Pioneer’s booth has a great demonstration room showing off their latest and greatest gear. This includes their new signature series plasmas that boast the sensational Kuro black levels but are only about 2” deep. Everyone was blown away by the high contrast display. Now if I could only get one in 120” to replace my front projection setup.
Pioneer debuted their new flagship Blu-ray player, the BDP-09FD. This new from the ground up design is built like a tank and features an impressive analog audio section featuring the latest Wolfenson DACs. Pioneer Elite is looking at this as a best in class solution that allows customers to toss out those standalone CD and DVD players sitting on their racks.
Toshiba is still giving the Blu-ray camp the proverbial finger and instead has focused their efforts on making your existing DVDs everything they thought they could never be. Their new XED DVD players squeeze every ounce of picture data from your DVD library and apparently increase the fine detail and colors to HD quality.
Panasonic had a wide range of new LCD and plasma displays on showcase. They have all your size needs covered including their new 103” plasma for those that really want to see what their power grid is made of!
LG has taken the Blu-ray player in another direction. Their new BH300 not only supports the latest Bonus View profile and bitstream audio support, but also can network into Netflix’s new on-demand movie service. This offers consumers instant access to near-DVD quality video from their new Blu-ray player. Unfortunately they didn’t put a video processor in the player to scale that SD content so you’re left to your display’s abilities.
LG was sporting a new line of LCD flat panel displays and have ditched the boring looks so commonly associated with the line. The new panels feature custom colors, hidden speaker systems designed by Levinson and a new “expert” mode that allows you to calibrate them in more than every before.
And the award for best booth hands down goes to Speakercraft. I think I spotted a few speakers here and there but what they lacked in product they certainly made up for in show. With ornate decorations and scantily clad pixies everywhere they were hard to ignore.
Wolf Cinema is a new video projector manufacturer working with the audio leader, Sumiko. The upstart is geared completely to the custom installation market where dealers and customers can essentially custom build their projector to fit the needs of their specific room. The systems consist of custom cases around a 3-chip DLP system fitted with high output Xenon lamps.
JVC debuted the new RS20/HD750 at the show. The RS line refers to JVC’s professional line while the HD moniker is for the consumer line. These new projectors feature a slimmer case than the previous generation and some new processing from HQV. These are the first projectors we’ve seen to feature THX certification. They seem to build on the previous RS2 with their 30,000:1 contrast ratio but feature an adjustable aperature allowing you to dial in the overall brightness to your taste.