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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB

This year's CEDIA trade show in Denver saw Epson refresh its entire home theater projector line. The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 5030UB is this year's upgrade to the Home Cinema 5020UB, one of last year's hottest projectors. While the 5030UB is in many ways an incremental improvement over its predecessor, it is an impressive machine in its own right. The Home Cinema 5030UB is one of three new home theater projectors released at this year's CEDIA show. The others, the Pro Cinema 4030 and Pro Cinema 6030UB, are restricted-distribution products sold through specialized dealers and custom installers. The Home Cinema 5030UB, on the other hand, is in open distribution -- meaning you can find it at a number of authorized resellers online. Currently priced at $2,599 from authorized sellers, the Home Cinema 5030UB is an excellent value in today's market.
The Viewing Experience
While the projector is laden with features that make it easy to install and use, the primary draw of the Home Cinema 5030UB is image quality. The 5030UB's image in both 2D and 3D is the best we've ever seen from Epson, and the picture on screen makes it clear where every single dollar of the projector's purchase price went. In other words, it looks more expensive than it actually is. The Home Cinema 5030UB is built primarily for use in a light-controlled home theater environment, and it is tailored to deliver maximum impact in such a situation. The "UB" in the projector's name stands for Ultra Black, a designation that does not disappoint once you have the projector properly configured. For part of this review we set up the 5030UB on one of Stewart's new screens, the Cima by Stewart Filmscreen using the 1.1-gain Neve white fabric. This screen is a superb complement to the 5030B for dedicated home theater, and it costs less than the Studiotek 130. The 5030UB already has very deep black levels and light output is highly adjustable, so this neutral white screen with low gain and a very wide 80-degree half-gain angle is ideal for dark theater installations. (read more)

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The current state of 4K UHD vs. OLED

First, let me say that this is still a half baked situation right now. There is almost a total lack of 4K material available. Right now, it's mostly just upscaling from 1080p. That will eventually change. There will be a new HDMI standard version 1.4b. Blue rays will eventually go to Red Ray 4K. Right now, we are in the larval stage. Things will change over time. Right now only Sony offer's 10 4K movies, but they will only play on Sony sets with their player. Doesn't that sound like Sony? If I were to go out on a limb, I predict that OLED will win out (but things can change in a heartbeat). OLED is new technology. 4K UHD is based upon older LCD/LED backlit technology. Like LCD/ LED, not great viewing angles either. OLED is closer to Plasma technology which currently offers the best black levels, contrast. OLED currently has the best color & Black levels along with amazing depth and peak whites.Detail is incredible.The biggest problem for OLED right now is a curved screen which adds to non linearity issues. Also, in it's current form it is 1080p, which kind of makes little sense, although they say that will change.Unlike 4K UHD, each pixel on OLED contains all of the colors. Each pixel is individually lit. No back lighting or edge lighting. OLED is all front lit! OLED has the best picture uniformity.OLED has the fastest moving action, and less artifacts then 4K UHD. OLED has endless shades of grey. OLED is also brighter then Plasma. 4k UHD: Great Resolution and 3 dimensional picture. Great sharpness & Image clarity. Fast moving action: NO. It's still LCD technology with twisting crystals. The picture is super white & bright. Right now I believe in OLED, and I'm sticking to it. Stay tuned. Where the hell is the 4K material?

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BenQ W770ST 720p DLP Home Video Projector Review

