CEDIA 2011

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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments

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.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
Totem Acoustic, you knocked our socks off. Now give them back. Technically, the Element Series was announced at CES and it is against our code of honor to cover anything but new-for-this-show stuff. However, the center speaker is new, so we've wiggled out. It's called the Wood ($4500/each) and it will be joined by the Water sub ($5500) at a time yet unspecified. The existing models include two towers and a monitor. Powered by Arcam electronics, the big Metal tower ($16,000/pair) provided the best sound we've heard at the show so far, with effortlessly natural and well imaged vocals that flourished despite noise from the show floor.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
The KEF LS3/5A has a model number old grizzled audiophiles will greet with pleasure. It's a reiteration of a popular BBC-designed monitor that's appeared under many brands over several decades. Always glad to see this mellow classic resurface, though in this case, it was just a historical footnote in KEF's 50th anniversary celebration -- not a product you can go out and buy.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
2011 is SIM2 Multimedia's 15th anniversary. To celebrate, the company is introducing 15 new models in 2011. In honor of the event, members of SIM2's upper management, including President Maurizio Cini, also attended the show.

All of SIM2's projectors are DLP designs. The new models fall into five different ranges: CRYSTAL, MICO, NERO, LUMIS, and CINEMA. The CRYSTAL range (2D only) consists of two entries, the $6500 Crystal 35 and the $8500 Crystal 45. To our recollection, these are nearly blue light specials for a manufacturer which is not normally known for relatively affordable projectors.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
The Android app for Yamaha Aventage receivers has just become available as of last week.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2011 1 comments
Runco upped the 3D ante at its press conference with the new D-113d dual-engine projector system. Each 3-chip DLP engine includes twin UHP lamps, which means even 3D images have plenty of brightness—the company claims it can fill screens up to 420 inches diagonally. Instead of linear polarization to separate the left and right images as in the D-73d, the new model uses spectral filtering similar to Infitec/Dolby 3D, though this system was developed by Panavision with five spectral bands rather than Infitec's three.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
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.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
Integra's new lineup of A/V receivers and preamp/processors—those with model numbers ending in ".3"—include a Marvell Qdeo chipset that can upscale 1080p to 4K. Well, to be precise, it quadruples 1920x1080 to 3840x2160, which some argue isn't true 4K (4096x2160). The demo system consisted of a DBS-30.3 Blu-ray player sending 1080p via HDMI to a DTR-40.3 AVR, which upscaled the image and sent 4K via HDMI to a processor made by Marseille. This processor converted the HDMI to four DVI signals, which were sent to a 65-inch 4K plasma of unknown origin that couldn't accept 4K via HDMI. (No currently available display can.) The image looked nice and sharp with no visible motion artifacts, but without a split screen, it was very difficult to see any significant benefit of upconverted 4K.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
Monitor Audio's SF3 in-wall ($399/each) uses a dyed sublimation process -- not Freudian as far as we can tell -- to allow reproduction of any high-res image on the grille, so it hardly looks like a speaker. Monitor also showed a couple of biamped idecks and new trimless in-walls with rounded corners reminiscent of Apple products.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
Wolf demonstrated its Cub 3D projector ($15,000) on a SI Black Diamond screen (gain 1.4, 10-feet wide). The demo material consisted of music, including scenes from the new Blu-ray release of Rio which I recently reviewed for our November issue. It's a terrific transfer, and I had no complaints about the Wolf. A review sample of the Cub is expected at chez Home Theater, soon.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
USB is something previously unseen on a Rotel receiver or pre-pro. But there is one on the front panel of the RSP-1572 pre-pro, and yes, it's iDevice compatible. The product ships in October for $2199. The next big thing from Rotel will be a second receiver using Class D amplification, RSX-1562, but it wasn't on display.
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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
Vivitek was demoing two of its projectors in 2D. A stacked pair of its well-established H9080 LED-based DLP projectors ($15,000 each, shown here) were converged onto a 118" wide, Da-Lite Affinity screen (gain 1.1). A single D8300 ($118,000, shown below) was firing onto a c comparably sized Stewart Firehawk.
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Darryl Wilkinson Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
There are days - many of them just like today - when I muse over how nice it would be to replace nearly all of my body parts with shiny mechanical, motorized versions. (No more worn out feet or stiff backs at the end of a long day covering a convention!) If it ever does become feasible to cyborgify myself, I know just the folks I’ll have do it: Future Automation. One stop at their booth immediately gives you the impression that if there’s a way to make something move, slide, lower, raise, turn, or otherwise shift and hide, these guys have figured out how to get it done. You won’t find their mechanisms boxed and stacked on an end cap at Best Buy or Walmart, though. Future Automation likes to do the weird, wacky, and close-to-impossible stuff. Until now, they’ve concentrated on motorizing the UK. Now they’re bringing their hidden-wire act to the US. Welcome to America, guys!
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2011 0 comments
Perhaps the biggest news from KEF was the unveiling of the R Series, which includes three towers, two monitors, two centers, a surround, and a sub at prices from $1000-2500. Pick hit may be the stand-mount R300, a three-way with 5.25-inch coaxial Uni-Q drivers (basically a tweeter mounted in the middle of a midrange) plus a 6.5-inch woofer for $1800/pair. Finishes are walnut or rosewood veneers or piano black. KEF also showed new in-walls with ultra-thin bezels. Incidentally, the company celebrates its 50th anniversary in October.

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