JVC opened the show with a bang, introducing eight new projectors. Six of them are further refinements of last year's models, with some significant new features. As last year, they are paired in sister designs, the Reference models (DLA-RS65 at $12,000, DLA-RS55 at $8000, DLA-RS45 at $3500—the latter a $1000 price drop from last year's corresponding model!) and the Procision models (DLA-X90R, DLA-X70R, and DLA-X30Rat the same respective price points as the Reference models) The respective Reference and Procision models are identical in features and differ only in minor cosmetic details and their sales channels (the Reference models are sold through Pro dealers).
On the day before the show opened, the isles were clogged with crates, ladders, and fork lifts doing the Indy 500 shuffle. For how it all looked when the crowds rolled in, scroll down until you get to the beauty shot taken on Thursday morning, opening day. Viewing the chaos on the day before, you never think they'll be ready to open on time. They always are. Kudos to the dozens of behind the scenes "stagehands" without whom there wouldn't even be a show.
The so-called Future Technology Pavilion was open for a press tour on Wednesday, press conference/setup day (the show formally opens on Thursday September 8). Much of the content here was of limited A/V interest, but will be of interest to custom installers who often add home automation and similar services to their repoitoire. The most interesting features here were those that offer a wide range of medical monitoring facilities, providing health and well-being warnings that can be transmitted to the appropriate agencies and individuals if needed. In other words, just the ticket for a granny-friendly house.
The area of the Future Technology display of most interest to home theater fans, however, involved this huge, 244.5-inch x 104-inch, 2.35:1 Stewart Aeroview 100 screen. It's a rear projection setup using six DLP projectors with edge blending. The image you can see here was only 16:9 for this preview, but 2.35:1 material that fills the screen is on the menu for the show days. The image was as impaired, as this photo suggests, by the ambient lighting, which is also higher on setup day than it will be during show hours. For more details, see the next post.
The magic behind the curtain for the Future Technology Pavilion's big rear projection screen (above) consisted of six Digital Projection D-Vision 30-1080 DLP projectors, each responsible for filling one sixth of the image, combined with edge blending to hide the transitions from one projector to the other. These projectors offer a short throw, permitting a short, 9-foot distance from projector to screen.
Once you divide the high definition source image into six segments, each of those segments will be far smaller in pixel count. Each of these segments must therefore be upconverted to match the projector's native resolution. The processing is further complicated by the fact that the screen used here is 2.35:1, not the 16:9 that would be a direct multiple of the six projectors' native resolutions. In addition, allowance must be made for overlap where the images meet. An overlap of about 13% is needed to provide for the edge blending. And the edge blending itself requires major processing power.
Come December 25, Santa will be slipping new Blu-ray players and discs under many a Christmas tree. But will those Blu-ray discs actually look better to you?
The Blu-ray format may be four years old, but I still see comments on various websitesnot to mention in the mainstream (non-enthusiast) pressto the effect that those Blu-rays don't look any better than upconverted DVDs. When you read these comments, you need to ask a few questions about the commenter, questions to clarify the circumstances surrounding the observation. These questions may even relate to your own experiences…
In addition to its range of anamorphic lenses, Schneider Optics introduced its own single-chip, 2D DLP projector, fitted with an anamorphic lens. The trick feature here is that the motorized mechanism that moves the lens in and out of position is built into the lens case, with no need for outboard sled hardware. $23,500, including ther anamorphic lens. Available early in 2011.
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.