Control4 continues its dominance in affordable home theater and whole-house automation with a huge presence at CEDIA. While the main central components - the $599 Home Theater Controller and the $1499 Media Controller - remained basically unchanged, the company announced a new in-wall touch panel (approximately 10") and ugrades to its 4Sight subscription service that allows a homeowner to both monitor and change the status of lights, garage doors, and other household gadgets via the Internet using any browser.
Accell thinks it's little HDMI 2 to 1 Switch is going to be a big hit. The diminutive $99 switcher - 2.1" wide x 2.1" long x 0.6" high - is fully HDCP compliant and supports high definition (HD) video in resolutions of up to 1080p as well as multi-channel digital audio. Switching is done via a built-in push button or the included infrared remote. The small gadget doesn't need an external power supply and comes with an infrared extender that allows the switch to be installed out-of-sight behind your gear.
While there was no pricing or availability info, Hitachi’s 65-inch 1080p plasma sure was pretty. They also were showing a 42-inch 1920-by-1080 panel. While the necessity of that resolution in a panel that size is dubious at best, it was cool none the less. It uses ALiS, so it’s possible to call this a 1080i plasma.
JVC was showing off a new 1080p projector. They claim a 10,000:1 contrast ratio without the use of an iris. They’re not sure on pricing yet, but they’re expecting sub-$7000 (as in $6,999.99 probably). Look for it around February.
Would you believe that Polk's THX Ultra2-certified RTS-100 in-wall and RTS-105 in-ceiling models were among the best-sounding speakers of any kind at CEDIA? It's true. Polk also showed off a shrewd sub-concealment strategy that involves hiding the driver beneath a floor grate, shown here in cutaway.
And that's not the only thing this 78-pound, $3999 receiver has to offer. It comes with four cool brushed-aluminum keypads (supplied, no extra charge) and 140 watts times seven. It can play loud, as the people at the neighboring Verizon booth noted ruefully.
In the base of each of these elegant table lamps is a bottom-firing 6.5-inch woofer. Located just beneath the shade is a silk-dome tweeter, firing into a diffuser. Both leak sound through grilles at top and bottom. The enclosure looks like granite but is an acrylic-like material. Nine years in the making, the Limelight lamp line made its debut at CEDIA but is not yet available. If you're interested, get in touch with inventor Scott Zwolski via limelightaudio.com.
The B&W CM series falls between the higher-end 700 series and lower-end 600 series. New to the line are the floorstanding CM7 ($900/each) and stand-mount CM1 ($450/each). They'll be available in 30 days. Already out is the CMC center ($600). Inside the wood-veneer enclosure is B&W's famous tube-loaded tweeter, which gives the much higher-priced Nautilus line its extraordinarily clean and revealing high frequency extension.
The Meridian P200z in-wall subwoofer fits an eight-inch active driver and eight-inch passive radiator into a three-quarter-inch depth. In a conventional subwoofer, that's not nearly enough space, but the dedicated amp (bottom) uses DSP magic to compensate. The enclosure is a nonresonant wood-metal laminate. Price tentatively pegged between $4000-5000.
Next-generation audiophiles-in-the-making are plugging their iPods into tube amps. So building an iPod dock into a tube amp is a logical progression. Sonic Integrity's Tube Pod (shown by System Audio, $1000) includes 13-wpc amp, dock, and speakers. Long live the revolution. For more details: tube-pod.com.
"I love driving a cab. But you've got to be careful. Few nights ago I had a gun in my cab. Guy got in, and I said, either you give me that gun or you're gettin' out. He gave me the gun. When we got back from the crack house, he was so happy to have his drugs, he got out of the cab and forgot about the gun. I sold that gun to a cop."
Vogel's has an alternative to standard projection screens. It comes in a can, and it's called Mighty Brighty. Vogel's says the process is as easy as picking a wall and picking up a paintbrush. The screen paint comes in three different packages: the MPW 10 with enough pre-mixed paint and base coat to cover five square meters; the MPW 20 with enough material to cover up to six square meters plus ContrastBooster and BrightnessBooster paint components that can be used to customize the performance of the screen to match your projector; and the MPW 30 that contains enough paint to cover an entire wall so the screen is invisible when you're not watching TV.