CEDIA 2011

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 11, 2011 1 comments
THX has been talking about its Media Director technology for some time, but it's finally being introduced to the marketplace. Media Director embeds metadata in the content itself, describing how the content was created and how it should be rendered in order to preserve the creator's artistic intent and assure optimal presentation. To do so, the so-called content descriptors are created along with the content and remain associated with it all the way to the end user's display and audio system, which automatically adjust their settings for optimal playback, offsetting the calibrated settings as needed for that content only.

The first Blu-rays to include Media Director metadata are the new Star Wars discs, but other studios are ramping up to include it in their new releases. On the hardware side, the first player to have Media Director capabilities is the Dune HD Blu-ray/media streamer from HDI Dune (yeah, I had never heard of them, either). As you can see in the photo above, it was implemented in a Sharp Elite TV at the THX booth, and it will be part of the 2012 Sharp Elites. In fact, starting in 2012, products that hope to be THX-certified must include Media Director functionality.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 11, 2011 0 comments
Wireless HDMI was a common theme at CEDIA. DVDO's offering in this regard is AirHD, which uses the 60GHz WirelessHD system. It can convey up to 1080p/60 and 3D up to 30 meters within a room, but not from one room to another. A package with one transmitter (seen here on the right) and one receiver will go for $129 when it ships in November. The booth demo included an Epson projector with a built-in receiver.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 11, 2011 0 comments
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).
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 11, 2011 2 comments
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).
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 11, 2011 1 comments
The new Polk LSiM flagship lineup was mentioned in an earlier blog, but here's a shot of the whole family, from the top of the line LSiM 707 floorstanders ($4000/pr) on down to the two different center channels speakers (both of them 3-ways). This range was announced and first shown as last year's CEDIA, but production has been much delayed (see below for one reason why!). But they are now ready to ship. We're anticipating a review system real soon now.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 11, 2011 0 comments
As we all know, 3D needs as much brightness as it can get, and you get plenty with Digital Projection's Titan Quad 1080p 3D. This monster includes four lamps to blast up to 16,000 lumens at the screen with a native contrast ratio of 2000:1. You can up the contrast to 5000:1 by closing down the aperture, but then you get "only" 8000 lumens. The price for all that light? Just shy of $90,000.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
MusicLites is a wireless speaker/light system from Artison and Sylvania. Each MusicLite combines a 10-watt LED light (equivalent to an incandescent 65-watt light output) with a 2.75” speaker plus a built-in 20-watt amplifier and RF receiver. The system uses a proprietary 2.4 GHz technology, and the MusicLites fit in standard four-, five-, or six-inch recessed cans. Installation is as simple as setting a dipswitch or two on the back of the MusicLite assembly and then screwing it in to a standard light bulb socket. No cutting. No new wires. Any one of up to three sources can be transmitted to up to six zones, and multiple MusicLites can be configured together as one zone. Each MusicLite can be set for either left channel, right channel, or summed mono output. Audio sound quality is surprisingly good, especially for such a small speaker. The company will release a wireless 8-inch 300-watt powered subwoofer before the end of the year.

MusicLites retail for $250/each. A single transmitter with wireless remote control retails for $100/pkg. The subwoofer will have a suggested retail of $600. Overall it’s a very impressive package for the money.

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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
Kaleidescape's CD/DVD/Blu-ray server gets around the copy protection issue with Blu-rays by having the user load his or her Blu-rays into this carousel-like unit--the Vault. The discs are then loaded onto hard drive servers and played from there. But they will only play from the server if the unit confirms that they are still in the Vault. If not, the server will no longer play the disc file. That's not a limitation with CDs or DVDs, which can also be loaded into the Vault, but can be removed (but still play) after copying onto the hard drives. The Vault holds over 300 discs, but the number of Blu-rays you can load will depend on how big a server you purchase. No word on whether the pretty blue light is standard or just a show special.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
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.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
We showed the $400 PSB M4U 2 headphones in an earlier pose. Here they're worn by PSB chief Paul Barton. They're not only highly effective at noise cancellation (Barton claims about 18dB below 1kHz)) but sounded exceptional. The detachable chord can be attached to either side, and the phones will work for audio even with the batteries discharged. They will be available in December
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
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.

Prices start at around $1,600.

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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
Draper is a major screen manufacturer but doesn't get a lot of play in the press. The small 2.35:1 screen shown here is curved, though that's not easy to spot in the photos. Draper can make any of its fixed screen sizes in a curved configuration for about a 50% premium over a comparable fixed screen. If that sounds like a lot, check out the competition from manufacturers who have grabbed more ink.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
Screen Innovations' Black Diamond screens are now available in gains of 0.8, 1.4, and 2.7. They can be made as a curved, fixed screen, a traditional fixed frame design, a new Zero Edge frame (shown in the photo—the one on the right is a 2.7 gain model) and, in six months, retractable versions. They are also available in any aspect ratio, as long as the maximum height is 56" (higher screens must be seamed.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
Not much information was available on this Elite NP-M50 streaming device, but at $700, with an asynchronous DAC, it should be a hot ticket. A similar NP-M30 deletes some capabilities, including the asynchronicity in its DAC, will go for for $500. December availability for both.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 10, 2011 0 comments
Pioneer also introduced three new Blu-ray players, all of them manufactured in-house (last year's Pioneer players were made by Sharp). All of them are 3D capable. The non-Elite BDP-140, not shown, at $199, can play back SACD via its HDMI output (and of course CD and Blu-ray as well!). The two models shown, the Elite BP-52FD and the Elite BDP-53FD (the latter available in November for $500) are loaded with the features shown in the display card. My only disappointment is that they do not have a coaxial digital output, but are limited to HDMI and optical. None of the players includes multichannel analog outputs or component video outputs, the latter deletion mandated for all players released after July 2011, the former an industry trend as HDMI becomes more widespread.

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