The BenQ W770ST is a lightweight, portable 720p projector with a short-throw lens that's perfect for living room and gaming use. Producing 2500 lumens in its brightest mode, the W770ST has the power to overcome ambient light, while its 13000:1 contrast and solid color performance make it a respectable movie projector when the sun goes down. Full HDMI 3D compatibility and a ten-watt speaker round out the projector's features, while its $799 price tag makes the W770ST a great option for those on a budget.
Setup
The W770ST comes wrapped in a sturdy soft carrying case, complete with a front pocket to hold the remote control and any necessary cables. The remote itself is a small "candy bar" model that feels good in the hand, but might get lost in the couch cushions if you're not careful. The "ST" in the projector's model name stands for short throw, so you will want to place it on a table fairly close to the screen. A 60" diagonal image, which is about the right size for a room with moderate ambient light, can be displayed from a throw distance between 3' 2" and 3' 9" depending on zoom. That doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room, but as a portable projector, the W770ST can usually be physically moved if the zoom range is inadequate. The W770ST places the bottom edge of the projected image a few inches above the lens centerline -- on a 60" diagonal image, it's a 2" offset, for example, assuming the projector is level.
The Viewing Experience
The W770ST produces a bright, powerful image from the get-go. Light output is sufficient to illuminate a 60" diagonal screen in moderate ambient light or a 80" diagonal screen in low ambient light. Black levels are excellent for such an inexpensive projector, and SmartEco mode can make them even better in scenes with low average illumination. The W770ST's default color calibration is slightly under-saturated but accurate, averaging around 7000K across the grayscale without any adjustment. Color brightness in the W770ST's Cinema mode is only about 630 lumens, or 35% of white, but knocking BrilliantColor down can make the image appear much better balanced at the cost of white light output. (read more)

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Home Video Projector Shootout: Three 1080p projectors under $1000

