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.
The NHT Absolute Wall is the latest outgrowth of the popular Absolute series. It's four inches deep -- more than many on-walls, but that also gives it a deeper voicing. NHT suggests using this speaker to drive surround, height, or width channels in concert with other Absolute models. Price $199/each, shipping November.
Also new from Runco is the VX-11d, a 3-chip DLP model that's spec'd to output over 1000 lumens. Pricing starts at $30,000, which includes an outboard DHD4 video processor and one of six primary lenses, and it's fully compatible with Runco's optional CineWide anamorphic lens kit with AutoScope motorized sled.
Wharfedale's new Jade series has a Crystal AM enclosure. That is a composite of wood fiber and polymer made in multiple layers of microscopic thickness and arranged to prevent the backwave of the drivers from polluting their output. The aluminum tweeter has an oversized surround to defeat ringing and the woofer is a weave of glass and carbon fiber. There are two towers, two monitors, two centers, and a surround at prices ranging from $4199 for the biggest towr to $1199 for the smaller stand-mount.
Really big 3D in the home no longer requires a special projectorwith the Image Anyplace 3D Passive Viewing Kit from Flexible Picture Systems (FPS), you can display passive-polarized 3D using any pair of conventional projectors, providing greater brightness than single-projector systems. The 3D signal from a Blu-ray player or broadcast source is sent to an HDMI splitter and then on to two IA3D processors, which separate the left and right images. These signals are sent to the two projectors fitted with polarizing filters in front of the lenses. The IA3D processors also provide advanced geometry correction derived from the Silicon Optix Geo processor, making setup and alignment surprisingly easy. The kit includes two IA3D processors, HDMI splitter and cables, polarizing filters, 10 paper glasses, four plastic glasses, and a remote for $7495. Just add two projectors and a polarization-preserving screen, and you're in business.
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.
James Loudspeaker's 63SA-7 in-wall or in-ceiling speaker builds a pipe-shaped speaker three inches in diameter into a much larger back box. What if something goes wrong after the box is sealed into the wall? Just pull out the cylinder, detach its RK-45 connector, and pop in a new one. CTO Michael Park has earned the gratitude of CIs and their clients.
The magic behind the curtain for the Future Technology Pavilion's big rear projection screen (above) consisted of six Digital Projection D-Vision 30-1080 DLP projectors, each responsible for filling one sixth of the image, combined with edge blending to hide the transitions from one projector to the other. These projectors offer a short throw, permitting a short, 9-foot distance from projector to screen.
Once you divide the high definition source image into six segments, each of those segments will be far smaller in pixel count. Each of these segments must therefore be upconverted to match the projector's native resolution. The processing is further complicated by the fact that the screen used here is 2.35:1, not the 16:9 that would be a direct multiple of the six projectors' native resolutions. In addition, allowance must be made for overlap where the images meet. An overlap of about 13% is needed to provide for the edge blending. And the edge blending itself requires major processing power.
Each of these three in-ceiling models has a concealed woofer mounted at a diagonal. It fires through apertures at the front, where there are also tweeter and midrange drivers. Prices range from $400-1000/pair with ascending woofer sizes from 6 to 8.6 inches. Two buttons tailor the speaker to the space. They include a notch filter and a circuit that adjusts for room reflections.
The Talking Heads movie Stop Making Sense was crackling and rocking at the Induction Dynamics booth, benefiting from the dARTS DSP-based room correction developed by stablemate Phase Technology. The system with S1.8Td tower, C1.8d center, S1.8Sd surround, and SW2 sub totaled $55,000-60,000 depending on finish and config. The demo system pictured was in basic black but I loved the gloss rosewood shown in front of the booth. Are 63 different grille colors enough?