Darbee Vision won our Top Pick last year with their ugly duckling, the Darblet. While the processor didn’t have any outer beauty, its processing turned your video into a swan. Darbee evidently got the message and was showing a prototype version with a very clean aesthetic that included a gorgeous touchscreen and chassis. No word on when this may ship but one can only hope.
DVDO debuted three new upcoming products at their press conference today. First up was the Air 3 ($199), their latest wireless HDMI solution that cuts the cord and gives you 10 meters of 60 GHz wireless connectivity between a device and display. The new box is smaller and lighter and now supports high resolution audio as well.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no one does video processing as good as Lumagen. Lumagen was showing off their latest 2041 and 2042 video processors that accept up to 1080p in but will scale to 4K for the latest displays. The 2042 offers legacy analog connections and four HDMI inputs and the 2041 offers strictly HDMI inputs. Lumagen also just added support for 729 color point calibration! So much for the 7 points top tier displays offer!! The new processors are also on sale during CEDIA so check out Lumagen.com to get in on 10% discounts on all their latest gear.
Looking for a Blu-ray media solution to playback your whole library from hard drives? Don’t want to pay Kaleidescape prices?? Dune may just have what you’re looking for. Their media machines can playback MKV and ISO rips of your Blu-ray library from an attached hard drive or NAS drive. They also have full support for 3D now with their TV-30 3D mini box or their full rack size HD Base 3D. At a starting price of $199 for the TV-30 3D, Dune makes server based Blu-ray playback affordable for anyone. Now if only I had the time to rip my 700+ title Blu-ray library!
Ever lusted over those Fathom and Gotham subs JL Audio has to offer but couldn’t quite come up with the scratch? JL Audio hears you and has delivered two new subs under the E-Line banister. Both feature the same digital amplifier delivering either 1500 watts to their 12” E-112 model or 1200 watts to the 10” E-110 model. Sure some of the primo features from the upper line including room correction and balanced connections are gone, but you still get some tight clean bass and gorgeous cabinetry. The E-112 will set you back $1900 in satin black and $2100 in gloss black and the E-110 is $400 less in the same clothes.
RBH was quick to get your pant legs shaking with their reference SX-1212P/R subwoofer. With up to 3,200 watts of power driving two 12” drivers, their demo of Oblivion had the seats moving more than Tom Cruise jumping on them. At $5,000 each they aren’t the cheapest subs out there, but that one sub was delivering the goods with tons of ouput in RBH’s modest sized demo room.
With more and more high-end dealers closing shop, opportunities for real demos are drying up, leaving local meet-ups as one of the few ways for enthusiasts to demo the latest gear. So I decided to host my first Pacific Northwest Area Home Theater Meetup in my hometown of Port Orchard, WA. What started out as a gathering of a few friends turned into a massive event...
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value
Price: $12,000 At A Glance(br)
Plus: Best contrast ratio performance ever • Hand-Picked Parts • 3D performance is catching up Minus: Not true 4K • Loud in high lamp mode
The best contrast performance I’ve seen or measured to date and spectacular pixel focus and uniformity.
Earlier this year, I had the chance to review JVC’s spectacular DLA-X55R 3D D-ILA projector and proclaimed it “the best 2D picture I’ve seen from any projector in my room to date.” That was the truth until my personal DLA-X75R arrived shortly after. The DLA-X75R is one up in JVC’s lineup and had improved contrast performance and was actually a bit sharper. So when I was given the opportunity to review JVC’s flagship DLA-X95R I was more than happy to accept. This would give me the opportunity to see just how much improvement JVC’s hand-picked parts added to the performance. Boasting a 130,000:1 native contrast performance while supposedly maintaining the brightness of my DLA-X75R, I was more than intrigued.
Price: $1,299 At A Glance: Reference audio and video • HDMI and digital audio inputs • Built-in 192 kHz audio upsampling
They say that imitation is the ultimate form of flattery; I say if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. In the last few years, we’ve seen a few high-end Blu-ray players use the popular Oppo Digtal Blu-ray player as the core of their design, with at least one manufacturer having even taken it as far as dropping a complete Oppo BDP-83SE chassis into a different cabinet with a new faceplate and charging $3,000 more for it (only to be exposed later).
With the Azur 752BD, Cambridge Audio utilizes only the core video components and transport, which adds its own analog audio section and execution.
PT-7030 Surround Processor Audio Performance Video Performance Features Ergonomics Value PA 7-350 Amplifier Performance Features Ergonomics Value
Price: PT-7030, $1,799; PA 7-350, $2,799 At A Glance: Audiophile focus • Great dynamics • Lacks some bells and whistles
We’ve all heard the old saying, “less is more”, but that doesn’t always translate well to audio surround processors. While audiophile processors of yesteryear concentrated more on core components for the best possible sound quality and less on crazy surround modes and other digital processing, today’s market seems to demand these features.