At $15,000, the new LG CF3D, shown here vertically behind a highly reflective glass case, utilizes two separate optical paths to provide a full 1920 x 1080 3D image using polarized passive glasses on a silvered screen. The demo, however, was disappointing. While the booth was not light controlled, the main problem was a very soft-looking image. Teething or setup problems, perhaps? The projector is in production now, and will be available here in November.
There are, at present, two ways to view 2.35 movies on a 1920 x 1080 HD projector. First, you can tolerate the black bars on a 16:9 screen (or use a 2.35:1 screen and zoom the image out to let the black bars spill off the top and bottom). Second, you can use an anamorphic lens, together with video processing, on that same 2.35:1 screen. Engineers at Projectiondesign have a third way. Working with Texas Instruments, they have incorporated a 2538 x 1600 0.9"DLP chip into their new Avielo Optix SuperWide 235, a single-chip, 2-lamp, 2D digital projector. Using a 2538 x 1080 central area of this chip, they can project a 2.35:1 image onto the screen with 1080 pixels of vertical resolution.
The DreamVision Starlight2 ($9,495) was being demonstrated on a 120" wide, flat white, Perfect View screen, with a fixed Schneider anamorphic lens. Scenes from both Avatar and Dark Knight looked terrific, which did not surprise me given my experience with the DreamVision Starlight1 and the same lens (Home Theater, October 2010).
Wisdom Audio makesd highly specialized and very expensive in-wall audio systems. The utilize line-array full-range speakers with the midrange and high end covered by long planar drivers, the lower end by several mid-sized bass units per channel, and, now, humongous subwoofers consisting of two 15" PRO drivers in cabinets estimated at over 12 cubic feet. Wisdom's brochure assures us that these 17.75" wide, 36" deep, and (I'd guess) five feet high monsters are "space efficient!" But they are designed to be hidden away.
Pioneer speaker guru Andrew Jones, designer of Pioneer's Elite line of speakers and even more up-market (very upmarket) TAD designs, has been busy at the other end of the market. The very other end. The new Pioneer Audio Artistry by Andrew Jones line of speakers starts below $80/pair for the C-1 center channel and tops out at $199/pair for the biggest bookshelf model, the BS-41!
The Chorus 826W ($3475/pair) is the latest entry in Focal's mid-priced Chorus lineup. In fact it is the only Chorus model to incorporate the "W" sandwich cone construction previously available only in the more upscale Electra and Utopia series (the other Chorus models use a less sophisticated cone design). Unfortunately, there is as yet no matching center channel or surrounds, and the availability of such models has not been announced.
The Viva Utopia is the latest entry in Focal's Utopia range. Its flanking woofers and a mid-tweeter array can be used horizontally or vertically, serving as perhaps the world's priciest LCR. Used vertically, the top and bottom woofers can be tilted (as shown) at various angles to optimize the arrival times at the main listening position. When used as a horizontal center, however, the woofer modules are locked in a straight-ahead orientation, with the mid-tweeter array is rotated 90-degrees. Both of these adjustments must be performed at the factory; if this arrangement is needed the unit must be specifically ordered as a horizontal center. $12,500 each.