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.
Yes, THX now certifies soundbars, and isn't it about time someone brought order to that sonically chaotic universe? The first bar to win certification is the Teufel Cinebar 51THX, from a German manufacturer. This 2.1-channel bar (with outboard sub, not pictured) is guaranteed to produce SPL up to 105dB at a specified distance of six feet with the right kind of horizontal and vertical dispersion. Also glimpsed at the THX booth: the Acurus A2002 stereo power amp.
Monster Cable brought along its test gear to demonstrate that HDMI cables can differ. This is a hard sell for many users, considering the high prices some of these products command over others, but a clean "eye" pattern, visible on the display screen, indicates a cable with optimum video performance.
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.
JVC opened the show with a bang, introducing eight new projectors. Six of them are further refinements of last year's models, with some significant new features. As last year, they are paired in sister designs, the Reference models (DLA-RS65 at $12,000, DLA-RS55 at $8000, DLA-RS45 at $3500—the latter a $1000 price drop from last year's corresponding model!) and the Procision models (DLA-X90R, DLA-X70R, and DLA-X30Rat the same respective price points as the Reference models) The respective Reference and Procision models are identical in features and differ only in minor cosmetic details and their sales channels (the Reference models are sold through Pro dealers).
On the day before the show opened, the isles were clogged with crates, ladders, and fork lifts doing the Indy 500 shuffle. For how it all looked when the crowds rolled in, scroll down until you get to the beauty shot taken on Thursday morning, opening day. Viewing the chaos on the day before, you never think they'll be ready to open on time. They always are. Kudos to the dozens of behind the scenes "stagehands" without whom there wouldn't even be a show.
Although the claim that it’s “the only wireless whole house music system specifically engineered for music” may engage in a bit of hyperbole, Proficient’s ZERO wireless multizone audio system is designed to transmit audio up to 90 feet throughout a home using 2.4 GHz RF technology. ZERO transmitters support up to 8 receivers and have connections for three analog audio channels plus an optical audio input – and can transmit all channels simultaneously. Proficient says that transmitting all inputs enables the use of one transmitter to send “left and right” audio for “Zone 2” or “rear surrounds” (without latency being an issue) as well as audio to a subwoofer for a home theater system.