Acoustics showed speakers from the new Klimt series, led by this large floorstander, "The Music" (yes, that's its name. The speaker uses a newly developed flat midrange with a coaxially mounted tweeter and a separate supertweeter. The picture does not do justice to the speakers stunning appearance and impeccable finish, including a piano black version, not shown here. Yours for just $25,000/pair.
The Phase Technology dARTS system isn't new, but it has never been reviewed in UAV and this is the first time I have been able to actually hear it. It was impressive—and one of the few surround-sound setups, with video, at the Venetian Hotel. The system includes speakers and all DSP and amplifiers. There are 250W of amplification for each individual driver, and the system controls the crossovers, time alignment, and equalization. Separate room eq is performed via the included Audyssey multEQ system. $20,000 for the audio package, not including pre-pro or source.
The Viva Utopia is the latest entry in Focal's Utopia range. Its flanking woofers and a mid-tweeter array can be used horizontally or vertically, serving as perhaps the world's priciest LCR. Used vertically, the top and bottom woofers can be tilted (as shown) at various angles to optimize the arrival times at the main listening position. When used as a horizontal center, however, the woofer modules are locked in a straight-ahead orientation, with the mid-tweeter array is rotated 90-degrees. Both of these adjustments must be performed at the factory; if this arrangement is needed the unit must be specifically ordered as a horizontal center. $12,500 each.
Vivitek wants to be your projector company, either with its premier H9080FD LED-lit, single-chip DLP projector ($15,000) or with its new $5000, H5085 lamp-lit single chipper, or the H1085 DLP. The latter carries an alarming price of $1499 with a specified light output of 2000 lumens.
Vivitek was demoing two of its projectors in 2D. A stacked pair of its well-established H9080 LED-based DLP projectors ($15,000 each, shown here) were converged onto a 118" wide, Da-Lite Affinity screen (gain 1.1). A single D8300 ($118,000, shown below) was firing onto a c comparably sized Stewart Firehawk.
VIZIO introduced more new flat panel displays at CES than any poor scribe should have to deal with. So I'll mention only the largest sets in both the plasma and LCD premier lines. The 1920x1080p VP504F is a 50" plasma ($1699) with Silicon Optix REON video processing. As of now the VP504F is the only set in the new VIZIO line, either LCD or plasma, that uses the REON, though more are possible before the new lines start showing up in stores in May and June. A contrast ratio of 30,000:1 is claimed.
Vizio’s new top-of-the-line range of 2K (1920 x 1080) LCD HDTVs is the M-Series shown here. The 3D models are expected to be available later this year in 50-inch ($859) 55-inch ($1200), 60-inch ($1600), 70-inch ($2500) and 80-inch ($4500) sizes. All will have a 240Hz refresh rate, passive 3D, Vizio’s Internet Apps, an ultra slim, thin bezel design, and local dimming. It was not clear from Vizio’s press materials, but we assume from the ultra slim design and the prices that the local dimming is edge-lit rather than the more complex and expensive to implement full backlit zone dimming. The picture here shows all but the 55-incher; only one of the four employs an IPS panel (which typically offers better off-axis performance). Ignore the room reflections and guess which one.
The M-series also includes 32-, 40-, and 47-inch models, which are 2D only.
They won’t be available until later in the year, so no prices were yet available, but Vizio joins other HDTV manufacturers (with Panasonic a notable exception) in making this CES the year of 4K launches—though 4K source material will be very thin on the ground. Nevertheless, this Vizio 70-inch 4K set looked outstanding in upconverting what was apparently a standard Blu-ray source. 65- and 55-inches Vizio 4K sets will also be available, though the latter size seems a tad small to take full advantage of the format.
Next to the 4K display, Vizio also showed a glasses-free 3D prototype, though this was apparently a technical demonstration rather than a product we should expect anytime soon. The 3D effect was modestly effective, but not equal to the glasses variety. And the picture was otherwise rather grainy (possibly due to the screen treatment needed for the glasses free experience) and not yet quite ready for prime time. As with other glasses free 3D we’ve seen, the 3D effect was only visible at several specific zones across the viewing area, but unlike those other sets, the picture merely went to 2D in the areas between those zones rather than breaking apart into the two separate eye images.
Vizio has announced the new VF551XVT, a 55" LCD HDTV incorporating Vizio's TruLED with Smart Dimming—the company's name for LED backlighting with local dimming. The set also includes Vizio's 240Hz SPS (Scenes per Second) technology. At $2200 (September 2009) it will be the least expensive local dimming set on the market that we know ofat least until November, when Vizio plans to release a 47" version ($1700, SV472XVT). The latter adds a wireless or wired Internet Apps "VIA" feature, which will offer access to content from selected Vizio Internet partners.
Vizio is showing its first Blu-ray player, the VBR100, at $199 MSRP. It is BD Live (Profile 2.0) compatible (requires a separate, user-provided memory card). Multichannel audio formats are output over HDMI only (the player does not have multichannel analog outputs). The player can decode Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS to LPCM and output them over HDMI (plus native LPCM, of course). It cannot decode DTS-HD Master Audio (or DTS High Resolution) to LPCM; advanced DTS formats are decoded to the DTS "core" track only (generally DTS 5.1 48kHz). The Vizio VBR100 can, however, output all supported Blu-ray Disc audio formats over HDMI in bitstream form (including all DTS high resolution formats), where they may be decoded in a compatible A/V receiver or pre-pro.