This year we've seen lots of action in the sub-$1000 home theater market, and several of those projectors turned out to be exceptionally good for the price. Three of the best garnered quite a bit of attention -- the BenQ W1070Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030, and Optoma HD25. These three projectors are the strongest values in today's budget home theater market. All feature native 1080p resolution with full HD 3D capabilities. All cost less than $1000. But that's about where the similarities end. While the W1070, 2030, and HD25 are all outstanding projectors for the money, they are all outstanding in their own ways, and their particular quirks mean that one person's perfect projector is another person's dud. Here is how to figure out which projector is right for you.
Evaluating This Year's Projectors
Part of the difficulty in deciding between the BenQ W1070, Epson Home Cinema 2030, and Optoma HD25 is that they have similar specifications despite looking very different in actual use. All three projectors are rated at 2,000 lumens, and their contrast ratings are 10,000:1, 15,000:1, and 20,000:1, respectively. But the specs tell you nothing about how these projectors actually look. The big question is always the same: "which projector should I buy?" And the answer, as always, is "it depends." Rather than spend the next 2,000 words nitpicking each projector on a point-by-point basis, we've distilled each projector down to its essence by picking the best projector for each of several popular applications. By approaching your projector purchase from the angle of "what do I need my projector to do" rather than fussing over specifications, you will end up with a product that better suits your needs.  
THE GAMER: Optoma HD25
If you care about video games, there's no beating the Optoma HD25. The HD25's 17 millisecond input lag makes it the gamer's top choice, coming in a half-frame quicker than the W1070 at 24 ms and a full frame faster than the Home Cinema 2030's 34 ms top speed. Accurate out-of-the-box color makes calibration essentially optional, and the HD25 has excellent dynamic range for a sub-$1000 1080p projector. All of these factors add up to a wonderful gaming experience that's hard to match without spending a lot more money. Better yet, a 3,500/6,000 hour lamp life makes the projector inexpensive to use during extended play sessions--lamp replacements will not be a frequent occurrence. The HD25 falls short when it comes to calibration, as it has only single-axis RGB controls rather than separate gain/bias adjustments. Additionally, the four preset factory image modes are locked, and there's only one User mode, so only one calibration can be saved at a time. These limitations make the HD25 less attractive for home theater use, but do not detract from its performance as a gaming projector. But the HD25 also has the highest lamp replacement cost of the projectors in this shootout; when the lamp does need replacing, a new one will cost you $399.  
THE THEATER BUFF: BenQ W1070
The BenQ W1070 ties with the Optoma HD25 for excellent 2D image quality; both projectors offer superb color and dynamic range. The W1070 also includes a 1.3:1 zoom lens with a limited amount of vertical lens shift, which is unique among the projectors in the group. This makes the W1070 ideal for a ceiling mount and just plain easier to mount all around. The projector also has a 6x speed RGBRGB color wheel, so only the most sensitive of viewers will get even a hint of rainbow effects; this is as good as it gets for single-chip DLP projectors and contributes to well-saturated color and a naturally balanced image. The W1070 uses DLP Link's inexpensive 3D glasses, making it affordable to stock up for those times when you have a large audience in your theater. The W1070 has full calibration controls, including RGB gain/bias adjustments and a complete color management system. It also has two ISF user modes, which provide additional memory locations for user-defined settings. Those can come in handy when you want your projector to look its best both during the day and at night as ambient light levels change. With a 24 ms frame delay, the W1070 has little input lag, but it does not have the fastest gaming performance -- that honor goes to the Optoma HD25 at 17 ms. It also lacks a VESA 3D sync port and is thus the only projector in this group limited solely to DLP Link glasses. Its factory settings are less color accurate than those on the HD25, so calibration is something that serious movie buffs will want to invest in. But all in all, If you can do it yourself, a well-calibrated W1070 is the strongest option when it comes to pure 2D home theater performance in the sub-$1000 price category. Hiring a professional to calibrate it will cost a few bills more.
GOODBYE TELEVISION: Epson Home Cinema 2030
While all three of the projectors in this group offer good value for the money, the Epson Home Cinema 2030 is in a class of its own even among the budget kings. For the same sub-$1000 price as the other two projectors, the 2030 claims a longer run time of 5,000 hours with the lamp at full power, versus 3,500 hours on the W1070 and HD25. More importantly, replacement lamps for the 2030 cost only $99 (versus $249 for the W1070 and $399 for the HD25), making it an obvious candidate for heavy usage applications like TV replacement. It doesn't hurt that the 2030's two-year warranty is twice as long as the competitors' one-year warranties, either. The 2030 is the only projector in the group with an MHL-enabled HDMI port, which allows for the use of media devices like the Roku Streaming Stick to create a compact TV replacement system complete with media access without running a ton of cables. The projector's relatively high black level is less of a concern in a living room-type installation where ambient light is omnipresent, but at night the projector's auto iris can bring back a reasonable facsimile of black level performance. The Home Cinema 2030 is an LCD projector, so there's no spinning color wheel to worry about and zero chance of rainbow artifacts. The 2030 uses Epson's excellent radio-frequency 3D glasses, though none are included. Glasses cost $99 per pair, which is more than the typical DLP Link 3D glasses used by the W1070 or HD25, but the 2030 uses radio-frequency sync by default whereas the HD25 requires an adapter and the W1070 cannot use anything except DLP Link. As such, 3D eyewear can get pricey for a large group, but the quality of that eyewear is very high. The Home Cinema 2030 does have a few weaknesses. It has a tiny 2W speaker, whereas each of its competitors has more robust audio output. The projector's lensing is unique (a less kind term would be "non-traditional"), and installing the 2030 can require more thought than installing either the HD25 or the W1070. While the W1070 and HD25 have a mild upward throw angle that makes ceiling mounting easy, the Epson 2030 projects a portion of the image below the centerline of the lens. As such, ceiling mounts will likely require a long extension tube. In standard video operating modes, input lag is 100ms (6 frames), but switching to "Fast" processing reduces that to 34ms (2 frames) which is still usable to most gamers.
TAKING IT ON THE ROAD: BenQ W1070
If you need a projector to travel with, the go-to choice is the W1070 for a number of reasons. Of the three projectors in the shootout, the W1070 is the lightest by about half a pound. Weight normally isn't a concern with home video projectors, but it can quickly become important when you're lugging the projector around for any length of time. The W1070's 1.3:1 zoom lens and vertical lens shift make it the most adaptable projector from a placement perspective, and in different locations this can make setup faster and less painful. The projector's onboard 10W speaker is loud enough to be a realistic sound option in a small living room. A fast 6x speed color wheel all but ensures viewers will not see any color separation artifacts. The factory presets, while not adjustable, are all useful in different situations, so a full re-calibration will not be necessary when you get where you're going. High light output is important for portable projectors, since you may not know about ambient light conditions at your destination. The W1070, despite producing over 1500 lumens in Dynamic mode, does not have the highest light output in the group -- that honor goes to the Epson Home Cinema 2030 at over 2000 lumens. However, the Epson 2030's unconventional lensing (a portion of the image is projected below the centerline of the lens) makes it difficult to set up on the fly without tilting the projector and applying keystone correction, making it ill-suited to portable use.  (read more)

