Bryston had this classy-looking new preamp-processor, the SP-3, on static display. It will have all the important bells and whistles, including decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio, when it goes on sale, probably in the second half of 2009. No prices were given.
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.
Samsung, alone among the major exhibitors, was warning people not to take photos in their booth. I guess they don't like publicity. I snapped this just before I was warned. Fortunately, I had already taken several other shots before I was nabbed. Later in the day we got permission before shooting our first video installment.
UK-based Cambridge Audio announced both the Azur 640R V2 7.1 A/V receiver ($1799, spring 2009), an update of the original Azur 640. It also launched its first Blu-ray player, the Azur 640B ($999 spring 2009).
Cambridge Audio has introduced its own truly universal, Profile 2.0 Blu-ray player, the Azur 650R, at $779. It not only plays Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs, but multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio as well--either through its analog outputs or as a bitstream over HDMI. According to the Cambridge rep, it will also decode SACD and DVD-Audio to multichanel PCM for output over HDMI
No, I'm not going into Canon's consumer HD cameras here, But rather give a shout-out to the Canon tech folks whe helped me with a minor problem that locked out the Canon camera I was using at the show. I was in a near panic, pondering the potential waste of two hours of show time to go back to the hotel for my spare camera, when it occurred to me that Canon might just have a booth at a consumer electronics show. Duh! They did, and they got me going again.
The Cary Audio Designs' Cinema 11V High Definition Video Processor ($3000) provide thesvideo switching that the company's Cinema 11a preamp-processor ($3000) lacks. But it can also be used as a stand-along video processor with other gear. It has Faroudja technology to provide video upconversion to a maximum of 1080p. It also claims to provide an output refresh rate of up to 120Hz, though we know of no current video display that can accept a direct 120Hz input (the new displays coming on line with 120Hz capability produce 120Hz internally from a 24/30/or 60 Hz source). There are six HDMI 1.3 inputs and two HDMI outputs, plus a full complement of analog video inputs, including RGB inputs and outputs on BNC connectors. CRT projector owners, take note.
Another box-office disappointment here, but its failure was undeserved. This is a delightful romantic comedy. While the title appears to reveal all you need to know about the subject, the R-rating here is very soft. Apart from a few minutes near the beginning, this more of a costume farce than a sex-romp. Perhaps that's why it failed in theaters; it wasn't what the audience expected.