CES 2009

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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
We've seen the Meridian 810 Reference Video System before; it's the first 4K x 2K video projector available to the consumer. It won't come cheap a just a few thou south of $190,000 for the projector, video processor (needed to scale available 1920x1080 material up to 4800 x 2400. It looked fabulous, even though even better images are possible from it with native 4K program material (essentially non-existent to you and me). They had to settle for a 10' wide projection screen (a curved, 2.35:1, Stewart Studiotek 130), and were claiming 48 foot-Lamberts! Clearly the projector is intended for a much larger screen.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 0 comments
In addition to its AVR600 A/V receiver (expected to ship in March, which is when we're hoping to get a sample for review), Arcam showed an early prototype Blu-ray player. It wasn't quite bug-free, but then it's probably nine months away from market, leaving plenty of time for Arcam to sort them all out. To our knowledge, this makes Arcam and Cambridge Audio, both of them UK companies, the only two small, specialty manufacturers to come forward with a Blu-ray player. The system was producing great sound through a pair of Totem Wind speakers and an Arcam subwoofer
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 1 comments
3D was a big story at CES. Or at least with several manufacturers, apparently looking for the Next Big Thing. Most of the demos were dismal. The best was from Panasonic. It used shuttered glasses and claimed full HD resolution. More on Panasonic's 3D initiative near the bottom of this blog file (it was posted on the first day). Even Panasonic's however, conducted on their big 103" plasma, suffered from motion lag, uncharacteristic of that form of display, on some of the clips. Much of the material, however, looked stunning.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 11, 2009 1 comments
Joseph Audio announced the Pulsar, a two-way stand mount speaker that will retail for $7000/pair when it streets later this year. There's no center channel, but if you can spare the dime you could buy five (or seven) of them for identical performance in each channel!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 34 comments
"We like the sound," said the MK Sound folks in response to my question -- "why an analog bass management controller?" The DMC-1 accepts five XLR input for line-level loop-through. Available in February for $1200. MK is the newly returned heir to the M&K legacy, so expect to see lots of classic models return with upgraded parts to make them even better.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Epson demonstrated its top of the line ProCinema 7500UB LCD projector at CEDIA. It looked excellent there, but after undergoing further refinements to smooth out some pre-production wrinkles, its finally ready for prime time, with one of the best-looking images at the show. With a claimed native contrast ratio of 6000:1, it didn't appear to need the help of a dynamic iris (though it has one) to produce convincingly deep and rich blacks. Worked great with an anamorphic lens, too, on a 101" wide Stewart Studiotek 130 projection screen. The projector uses an HQV REON processor, has a full color management system, red, green, and blue-only modes for setup, and a claimed tight color alignment of the three panels. The best part may be the $4199 price.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
It’s no revelation that Blu-ray players have become more and more accessible to the general public. Now the question has turned from “Do you have a Blu-ray player?” to “What can your Blu-ray player do?” NAD aims to answer the latter question with its new, fully featured T 587 Blu-ray player.
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Barb Gonzalez Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
HDMI Licensing LLC, who won a Technology and Engineering Emmy for their contribution of the HDMI™ single cable audio and video standard, has announced the development of a new HDMI specification beyond the current 1.3 version. While not final, it is expected that the new standard will include transfer of Ethernet over the new HDMI cable. The other significant addition will be an “audio return channel.” Currently when a source—say, your HD satellite—is connected directly to a TV, an optical audio cable must be connected to an AV receiver to hear your satellite programming in surround sound. This new bi-directional feature brings it back to a single connection that will send the sound back to AV receiver without the need for an additional cable. Woohoo! We’re getting closer to a single cable connection, I’m all for that type of simplicity. Go HDMI!
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Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Sharp’s DLP front projectors have always been overachievers that offered a ridiculous amount of performance for the money. Nevertheless, with the company’s sharp (ahem) focus on LCD flat panels, I wasn’t certain we’d see any new front projector products from Sharp at this show. Well, I was wrong!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Arabesque, from the Crystal Cable folks, is the second manufacturer we know of (in addition to Waterfall) to use glass enclosures. The faceted design of this floorstander came about after the company realized that a curved glass enclosure wouldn't be possible -- but it looks great.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 09, 2009 Published: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
French audio specialist YBA announced its first one-box media server. Seen at the top in the photo, the Encore falls in the company's Design series (the two pieces below it are the Design series' CDE and DVD player). The Encore will be available with either a 500GB or 1 TB hard drive ($4500 and $5500 respectively).
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
President-elect Obama has been turned into a fuzzy iPod dock with bobbing head. This is what he gets for delaying the DTV transition. If he delays it long enough, we'll turn him into a power strip.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Phase Technology's dARTS has been around for awhile. That stands for Digital Audio Reference Theater System, and it involves custom programming, software tuning and amplification precisely matched to the room. But with the 650 Series speakers, it now has cosmetic sophistication to match its digital smarts. The whole package goes for $20,000, but if you have high-end tastes and a wallet to match, try it before you decide that's too much.
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Debbie Stampfli Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Sanyo’s new full-HD LCD projector, the PLV-1080HD, may not sound like an entry-level model at first glance. It comes equipped with 1080p capabilities through its HD 3LCD panel and includes some advanced features that might make you think it’s too good to be true. Along with a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, the projector also offers a newly designed variable iris to make your source material shine. SANYO designed the iris to quickly adjust the amount of light projected every 1/60th of a second. The company says this will make image quality stand out through its rich color and deeper blacks.
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Tom Norton Posted: Jan 10, 2009 0 comments
Got $36,495 burning a hole in your pocket? SIM2 has an answer in the new C3X Lumis HOST. According to SIM2, this 1080p, compact 3-chip DLP projector produces excellent blacks thanks to its Dynamic Black auto iris and modulated projection lamp. The "host" part is an outboard processor/input switching box included in the price (not shown in the photo). It did produce an outstanding image.

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