Wharfedale's new Jade series has a Crystal AM enclosure. That is a composite of wood fiber and polymer made in multiple layers of microscopic thickness and arranged to prevent the backwave of the drivers from polluting their output. The aluminum tweeter has an oversized surround to defeat ringing and the woofer is a weave of glass and carbon fiber. There are two towers, two monitors, two centers, and a surround at prices ranging from $4199 for the biggest towr to $1199 for the smaller stand-mount.
It ain’t cheap, but it sure is easy (and fast). VidaBox gives you a way to archive and browse your Blu-ray and DVD movies, store and play music CDs, record and watch favorite TV shows, create animated slide shows, plus stream Netflix and other internet video content from one of a couple of media servers directly to your TV or via a extenders on other TVs in your house. If you’re worried about running out of storage space, VidaBox offers an expandable RAID6 storage device that – in a single unit – can hold u- to 10, 890 DVDs or 2,640 Blu-rays. In addition to the massive storage capabilities, one of the most impressive aspects of the VidaBox system was the speed of its GUIs and searches.
Media centers start at around $3,300. Clients start at around $2,000. (That ginormous storage server runs $15,000.)
It’s exciting to think about using an iPad2 mounted in the wall instead of a (usually) expensive dedicated touch panel for a variety of home automation/control systems. At least, it’s exciting until you see how much most in-wall iPad2 mounting systems cost. Although primarily known for making media servers, VidaBox showed a new iPad2 on-wall frame/mounting system that’ll have your iPad2 hanging pretty as a picture in minimal time for only – get this - $99. VidaBox offers the frames in seven different colors and finishes, or the frames can be painted to match your wall. Optional chargers (starting at $30) are available for providing continuous power at up to 15 – 25 feet or a steady trickle charge over longer distances, and all that’s required is a single Cat 5 cable from the charger to the frame. (No j-box is required, either.)
It ain’t easy being wireless. Soundcast Systems gave us a peak at just how crowded the wireless spectrum was inside the convention center this afternoon. At another booth, one of the guys told me that they had counted over 190 wireless access points visible from their relatively obscure location in the convention center. It’s a wonder anything wireless worked at all in such a brutal RF environment.
The Insight Series is the latest in flat speakers from Wisdom Audio, a company that specializes in them. These hybrid planar speakers use flat diaphragms through most of the frequency spectrum but switch to cones for bass reproduction. They're available as in-walls or on-walls. For surround channels, Wisdom suggests the smaller Sage Series.
Adam Audio is a virtual unknown in the home theater world, but their monitors grace a good many recording studios across the land. The company came to CEDIA with their new GTC (Grand Theatre Components) speaker line, which features an unusual modular construction. Look closely at the picture and you'll see that the driver pods are modular and on their own screw-down plates. This allows the mid/tweeter cluster to be reoriented for L/R or center channel duties, insuring that the proprietary Heil-style ART (Accelerating Ribbon Technology) planar tweeter is always optimal for the application. The design also allows the plate to be physically moved from the top of the speaker to the center location for center channel use. Likewise, in situations where the speakers are mounted into a faux wall (as they are here) or behind wall fabric, the mid/tweeter can be repositioned to better ensure ear-level placement. The three models are all ported cabinet designs but only the top two, the GTC77 and GTC88 (just a bigger versioin of the 77) feature the modular construction. All three cabinets average about a foot deep. The GTC77, with an X-ART tweeter, 4-inch midwoofer and two 7-inch subwoofers is expected to start shipping soon at around $1,500 to $2,000 retail.