CEDIA 2014

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
Florida-based NextGen is introducing a new Universal Learning Radio Frequency Remote Control that’s a standard 4-in-1 device IR remote control with a built-in RF transmitter. The package includes one of the company’s RF Receivers, which can be used with the handheld remote to relay commands through closed cabinet doors, walls, floors, and ceilings and has a range of up to 100 feet. The system has automatic RF addressing, so there’s no need to pair remotes to the receivers. The package also includes a three-eye IR emitter cord.

The Universal Learning RF Remote Control is expected to be available in November with an MSRP of $99.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
Focal ingeniously integrates a soundbar with a subwoofing TV stand. They're two separate products, but notice how they fit together. The Dimension 5.1 soundbar ($1399) is a "true 5.1" bar with a brushed aluminum chassis holding five inverted dome full-range drivers and lateral bass drivers, driven by six times 75 watts, along with HDMI, lossless surround decoding, and touch controls at the right side. Four dip-switch DSP controls compensate for room size, seating distance, and whether you're using a wall mount or placing the bar on a cadenza. Both standing and wall brackets are provided. If you want more bass, place the Dimension SUB ($399) behind the bar. Wouldn't that block the sub's drivers? No, the elliptical drivers are on the sides. The demo sounded excellent, with a warm, un-screechy midrange and full bass.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
One of the largest selections of Dolby Atmos compatible surround receivers and pre-pros was at the Integra booth. They included these receivers: DTR-70.6, 11.2 channels, 135 watts per channel with two channels driven; DTR-60.6, 9.2 channels, 135 watts; DTR-50.6, 7.2 channels, 130 watts; DTR-40.6, 9.2 channels, 110 watts; DTR-30.6, 7.2 channels, 95 watts; and the Atmos-incompatible DTR-20.4, 5.2 channels, 80 watts. Then there were the pre-pros, of which only the first had Atmos: DHC-80.6, 11.2 channels; and DHC-60.5, 7.2 channels. Finally Integra showed the DTA-70.1 nine-channel power amp, rated at 150 watts per channel. Most of the receivers (except the last) are THX Select2 Plus certified while the pre-pros and multichannel amp are THX Ultra2 Plus certified. Select models also have ISF video certification and the HDBaseT HDMI extension interface. We'll update with prices when we get them.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
One question about Dolby Atmos that we haven't seen raised before: What effect would it have on auto setup and room correction systems in receivers and pre-pros? D+M's Atmos demo provided the answer: Audyssey has updated its technology to handle Atmos related concerns. The D+M demo used vaguely specified products including a Marantz pre-pro, Marantz multichannel amp, and Snell speakers. It used the same Dolby Labs clip disc as every other Atmos demo at CEDIA, but because it wasn't abusively loud, we enjoyed it more than most of the others.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
The rethought CM Series from Bowers & Wilkins includes three towers, three monitors, two centers, and one sub. They use a double dome aluminum tweeter array which combines a dome with a ring radiator, stiffening the driver and shifting its breakup mode from 30 to 38 kHz. Nautilus-style tweeter tube loading is employed in all of these new speakers though it's most visible in the tweeter-on-top models (the CM10 S2 tower and, pictured here, the CM6 S2 monitor). Woofers continue to be Kevlar. The models, all priced per speaker, are the CM10 S2 tower ($2000), CM9 S2 tower ($1600), CM8 S2 tower ($1200), CM6 S2 monitor ($1000), CM5 S2 monitor ($800), CM1 S2 monitor ($550), CM Centre2 S2 ($1250), CM Centre S2 ($700), and ASW 10CM S2 subwoofer ($1500).
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
You might suspect the top-firing driver in Sonus Faber's Lilium tower ($70,000/pair) makes it a Dolby Atmos enabled speaker. But you'd be wrong. That's a bass driver, not a height driver, and it's complemented by a bottom-firing passive radiator. The 3.5-way system is triwired and, as you'd expect from the luxury-minded Italian manufacturer, dressed to kill. Price: $70,000/pair.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  2 comments
Nakymatone has a unique approach to invisible in-wall sound with two stealthy speakers called the Echt and the Mooi. Both speakers measure 23” x 9.75” x 3.5” (H x W x D) but are designed to be fit behind drywall using a 16 5/8” x 9.75” (H x W) hole. The speakers utilize a special removable handle that allows installers to slide the speaker into the hole and then pull it flush up against the drywall before fastening it in place an applying a 1/16” plaster skim to blend it in with the surface of the wall. The acoustic panel consists of an aluminum honeycomb core with doped paper skin. Both models have a sealed, acoustically tuned aluminum enclosure; while the higher-end Echt’s enclosure is also anodized for higher performance sound quality.

According to Nakymatone, the frequency response of the Mooi is...

Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
Panamax is introducing three new Power360 series surge protectors at CEDIA today. The wall-mounted DOCK includes six surge-protected outlets along with two USB ports. The USB ports share a 2 amp capacity, allowing it to charge two smartphones simultaneously or a single tablet. A unique groove - Panamax calls it a “Technology Cradle” - along the top of the DOCK is designed to provide a convenient niche in which to place your smart device while it is charging.

The next of the three models is...

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
In a world populated by all-in-one powered soundbars, Monitor Audio showed two SB Series passive soundbars slated to ship in December: The compact SB-2 for TVs with screens between 50 and 60 inches and the SB-3, which will be custom built for screen sizes above 60 inches.

Both models feature separate driver arrays for the left, center, and right channels. The SB-2 employs a 4-inch woofer, 1-inch horn-loaded tweeter, and passive radiator in each section, while the SB-3 uses the same complement for the left and right channels but doubles up on the woofers and passive radiators for the center section.

The ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium drivers are borrowed from Monitor’s flagship Radius line. Cabinets are made of internally braced high-density MDF covered in black acoustically transparent fabric and have brushed aluminum end caps for a touch of style. Wall mounting is possible with an optional low-profile bracket that provides easy cable access.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
KEF's famous coaxial Uni-Q driver array is what distinguishes its R60 Dolby Atmos enabled speaker ($1200/pair) from the competition. With a one-inch aluminum tweeter nestling amid a 5.25-inch aluminum woofer, it's the same version of Uni-Q used on the R100. KEF also showed three new tower speakers and a monitor: Blade Two ($24,000/pair), Reference 5 ($18,000/pair), Reference 3 ($13,000/pair), and Reference One ($7500/pair).
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  2 comments
Two years in the making in close association with Dolby Labs, Triad's approach to a Dolby Atmos enabled speaker is to build four two-inch ScanSpeak drivers into the top for the height channels. The Inroom Bronze LR-H is based on the InRoom Bronze LCR, with the front driver array consisting of a one-inch fabric dome tweeter and dual 5.5-inch woofers. We've heard the prototype in Dolby's New York offices and it produces impressive height effects. Atmos capability raises the basic model price from $600 to $1000/pair.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
Yamaha's excellent Aventage surround receiver line now features two Dolby Atmos compatible models, both with nine amp channels: the RX-A3040 ($2199, 150 watts with two channels driven) and RX-A2040 ($1699, 140 watts with two channels driven). The semi-enclosed demo, with Yamaha speakers, was crisp enough to rise above the noise of the show floor, and the height effects (from ceiling speakers) were clearly discernible. Yamaha also showed its first sound base, the SRT-1000 ($500), which features eight front "beam drivers" along with two oval mid-woofers and two bottom-firing bass drivers. Made of sturdy MDF, it is designed to hold sets up to 88 pounds and 55 inches. In addition Yamaha showed two soundbars, one with HDMI input and lossless surround decoding for $1000 and one with legacy inputs for $399. The former is the YSP-2500, which simulates "true 7.1" surround from 16 beam drivers. It is the first soundbar we've encountered with a headphone jack.
Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
OSD Audio, known for its high-performance in-wall speakers, announced that it will offer an as-yet-unnamed wireless audio system by the end of the year. The system is based on DTS’s PlayFi platform and supports multisource playback of uncompressed audio in a multiroom setting.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  1 comments
When I saw these pendant speakers from TruAudio (just to the left of center in the photo, in black and white), the first thing I thought of was the midrange enclosure in B&W's 800 and 802 Diamond loudspeakers.

But the second thing I though of was using them as discrete overhead speakers for Dolby Atmos. I have no idea how they sound, nor do I believe that this is their designed purpose, but they are not only more attractive than the usual in-ceiling speakers, but could suspended at almost any length from a high ceiling at a more appropriate height for the Atmos format than an in-ceiling speaker might provide.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 12, 2014  |  0 comments
Splitting an HDMI source to feed both a video projector and a flat panel set is an increasingly popular option in custom home theater installs. But consumer-priced splitters that can do 4K are only just starting to appear. The HDS-12i from Transformative Engineering is one of the first. It can mix output resolutions and both up- and down-scale to 4K. A typical setup might involve a 2K projector and a 4K flat screen Ultra HD TV.

The device also provides full HDCP security and will recognize different EDIDs for each display. Output 2 also can be configured for pass-through, selectable scaling, or an AVR mode which bypasses 4K and 3D to route audio to an AVR or surround pre-pro that lacks the ability to handle these formats.

The HDS-12i's main limitation is that it's only HDMI 1.4a compliant, not 2,0, but that should be adequate for today's source material. It's firmware upgradeable (though not to 2.0--that's hardware) and sells for $299.