You can pay thousands for a good screen, or paint your own for the low hundreds. Screen Goo Americas (probably the company with the most memorable name in the business) offers four flavors: Reference White (roughly unity gain) HIgh Contrast, Max Contrast, and Ultra Silver 3D (high gain, preserves light polarity). All of them may be rolled or sprayed on an appropriate flat, smooth surface. The even make a screen paint for rear projection! It's also said to be flexible enough that the screen can be moderately curved after painting. We're not saying that it can equal a professionally produced screen, but the demo we saw looked mighty impressive. If the cost of a screen is keeping you from acquiring a projection system, this approach might well help.
DNP Denmark may not be the most well known name in screens, but it makes some unique products. Hidden behind the bobble heads in the darkened area to the right of center here is the DNP Supernova Epic, a 132" diagonal, 2.35:1, 0.8 gain model with side masking. Made in Scandinavia, so you know it's expensive. All yours for $20,000.
DNP was using projectors from projectiondesign, and while that company has no booth at CEDIA this year, I was told to watch out for press releases. We will.
LG Electronics has just added the high-definition streaming movie service from Vudu, Inc. to its BD390 Wireless Network Blu-ray Player. Vudu offers rental or purchase of a wide range of movie and TV titles, including more than 2,200 in 1080p. The BD390 ($399) currently provides Netflix, Roxio, CinemaNow, and YouTube streaming content as part of its “NetCast Entertainment Access” feature. The Vudu addition will be available later this month (September 2009) as a free player upgrade.
LG's new LED LCD TVs are now ultra slim, including one model that is an incredible 6.9mm thin. The Infinia range includes full LED backlighting technology (Full LED Slim, in LG's phrase, but a bit thicker than that 6.9mm set). Some LG sets will now offer 480Hz operation thanks to a newly developed ASIC. The company also plans on marketing a 15" OLED display.
Welcome to the wonderful world of high-end audio. After two eventful days scoping out the latest in video at the Las Vegas Convention Center venue I retired to the relatively relaxing confines of the Venetian Hotel, where I could listen to some tunes played back on deliciously succulent 2-channel gear. Yes, mainly 2-channel. There were a few interesting surround setups, such as in the Atlantic Technology booth where they were showing off the new H-PAS bookshelf speaker, and even a few rare full home theater setups, such as in the Wolf Cinema room. But the Venetian was mostly a 2-channel world.
But an interesting one. I wanted to scope out loudspeakers in particular, some of which have also been covered here by Home Theater's audio tech editor, Mark Fleischmann, and others. But what follows here is what caught my eye…er, my ears.
In the photo above is the new Magico Q7, the largest offering from that loudspeaker specialist. Each speaker is 750 lbs, 60-inches high, and 32-inches deep. A pair of them will set you back $165,000. That’s three zeros, and is not a typo. But they sounded astonishing, as well they should. Don't look for a review of five of them in Home Theater any time soon. In fact, Magico, like many high-end speaker makers, does not offer a center channel speaker.
Sandy Gross is well known in the industry as the founder or co-founded both Polk Audio and Definitive Technology. Now he is on his third launch, GoldenEar Technology. The first product range is spearheaded by the Triton Two Tower, consisting of a built-in, DSP-controlled digital amp, two bass drivers and two passive radiators, and two 4.5" bass/midrange drivers flanking a centrally-located High Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter. The latter is based on the classic Oscar Heil tweeter first employed in the 1970s.
Pioneer’s new DV-58AV ($499), shipping soon, is an upconverting DVD player. With its HDMI 1.2A output it can pass SACD and DVD-Audio as bitstreams over HDMI. And a number of Pioneer’s AV receivers can accept and decode them. Just at those high rez audio formats are loosing serious steam we’re beginning to have equipment that can handle them properly in digital form.
Hisense was seen at CES last year, too. We don't know much about them (they don't advertise widely, and aren't found in Best Buy or Circuit City). But they're persistent at doing CES. This year they had a prominent spot right in front of the entrance to the South Hall.