LG doesn't have its own booth at CEDIA this year, but the company did launch a new flat panel in the THX booth with virtually no fanfare. The 55LW9800 3D LCD flat panel incorporates the company's new Nano LED backlighting, in which a extremely thin optical filmthe "nano" partdiffuses the light from the LEDs more evenly than previous designs. As with other recent LG LCDs, this one uses passive-polarized glasses for 3D, and it's THX-certified in both 2D and 3D modes. In fact, a THX rep told me that, in a faceoff with many 3D TVs, everyone tended to gravitate to this one as the most comfortable to watch. The 3D effect was superb on the underwater footage they were showing, though I could still see the line structure endemic to passive-polarized 3D LCDs.
The BG Radia RS-420 ($5000/pair) caught our eye with its gleaming red finish. Name your color -- the company is willing to custom mix anything you want. The speaker mates two Neo-10 planar midranges with two Neo-3 ribbon super-tweeters. Price $5000/pair including paint.
For those who are challenged more by space than budget, Runco's new LS-100d can be mounted flush to the wall directly above or below the screen, taking only 18 inches of depth and producing a 92-inch image. Its LED light source turns on instantly and will last 50,000 hours while consuming 70 percent less power than a conventional lamp. It ain't cheap at $20,000, but that includes an outboard DHD4 video processor.
The Bowers & Wilkins ISW-3 sub has a front-facing slot grille that can be disguised as a vent for very minimal footprint. It costs $1000. Budget another grand for the SA-250MkII sub amp. B&W also showed the PM-1 monitor ($2800/pair). It has a new carbon-braced aluminum tweeter that pushes breakup mode up to 40kHz, beyond the range of human hearing. It's mated with a five-inch Kevlar woofer.
HDBaseT is designed to clean up cable clutter in a big way. This interface format uses a single, slender cable with an RJ45 connector on each end to carry HDMI (with HDCP compliance), Ethernet, USB, RS-232, and up to 100 watts of AC power more than 100 meters, precluding the need for all those separate cables (and extenders in the case of HDMI). Crestron, AMX, Gefen, and Extron are selling HDBaseT products nowincluding adapters that convert between HDBaseT and HDMI for legacy gearand promoters include LG, Samsung, and Sony Pictures, which believes that people will consume more content if connections are this easy. Fortunately, the HDBaseT Alliance is a non-profit organization, and licensing costs very little, which bodes well for its adoption among consumer-electronics companies.
While not brand new, Omnimount’s RE27 enclosed rack still elicits feelings of want and desire. The RE27 is a 19-inch rack that works with standard 19-inch rack shelves and accessories. It ships fully assembled, has integrated cooling with top and bottom ventilation, and has front and rear access with removable side panels. (If you can’t get to the component or cable you need to reach with this rack, you’re simply not trying…) All total, the RE27 is supposed to be able to hold up to 750 lbs of your most valuable gear. The $699 price is a steel – which also happens to be what the rack is made of.
Paul Barton, the speaker-designing eminence of PSB, has tried his hand at headphones. The M4U 2 ($400) can function in active or passive modes. Active gets you more gain but passive is handy when the battery runs out. Cushions are asymmetrical to follow the form of the human ear. Cord can be plugged in either side. A control cord will add numerous features including the ability to skip songs. The product may surface in time for the holiday season.
Phil Clements of Solus/Clements has been teaming up with Atlantic Technology to develop and market H-PAS, which uses four subenclosures to produce huge bass from small to midsized speakers, including Atlantic's new soundbar. At the Solus/Clements booth we got to hear the on-wall SX-40W ($799/each), also available in an in-wall version (SW-40IW, $599/each). It could and did do justice to the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony. It was not as forceful as the spine-rattling live performance we heard at the Munich Gasteig but the low notes of the organ were deep and true, an especially great feat considering they were driven by a Sherwood stereo receiver retailing for $300. The stand-mount 5.25B ($749/each) was slightly more of a good thing. Solus/Clements also offers H-PAS in tower, center, and LCR configurations.
The good people at NextGen showed off their new “universal” active shutter 3D glasses. Each set comes with two additional nosepieces that allow you to adjust the glasses for the most comfortable fit, a USB charging cable, a carrying pouch, and a cleaning cloth. The current $79 version supports IR-sync based 3DTV systems, but RF and Bluetooth models will be available shortly.
Why bolt a speaker onto a sub? Well, if you deploy five or more of them, your surround system's regular sub will have huge reinforcement, great coverage, no holes in bass response. That's what Procella does with products like the new P610. Thanks to shallow depth, it's not as bulky as it looks. Inside are a 10-inch sub driver at bottom with a 6.5-inch midrange and one-inch tweeter at top, the latter recessed deep into a waveguide. Price $3199 for the speaker half and $1499 for the sub half.
The Onkyo TX-NR5009 ($2899) and TX-NR3009 ($2199) and their Integra equivalents are the only receivers that upscale to 4K x 2K. But they weren't as photogenic as the two docking systems, the iOnly Play, left, with cool sliding cover over the dock; and the iOnly Bass, right, which is large enough to accommodate an iPad. Pricing $249 for either.
Epson made quite a splash at last year's CEDIA with a demo of its first LCOS projectors. The company actually refers to their version of this technology as 3LCD Reflective—essentially the same thing as LCOS, though I recall that they noted in 2010 that they were liquid crystal on quartz rather than on silicon.
In addition to its mainstream consumer plasmas, Panasonic makes a line of professional models for broadcast monitoring and high-end custom installations. New from the company's pro division at CEDIA is the 65-inch TH-65VX300, which boasts over 12,000 steps of gradation and the ability to reproduce the DCI color gamut as well as Rec.709, SMPTE-C, and EBU. It provides circuit-board slots to customize the input complement, and its internal scaler can be bypassed if you have a better outboard processor. It looked quite good under less-than-ideal conditionswhich it should for $6250.
Mitsubishi has been busy this year. First was its 92", DLP rear projection set shown at last January's CES. Now they've also re-launched their Laserview RPTVthe $6000, 75", 16" deep, L75A94. I don't think the latter was being shown to best advantage, located as seen in the photo (the set against the wall on the left is the 92" DLP, the Laserview is further to the right, in the upper center of the shot), but it will be interesting to see if MItsubish can make more of a go of it than the first time it was launched several years ago.