Panasonic has a new LCD video projector, the PT-AE3000. While it looks identical to its predecessor, the PT-AE2000, it includes a number of new features and enhanced specs. It now claims a dynamic range (peak contrast ratio) of 60,000:1, a light output of 1600 lumens. Features include 120Hz operation with the added frames interpolated (hopefully the interpolation can be turned off!). The most exciting feature is a Lens memory that can save different settings for zoom and focus so that you can do constant height projection on a 2.35:1 screen without using an anamorphic lens. $3500, in October.
Toshiba's Scott Ramirez went all Bono on us to celebrate this year's autumnal partial TV-line overhaul. Having already announced a DVD player with advanced upscaling several weeks ago, Toshiba introduced SRT (Super Resolution Technology) upconversion for its fall LCD HDTV lineup. Must be important -- it was embedded in the backdrop. But what'll really get value-oriented consumers salivating is the new RV525 series, which includes a 40-inch 1080p for just $999.
Sony shattered the quasi-content-free tradition of pre-CEDIA press events with an awesome exhibition of exhibitionist tendencies. The Bravia Internet Link will host the premiere of the blockbuster Sony Pictures film Hancock with Will Smith and Charlize Theron. The Blu-ray release of same will have Digital Copy. Wait, there's more. Sony attacks lazy liquid crystals with 240Hz Motionflow, which quadruples the refresh rate and interpolates three new frames. Blu-ray has gone from 18 to 32 manufacturers in a year, including Sony of course, which will bow the BDP-S5000ES (pictured) in November for $2000. It has an HD Reality Processor that selectively enhances sharpness in areas of the picture that need it -- not unlike what Toshiba is doing. With rigid frame & beam construction and isolated circuits, this will be the Blu player to beat. Oh, and when the floor opens tomorrow, Sony will be showing a prototype of a 400-disc BD mega-changer to make its debut in 2009. Two new ES receivers will have Faroudja video processing. SACD not dead, judging from intro of XA5400ES player. Huff, puff. If other manufacturers have this much news, I'll be dead by the end of the show.
Blu-ray was a big part of Sony’s press conference and their new ES flagship player was definitely the highlight. The player features top notch build quality along with full support of all Blu-ray profiles.
I arrive in Denver, Colorado – the city still awash with Democratic campaign paraphernalia (much of it for sale in a tent outside the convention center) – to attend the umpteenth CEDIA convention in my long and storied career. I came with visions of large, flat-panel HDTVs hanging everywhere, including in my hotel room as befits such an esteemed member of the press as I. But, alas, all I found waiting for me in the Sheraton was this lowly Philips 27 (or thereabouts)-inch, definitely low-def, analog TV sporting a CRT that’s almost as curved as my stomach after a late-night drink-laden press dinner. The only consolation is that at least there are plenty of channels for me not to watch since I’ll only see this room for maybe six hours a night (well, “see” the room is a generous term).
LG and Netflix announced the fruits of a previously inked partnership: the new LG BD300 Network Blu-ray Disc Player that’s the world’s first Blu-ray disc player to be able to instantly stream movies and TV episodes from Netflix (if you have a Netflix subscription).
Bringing back fond memories of the one misdirected year (1998) when CEDIA held its convention in New Orleans (just after another near-miss storm) and not many conventioneers (including me) made it to many of their appointments or meetings, SpeakerCraft enlisted the aid of some scantily clad acrobatic dancers to catch the attention of the press folks who didn’t go to the Toshiba press conference. (It worked.)
If you look closely in this picture of the chaos that immediately followed the Sony press conference, you’ll see…chaos. If you look a little closer, you’ll see some pencil-thin speakers (actually, I think the term they used was “the width of a finger” but I may have been in the middle of a mile-high altitude-induced alcohol-enhanced stupor at the time so it might as easily have been “the width of a fingerling potato”) on display here as part of the BDV-IT1000ES - Sony’s first ES HTiB that includes an integrated Blu-ray Disc player. The main speakers each measure approximately .75-inch wide by 22 inches long, and they’ll come with the rest of the system when it ships in October and you fork over the required $1,999.