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Screen is Center Stage in Family Room Theater

Some people plan their home theaters around a dream projector, a favorite set of speakers or a special movie theme or design concept. The piece of gear that drove Sam Manessis’ home theater was one that many enthusiasts hardly even think about—the screen. The screen Manessis had his heart set on is Screen Innovation’s Black Diamond Zero Edge (see the Electronic House review here). He’d seen it featured in past Electronic House articles and read about it online. He was attracted to idea of having a cinema-sized screen that looked cosmetically like an LCD panel and could be viewed in normal room lighting. In his months of research about the screen, he asked manufacturers to recommend the best installer for his new system, and time after time the same name came up: Todd Anthony Puma of The Source Home Theater in New York City. Manessis had a contractor gut and redo his bonus room with guidance from Puma, and then Puma and his team (including star technician Jason Johnson) came in to install the electronics and turn the extra room into a media-centric hangout. The room’s build-out included some soundproofing and planning for the speaker and subwoofer installation. There was one obstacle to making the perfect room—a large HVAC duct runs along the ceiling. Since that couldn’t be moved without major changes, Puma worked carefully to select a projector and mounting option that would fill up the room’s 115-inch screen without light path problems from the duct work. He and Manessis settled on a Wolf SVC12 projector, also called the Gray Wolf. It’s a DILA projector, based on a JVC e-Shift 4K light engine, and produces deep blacks while still being very bright. Sound was also a major consideration for this room. The owner wanted powerful bass, but didn’t want to see a big subwoofer. Puma installed an SVS PB12-NSD subwoofer in a front wall as well as a Paradigm MilleniaSub behind the second row of seats. Being up against the seats, the Paradigm adds a bit of impressive rumble to movies. Manessis said he used to be a big Bose fan. “After listening to this Paradigm system, it’s just unbelievable, such a difference,” he says. Another key component of the room is the automation. Manessis had decided on a control system until he visited Puma’s home, which also doubles as a demonstration space, and saw Puma’s Crestron system. The simplicity of operation and the system’s iPad app sold him on it. Puma installed a Crestron MC3 processor and three Crestron dimmers. One iPad, mounted outside the room in an iPort allows the family to turn the system on before they even enter the room. Once inside, an iPad Mini serves as the main controller. The easy-to-use GUI was designed by Rich Fregosa of Fregosa Design. Speaking of design, because sports viewing was going to be a major part of the room, the homeowner filled it with his favorite sports memorabilia. That helps get visitors in the mood when they come over for a game. Since the room is more of a family room than a man cave, Manessis didn’t want the walls to be too dark. Puma suggested making the front as dark as he could to help the screen pop, so they went with a dark chocolate paint. The walls and ceiling are painted a lighter brown. Even though the white wainscoting does reflect some light and brighten up the room when the projector is on, the Black Diamond screen’s ambient light rejecting qualities prevent light from degrading the picture. Manessis also really likes how the screen’s color LED lighting kit outlines the image. It’s a showpiece of the room. So now that the room is done, what do you think will be the first thing on screen? Probably a kids’ movie, says Manessis. “My daughter beat me to the punch. She invited seven or eight girls over to watch a movie.” (read more)

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Staples To Add Home-Automation Section To Stores

