As I was cruising through the Screen Innovations booth, I discovered a projector I had never heard of before, though I learned that it wasn't new at the show. The TruVue Vango from Entertainment Experience is a single-chip DLP model with LED illumination and a claimed contrast ratio of 100,000:1. It comes with an eeColor TruVue color processor, which is also sold by SpectraCal (see next blog entry for more on that).
Video-calibration stalwart SpectraCal now offers the eeColor TruVue color processor under its own name. This processor is based on 35 years of research into color perception in various environments, analyzing the color coordinates of each pixel 20 times per second and using three-dimensional lookup tables to compensate for different amounts of ambient lighting and other perceptual factors. It also supports all forms of 3D except frame-packed Blu-ray, and it can expand the color gamut while retaining the D65 white point and flesh tones, which is a pretty cool trick. I look forward to checking it out more closely.
Also in the SpectraCal booth was an LCD TV using quantum-dot technology from a company called Nanosys. A liquid with suspended nanoparticles is sprayed on a film that is added to an LCD TV, and blue LEDs stimulate the particles to glow red and green. Combined with the blue light from the LEDs, this forms full-color images. The image on the prototype display wasn't the best I've ever seen, but it's a new technology that could well improve in the future.
As we all know, 3D needs as much brightness as it can get, and you get plenty with Digital Projection's Titan Quad 1080p 3D. This monster includes four lamps to blast up to 16,000 lumens at the screen with a native contrast ratio of 2000:1. You can up the contrast to 5000:1 by closing down the aperture, but then you get "only" 8000 lumens. The price for all that light? Just shy of $90,000.
Digital Projection's entry-level 3D model is the M-Vision Cine 3D single-chip DLP, which outputs 3000 lumens without BrilliantColor (5500 lumens with BC, but you sacrifice some color fidelity in this case). Pricing is around $18,000.
SIM2 wasn't the only company with a native 2.35:1 DLP projector at the show. Digital Projection showed its dVision Scope 1080p single-chip model with a native resolution of 2560x1080 and a native (non-dynamic) contrast ratio of 7500:1. A modified Gennum processor expands 2.35:1 images to occupy the entire imager when black bars are detected. Pricing is around $50,000. Another new dVision model is the 35-1080p 3D, which uses active glasses and two lamps for 3D content. The price tag here is $35,000.
Once a pioneer of the home AV furniture world, the venerable CWD brand has been resurrected by one of the company’s original founders. But where the original CWD furniture was almost exclusively RTA (ready to assemble) – I think we called it “knockdown” back then – the current iterations are pre-configured and shipped mostly assembled. In other words, they’re more along the lines of fine traditional furniture rather than just an AV rack. The cabinets don’t include any particle board pieces, and each unit has a multitude of AV-friendly features such as generous ventilation and cable management. Customers who’d like to configure and price a unit for themselves can visit imagecraftersinc.com and use the online configuration tool.
Screen Innovations' Black Diamond screens are now available in gains of 0.8, 1.4, and 2.7. They can be made as a curved, fixed screen, a traditional fixed frame design, a new Zero Edge frame (shown in the photothe one on the right is a 2.7 gain model) and, in six months, retractable versions. They are also available in any aspect ratio, as long as the maximum height is 56" (higher screens must be seamed.
Anthem’s new Statement M1 mono block Class D amplifier puts out a paltry 1,000 watts into 8 ohms and doubles that (2,000 watts) into 4 ohm loads. The Class D design allowed the Anthem engineers to jam all the amplifier circuitry into a chassis that’s only one rack unit high. To keep things cool, there’s a special heat pipe cooling system – no fans! – and multiple M1s can be rack mounted directly on top of one another. Ideally, you’ll have a dedicated 240V circuit for the M1s in your system; however, Anthem designed the amp to still be able to generate temporary outputs of up to 2400 watts even when connected to a 120V/15A line. Get one, or seven, for $3,500 each.
Schneider Optics offers a wide range of some of the most respected anamorphic lenses in the business. Interestingly, they also market their own projector, not widely known in the states, that includes an anamorphic lens on a built-in track. The projector is priced around $25,000, with the anamorphic lens. It was on static display only.
You wouldn’t expect to find a company known for making cooking grilles at CEDIA, but Dimplex came to CEDIA for the first time bringing several examples of the company’s electric fireplaces – a couple of which were built into home theater media consoles. The Dimplex electric fireplaces can be run with or without producing heat. With the heater off, the fireplace costs just a penny or two an hour to run. While you wouldn’t be able to heat an entire home with one, the faux fireplaces are perfect for supplemental zone heating. At the moment, the fireplaces come with an RF remote control; but after many suggestions from interested installers, the Dimplex’s people now know how important it is to be able to integrate the operation of the fireplaces into home automation systems.
Add on anamorphic lenses to provide a 2.35:1 image on a 2.35:1 screen are a popular though pricey option. Panamorph is one of the best known names in the market. Its prism-type lenses are more affordable than the more visibly "normal" round lenses, but they work well. Round lenses, such as those from Schneider (below) are more flexible with regards to throw distance (they offer focus separate from that of the projector's own lens) but their prices are higher. We've seen superb setups with both types of lenses.
Voco is just one of the many manufacturers hawking wireless multiroom media streaming systems. In addition to being relatively inexpensive, Voco differentiates itself from the competition by giving you the ability to use your voice to find songs, podcasts, internet radio stations, and even YouTube videos. (You can also use your fingers if you’re the quiet type – or a quiet typer.) The system has the capability of streaming up to three audio sources (from your iOS device, CD player, computer, etc.) to up to 10 Voco device equipped zones. Voco V-Zone receivers start at $199.99.
While we don't spend a lot of time searching out these sorts of products, adapters and processors are fundamental at CEDIA. They make the custom installer's job easier in myriad ways, and Gefen is one of the best known names in the business.
While it didn't photograph well in its dark location (despite my primo photographic skills!), DreamVision's new Inti series of projectors are lookers. At least their cosmetics are, and if their JVC innards are any indication, their performance will be as well (they were on static display only. The Inti 2, shown here, is $10,000. The Inti 1 is $7000, and the Inti 3 is $13,995.)