LG was sporting a new line of LCD flat panel displays and have ditched the boring looks so commonly associated with the line. The new panels feature custom colors, hidden speaker systems designed by Levinson and a new “expert” mode that allows you to calibrate them in more than every before.
LG has taken the Blu-ray player in another direction. Their new BH300 not only supports the latest Bonus View profile and bitstream audio support, but also can network into Netflix’s new on-demand movie service. This offers consumers instant access to near-DVD quality video from their new Blu-ray player. Unfortunately they didn’t put a video processor in the player to scale that SD content so you’re left to your display’s abilities.
Panasonic had a wide range of new LCD and plasma displays on showcase. They have all your size needs covered including their new 103” plasma for those that really want to see what their power grid is made of!
Toshiba is still giving the Blu-ray camp the proverbial finger and instead has focused their efforts on making your existing DVDs everything they thought they could never be. Their new XED DVD players squeeze every ounce of picture data from your DVD library and apparently increase the fine detail and colors to HD quality.
Pioneer debuted their new flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP-09FD. This new from the ground up design is built like a tank and features an impressive analog audio section featuring the latest Wolfenson DACs. Pioneer Elite is looking at this as a best in class solution that allows customers to toss out those standalone CD and DVD players sitting on their racks.
Pioneer’s booth has a great demonstration room showing off their latest and greatest gear. This includes their new signature series plasmas that boast the sensational Kuro black levels but are only about 2” deep. Everyone was blown away by the high contrast display. Now if I could only get one in 120” to replace my front projection setup.
You’ll find more rock-like speakers here at CEDIA than anywhere else in the world. A new one from an old company caught my eye as I was moving through the crowds to get to my next appointment. StereoStone’s Fountain Speaker has a real working water fountain, submersible low-voltage lighting, and an 8” woofer with left and right tweeters. The whole thing ships completely assembled in a single box – without the water, I assume – and sells for $599.95.
Not really, but two new power conditioners from PS Audio could keep your electricity from being at fault when it comes to better sound and picture. Sure, you might think AC is just AC, but if you’ve ever been to my house you’d know that minor fluctuations (not to mention major ones) can do some insidious things to electronics gear. PS Audio’s PowerPlay conditioners clean up your power company’s act – and they also are fully configurable, programmable, and controllable over the Internet. The web interface can show you cool stuff like the fluctuations in voltage and noise in the current. They can also let you know of unfortunate electrical goings-on in your home if you’re away. Ideal for the installer crowd here is the fact that the installer can also be notified of problems that might be fixed by accessing the PowerPlay conditioner over the web – instead of making a long, gas guzzling service call. Plan on spending $2,000 or $1,000, and then maybe another $1,000 for the controllable UPS. Shockingly expensive, you say? Not if you consider the sonic and visual benefits plus the long-term reliability and security aspects. I used to dismiss power conditioning as voodoo, but now that I’ve seen how a bad electric mojo can mess with your stuff I’m a believer.
Pioneer showed its new, high-end BDP-09FD Blu-ray player ($2200, November). It's full Profile 2.0, performs all the latest audio wrinkles, and also incorporates some of the highest-end audio components to be found in any Blu-ray player.
All of NAD's surround processors and receivers (except from the least expensive) have been updated to modular form (modules shown here sans receiver), to increase flexibility, minimize obsolescence, and provide for easier service.
You hire a marketing firm and what happens? They decided to rechristen your cool wired/wireless music networking scheme with a word containing a diaeresis (look it up). But then, they also come up with cool ideas like festooning your demo room with LP covers. Signal sources included both a turntable and a Blu-ray player. It was tasty. Look for Zöet in 2009.
Yup, that is a stack of four 15-inch subwoofers. Specifically, it's the Tannoy 15DS sub and it sells in the low four figures. The Tannoy demo also made use of the IW63 in-wall speaker. Invert the mount and it becomes, as it did here, an on-wall.