Framingham, Mass. — Staples today is introducing a home-automation concept dubbed Staples Connect that it will initially roll out in a limited number of stores and online. This will have the office superstore chain selling products that range far from its normal assortment of paper and inkjet toner and will include door locks, garage door openers and window blinds. The new additions will have a high-tech edge with the ability to be networked and controlled from any connected device. Staples Connect is a family of products that utilize a software backbone created by the technology firm Zonoff to tie together a series of home-automation products that can all be controlled via a single iOS or Android app, said Peter Gerstberger, Staples senior category merchant. The products come from a variety of vendors that worked with Zonoff to make their existing devices compatible with the Staples Connect apps. These are now available from Staples’ web store. Starting in November, Staples Connect will receive a limited physical rollout at first — Gerstberger would not give an exact figure on the number locations receiving the update — and will sell via Staples online. There are plans to increase the store presence, but those plans are also being tightly held at this time. The display areas will consist of a 12-foot display case prominently located in the store’s technology section. As new products are added, the display area will be expanded. Gerstberger said no existing products will be supplanted by these displays. There will be an attached tablet running the Staples Connect app as a demo tool, as well as specially trained personnel to assist customers. The tablet will run through all the products available by turning on a light to indicate the device, and will then run through how it works. Although the Staples Connect products are designed for the do-it-yourself customer, some products — such as light switches and door locks — may require a level of installation skill beyond that of the average consumer. Staples will contract with licensed third-party electricians to handle that aspect of the sale. The first batch of products are: • lighting and shades from Lutron • lighting solutions from Philips, including Philips Hue, and GE • climate control from Honeywell • safety products from Yale and First Alert • EcoLink motion sensors and door/window sensors • Aeon Labs surge protectors and water sensors • DoorBot wireless doorbells • D-Link cameras • Ivee alarm clock with voice activation Gerstberger said Staples is already looking to incorporate additional products into the Staples Connect family, including health and fitness and possibly audio and video.

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Cinedream Awards 2013 – Stem mee voor “Nostalgia” & “Future” Award

Awards Cinedream Stem nu mee voor uw favoriet homecinema product in de categorie "nostalgia" en "future"... en win ! Cinedream bestaat 10 jaar, en dat mogen we uiteraard niet zomaar voorbij laten gaan. Ons succes hebben we mede te danken aan onze fabrikanten en daarom willen we hen 'ns extra in de spotlight plaatsen. Op onze Home Cinema Happening zullen op zaterdag 10 november om 18u voor het eerst in de Cinedream geschiedenis de Cinedream Awards uitgereikt worden. Hieronder vind je alvast de genomineerden voor de categorie "Nostalgia" (lees: spraakmakende home cinema producten tijdens de eerste 10 home cinema jaren) en "Future" (lees: revolutionaire nieuwigheden die een duidelijke stempel zullen drukken op de homecinema van de toekomst) U kan uw stem uitbrengen via Facebook door eenvoudig één of meerdere "likes" uit te brengen. En misschien word jij dan ook wel de winnaar van een prachtige prijs ! Mis de officiële uitreiking zeker niet, tijdens de Cinedream Home Cinema Happening (Zaterdag 9 november om 18u) te Mechelen. Nominaties Cinedream Nostalgia Awards: Sharp XV-Z90 DLP Projector Focal Chorus 800V Luidspreker systeem Toshiba HD-DVD formaat Buttkicker Bass Shaker system Marantz SR7500 a/v receiver Epson EMP-TW2000 LCD projector Wharfdale Diamond 9 luidsprekers systeem Beamax A-velvet luxe frame projectiescherm ThemeScene H77 DLP Projector Stem hier voor de "Nostalgia" Awards Nominaties Cinedream Future Awards: Optoma HD91 LED projector Oppo Bluray BDP-103D met Darbee technologie Sony VW-500 4K projector JVC met 4K e-shift technologie projector Kaleidescape Cinema One met webstore applicatie Popcorn Hour A-410 Pro met High-end DAC processor BenQ W1070 DLP projector met tripple flash technologie Screen Innovation Black diamond - Zero Edge projectiescherm Stem hier voor de "Future" Awards

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BenQ W770ST 720p DLP Home Video Projector Review

