Darryl Wilkinson

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 25, 2010  |  0 comments
KEF’s new T-series of super-slim speakers – claimed by KEF to be one of the world’s thinnest, high-performance home theater and flat-panel audio systems – combine two big innovations: a new super-duper-slim bass and midrange driver; and a large, fully vented new tweeter developed straight from the company’s high-end Concept Blade project. The cabinets are only 35mm deep and looked really excellent hanging on the wall next to the flat-panel TV in the booth. Two different satellites are available ($499/pair and $349/each) and systems with matching subwoofers start at $1,499.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 25, 2010  |  1 comments
FOSI wants you to see stars in your home theater – and not just on your big screen. The company’s star ceiling panels – like this 8-foot x 12 foot version – contain thousands of individual fiber optic cables that take light from three central light sources (either halogen or LED-based lamps) and create astronomically correct reproductions of the night sky on your theater (or other) room’s ceiling. Panels can be ordered in flat black or cloud-sky painted models. This particular setup included over 5,000 fiber optic runs to create a September night sky that included a comet, several shooting stars, and the ability to erupt into a brilliant fireworks display. Without the fireworks lighting, the DIY version – in which you get the fiber optic cables and a complete, full-size template for where to drill the holes for the cables in your own panel – starts at around $2,000. As far as a professionally installed, fully tricked out version with fireworks and a night sky that’s exactly the way you want it from a certain date in history (your wedding night or the evening the Normans invaded England, for example, either of which could be considered the start of epic battles) can cost, well, the sky’s the limit.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 25, 2010  |  1 comments
No, it didn’t fly while I was there, but a life-size (?) version of the flying robot from the famous THX movie trailer stood mute witness in the Integra booth that Integra has oodles of THX-approved gear. (Oodles – yeah, that’s a technical term. Now that I think of it, Oodles would be a good name for the robot itself. I may name my next kid, Oodles, I like it so much – the name, not the kid…)
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 24, 2010  |  0 comments
The background stories of most trade shows typically involve too much walking, too much drinking, and too much hyping. And there’s plenty of that to go around here at CEDIA. But one of the good parts of being in the custom installation industry is that, for the most part, the people involved are usually decent, good people. It didn’t take long for me to discover that sometimes forgotten fact on Thursday when I reached down to find my phone not snuggled close to my hip in its holster. After a brief period of panic during which several people heard me cry for my mommy, I ran into friend and past HT Mag contributor, David Birch Jones, who explained that there was such a thing as calling your own phone to see if anyone who might have found it would answer. (I was dumbfounded at the concept!) It didn’t take more than two rings before CEDIA Samaritan, Andrew Bransby of MD Central Vacuums (www.builtinvacuum.com), answered to say that he had indeed found it and was holding it safe at the MD Central Vacuums booth (right across from LG). Thanks, Andrew, you’re a lifesaver!
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 23, 2010  |  0 comments
T he rest of the industry may not be ready to abandon dome tweeters, but Sandy Gross and his new company, GoldenEar Technology, are using accordion-like High-Velocity Folded Ribbon (HVFR) high-frequency drivers in place of the ubiquitous domes found in 90-some-odd percent of the speakers currently on the market. The HVFR drivers work in a manner similar to an accordion and generate sound by squeezing a folded diaphragm from the sides rather than in an up-and-down motion. The result is a dramatically open, sublime sound free of any listening fatigue you might get from a lesser, standard driver – at least, that’s what I heard in the GoldenEar Technology booth earlier this morning. The HVFR tweeters are in the $1,249/ea floor-standing Triton Two Towers, the$499/ea SuperSat satellites , and the $249/ea SuperSat 50 satellites. GoldenEar Technology is also introducing a pair of powered subwoofers (ForceField 3 - $499, ForceField 4 - $699).
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 22, 2010  |  0 comments
As part of a suite of energy saving products aimed at saving up to as much as 60 percent of home energy usage, Lutron is introducing a plug-in appliance module that will integrate with the company’s current RadioRA2 lighting control system. The new module turns off standby power to electronic appliances when not in use, which Lutron says can save up to 10 percent of a home’s electricity usage. Installation is simple: plug the appliance into the module, and then plug the module into the wall. After installed and programmed into a RadioRA2 system, appliance control can be incorporated into whole-house scenes, such as “Goodnight” and “Away”. Scheduled to be available in December of this year, the module will have a list price of $149.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 22, 2010  |  0 comments
Cirago’s CMC3000 wasn’t the only cool device they had to show this morning. The HDX3DV01 (HydraDisplayPort to 3 DVI Multimonitor Adapter – now that’s a mouthful) is a plug-and-play device that works with any computer possessing a DisplayPort output to give you support for up to three DVI monitors – without any additional software required. Cirago says there’s no latency, so it’s perfect for gamers who want to extend their view. Supposedly (actually, I know this to be true myself), using multiple monitors will increase your productivity on the computer – provided you’re not spending your time playing games – up to 42 percent. That alone ought to help pay for the $179 you’ll (gladly) shell out for this uber-cool adapter. Cirago also told me that you can upgrade a non-DisplayPort computer for about $72 to give you the DisplayPort output you’ll need to use with the HDX3DV01.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 22, 2010  |  1 comments
No, it’s not made by Victorinox, it’s made by Cirago – but it has so many features it could well be considered the Swiss Army knife of multimedia centers. For $249, the Cirago CMC3000 starts off as a 1 TB NAS drive with a 1080p HDMI 1.3 output with built-in LAN networking, analog video recording, internet radio station access, and a slew of supported video formats (including H.264, divx, wmv, mkv, and mov). You can also watch Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube video using PlayOn (the box includes a $20 off coupon) or TVersity. It even comes with a real, adult-size remote control instead of one of those cheap tiny things you usually get with these types of devices. Pretty cool.
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 22, 2010  |  0 comments
Oh, the joys of attending a convention. It cost me $10 to ride 2 blocks (I didn’t know I could have actually hoofed it) from my hotel to the restaurant last night, so it’s a good thing CEDIA offers free bus rides from the various hotels located here in Atlanta to the convention center. Once at the convention center, however, I ran into a very surreal catch-22 situation when the Nazi security people wouldn’t let me go to the press room without a badge. Unfortunately, the only way to get a press badge was to walk through the convention center. Even after I sweet talked a regular registration person into escorting me through security, the stormtrooper stationed at the entrance to the show floor wasn’t pleased with letting us pass. I’m just thankful that the security people aren’t packing heat…
Darryl Wilkinson  |  Sep 22, 2010  |  0 comments
CEDIA is giving Joel Spira, founder of lighting control manufacturer Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., the organization’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award. The award “recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding, creative, innovative, and visionary leadership in the growth and advancement of the residential electronic systems industry”. What has Mr. Spira done to deserve such an honor? For starters, he invented the world’s first dimming device back in 1959, which launched Lutron as a company, as well as helped revolutionize the lighting control industry. In the years since, Lutron estimates they have made it possible for owners of the company’s lighting control devices billions of dollars in energy costs – not to mention all the personal benefits of convenience and enhanced lighting ambiance.