If you bought the $3,000 T 785 AVR from NAD and are bent out of shape because it doesn't do Dolby TrueHD or dts-HD MA in-processor decoding, or have Audyssey Volume Ausyssey EQ, cast your bitter stones aside. For $400, you can buy the upgradable card that was promised you when you tied the bond with this modular card based system. Ditto those seeking Sigma video processing ($965 for that upgrade).
A new line of speakers from well respected PSB has just hit with some of the most beautiful finishes I've ever seen in an affordable speaker. Unfortunately, my pictures don't do them any justice, so you'll just have to use your, well, you know.
At the Planar press conference, we learned that its Runco brand will now command most of the company's home-theater focus, and Vidikron products will no longer be developed. One of several new Runco products is the DLP-based VW-100HD in-wall rear-pro, which is said to be installable in under an hour once the hole in the wall is complete, requiring only 33" of clearance. The 100" screen displays 1080p images enhanced with an internal ViViX II processor, all for $40,000.
I was surprised to learn that Sherwood is introducing three new Blu-ray players at CEDIA. The BDP-6003, shown here atop the new RD-7503 AVR, is the only one that conforms to Profile 2.0 and provides a 5.1-channel analog output for $500. The other two are Profile 1.1the BDP-5003 has a 2-channel output for $350 and the BDP-7003 has a 7.1-channel output for $450.
Norwegian manufacturer projectiondesign has announced a new line of projectors under the avielo moniker. Based on Philips' VIDI lamp technology, which increases brightness and contrast by producing alternating bright and dark pulses in the lamp, the avielo line launches with five models ranging in price from $7500 for the 720p Prisma to $65,000 or $70,000 for the dual-lamp 1080p Helios pictured here. All are shipping now except the Helios, which should appear by the end of the year.
Sharp sees the worldwide market for LCD flat panel televisions growing rapidly in the next year, despite a slower economy in the US, and it's ready to meet the demand. While it has a number of new models, the ones that caught my eye were the Aquos Limited Edition designs. Available in October at prices yet to be announced, these sets will be available in two sizes: 52" (the LC-52XS1U-S) and 65"(the LC-65XS1U-S).
JVC debuted the new RS20/HD750 at the show. The RS line refers to JVC’s professional line while the HD moniker is for the consumer line. These new projectors feature a slimmer case than the previous generation and some new processing from HQV. These are the first projectors we’ve seen to feature THX certification. They seem to build on the previous RS2 with their 30,000:1 contrast ratio but feature an adjustable aperature allowing you to dial in the overall brightness to your taste.
Wolf Cinema is a new video projector manufacturer working with the audio leader, Sumiko. The upstart is geared completely to the custom installation market where dealers and customers can essentially custom build their projector to fit the needs of their specific room. The systems consist of custom cases around a 3-chip DLP system fitted with high output Xenon lamps.
Everyone's favorite Finnish loudspeaker company showed the 5041a in-wall sub. It's got two 6.5-inch drivers mated with the external RAM3 amp and will sell in the $3000-4000 range. In other Genelec models -- including the 12-inch monitor, 15-inch monitor, center, and on-wall models -- the amps formerly located on the back of the enclosures have been changed to in-rack amplification. Installers and customers spoke and Genelec listened.
"Disappearing in-walls" is the concept behind a new Def Tech architectural speaker line. These in-walls install without much fuss or spackling. Small diameters, hidden flanges, and low-profile micro-perf grilles make them nearly invisible. Pivoting aluminum tweeters make them versatile. Woofers range in size from 3.5 to 6.5 inch and pricing starts at $179 per speaker.
I hate on-wall speakers because most of them sound awful. But James Loudspeaker defeated my expectations with the 64CSTOW ($4000/each). Their vertical slit enclosures are made of high-grade aircraft aluminum. There's no center speaker. Instead, the dual two-way design includes two drivers at top, which create a phantom center by summing to mono. The bottom two drivers handle the front left and right channels. Designer Mike Park said he decided to do on-walls because of demand in Europe, where it's inadvisable to poke holes in the walls of historic buildings. The demo featuring Chris Isaak was one of the sonic high points of the show. High-end consumers will want to demo these on-walls. Oh, and that thing in the picture? It's an in-ground sub -- imagine the terror.
You want to show both films and video in your home theater? Wolf offers the Reference System, with two of its "Reference Analog" 35mm film projectors (shown) plus its Reference Digital Projector, for $300,000. The pieces are available separately, in case you are wondering. The required three-phase power installation, and the projectionist, are not included.
Wolf Cinema is a new company with a lineup of high-end, 3-chip DLP projectors. The three models (DCX-500, DCX-1000, and DCX-1500—the numbers indicate the lamp wattage) all use Xenon lamps, and the projectors are available either in a black-box, custom form designed to be hidden away, or in a finished case. But you won't find Wolf products (marketed by Sumiko) in your local AV shop; they deal in custom system packages only.
JVC gave a stunning demonstration of its new (and currently shipping) DLA-SH4K projector. No, that's not it in the photo (more on that in a minute) but the DLA-SH4K is claimed to be the world's smallest 4K digital projector (resolution 4096x2400). No price was given, but it's definitely in the "If you have to ask" territory—and from the looks of the images shown, well worth it. With native 4K material, this is the best-looking video image I've ever seen—and this on screen large enough for a small commercial theater.
And the award for best booth hands down goes to Speakercraft. I think I spotted a few speakers here and there but what they lacked in product they certainly made up for in show. With ornate decorations and scantily clad pixies everywhere they were hard to ignore.