According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the organization that runs the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), 140,000 people attended this year’s annual confab in Las Vegas, NV. In past years, attendance has typically hovered around 100,000. But with the shrinkage of the normally even larger computer show, COMDEX, in 2003, followed by its cancellation this past November, the Intels, IBMs, Apples, Hewlett Packards, and other assorted bits-and-bytes vendors, and their customers, descended on CES with a vengeance.
For me (and, I'm sure, for many others), CES 2005 marked the year that 1080p took off. I'm not talking about 1080p broadcasts or pre-recorded content; it will be a few more years before we see that, and even when we do, it will likely be 1080p/24, not 1080p/60. But 1920x1080 fixed-pixel displays—plasma, LCD (panels and projectors), DLP, and LCoS—were suddenly <I>everywhere</I>, unlike last year, when they were as rare as than hens' teeth.
As the first three-chip DLP projector to pass through my studio, the InFocus ScreenPlay 777 generated more than a little excitement. Apart from its futuristic, streamlined appearance, its size and weight—not to mention its price—immediately set it apart from the one-chip designs that have come to dominate the home-theater projection market.
I was intrigued by the idea of a 45-inch LCD TV when I first saw it last January, at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show. LCD TVs in smaller sizes are a dime a dozen, and their prices are plummeting. ViewSonic showed a 32-inch LCD at the CEDIA Expo 2004 that retails for just under $2700.
There's an old saying: "Good things come in small packages." In our industry, however, there's often a perceived correlation between the size of an AV component (speakers, amplifiers, plasma TVs) and its level of performance. Here, the working mentality seems to be "the bigger (or pricier), the better."
Mitsubishi has been a market leader for some time in the business and professional world, offering a wide variety of LCD and DLP projectors. Regular readers of <I>Stereophile Ultimate AV</I> know Mitsubishi as a major player in rear-projection and plasma and LCD TVs, but probably haven't seen that name on a home-theater projector before.
A month or two ago, I was on my way home from work when my wife called and asked me to swing by Costco to pick up a pound of our favorite Newhall Blend coffee beans. "We're out," she informed me. "And this time, please don't forget to grind 'em before you leave the store!"
<I>Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Reta Shaw, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Reginald Owen. Directed by Robert Stevenson. Music by Richard and Robert Sherman. Aspect ratio: 1.66:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1. 140 minutes. 1964. Buena Vista Home Video 31167. G. $29.99</I>