CEDIA 2009

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments

After blogging about these in-wall speakers before the show, I was eager to hear them for myself. The demo consisted of some CD selections in 2.1 (using the new SCS subwoofer, about which more in the next post), multichannel audio from DVD concert videos, and a clip from <I>Monsters, Inc.</I> shown on a Screen Research ClearPix2 woven, acoustically transparent screen. The system controller provides Audyssey MultEQ XT and several memories for different setups&#151;music, movies, speakers behind a screen or not, etc.&#151;and the result sounded great, with deep, clean bass and excellent imaging.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments
Two years ago, PSB introduced the top-line Synchrony line. A year ago an almost equally high-end line was added, the Imagine. With the revised version of the Image, PSB's number three falls into place. There are two towers and three monitors and -- tower-averse as we are -- we think matched sets of any of the latter would make a fine basis for a system. These two-way stand-mounts include the B6 (6.5-inch woofer, $499/pair), B5 (5.25-inch, $399/pair), and B4 (four-inch, $299/pair). We've heard the B6 and B4 and they're superb, with more bass than you'd expect. This is one of the few speaker brands whose founder, Paul Barton, spends significant amounts of time in China QC-ing the product.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2009 1 comments

I blogged about this LED-illuminated DLP projector before the show, but now I've seen a demo, which looked great on a Da-Lite Affinity screen (0.95 gain), even with some ambient light. The LEDs are claimed to have a 100,000-hour lifespan, which corresponds to 12 or 13 years of normal use. Colors looked quite natural thanks to the advanced calibration process that assures an accurate color gamut and grayscale.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2009 3 comments
Trufig is a new brand from the founders of Sonance. Its job is to make touchscreens, lightswitches, and other custom installable goodies practically disappear into the wall, as you can see in the pic -- old-style fixtures at right, disappearing ones at left. It was inspired by the after-the-fact design process that's been taking place when Sonance's architectural speakers come up against the wishes of architects and interior designers. The things being made to disappear are not actually Sonance or Trufig products but things like Crestron touchscreens and Lutron light fixtures. Starting at $300 for a single-gang fixture, Trufig is not cheap, but it will presumably find its way into the high-end custom install market.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2009 3 comments

Atlantic Technology isn't the only company with a concept product at CEDIA. Pioneer is showing its Project ET (Entertainment Tap), a networking paradigm that could be incorporated into a real product by next year. The Linux-based box being demonstrated at the show holds a 1TB (terabyte) hard disk, optical drive that can read Blu-ray, DVD, and CD as well as burn DVD and CD, HDMI I/O, and USB and RS-232 ports; in fact, up to 128 USB devices can be connected, including more hard disks.

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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments
JVC is introducing a whole new range of its DILA projectors at the show. There are six new models, three from the consumer division and three essentially identical models from the pro division. The star of the six is the DLA0RS35 (pro, $10,000), available this month. It has a claimed peak contrast ratio of 70,000:1, adds JVC's 120Hz Clear Motion Drive, and is both THX- and ISF-certified. The consumer version is the DLA-HD990, at the same price.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments

Aside from the DLS-RS4000 4K behemoth, no less than six new projectors were announced at JVC's press conference today&#151;three in the Reference series from the company's professional division and three in the Procision line from the consumer group, all with HQV video processing. At the top of the heap are the DLA-HD990 and RS35, which feature hand-selected and -tuned optics, 70,000:1 native contrast ratio with no dynamic iris, inverse telecine back to 24fps with 96Hz refresh rate, and ISF and THX certification. Both will list for $10,000 and should be available this month. Stepping down the model ladder, we come to the HD950 and RS25, with 50,000:1 contrast and THX movie mode for $8000. The entry level is occupied by the HD550 ($5000) and RS15 ($5500) with 35,000:1 and 30,000:1 contrast, respectively. The demos looked quite good, especially because JVC always goes to great lengths to show its projectors in a darkened environment.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2009 Published: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments

In the realm of front projectors, Sony unveiled the VPL-VW85 (though Tom Norton has already conducted a review of a pre-production unit for <I>Home Theater</I>, and he liked it very much). With a new auto iris, it claims a dynamic contrast ratio of 120,000:1, and it refreshes the image at 120Hz with dark-frame insertion, a Sony hallmark. It should hit retailers in October for around $8000.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2009 1 comments
Yup, they're actually calling it the SCS, and yup, that does stand for "suitcase sub." Companies like this are like manna to journalists. The narrow vertical sub hugs the wall and packs in dual 5x7.5-inch drivers, which yield an active cone area of 12 inches, powered by 300 watts. Probable price $4000, shipping in 30 days. We didn't let it distract us from the excellence of Wisdom's Sage Series line source planar speakers, the L100i and C150i, which speak like oracles through a woven screen.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2009 Published: Sep 10, 2009 2 comments

Sony's press conference was awash in new products, such as the BDP-CX7000ES 400-disc changer, which can accommodate Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs. This Profile 2.0 player connects to the Internet in order to access BD-Live content, update the firmware, and download Gracenote MusicID and VideoID data related to the discs it holds, making it easy to find what you want. The retail price is $1900, and it's available now.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments

This skinny subwoofer, dubbed the Suitcase Subwoofer (SCS) because of its shape, hardly looks like it can go deep, but it does. Even more surprising is the driver compliment, which consists of two 5x7-inch "woofers" at the mouth of what Wisdom calls a complimentary folded horn. Only the horn's port is visible, and it can be configured to exit the cabinet on the front or either side, making placement very flexible. This serves the company's goal of a sub that can be placed where traditional subs can't, such as behind or under furniture. Power is supplied by a 500W amp, and the list price will be around $4000 when it ships in October.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments
Proficient is a new brand name in receivers and we look forward trying one of its two surround models. The M60 has 80 watts times seven, four HDMI ins, and SmartEQ for $600. Step up to the M80 and you get all that plus 130 watts times seven, Faroudja DCDi video processing, and XM satellite radio compatibility for $1250. Proficient also showed an eight-channel power amp, the M8, with 35 watts per channel, for $1100.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2009 Published: Sep 10, 2009 2 comments

At the first press conference of the show, Atlantic Technology unveiled a new speaker technology called H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System), which purports to significantly increase the bass extension, dynamic range, and efficiency of just about any speaker while reducing the distortion with nothing more than a sophisticated acoustic chamber within the cabinet&#151;no electronics. Developed in conjunction with speaker maker Solus/Clements, the system combines elements of horn loading, transmission lines, bass reflex, and acoustic suspension&#151;hence "Hybrid" in the name. The frequency response of the chamber actually increases as the response of the driver decreases at lower frequencies, resulting in a very flat overall response from 70Hz down to a frequency that depends on the specific driver.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2009 0 comments

The demo of Projectiondesign's 3-chip DLP Helios was mighty impressive on a 2.35:1, 11-foot-wide Da-Lite Affinity screen. The clip was from <I>10,000 B.C.</I>, an eminently forgettable movie that was chosen because it was color-graded on a Projectiondesign projector. The dual-lamp Helios was at its minimum lamp and iris settings to accommodate the screen, which means it can easily fill a screen up to 16 feet wide. Like the Kroma, the Helios produced very natural skin tones and razor-sharp detail.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 10, 2009 1 comments
The continued flattening of video displays makes bulky premium HDMI cable look ever more like an anachronism. That's why Monster Cable has introduced the SuperThin HDMI cable. It's 75 percent thinner than Monster's usual HDMIs. A sexy swivel adapter further enhances its flexibility -- and, by the way, Monster's flat-panel screen mounts are now less than a half-inch thick. Another Monster product is billed as the world's fastest HDMI cable, carrying 21Gbps up to 50 feet, with the help of active circuitry from Gennum. Monster's Noel Lee: "Consumers need to be freed from the fear of obsolescence." After all, with analog cables, "you never had to worry about your cables expiring." More Monster news covered uninterruptible power supplies, powerline conditioners, high-end Turbine earbuds, and other headphone lines. They don't call this company Monster for nothing. Ever the party animal, Monster always throws a party at major shows, and this year's CEDIA party will be called "The Recession's Almost Over Party." That's the kind of attitude we like.

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