Not much information was available on this Elite NP-M50 streaming device, but at $700, with an asynchronous DAC, it should be a hot ticket. A similar NP-M30 deletes some capabilities, including the asynchronicity in its DAC, will go for for $500. December availability for both.
BDI says they have “high performance furniture”. I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but I do know the stuff they make is incredibly awesome with unique features, such as hidden wheels and integrated levelers, flow-through ventilation slots (in bottom panels, shelves, and back panels), IR-friendly glass, precision hardware (including things like soft-close hinges), as well as sliding - or removable - back panels. During past conventions I’ve breezed by the BDI booth, slowing down just enough to take in the different designs. This CEDIA, however, I spent some time with the folks at BDI who demonstrated for me just how well thought out and intelligently designed the company’s furniture is. The OLA cabinet pictured above has a gently curved front along with curved, tinted glass doors on either side of the center shelf. The stand will hold up to a 73-inch TV weighing 150 lbs or less. It’s also available in chocolate stained walnut finish. The price is under $1,500.
MechoShade’s AcoustiVeil Dimout shadecloth is 100% polyester, PVC-free, and lightweight. It works as a “near-blackout” shade with sound and echo absorption (and a noise-reduction coefficient of 0.575). It’s available in White, Pearl Grey, and Black.
Pioneer also introduced three new Blu-ray players, all of them manufactured in-house (last year's Pioneer players were made by Sharp). All of them are 3D capable. The non-Elite BDP-140, not shown, at $199, can play back SACD via its HDMI output (and of course CD and Blu-ray as well!). The two models shown, the Elite BP-52FD and the Elite BDP-53FD (the latter available in November for $500) are loaded with the features shown in the display card. My only disappointment is that they do not have a coaxial digital output, but are limited to HDMI and optical. None of the players includes multichannel analog outputs or component video outputs, the latter deletion mandated for all players released after July 2011, the former an industry trend as HDMI becomes more widespread.
Induction Dynamics has taken its sister company’s (Phase Technology) all-digital audio processing system that incorporated Audyssey’s MultiEQ XT and precisely matched each speaker to the acoustics of the room to the next level with the ID dARTS system. ID dARTS is available as a freestanding system currently, but in-wall and on-wall versions are in the works. The system Induction Dynamics played for me included a pair of the company’s new three-way S1.8Td tower speakers, a C1.8d center channel, and a pair of S1.8Sd surround speakers. One of the things that made the system stand out was its use of three-inch dome midranges and 1 1/8-inch soft dome tweeters all around. The system is powered, equalized, and filtered by the SX7000d – a sixteen channel amp with up to 250 watts per channel. The SX700d incorporates the Audyssey chipset plus the digital mic input for room calibration. I didn’t get exact pricing, but depending on the system configuration and subwoofer, systems should run between $30,000 and $50,000. Not cheap, for sure, but definitely impressive as all get out.
Summit Wireless keeps charging forward in their quest to conquer the wireless home theater audio world. While the company was cagey about upcoming announcements regarding products coming to market, the people in-the-know hinted that exciting things are about to happen. Summit Wireless technology enables wireless 5.1- and 7.1-channel home theater systems. But it’s more than just a set of wireless speakers. The technology allows the user to tailor the sweet spot of the system to any location in the room with the press of a single button. The system automatically figures out where all the speakers are in relation to each other and can process the audio signal to compensate for less than optimum speaker or listener positioning – and it does it with a single button press. It’s quite possible that we’ll soon start seeing the Summit Wireless processing technology showing up in flat panel TVs, in which case adding a simple dongle to the USB port on the TV will enable the TV to send audio to a set of powered, wireless speakers in your home theater.
Aperion Audio is the first company to have actual, real products available for sale. The 5.1-channel amplified wireless Aperion Audio home theater system will be shipping soon for $2,499. The 7.1 version will sell for $2,999. The controller box (which takes the place of an AVR, which is no longer needed since the amps are built into the speakers) has one optical input, once coax digital input, three HDMI inputs, two stereo analog inputs and has decoding for DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD.
