As I was cruising through the Screen Innovations booth, I discovered a projector I had never heard of before, though I learned that it wasn't new at the show. The TruVue Vango from Entertainment Experience is a single-chip DLP model with LED illumination and a claimed contrast ratio of 100,000:1. It comes with an eeColor TruVue color processor, which is also sold by SpectraCal (see next blog entry for more on that).
Epson made quite a splash at last year's CEDIA with a demo of its first LCOS projectors. The company actually refers to their version of this technology as 3LCD Reflective—essentially the same thing as LCOS, though I recall that they noted in 2010 that they were liquid crystal on quartz rather than on silicon.
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.
Robert Deutsch very favorably reviewed the Focal Chorus 826W Anniversary Editiion late last year in Stereophile. Now there's an entire new Chorus W lineup (the W stands for the incorporation of Focal's sandwich cone material into the line--the standard Chorus models do not have this). The 826W ($3495/pr) is the second from the left in the photo. New are the bigger 836W ($4195/pr), the 807W bookshelves ($1495/pr), the CC800W center ($795) and the SW800W subwoofer ($1595).
Really big 3D in the home no longer requires a special projectorwith the Image Anyplace 3D Passive Viewing Kit from Flexible Picture Systems (FPS), you can display passive-polarized 3D using any pair of conventional projectors, providing greater brightness than single-projector systems. The 3D signal from a Blu-ray player or broadcast source is sent to an HDMI splitter and then on to two IA3D processors, which separate the left and right images. These signals are sent to the two projectors fitted with polarizing filters in front of the lenses. The IA3D processors also provide advanced geometry correction derived from the Silicon Optix Geo processor, making setup and alignment surprisingly easy. The kit includes two IA3D processors, HDMI splitter and cables, polarizing filters, 10 paper glasses, four plastic glasses, and a remote for $7495. Just add two projectors and a polarization-preserving screen, and you're in business.
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.
You might want to start looking around for a great set of speaker stands (the ones GoldenEar Technology used were filled with sand and lead shot) or upgrade the shelving on your bookcase/wall because the new Aon 2 and Aon 3 from GoldenEar Technology are so f’superb they demand something extra f’special underneath them. The new Aons will catch your eye from the start thanks to their “truncated pyramidal construction” which results in a speaker cabinet that not only looks good but is also integral to the sound quality due to the absence of parallel cabinet walls and minimal front baffle area. Like the mind-blowing Triton Two towers from GoldenEar, the Aons incorporate the same High Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) high-frequency driver. Each Aon model also has two side-mounted planar low-frequency radiators (8-inch in the Aon 3 and 6-inch in the Aon 2). The result of the way these drivers couple with the room, the Aon 3 (that’s the model I spent some time listening to) had an f’incredible amount of bass output. These speakers are sure to make some noise when they start shipping later this year for $399/each (Aon 2) and $499/each (Aon 3).
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.
This projector mount from Chief ($189) was not in the full-line catalog available at the show, but looks husky enough to handle many home theater projector. It might be useful for those who want their projector mounted high but don't want to hang it from the ceiling, Instead, it's mounted to the rear wall. But since in this case the projector will be mounted near the rear wall, you must be sure that the projector is compatible with the throw distance to your screen.
Most recliners have a high back, which can interfere with the audio your ears receive. My long-term HT seats have long had this problem, which I minimize by using a different chair for serious music listening. It's hard to find a low-backed recliner, but the Axis model from Canada-based Palliser might be just the ticket. The rear headrest can be extended when you're in a more laid-back (literally) than critical mood. At roughly $2000 per seat (with power reclining and various shades of leather, straight and curved multi-seat configurations available), if they seem expensive, you haven't priced many premium HT seats. They're manufactured in Canada and Mexico.
HDBaseT is designed to clean up cable clutter in a big way. This interface format uses a single, slender cable with an RJ45 connector on each end to carry HDMI (with HDCP compliance), Ethernet, USB, RS-232, and up to 100 watts of AC power more than 100 meters, precluding the need for all those separate cables (and extenders in the case of HDMI). Crestron, AMX, Gefen, and Extron are selling HDBaseT products nowincluding adapters that convert between HDBaseT and HDMI for legacy gearand promoters include LG, Samsung, and Sony Pictures, which believes that people will consume more content if connections are this easy. Fortunately, the HDBaseT Alliance is a non-profit organization, and licensing costs very little, which bodes well for its adoption among consumer-electronics companies.
After coming out with a relatively pedestrian and otherwise less-than-beautiful RadioRA 2 seeTemp wireless thermostat, Lutron has now partnered with Honeywell to offer the slightly more high-tech, slightly easier to manually program TouchPRO wireless thermostat with the same rock-solid Clear Connect RF technology used in the amazingly retrofit-friendly RadioRA 2 lighting control system.