CEDIA 2013

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Brent Butterworth  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments

Maybe this wireless speaker thing is finally going to take off. Today at the CEDIA Expo, Focal demoed the $2,799/pair Easya tower speaker, which has amps and a wireless receiver built in. The system comes with a transmitter and a remote control, so all you need to do is connect your sources and you've got a whole system.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
While NAD's usual practice is to add features to existing surround receiver models, the T 758 ($1199) is the successor to the T 757. It boasts 120 watts of continuous power per channel, we assume into two channels. Modular construction, a neat feature of NAD receivers, allows for future upgrades, whatever technology comes our way. One thing this receiver does not have is an ethernet jack or any network audio features. For those step up to the even brawnier T 777 ($2999) and T 787 ($3999). Note that these list prices are lower than historical ones because NAD is aggressively courting a smaller but more committed dealer base. As a result, receiver sales have doubled, and just may triple. Clearly a lot of home theater buffs are willing to pay for great surround sound even at the expense of frilly features.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Qmotion came to CEDIA in a big way this year, showing off an elaborate booth of the companies various shading solutions. Prime among the products on display was the range of wireless, battery-operated roller shades with several unique design features, including easy battery replacement without needing to remove the shade from the brackets, a claimed battery life of “up to five years”, and a snap-on spline attached to the fabric that allows for easy cleaning or replacement of the fabric.
Brent Butterworth  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments

Cambridge Audio has been dinking around with Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drivers for a couple of years in its pint-sized Minx speakers, but now it's bringing BMR into the spotlight with a new line of full-size speakers built for conventional home theater and stereo applications.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
We hit the soundbar beat pretty hard at this show and our coverage wouldn't be complete without mention of two Bose products. The CineMate 1 SR ($1350) is said to be the bestselling bar in North America over the past nine months. It uses seven of the same tiny drivers that make the famous Bose "jewel cubes" sound pretty good (we know this, having reviewed them in another form). There are also two radiators providing side effects. And the bar's pretty control savvy, with multi-room control and Control 4, Crestron, RTI, and Savant compatibility. The same bar features in the Lifestyle 135 system ($2100) which adds a console with iOS dock and room correction.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Automation controller company BitWise Controls came to CEDIA to celebrate the company’s fourth birthday and announce the upcoming availability of the BitWise Access Anywhere subscription service. BitWise’s AccessAnywhere will enable homeowners to access and control their BitWise home automation system from anywhere the homeowner has internet access, anywhere in the world, via a smartphone or tablet.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
The VPL-VW600ES SXRD projector is Sony’s latest 4k home theater projector. It offers a full 4096 x 2160 resolution, a claimed peak brightness of 1700 ANSI lumens, and a stated 200,000:1 contrast ratio (with Sony’s dynamic Advanced Iris 3). Its HDMI 2.0 inputs will accept 4K sources at up to 60 frames per second.
Brent Butterworth  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments

The sound that most amazed me during Day 1 of the CEDIA Expo came not from a $50,000 speaker, but from a cardboard box. A cardboard box supporting the Bass Egg Verb, that is. We've seen devices like this before, that turn any box or table or whatever into a speaker. The difference between those and the Bass Egg Verb is that it doesn't suck and it plays loud as hell.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Many people have turned to the iPad as the controller of choice for their home's automation system. Using systems from the likes of Control4, Crestron, Savant, or URC, you can turn even the humblest iPad into a powerful automation controller capable of adjusting lights, HVAC, alarm, TV and about anything else you can think of. But where to you put the iPad when you're not using it? Do you just plop it on a sofa cushion or leave it on a counter somewhere until the next time you need it, and then hope the battery isn't dead?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Sony’s 4K UHD Media Player (FMP-X1), together with the Sony Xperia Z Tablet controller, are available for use with Sony’s 4K home theater projectors.
Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Salamander Designs, the Connecticut-based maker of fine entertainment furniture and accessories, introduced hand-crafted center and LCR speaker options for its Synergy and Chameleon AV cabinet lines at CEDIA 2013. Featuring high-quality Peerless woofers and cloth-dome tweeters, the speakers are built to order by Michigan-based Leon Speakers and integrated into the cabinets on mounting brackets that permit the angle of the speaker to be adjusted for optimal sound dispersion.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Three new surround receivers from Anthem include the MRX 310, MRX 510 (shown), and MRX 710. The 310 has five channels while the 510 and 710 are seven-channel products. Power is 60, 75, and 90 watts times five (and kudos to Anthem for not merely quoting two-channel figures and calling it a day). Anthem has all the control angles covered including AMX, Bitwise, Control 4, Crestron, and Savant. The ARC 1M room correction has been improved, approaching the quality of that in Anthem's pre-pros, with more options and better filtering. The receivers boast the Dolby Volume low-volume listening mode to make movie sessions more painless. And 4K is supported for both pass-through and upscaling. Pricing is $1200, $1600, and $2000. The two upper models will ship this fall while the bottom model will ship in early 2014.
Al Griffin  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Sonos’ Playbar soundbar uses proprietary tech to beam surround sound from its 9-driver array. To judge from the demo I caught at CEDIA — my first-ever experience with the Playbar — the effect is impressive. But some people may prefer real surround speakers located in the rear of the room. The company offers up its Play:3 wireless speakers for that very purpose, but custom installers have been bugging them to provide a solution that expands surround speaker options for the Playbar.
Kris Deering  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
DVDO debuted three new upcoming products at their press conference today. First up was the Air 3 ($199), their latest wireless HDMI solution that cuts the cord and gives you 10 meters of 60 GHz wireless connectivity between a device and display. The new box is smaller and lighter and now supports high resolution audio as well.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Sep 26, 2013  |  0 comments
Olympica is a new speaker line from Sonus Faber, whose speakers have always been luxurious in both build and looks. A 1.1-inch silk dome tweeter and six-inch paper-composite woofer are built into a curved enclosure that is asymmetrical and built in mirror-imaged pairs. This allows the slot ports, located toward the rear of the side panels, to interact with the room in different ways, so if you audition these, you'll want to experiment with positioning, facing the port inward or outward. Available in light walnut and dark graphite veneer finishes, these were easily the most beautiful products we've seen on the first day of CEDIA 2013, and we suspect we won't see anything finer. Pricing is $6500/pair, shipping now. A matching center model is also available.

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