Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 14, 2013 0 comments
CEDIA began its annual event in 1989. At that time it was launched in a modest venue full of table-top exhibits and educational seminars, with a strong emphasis on the latter. This was appropriate, as we all had a lot to learn about home theater.

I’ve been attending CEDIA since 1994, when then Stereophile publisher Larry Archibald decided it was time to begin a new publication dedicated to the burgeoning home theater business—the Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. But even in the first year or two I attended, accompanied by Archibald, the Guide’s founding editor, Lawrence B. Johnson, and the requisite marketing crew, you could cover all of the exhibits in a couple of hours.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2013 0 comments
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When boogeyman Pitch Black schemes to plant fearsome nightmares into the minds and hearts of children throughout the world, it falls on the Guardians to derail his plans. When they attempt to convince Jack Frost, a free-spirit prankster, to join them, he agrees only when things turn truly grim.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Focal has a whole new line of loudspeakers slotting in just below the company's Electra range. The Aria series' signature feature is the use of cones consisting of a layer of flax sandwiched between layers of fiberglass. The result is said to produce a diaphragm that's stiff, light, and less time consuming to produce than the layered cones used in Focal's more pricey designs. There are currently five models in the range, shown here with the flagship 948 ($5000/pair) in front. The Aria CC 900 center is not shown, but somewhat disappointingly it's a conventional two-way woofer-tweeter-woofer design and not a 3-way with a centered, vertically-arrayed midrange and tweeter.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
The Acurus ACT 4 7.1-channel pre-pro sports all the latest audio formats and is expected to ship early in 2014 for $4000. The accompanying 7.1-channel Acurus amplifier is available now at $4299.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2013 1 comments
Morris Kessler knows his way around an amplifier. His name may be a little less well known to audiophiles than Dan D'Agostino, Nelson Pass, and John Curl, but he has been quietly designing great amplifiers for many companies at least as long as any of them--and longer than some. His current company is ATI, well known for producing solid-performing, high-value audiophile amps. This is his signature design, the first to feature his name on the front panel. Available from 2-channels at $4000 and $8000 for 7 channels, it sports 400 W continuous into 8 ohms and, in 7-channel form, weighs in at 143 lbs! It should be available in January.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Pricey, high-end, dedicated 2-channel audio electronics were thin on the ground at CEDIA--they always are--but we did see amps from Constellation, Krell, Aragon, Theta, ATI, D'Agostino, and Esoteric (Esoteric is now distributed in the US by Integra). There was also this Boulder amplifier. Boulder is located in Boulder, Colorado, in case you missed the connection, which is just a stone's throw from CEDIA's Denver location.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Epson offered impressive demos of its PowerLite Pro Cinema 4030 ($2499) and 6030 ($3499) projectors, the former in 3D, the latter in 2D. Each of these models come with 3 year parts and labor warranty (90 days on the lamp), a spare lamp, and a ceiling mount. Both are finished in black and are available only through "CEDIA" channels--that is, to the custom installer. But the on-line or conventional shopper can get the same performance as the 6030 with the new PowerLite Pro Cinema 5030 (shown here) at $2600 (a wireless version is available at $2900).
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Wolf Cinema announced (but did not demonstrate its new SDC-6 Home Cinema Ensemble, consisting of a single chip DLP projector and an outboard ProScaler MkIII video processor. The 2D/3D 1080p projector is said to offer a dynamic contrast ratio of 15,000:1 and a peak output of 3500 ANSI lumens. But the exciting feature here is the ProScaler processor (not available separately).
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
Planar showed an 84-inch UHD set available in a variety of configurations: a straight display, a somewhat brighter straight display, a display with a writable surface (shown here) and more. It can also show four standard HD programs at the same time in opposing quadrants of the screen. Pricing was a little confusing, but plan on at least $20,000 and up, depending on the version you choose.

Planar is the company that bought out Runco a few years back, but if they are still making projectors they weren't showing them this year. The passing of Runco as a distinct entity is notable in the annals of CEDIA EXPO. That company nearly always had one of the largest booths at the show.

ADDENDA: In scoping out the Wisdom Audio demo (discussed elsewhere here) I noted that it was using a 3-chip Runco DLP projector. Under Planar, Runco projectors are indeed still available.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 27, 2013 0 comments
In addition to its full lineup of new eShift3 projectors, and impressive demonstrations of them in its booth at the Denver Convention Center and at an off-site location, JVC also announced an 84-inch, 4K monitor at $13,500. The set was shown only at that off-site location, and as it is apparently intended for the pro market, it was not shown on the CEDIA show floor.

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