So Much To See, So Little Time
CEDIA 2007 supplied more than its share of surprises. There were more interesting new, free-standing speakers there than I expected, though nowhere near what CES brings to town. The quantity of new electronics was intimidating, as usual, and that will keep us busy for the next few months as we check out the most promising candidates.
The HD disc format war rages on, with each side touting its carefully arranged sales figures to prove that it's winning.
I was not surprised to see a flood of new 1080p projectors. I was surprised, however, that a few manufacturers are fighting the rush to the bottom in pricing. SIM2's $16,000 HT3000E sparkled in its demo, but only time will tell how well it will do at that price. Sony is working both sides of the fence with its $5000 VPL-VW60 and its $15,000 VPL-VW200. And JVC showed what may be (?) the future with a stunning demonstration of its 4K x 2K design— but aimed squarely, for now, at the commercial market, not consumers.
For sheer flat panel picture-power, Pioneer swamped the competition with its new Kuro plasmas. But you do pay for it, and price dominates the market. The question is, who will be the first manufacturer to provide that sort of quality—and CRT-like black level—at Vizio prices? Assuming it's even possible. And assuming the average consumer even cares.
But if I had to choose a theme that dominated this year's show, it would have to be anamorphic projection—using an anamorphic lens with a video projector together with appropriate processing and 2.35:1 screen. It eliminated the black bars that accompany those super widescreen, "scope" films to produce a genuine, theater-like, "Cinemascope" presentation. CEDIA was a veritable 2.35:1 festival. Here at UAV we expect to have a lot more to say about this not-so-new but increasingly popular concept (pro and con) in the next year. So hang around. It's going to be a fun ride.