. That way you could, if you had to, use in-room speakers for the left and right with an in-wall center channel and a pair of in-ceiling rears – and all the speakers would respond as if you’d used the same model all the way around. At CEDIA, Triad was showing off a prototype of another solution, a subwoofer that can be hidden away with the bass output routed into the room via a large diameter tube that terminates in a standard wall vent cover. No pricing available yet.
Have you been playing dirty, dirty records? Sumiko hates that. At its booth were the Okki Nokki record cleaning machines. Judging from the bottle and brush sitting on top of each one, this must be a wet-system cleaner. The product is available in black or much hipper white for $499 without dustcover or $549 with dustcover, because it's worth another fifty bucks not to let your record cleaning machine get dirty, right? Also on display were a full panoply of compact and affordable phono preamps including something we hadn't seen before: a tube model.
Uncompressed wireless high-definition audio transmission along with a super-easy setup routine – and the ability to instantly realign the soundfield to accommodate changes in seating position are the hallmarks of Summit Wireless’ technology. After lots of development work, the technology is finally coming to a home theater near you. The first products to incorporate it will be the Aperion Audio Intimus 4T 5.1-channel ($2,499) and 7.1-channel ($2,999) systems. Pre-orders will be available beginning October 15th, with shipping beginning in December. Of all the wireless technology I’ve seen at the last couple of CEDIA and CES shindigs, Summit Wireless is the most exciting – and we can’t wait to get our hands on the first system to come from Aperion Audio. We’ll keep you posted…
Surge protection and power conditioning often seem like an industry filled with smoke and mirrors – and full of dubious, hard-to-verify claims of protection. SurgeX brought some heavy duty surge-generating equipment to demonstrate how other types of surge protection devices react under real-world electrically stressful situations. The brand-obscured surge suppressor being used here would have left some home theater owner heading to the repair shop had a real component been hooked up to the outlet when a bad surge came down the line. SurgeX claims their devices are designed to resist surges at much higher levels than the competition can handle without self-destructing – and they can do it repeatedly (like well over 30,000 times).
No, it’s not made by Victorinox, it’s made by Cirago – but it has so many features it could well be considered the Swiss Army knife of multimedia centers. For $249, the Cirago CMC3000 starts off as a 1 TB NAS drive with a 1080p HDMI 1.3 output with built-in LAN networking, analog video recording, internet radio station access, and a slew of supported video formats (including H.264, divx, wmv, mkv, and mov). You can also watch Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube video using PlayOn (the box includes a $20 off coupon) or TVersity. It even comes with a real, adult-size remote control instead of one of those cheap tiny things you usually get with these types of devices. Pretty cool.
Cirago’s CMC3000 wasn’t the only cool device they had to show this morning. The HDX3DV01 (HydraDisplayPort to 3 DVI Multimonitor Adapter – now that’s a mouthful) is a plug-and-play device that works with any computer possessing a DisplayPort output to give you support for up to three DVI monitors – without any additional software required. Cirago says there’s no latency, so it’s perfect for gamers who want to extend their view. Supposedly (actually, I know this to be true myself), using multiple monitors will increase your productivity on the computer – provided you’re not spending your time playing games – up to 42 percent. That alone ought to help pay for the $179 you’ll (gladly) shell out for this uber-cool adapter. Cirago also told me that you can upgrade a non-DisplayPort computer for about $72 to give you the DisplayPort output you’ll need to use with the HDX3DV01.