As usual, video guru Joe Kane was holding forth in his black-curtained lair in the land of Da-Lite , demonstrating his Samsung-derived projectors (sadly, no longer available) and his approved, Da-Lite Affinity screens (which definitely are). Joe is working 24/7 to get his next test disc ready to market, which will include 3D material and 3D test patterns sorely needed by video pros, calibrators, and users alike.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Open, airy highs
Clean, tight bass
Big, generous soundstage
Setup takes patience for best results
Treble can be unforgiving
Careful trial and error with placement, and perhaps the addition of a good subwoofer for movies with crushing bass will be needed for getting the best out of the DALI Rubicons. But the best this system offers is compelling.
DALI (Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries) isn’t new to this country, but it’s relatively new as overseas loudspeaker manufacturers go. The somewhat new Rubicon range sits near the top of the company’s U.S. product offerings, topped only by the Epicon series, which it is said to most closely share technology.
The Darbee video processor is said to cleanly enhance a video image. Based on what I saw at CEDIA (and based on Kris Deering's review that's available on this site) it does the job surprisingly well. I did notice, however, that if there are artifacts in the source material it will enhance those as well! But the degree of enhancement is adjustable.
The Darbee Fidelio, not yet available, will be a more upscale version of the current Darbee video processor when it ships at a date TBD (the basic Darbee will still be in the line). It is expected to sell for around $2000 and offers not only video enhancement but a touch screen interface, Video EQ, Multiple inputs and modes, and downloadable features.
Definitive Technology has a new Mythos 10 ($899) center channel speaker to match the company's current Mythos ST ($1799 each). The Mythos 10 was on static display, but the Mythos STs were being played as a left and right 2-channel stereo pair, driven by a rack full of Theta electronics. The system sounded superb.
The highlight of a Runco/Planar/Vidikron lunch for the assembled press in the Renaissance Hotel near the Convention Center was this warm, super-rich chocolate cake with fudge sauce, topped with Dolce de Leche ice cream. The many who left after the main course don't know what they missed.
Sony's VGX-XL3 VAIO XL3 Digital Living System is essentially a computer with a horizontal form factor, a Blu-ray read-write HD optical drive, a CableCARD enabled HDTV TV tuner, HDMI connectivity, and Windows' Vista operating system. Since Vista has not been released yet, this hasn't either.
Digital Projection offers so many models it's hard to keep them straight. They range in price from around $5000 to the sky's the limit, and include 3D designs, LED-lit models, and much more. The only common thread is that they are all DLPs, both single-chip and 3-chip. Most important, however, is the high quality we've consistently seen from them on the screen, both at shows such as this one and in our own in-house evaluations.
Digital Projection was featuring Its D-Vision 35 LED ($39,000 with lens) and D-Vision Scope ($34,995). Both are single-chip home theater designs, identical in form factor to the photo here, but very different in their features. The D-Vision LED uses LED lighting for consistent color and long life, though with some sacrifice in brightness. The D-Vision Scope has a higher than HD resolution chip that enables projection of 2.35:1 films without an anamorphic lens and with an on-screen pixel density of 2560 x 1080. Both looked outstanding, though I favored the brightness and big screen capability of the D-Vision Scope.
From Digital Projection we get the M-Vision Cine LED. This single chip DLP projector, if you're following the drift here, uses LED illumination to replace the projection lamp. As with the other digital projectors we saw at the show, from Runco, Projectiondesign, and SIM2, it's not a torch, is rated at a modest 600 lumens. Includes dynamic black for a rated peak contrast ration of 10,000:1 (2,000:1 native), and is best used on screens no wider than 8 feet. The screen it was used with at the show was 5.5' wide Stewart with a gain of 1.3. Or that's what a Digital Projection rep said. It did look a bit larger than that.