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.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Pristine image with no obvious artifacts
Nearly perfect brightness and color uniformity
Performance hinges a lot on room
May not provide the gain needed to achieve desired brightness
The StudioTek 100 provides the most accurate picture I’ve ever seen from a screen at home. While it demands a truly dark viewing environment—and a bright projector—it’s worth the effort if you want the best image possible.
Your video playback system is like any other part of your home theater: It is only as good as its weakest component. In the last five years, massive improvements have been made in both video sources and playback systems, but we’ve also seen a huge growth in the options for projection screen materials. There are new designs that bring great flexibility, allowing customers to do front projection in rooms that they never would have considered before. But most of the time, just like with fancy video processing, these new, exotic materials give you one thing but take away another, imparting visible artifacts to the image such as sparkles, texturing, and hotspotting.
If there is one reoccurring theme at the show it’s that your subs are nowhere near big enough. California Audio Technology seems to have gotten the message with their in-wall 18” drivers. These were actually some of the smaller subs I saw around the floor.
If there was one thing that was abundantly clear at the show, immersive audio isn't going anywhere. While the software continues to trickle out, the flood gates have opened for hardware with just about every manufacturer on the floor demonstrating something that would help you in your pursuit of immersive audio.
Parasound showcased a new surround sound processor in their “Classic” line that is a slimmed down version of their new receiver. The HDP 70 features 5 HDMI inputs and 1 output, full Faroudja video processing and HD Audio decoding.
Paradigm showcased their gorgeous Signature Reference series loudspeakers (review coming soon!) and their newest entry, the Sub 25. This new 15” behemoth of a sub features a 3000 watt RMS digital amp and claims to have 5 db more output than their already spectacular Signature Servo. Custom finishes are available.
Anthem gave the show a sneak peek at their updated Statement D2 processor. Dubbed the D2 v2, it features 8 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs. Guess an outboard switcher is a thing of the past! The new HDMI inputs are all 1.3c compliant for full 7-channel 192kHz support and deep color capabilities.
THX is getting into the sub business with their new B6X in-wall subwoofer solution developed with BG. The in-wall uses four modules that fit within a standard 2x4 wall space. This is the first in-wall subwoofer solution to achieve the Ultra2 certification from THX.
Triad decided to give their renowned Platinum line of speakers a new big brother. Though they weren’t being demonstrated at the show, their new flagship will be available later this year. Pictured here is the top of the line offering with massive drivers and a folded horn tweeter. I plan on taking a trip to their factory down the road in Portland early next year to get a listen when they’ve revamped their demo room with them. At $15,000 each they aren’t for everyone but they should be able to deliver massive sound to even the largest custom home theater room.