SE2 Labs presents the ITC One Integrated Theater Console. About the size of a big subwoofer, the ITC One is a bus based solution that combines all your sources and amplification needs in one box. One really big box. Configuration options include HD DVRs for Dish and Directv (so if you want to switch providers, you can) and there's a built in dock for your iPod behind the closed front doors (visible in my picture). Source selection is easy-peazy from the front, but of course, the ITC One comes with a custom remote whose every button is backlit (6 AA's so you don't have to deal with docking stations). And if you lose the remote, you can "page" it from the ITC One. Not much chance of losing that.
When Optoma first showed their Big Vision rear projection DLP system, they thought it would a hit in new build residential applications. As it turns out, two years later, it's the business market that's most interested in this 30" deep assemblage that can be built into board rooms, conference rooms and yeah, in a pinch, a home theater.
Optoma is shipping the HD-81LV, a 10,000:1 contrast ratio single chip 1080P projector. The projector is a light saber, achieving 2,500 Lumens and it's ISF certifiable. But the real reason for this projector is the anamorphic lens assembly. For a total of $12,000, you get the projector, the lens assembly and a separate video processor box for easier connection (you route only an RS-232 and HDMI cable to the projector). The system uses Gennum VXP technology and looked outstanding showing a clip of <i>Casino Royale</i> on a large screen.
Optoma's HD-80, <a href=" http://www.optomausa.com/product_detail.asp?product_id=331" target="new">a single chip 1080P DLP one-piece projector</a> ($2,699) has been shipping since June, so it's not necessarily news, but the $500 more HD-8000, a step-up unit based on the same frame, certainly is.
JVC was first out of the gate last year with Clear Motion which interpolates an extra frame for each frame its given, clearing up motion blur significantly. I saw it in Japan last year and it was clearly working. I guess Toshiba saw it too, because their ClearFrame technology potentially does the same thing. Of course, JVC is on their second generation and they gave away some information at their press conference that was interesting. Each interpolated frame is created by examing 4,000 pixels in the frames before and after the frame being created. That's a lot of hard math. Toshiba didn't specify exactly how there's works (or if it did as well in the Math section on the SATs), but no doubt, the combination of quicker refresh times and 120 Hz technology has brought LCD panel technology a long, long way in very short amount of time.
Shane didn't mention it so I will: JVC's new DLA-RS2 / DLA-HD100 projectors have a claimed 30,000:1 native contrast ratio without the use of an auto iris-stopping technology. Contrast that, pun intended, to the new Sony VW200 which they said had a 35,000:1 contrast ratio, but Sony uses auto-iris correction to achieve these ratios. Both are outstanding figures and, in this stratosphere, pretty close numerically speaking, but it will be interesting to see if our golden eyes can detect a difference or develop a preference.
At the Sony press event, surprise guest Barry Sonnenfeld, <a href="http://imdb.com/name/nm0001756/" target="new">too famous for words</a> (but suffice to say, he was the cinematographer for one of my favorite movies, the Coen Brothers' first, <i>Blood Simple</i>), regaled us with stories of his home theaters, past and present, like the one in Telluride, Colorado which features a Sony VPL VW100 projector. His close ties with Sony's Marc Finer have made him somewhat of a test bed for Sony projectors, going all the way back to the 9" CRT based Sony G90 which some consider the finest CRT projector ever made (along with the Vidikron Visions). I bet he can't wait to get the new VW200 in his home!
Sharp announced a new AQUOS D64U series at Cedia. The 1080p LCD panels are available in four sizes from 42" to 65" in diameter. The 65" LC-65D64U will be available before the month is out and goes for $8,999.99. The 52" LC-52D64U ($3,799.99), 46" LC-46D64U ($2,699.99) and 42" LC-42D64U ($1,999.99) are available now. Sharp has reduced the size of the bezel and thinned out the panel depth by 25% from existing lines.
Sharp is a progressive company and, while they might not categorize themselves as Heroes, their 3.2 $B expansion in Sakai City (Osaka) is designed not just for making energy saving LCDs, but also for expanding production of energy producing solar cells. TFT LCDs and thin-film solar cells depend on the same thin-film technology so improvements in LCD production will trickle over solar cell development as well.