I got a chance to see the Statement D2 pre/pro from Anthem up close. I like the 4 HDMI inputs but I'm already starting to think 5 or even 6 would be appropriate for the next gen. Marketing manager Mark Aling told me their new room equalization software is now available and will be integrated into the D2. It adds a couple of hundred to the price, bringing it up to just under $7K. Unusual is Anthems recognition that every EQ mic shipped with a pre/pro or receiver is inherently different from each other mic, so they actually cut a CD for each microphone / serial# combination and their software recognizes where compensation is needed to overcome the sample to sample variation between microphones. I doubt you'll ever see that level of detail from a mass-market receiver manufacturer, but in a "statement" product like the D2, it really sets Anthem apart from the pack. If you already own a D1 or D2, you can get the upgrade by contacting your dealer.
Oh Marantz, why do you put so much goodness in your receivers? 125 watt discrete amplifiers – seven of 'em, 4 HDMI inputs and <i>2</i> HDMI outputs (take that "ed"), 3 coaxial and 3 optical digital inputs, Dolby Digital True HD and Dolby Digital Plus decoding, DTS Master Audio decoding, AM/FM/HD radio, XM HD radio. Featuring HDMI 1.3 inputs and outputs, the receiver will repeat out 1080p source signals to the display with no signal loss, as well upconvert composite, s-video and component video to HDMI. Also, the receiver has a case of the massive Toroidal Transformers, which will only hurt your neighbors when you crank things up. I guess with all this goodness, they forgot the phono stage.
Digeo makes the Moxi family of media centers, including the Moxi Home Cinema Edition HD DMR. CableCARD ready, there are over 400,000 Moxi products out there. Both the Moxi DVR and non-DVR unit use Moxi's graphically attractive and, from what I saw, seemingly intuitive interface. The menu is now in available in high definition (either 720p or 1080i) and looks spectacular, taking advantage of every square inch of your screen.
For $2,995, Sanyo's PLV-Z2000 has a lot of great features. This 1080p LCD projector offers a claimed 15,000:1 contrast ratio (with their twin auto iris system), HDMI 1.3 capability and 1,200 Lumens output from a 165 UHP-like bulb. With a wide 50% horizontal and insane 100% vertical lens shift, placement is no problem and you won't have to resort to electronic keystone corrections which inherently limit real resolution. The unit is a quiet 19 db and when you turn it off, a little door slides over the lens keeping dust and curious fingers away. It ships in October.
If it were just another iPod dock, Meridian could be forgiven. But the iRIS ($390) actually takes video off your iPod – yeah, the sub-standard definition 240x320 pixel package you paid $1.99 for so you could catch up on an episode of <i>Heroes</i> during your staff meeting today – and upconverts it to 1080p. There was some mention that the iRIS will also have an s-video input so you could, according to Bob Stuart of Meridian, pass your laserdisc player's s-video output into the iRIS to take advantage of the Marvell's Qdeo video processing, which might be an interesting option.
What can I say - it plays CDs, has an AM/FM radio, 80 watts of power in a 2.1 system, uses Meridian DSP processing and, best of all, it has a clock. The sample cuts we heard were more lush than any "radio" you've ever heard. The Meridian F80 is available in Ferrari red, black, white, silver and yellow.
Planar knows a lot about video displays – how to get them into hospitals, tanks and now, home theaters. The deals was inked 101 days ago. Planar's more global positioning will help expand Runco heretofor minimal international presence.
Richard Schneider, founder of Terrestrial Digital, is right about one thing: there's plenty of free over-the-air high definition signals out there for anyone willing to try. And the signal quality is generally better than anything off a small satellite or cable. Terrestrial Digital's new line of ClearStream antennas are small and practically invisible compared to the 14' Yagi monster I've got on my roof.
Terrestrial Digital is making an HDTV tuner / antenna similar in design to the LaCrosse Micron antennae, except of course it has a built in high definition tuner. How good is the tuner? Who knows, who cares, because the unit only outputs composite video or s-video with two channels of analog audio.
Sim2 has a new projector, the C3X1080 – a three chip DLP with an anamorphic lens sled system available as an option. With 10,000:1 contrast at 2,000 lumens, the projector can handle a big screen and it did – we were treated to, what else, <i>Pirates II</i> or whatever it's called, on a 10 foot wide 2.35:1 ratio Stewart Firehawk screen. The picture was definitely bright enough in the dark room, especially considering they only use a 250 watt UHP bulb (lower power setting of 200 watts is also available).