We've discussed Sony's new 4K home theater projector earlier in this running blog, but based on the crowds lining up to see it, it's clearly the hit of the show. But the demo, while striking and definitely worth the time to see, could have used less talk and longer, or more, actual demonstrating. I really wanted to see it a second time, but knowing that the two actual demo selections lasted, at best, 10 minutes, I decided against it.
MusicLites is a wireless speaker/light system from Artison and Sylvania. Each MusicLite combines a 10-watt LED light (equivalent to an incandescent 65-watt light output) with a 2.75” speaker plus a built-in 20-watt amplifier and RF receiver. The system uses a proprietary 2.4 GHz technology, and the MusicLites fit in standard four-, five-, or six-inch recessed cans. Installation is as simple as setting a dipswitch or two on the back of the MusicLite assembly and then screwing it in to a standard light bulb socket. No cutting. No new wires. Any one of up to three sources can be transmitted to up to six zones, and multiple MusicLites can be configured together as one zone. Each MusicLite can be set for either left channel, right channel, or summed mono output. Audio sound quality is surprisingly good, especially for such a small speaker. The company will release a wireless 8-inch 300-watt powered subwoofer before the end of the year.
MusicLites retail for $250/each. A single transmitter with wireless remote control retails for $100/pkg. The subwoofer will have a suggested retail of $600. Overall it’s a very impressive package for the money.
There’s a bit of a buzz in the industry – okay, there’s a huge roar – about whether one HDMI cable is better than another. There’s certainly plenty of marketing gimmicks from some of the cable manufacturers that will be noted in the long history of snake oil selling. Out of courtesy (and to keep him from sending any more text messages), I made of visit to the Audioquest booth to see our old Editor, Shane Buettner. There, instead of the sickening scent of snake oil, Shane simply laid out the case for why there are performance differences in HDMI and USB cables from an audio standpoint. But hearing is believing, as they say, and so he finally stopped talking, handed over a set of headphones, and proceeded to play music from a CD through three different HDMI cables. Even in the ludicrous environment of the show floor, there were definitely differences in the sound quality of the audio being transported through the HDMI cable. Interesting stuff, and definitely something I’m going to look into a bit deeper.
While it didn't photograph well in its dark location (despite my primo photographic skills!), DreamVision's new Inti series of projectors are lookers. At least their cosmetics are, and if their JVC innards are any indication, their performance will be as well (they were on static display only. The Inti 2, shown here, is $10,000. The Inti 1 is $7000, and the Inti 3 is $13,995.)
While we don't spend a lot of time searching out these sorts of products, adapters and processors are fundamental at CEDIA. They make the custom installer's job easier in myriad ways, and Gefen is one of the best known names in the business.
Voco is just one of the many manufacturers hawking wireless multiroom media streaming systems. In addition to being relatively inexpensive, Voco differentiates itself from the competition by giving you the ability to use your voice to find songs, podcasts, internet radio stations, and even YouTube videos. (You can also use your fingers if you’re the quiet type – or a quiet typer.) The system has the capability of streaming up to three audio sources (from your iOS device, CD player, computer, etc.) to up to 10 Voco device equipped zones. Voco V-Zone receivers start at $199.99.
Add on anamorphic lenses to provide a 2.35:1 image on a 2.35:1 screen are a popular though pricey option. Panamorph is one of the best known names in the market. Its prism-type lenses are more affordable than the more visibly "normal" round lenses, but they work well. Round lenses, such as those from Schneider (below) are more flexible with regards to throw distance (they offer focus separate from that of the projector's own lens) but their prices are higher. We've seen superb setups with both types of lenses.
You wouldn’t expect to find a company known for making cooking grilles at CEDIA, but Dimplex came to CEDIA for the first time bringing several examples of the company’s electric fireplaces – a couple of which were built into home theater media consoles. The Dimplex electric fireplaces can be run with or without producing heat. With the heater off, the fireplace costs just a penny or two an hour to run. While you wouldn’t be able to heat an entire home with one, the faux fireplaces are perfect for supplemental zone heating. At the moment, the fireplaces come with an RF remote control; but after many suggestions from interested installers, the Dimplex’s people now know how important it is to be able to integrate the operation of the fireplaces into home automation systems.