No one would ever be willing or able to do this at home, but Rives Audio, XLO, RPG, and VAC put together two identical systems in two identical hotel rooms - but with one important difference. The second room was sonically and electrically treated to clearly demonstrate how important it is to account for the acoustics of the room when it comes to putting together your home theater system. Not only was the equipment/cable setup the same in both rooms, but the demo material was synchronized, as well, so they even took that variable out of the equation. The differences in performance were definitely not subtle.
The Sound Egg is a complete 5.1 personal surround sound chair with five speakers and an integrated 10-inch subwoofer under the seat. The company says "the chair is a mobile acoustic chamber that will give you the most realistic sound in audio technology with a full 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency spectrum." The Sound Egg chair is available in a variety of colors for $1,450 (shipping included).
Radiient Technologies’s first products were HDMI switchers and distribution boxes, but they’re going all out to develop high-performance wireless audio transmitters and receivers that can be built-in to speakers or added on externally. Based on the quality and performance of their current HDMI gear, the wireless components should be excellent, too. Not surprisingly, they mentioned that a lot of the video companies they’ve been dealing with have requested wireless video devices, as well. Expect to see product for sale before the end of this year.
We can't say too much about it, but PrimeSense is working on a 3D motion-control camera system that's extremely inexpensive, amazingly sensitive, and promises to be incredibly fun and useful. (How often does that happen?) Of course, many companies are developing systems that will let you control your computer or home entertainment system using gestures, but seems to have them beat hands down (and up) when it comes to a device that's affordable (and by that I mean really affordable) and yet very accurate. PrimeSense's technology can be used in place of a mouse or other input device for games and picture/movie viewing. You won't be seeing any PrimeSense branded equipment, but the technology will be coming to store shelves as part of at least one well-known company's products. Next year we may see the technology built into TVs, computers, and anything else that needs input from a remote control or mouse.
Allure Energy’s new EverSense 2.0 is a “home environment and energy management product” – or, put another way, a next-generation, super-high-tech thermostat/home automation hub that can also be used for streaming music, viewing photos, and getting weather updates – with built-in Proximity Control and NFC technology. The new system allows homeowners with an Android phone running a mobile app called EverSense to change the home environment simply by setting the phone on a SyncPad triggering the EverSense 2.0 to turn lights on/off, adjust the temperature setting of the thermostat, and set the security system based on the user’s programmed preferences. In the future, homeowners will be able to add and control other smart devices within the EverSense ecosystem. While the owner is at home, NFC technology in the user’s Android phone will let the system know how to react based upon which SyncPad the phone is placed. When the homeowner leaves the house, though, the system will use its built-in proximity control technology to manage temperature and other aspects of the home’s environment based on how near or far from home the user happens to be. In other words, the EverSense system is smart enough to realize when you are away and when you are on your way home and will adjust the thermostat accordingly to save energy while you’re away while making sure that the house is comfortable when you arrive home. EverSense 2.0 units are expected to be available for sale directly to consumers sometime during the first quarter of 2013. Final pricing on the hardware hasn’t been announced. No monthly subscription fees are required.
In addition to bribing those members of the press who were smart enough to preregister for the press conference with 30GB iPods loaded with a special message from founder Jeremy Burkhart, SpeakerCraft showed off enough products to fill a mansion or two during one of the first press conferences here at CEDIA. First there was the new wireless MODE Free controller that can be in-wall mounted using a special bracket that allows for the controller to be removed whenever you want to take it for a walk. In addition to multi-room audio distribution, the MODE controllers allow a homeowner to link up to six iPods in the house and share music and metadata. Then came the new Accufit Ultra Slim in-ceiling speaker which is only 1 7/8" deep. It uses what SpeakerCraft calls a "sealed and ported" enclosure which is sealed on the back (the part that hides in the wall) but has a front-mounted prort that fires into the room. Also discussed were the new smaller TIME Mini speakers that descend from the ceiling and can be aimed toward the listening area.
Simaudio chose HE2007 to unveil three of its newest components. In this not-so-great photo, the MOON CD-1 CD Player is shown under the new MOON i-1 Integrated Amplifier (50 watts x 2 into 8 ohms or 100 watts x 2 into 4 ohms). Each piece of gear will sell for $1,349 and will be available in the Fall of 2007. Also in the booth was the MOON LP3 Phono Preamplifier, a smaller version of the MOON LP5.3, which sells for $499.
Cirago’s CMC3000 wasn’t the only cool device they had to show this morning. The HDX3DV01 (HydraDisplayPort to 3 DVI Multimonitor Adapter – now that’s a mouthful) is a plug-and-play device that works with any computer possessing a DisplayPort output to give you support for up to three DVI monitors – without any additional software required. Cirago says there’s no latency, so it’s perfect for gamers who want to extend their view. Supposedly (actually, I know this to be true myself), using multiple monitors will increase your productivity on the computer – provided you’re not spending your time playing games – up to 42 percent. That alone ought to help pay for the $179 you’ll (gladly) shell out for this uber-cool adapter. Cirago also told me that you can upgrade a non-DisplayPort computer for about $72 to give you the DisplayPort output you’ll need to use with the HDX3DV01.
No, it didn’t fly while I was there, but a life-size (?) version of the flying robot from the famous THX movie trailer stood mute witness in the Integra booth that Integra has oodles of THX-approved gear. (Oodles – yeah, that’s a technical term. Now that I think of it, Oodles would be a good name for the robot itself. I may name my next kid, Oodles, I like it so much – the name, not the kid…)
Anyone who has ever tried to integrate a pair of floor-standing or even a pair of bookshelf speakers into a living room or bedroom knows that it's virtually impossible to make them invisible. Multiply that single pair by 2.5 (or more) for a home theater system, and you've got the makings of a decor disaster. Wall-mounted speakers eliminate the use of valuable floor space, but even the best visual designs suffer from being visible. In-wall speakers are about as close to seamless, seen-less speaker integration, but they're not always practical in terms of wall space thanks to little things like doors, windows, fireplaces, picture frames, indoor plants, and other decorative items. The final frontier for the heard-but-not-seen speaker is the ceiling where there's plenty of available space, and, when mixed in with the various light fixtures and vents, the speakers look absolutely natural.