Up on stage during Sony's gala press conference Wednesday night was a dark, rectangular column. The front projectors and Blu-ray players got the bulk of the run during the presentation, but the HES-V1000 Home ENtertainment Server is no less fascinating.
News of Sony's VPL-V60 SXRD front projector, a sub-$5K successor to the incomparably popular Pearl had already leaked to the 'Net days ago. OK, so did the news of the high-end projector, but it's still cool and here's the straight dope.
Before introducing its new D-ILA front projectors JVC offered a fascinating glimpse of what's beyond HD. It showed some flight simulation clips and some native 4K movie material (from and odd movie called <I>The Trident</I>) on its 4k x 2k D-ILA system in a movie theater-sized venue, on a screen not quite movie sized. This is far more pixel density than current 1920x1080 HD, and the depth and dimensionality of the image quickly demosntrated why I believe digital cinema in theaters needs 4K to take off.
The BDP-S2000ES picks up where the vaunted Sony DVD players of the past left off. A massively overbuilt chassis, a hermeticaly shielded transport and all other srots of gooodies. According to the Sony folks on site, the player will decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD High Resolution audio, but not DTS-HD Master Audio. It is also claimed that the player will output TrueHD and DTS-HD in native bitstream form over HDMI 1.3.
Toshiba's execs literally beamed in from the 23rd century to inform us of its new LCD flat panels and HD DVD players, the latter of which have already been announced. But speaking directly to the Trekkie nerd inside me.
Sony did show the successor to the wildy popular Pearl projector, the VPL-VW60 (now, sub-$5K), which as you can see is a classy charcoal gray. Sony is claiming further improvements in its SXRD chips have yielded significant contrast ration gains, the the image overall is brighter, and the blacks are still fantastic with the latest version of its auto iris technology.
I'd say that LG got CEDIA 2007 off to a fast start, but the truth is that LG bent time and space by making an impact on CEDIA before CEDIA actually occurred. The press release for this player came to me a week ago under "embargo," which means I've been biting my virtual tongue for a week!
<I>UAV</I> will be temporarily relocating its headquarters this week as Tom Norton, Fred Manteghian and I head to Denver to cover the 2007 CEDIA Expo. CEDIA, which is very focused on home theater, has in many ways supplanted CES as the big show in our corner of the industry in recent years. Coming as it does in the fall, ahead of the big holiday shopping season, many companies use CEDIA to launch significant new products.
Well, so much for being on vacation. Yes, your intrepid editor here has been attempting to get some time away from the AV rat race, but, in the words of the immortal Michael Corleone (cue the deep, gravelly voice), "they pull me back in."