Another new "entry-level" DLP projector line introduced by Runco at CEDIA is the VX-3000, which replaces the RS-900. Three models will be availableVX-3000i ($9000, internal processor), VX-3000d ($12,000, DHD 3 external processor), and VX-3000d Ultra ($20,000, DHD 3, five lens options, can use CineWide with AutoScope anamorphic system). The color wheel in these projectors has been designed specifically for reproducing D65 white, and calibration reduces the light output much less than most projectors.
Now that I've seen the new VX-33 projector after writing about it before the show, I can confirm that it is indeed bright enough to fill a giant screen and compete with some ambient light. The demo was a football game on a 14-foot-wide Stewart GrayHawk with the room lights on, and the picture was plenty punchy.
JVC now has a two new Blu-ray players, but with a twist. The RS-HD 1250 ($1995) and RS-HD 1500 ($2550) not only play Blu-ray discs, but record them as well. Before you get all excited about this, you should know that the two cannot record HD either off the air or from copy-protected Blu-ray discs. Marketed by JVC's pro division, primarily with pro applications in mind, they can, however, copy HD video onto disc from HD camcorders, both pro and consumer. The material is first copied to an internal hard drive, then from there to to Blu-ray. The more expensive model differs in that it can record material from Final Cut Pro, has a larger hard drive 500GB vs 1250GB), and offers an RS-232 connection. Both machines have USB and IEEE-1394 ports.
JVC is introducing a whole new range of its DILA projectors at the show. There are six new models, three from the consumer division and three essentially identical models from the pro division. The star of the six is the DLA0RS35 (pro, $10,000), available this month. It has a claimed peak contrast ratio of 70,000:1, adds JVC's 120Hz Clear Motion Drive, and is both THX- and ISF-certified. The consumer version is the DLA-HD990, at the same price.
More on Procella: "You can't buy them" -- that's what visiting engineers used to be told by the denizens of the DTS testing room in Europe. That is what inspired the Procella folks to go into the speaker business. Following a third-generation redesign, now you can buy them. Shown is the P8, bolted on the P15, and don't call the latter a subwoofer. It's a "powered bass unit" that goes down to 40Hz at a thundering 126dB.
Look closely at the upper righthand corner of the Integra DTR-80.1 receiver back panel and you'll see a VGA input for your PC, a relative rarity. With nine amp channels (and 11 sets of binding posts) it's armed for bear. You might use those extra channels for width or height speakers, thanks to Audyssey DSX, or for height via Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Also shown were two other receivers and two preamp-processors. Integra products are sold through custom integrators only. See press release for pricing and further details.
Trufig is a new brand from the founders of Sonance. Its job is to make touchscreens, lightswitches, and other custom installable goodies practically disappear into the wall, as you can see in the pic -- old-style fixtures at right, disappearing ones at left. It was inspired by the after-the-fact design process that's been taking place when Sonance's architectural speakers come up against the wishes of architects and interior designers. The things being made to disappear are not actually Sonance or Trufig products but things like Crestron touchscreens and Lutron light fixtures. Starting at $300 for a single-gang fixture, Trufig is not cheap, but it will presumably find its way into the high-end custom install market.
The continued flattening of video displays makes bulky premium HDMI cable look ever more like an anachronism. That's why Monster Cable has introduced the SuperThin HDMI cable. It's 75 percent thinner than Monster's usual HDMIs. A sexy swivel adapter further enhances its flexibility -- and, by the way, Monster's flat-panel screen mounts are now less than a half-inch thick. Another Monster product is billed as the world's fastest HDMI cable, carrying 21Gbps up to 50 feet, with the help of active circuitry from Gennum. Monster's Noel Lee: "Consumers need to be freed from the fear of obsolescence." After all, with analog cables, "you never had to worry about your cables expiring." More Monster news covered uninterruptible power supplies, powerline conditioners, high-end Turbine earbuds, and other headphone lines. They don't call this company Monster for nothing. Ever the party animal, Monster always throws a party at major shows, and this year's CEDIA party will be called "The Recession's Almost Over Party." That's the kind of attitude we like.
Why does the cable connecting the Audio Design Associates MPS-502 amp to its external power supply resemble a thick piece of plumbing -- like the pipe under your bathroom sink? Well, it has to carry 100 amps of current, so it can provide five channels with 450 watts each. Introduced in 1992, this was the amplifier on which THX based its amp spec. Throw in the PF-2502 to bring the system up to seven channels. In the present day, ADA is shipping two pre-pros, the Suite 7.1 ($5500) and Cinema Rhapsody Mach IV. You can buy the latter for $4100 but you'd be better off paying $7500 for the version with Trinnov auto setup and room correction. Trinnov will also be built into a separate equalizer product, the TEQ-1. (We are looking forward to trying Trinnov in the long-awaited Sherwood R-972 receiver.)
Two years ago, PSB introduced the top-line Synchrony line. A year ago an almost equally high-end line was added, the Imagine. With the revised version of the Image, PSB's number three falls into place. There are two towers and three monitors and -- tower-averse as we are -- we think matched sets of any of the latter would make a fine basis for a system. These two-way stand-mounts include the B6 (6.5-inch woofer, $499/pair), B5 (5.25-inch, $399/pair), and B4 (four-inch, $299/pair). We've heard the B6 and B4 and they're superb, with more bass than you'd expect. This is one of the few speaker brands whose founder, Paul Barton, spends significant amounts of time in China QC-ing the product.
Proficient is a new brand name in receivers and we look forward trying one of its two surround models. The M60 has 80 watts times seven, four HDMI ins, and SmartEQ for $600. Step up to the M80 and you get all that plus 130 watts times seven, Faroudja DCDi video processing, and XM satellite radio compatibility for $1250. Proficient also showed an eight-channel power amp, the M8, with 35 watts per channel, for $1100.
A notable speaker brand makes common cause with a distinguished acoustics consultant to create home theater systems worthy of the description high end. The CinemaPlus systems will combine design, engineering, and support from PMI -- Anthony Grimani's company -- with acoustic treatments from MSR and speakers from Triad. The curved baffle wall shown in the picture is part of the package. It is modular and scalable. Systems will start at $46,550 for a small room (2000-2999 cubic feet), rising to $88,650 for a medium-sized room ($3000-5999 cubic feet), and topping off at $105,350 for a large room (6000-12,000 cubic feet). Are you reading this, Mega Millions winners?
Yup, they're actually calling it the SCS, and yup, that does stand for "suitcase sub." Companies like this are like manna to journalists. The narrow vertical sub hugs the wall and packs in dual 5x7.5-inch drivers, which yield an active cone area of 12 inches, powered by 300 watts. Probable price $4000, shipping in 30 days. We didn't let it distract us from the excellence of Wisdom's Sage Series line source planar speakers, the L100i and C150i, which speak like oracles through a woven screen.