Parasound's Even Dozen
Parasound's new ZoneMaster 1250 12-channel amplifier couldn't have arrived at a better time. Of course the name suggests a custom installation with multiple zones, but it could be used to satisfy the demands of Atmos as well, supporting a multitude of ceiling and surround speakers in a variety of configurations. Any pair of channels can also be bridged. Without bridging, the power is rated at 50W per channel into 8 ohms, all channels driven. A bridged pair of channels is rated at 120W into 8 ohms and 200W into 4 ohms. I can conceive of a user bridging three pairs for the front channels and using the other six unbridged for a 5.2.4 Atmos setup.
Yamaha and Atmos
While Yamaha's lineup of new AVRs is heavy into support for Atmos, the company's well-reviewed Avantage pre-pro remains Atmos-free. A spokesperson for Yamaha told me that there are no immediate plans to come out with a new version that supports Atmos. It will certainly happen eventually (unless Atmos turns out to be this year's HD-DVD, and it doesn't appear that it will), but until then they're likely to loose customers to Marantz, Onkyo, and Integra, all of which offer competing pre-pros with that feature.
Pioneer Previews New Reference Blu-ray Player
Sales of Blu-ray players are holding their own and may even see a bump as Dolby Atmos discs begin to make their way into the market next month. With that in mind, Pioneer’s introduction of the new Elite BDP-88FD Blu-ray player—conceived as the ultimate reference player—couldn’t be better timed.
QMotion Cues Up Motorized Curtains
Motorized window treatments (shades, curtains, and other window coverings) are always super cool to watch as they magically open or close in front of a window. For some reason, I’m never able to resist pushing the button on the remote that makes a shade go up and down or a curtain open and close. It’s just so cool - and can keep your house very cool, too. QMotion Shades
new motorized drapery rod is one of the coolest of all the motorized window treatment mechanisms at CEDIA to watch. QMotion says the company’s new mechanized device is “the industry’s first - and only - trackless motorized drapery rod.” The new wireless drapery rod requires no external motors or wires and is extremely quiet when in operation. Rods come in two sizes: 1.5-inches (diameter) that uses C-cell batteries; and 2-inches in diameter that uses D-cell batteries. QMotion estimates that users can expect battery life to be one to two years on average, depending on the size of the rod and how often the mechanism is used each day.
In addition to pointing out that the new product is...
NEAR Pounds the Ground with New Outdoor Sub
Maine-based NEAR, a pioneer in outdoor speakers known for building audiophile-quality speakers that can withstand extreme weather conditions, previewed a new “all environment” subwoofer designed to meet or exceed the stringent Mil-Std-810 military spec for resistance to humidity, salt air, water, and extreme heat and cold.
Music Streaming Service Deezer Makes U.S. Debut
Deezer, a French music streaming service with 16 million active users and 5 million paying subscribers, is coming to the U.S. with the “world’s largest” music catalog of more than 35 million tracks—all captured in the lossless FLAC format.
Kaleidescape: This is who we are
“We’re religious about the experience and the function and design of our products, “ Kaleidescape’s CEO, Cheena Srinivasan, stated, reminding dealers about who Kaleidescape is and “where Kaleidescape belongs in this world with all of the other competing devices and substitutes, and the technology directions where we are headed.”
Now You See It, Now You Don’t: World’s Brightest Mirror TV
Electric Mirror has conquered the hospitality mirror TV market over the past 16 years and is now targeting the residential and commercial spaces with models that incorporate patented Iris glass technology said to allow the TV image to show through the mirror better than any TV on the market.
Nucleus: Reach Out and See Someone
Reach Out and See Someone
Video calling is certainly nothing new, in fact with iPhone and Android devices most of us carry the ability to video chat with someone around in our pocket. But the home intercom is still a popular request, especially in larger homes where you want a more elegant way to find everyone than, “HELLO?!? WHERE ARE YOU?!? HELLO!!!!” New company, Nucleus, has one of the coolest intercom systems I’ve seen in a while and at a price that is pretty startling.
Artison Previews Vibration-Free Micro Sub
I knew from the press photo that Artison’s RCC Nano 1 sub was small but I didn’t realize just how small until I saw in person at CEDIA Expo. The little guy is less than 9 inches square yet packs one helluva punch and boasts a “vibration-free” reactance cancelling configuration developed by CEO and chief designer Cary Christie.