I'd say that LG got CEDIA 2007 off to a fast start, but the truth is that LG bent time and space by making an impact on CEDIA before CEDIA actually occurred. The press release for this player came to me a week ago under "embargo," which means I've been biting my virtual tongue for a week!
LG was in its customary and brutal 8am time slot (11am on the east coast LG’s John Taylor reminded us- thanks for that John!) and got the 2009 show off with a big bang. Rather than buy into forcing consumers to choose Blu-ray vs. streaming/downloads, its answer is to offer both. Its 2008 Internet connected BD300 Blu-ray player connects to Netflix and Netflix HD. Expanding on that, LG’s 2009 BD players and select HDTVs will offer Netcast, which is LG’s proprietary name for a feature set that delivers Internet derived content. Partners will include Netflix (and Netflix HD), YouTube, and CinemaNow with more content partners coming online later. Pictured here is one of LG's Blu-ray powered HTiBs.
Due to popular demand in some quarters, here is a picture of your intrepid author and one of your guides through this maze of consumer electronics we call the CEDIA Expo. That space age looking device is not being used to assimilate you. It’s the coincident midrange/tweeter array from Thiel’s CS3.7 loudspeaker. And it looks cool.
Not that McIntosh ever really went anywhere, but it was still pretty cool to see the retro glass front panels and cool blue and green fluorescents lighting up an entire 7.1-channel home theater system.
Not only did we see a very impressive working demo of the $10K Marantz VP-15S1 with an anamorphic lens, Marantz announced and will be demoing the VP-11S2 later in the show. The 11S2 will be among the first front proejctors shipping with TI's Dark Chip 4 technology. According to TI the chip backing has been darkened down, killing stray light for a brighter image and darker blacks.
Marantz has been the industry's #4 hitter in delivering high-end, single-box AVRs that sound great for some time. In Q2 of 2008 Marantz gets outside that single-box with the AV8003 preamp/processor (pictured above) and MM8003 multichannel amplifier.
Marantz is joining the Blu crew in 2008 as well, with a high-end Blu-ray Disc player, the BD8002. And actually, high-end doesn't even cut it. Marantz is calling this player "ultimate quality" with built-in Silicon Optix processing for superb DVD upconversion, and the press materials indicate internal decoding of both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Processing Modes: DD, DD-EX, ProLogicIIx, DTS, DTS-ES/Discrete/Matrix/Neo: 6, DTS 24/96, SRS Circle Surround II, HDCD decoding
Features We Like: THX Select2-Certified, Four HDMI 1.2 inputs and two outputs with video upconversion and cross-conversion, four component inputs, Audyssey auto calibration and room EQ, three coaxial and four toslink optical digital audio inputs, one 7.1-channel analog audio input, XM Ready, 7.1-channel preamp outs, AV sync delay, multi-source/multi-zone