Sometimes it's easy to forget that CEDIA is aimed for custom installers. And installers need tools. The mad dogger from Mad Dog tools was busy demonstrating his all purpose, drill and mixmaster Cujo thingy.
An ambitious Chinese manufacturer of LCD sets, that's who. The small booth had demos 3D sets and an innovative 21:9 flat panel set optimized for 2.35: 1 movies—with black windowbox" bars at the sides for 16:9 material. Reportedly, TCL makes sets for VIZIO, which makes sense seeing that VIZIO is nearly set to release 21:9 sets. The only puzzle here remains why my camera rendered the TCL logo on top a red-fringed yellow, when the sign was clearly solid red.
If I had to pick a single obvious trend at this year's CEDIA Expo, it would be 2.35:1 anamorphic projection using an add-on anamorphic lens. At least five lens manufacturers were showing product, and all but a few projector manufacturers were featuring some sort of 2.35:1 anamorphic projection. (The fact that our October 1008 issue, distributed at the show, featured an article on this type of setup was a happy coincidence).
There are specialty manufacturers that make various parts for loudspeaker drivers, and when ordering specialty drivers it is possible for a manufacturer of finished speakers to select the cone, surround, frame, voice-coil, etc. from various sources and have these parts assembled by a finished driver specialist. That's way it's possible to experiment with different configurations without the expense of fabricating the individual (very expensive) parts only to discard them if the results prove unsatisfactory.
That may or may not be how Wilson or any other specific manufacturer orders its custom drivers, only that it's possible. Note how the midrange driver used in the Sasha from Wilson Audio (and in variations in most of that company's newer speakers) at first glance resembles the driver from SEAS shown below. However, if you look closely the resemblance is mainly in the cone material, with significant differences in the dust cap, frame, surround, and presumably the internal structure as well.
Wisdom Audio makesd highly specialized and very expensive in-wall audio systems. The utilize line-array full-range speakers with the midrange and high end covered by long planar drivers, the lower end by several mid-sized bass units per channel, and, now, humongous subwoofers consisting of two 15" PRO drivers in cabinets estimated at over 12 cubic feet. Wisdom's brochure assures us that these 17.75" wide, 36" deep, and (I'd guess) five feet high monsters are "space efficient!" But they are designed to be hidden away.
You want to show both films and video in your home theater? Wolf offers the Reference System, with two of its "Reference Analog" 35mm film projectors (shown) plus its Reference Digital Projector, for $300,000. The pieces are available separately, in case you are wondering. The required three-phase power installation, and the projectionist, are not included.
Wolf Cinema has launched three new projectors, including one that is surprisingly affordable for this premium brand. The lamp-based, 2D, DCC-100FD, a single chip DLP, is expected to list for $10,000 when it becomes available early next year. It's rated at 1300 ANSI lumens.
I had hoped to see a new 1080p projector from Yamaha. Since that company's 720p DPX-1300 is probably my favorite DLP projector of that flavor, I eagerly anticipate a 1080p design from them. But it was not to be at this CES. CEDIA 2007? A Yamaha rep suggested that might be the case, but he wasn't all that emphatic.