My search for home theater displays at the Venetian hotel, home of the high-end audio exhibits, was frustrating. And while I enjoyed checking out the audio rooms, looking mainly for speakers suitable for home theater (but also for the fun of it!), their prices were often a put-off for multi-channel applications). The Meridian room did not break the price barrier either, but the quality of the system was outstanding. The company left its big 4K projector at home and settled on the smaller DLA-MF10 with an ISCO anamorphic lens (about $28,000 --$15,000 without the lens) and 8-foot wide (approximately) 2.35:1 Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. Even though this projector is based on an older JVC DLA design (extensively modified courtesy of video expert William Phelps) the picture was to die for.
So was the sound, consisting of Meridian DSP5200 speakers for the mains and surrounds and a 5200 center, driven by the latest (version 6) Meridian 861 surround sound processor and a Sony Blu-ray player (the most unassuming part of the system). I put on one of my favorite demo sequences (the arrival of the Autobots from the first Transformers movies. Beginning with the meteor shower, the audio here is more notable for its terrific music mix than the clanky mayhem that erupts in the film's more action-heavy scenes. The sound was as sweet, yet compelling, as I've ever heard it.