The new Snell CR70 center speaker ($1750) was so inconspicuously displayed that I nearly missed it. It is said to be a good sonic match for the Snell CR70 floorstanders ($6500/pair). New center channel speakers—hopefully proper three-way designs like this one—are expected next year for other Snell models.
CEDIA 2007 supplied more than its share of surprises. There were more interesting new, free-standing speakers there than I expected, though nowhere near what CES brings to town. The quantity of new electronics was intimidating, as usual, and that will keep us busy for the next few months as we check out the most promising candidates.
Sony introduced three new AV receivers. The claim to fame of both the STR-5800ES (130 Watts per channel) and STR-2800ES (100 WPC) is that they may be directly integrated with the popular Control4 home automation system. They may also be used with a variety of other automation systems. The third model, the STR-DA1800, does not have Control4 built-in. All three offer 4K upconversion, full WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplay, and Internet access features.
Sony’s launched its new XBR-84X900 84-inch diagonal LED edge-lit LCD set at its CEDIA EXPO 2012 press conference. With a native 4K resolution (3840 x 2160), it can display native 4K material at 24Hz or 30Hz, or upscale 2K sources to 4K. With its passive 3D glasses, it can also produce a full 2K 3D resolution to each eye (passive glasses in a 2K 3D set reduce the resolution of a 1920 x 1080 source to 1920 x 540). The set looked spectacular and will be available at selected Sony stores in November for $25,000.
Sony also announced two new flagship XBR-HX950 LCD flat panels: 55-inches ($4500) and 65-inches ($5500). The sets offer full LED backlighting with local dimming and are available now.
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value
At A Glance: Stunning resolution • Superb color • Glorious 2D and 3D performance
With 4K-resolution Ultra HD the latest and greatest star in the consumer electronics galaxy, we ink- and pixel-stained wretches of the press were all champing at the bit to lay hands on one. But at a massive 84 inches diagonal, 216 pounds with its floor stand, priced high enough to put you in a nice new car as long as your tastes aren’t too posh, and still limited in availability, Sony’s new 4K flagship made the company understandably reluctant to ship review samples to all the usual suspects.
Blame Sony's Chief Boss Howard Stringer for commenting that OLED sounds like a Norse god. But it's not. It's an ultra flat display technology with an inherently outstanding black level. Last year, Sony showed a number of small 11-inch models, together with a slightly larger prototype. The display was essentially the same this year, except that the design has been refined and the 11-incher is actually on sale now for $2500. OLED is currently expensive to manufacturer in larger screen sizes, and reportedly has a shorter life than LCD and plasma displays. But the pictures on these small screens sure looked fantastic.