The BenQ W770ST is a lightweight, portable 720p projector with a short-throw lens that's perfect for living room and gaming use. Producing 2500 lumens in its brightest mode, the W770ST has the power to overcome ambient light, while its 13000:1 contrast and solid color performance make it a respectable movie projector when the sun goes down. Full HDMI 3D compatibility and a ten-watt speaker round out the projector's features, while its $799 price tag makes the W770ST a great option for those on a budget.
Setup
The W770ST comes wrapped in a sturdy soft carrying case, complete with a front pocket to hold the remote control and any necessary cables. The remote itself is a small "candy bar" model that feels good in the hand, but might get lost in the couch cushions if you're not careful. The "ST" in the projector's model name stands for short throw, so you will want to place it on a table fairly close to the screen. A 60" diagonal image, which is about the right size for a room with moderate ambient light, can be displayed from a throw distance between 3' 2" and 3' 9" depending on zoom. That doesn't give you a lot of wiggle room, but as a portable projector, the W770ST can usually be physically moved if the zoom range is inadequate. The W770ST places the bottom edge of the projected image a few inches above the lens centerline -- on a 60" diagonal image, it's a 2" offset, for example, assuming the projector is level.
The Viewing Experience
The W770ST produces a bright, powerful image from the get-go. Light output is sufficient to illuminate a 60" diagonal screen in moderate ambient light or a 80" diagonal screen in low ambient light. Black levels are excellent for such an inexpensive projector, and SmartEco mode can make them even better in scenes with low average illumination. The W770ST's default color calibration is slightly under-saturated but accurate, averaging around 7000K across the grayscale without any adjustment. Color brightness in the W770ST's Cinema mode is only about 630 lumens, or 35% of white, but knocking BrilliantColor down can make the image appear much better balanced at the cost of white light output. (read more)

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Mitsubishi Closes Projector Division

Mitsubishi announced today that it is terminating the manufacture and sale of digital projectors... The company is committed to full maintenance and warranty support of all units currently installed. Projector inventory that is currently in the distribution channels will continue to be sold with full warranty support. This is unfortunate news. Mitsubishi has been a premium designer and manufacturer of both LCD and DLP projectors for many years. We have had the opportunity to develop good friendships with some great people there. We are saddened at the news of their departure from the industry, and we wish everyone at Mitsubishi who is affected by this shutdown the best of luck in their next ventures.

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Report from CEDIA 2013 Projector Central

The annual CEDIA home theater trade show wrapped up yesterday in Denver, CO. This is normally the biggest show of the year for new home theater projector releases, but this year the show was surprisingly sparse. Several vendors were not heard from including Mitsubishi and Sim2. Runco, the perennial king of the CEDIA floor, had no presence in the exhibit hall. Panasonic, a company that never actually attends CEDIA but releases home theater projectors concurrent with the show, maintained radio silence. Those anticipating an AE9000 are (so far) out of luck. And now for the good news: Among the products that were released at this show there are some blockbusters. Taking the prize for show floor buzz, and for unquestionably the most dazzling display of jaw-dropping video imagery was Sonywith its new 4K projector, the VPS-VW600ES. This 1700 lumen projector was presented on a whopping 180" diagonal 1.3 gain Stewart Studiotek 130 screen. One particular video clip of the Carnaval in Rio taken on a Sony 4K video camera, showed the true potential of very large screen 4K projection when the source material is native 4K. This particular video clip had insane amounts of detail, dynamic range, rapid motion, and variations of low to extreme high saturation color. There is only one word to describe the product managers that would dare use this clip as a demo: fearless. Sony is not the first vendor to bring spectacular large format 4K projection to the CEDIA show, but it is certainly the first vendor to deliver it in an accessible commercialized product priced at a more than reasonable $15,000. This is cutting edge stuff. The other over-the-top buzzworthy new product on the CEDIA floor was the Epson Pro Cinema 6030, priced at a comparatively paltry $3500. On Saturday afternoon, the third day of the show when most attendees had gone home and the vast majority of idle booth workers were twiddling their thumbs and praying for the closing bell, there was still a long line of dealers waiting in line to see the 6030. This projector wins the award for the Best Picture for the Money at this show, hands down. It is not 4K, and it is not in the same league as the super-premium 1080p 3-chip DLPs, but the Epson 6030 produces a gorgeous picture for $3500. Black levels are extremely deep, and detail definition in dark shadows is impressive. Color appears refined, accurate and natural. And for classic film fans, the 6030 has a BW Cinema mode that auto sets the color temp to 5400 Kelvin for the authentic display of BW films as they were seen in the theaters back in the day. Very cool. The Epson 6030 at the show was displayed on a 1.3 gain Stewart Studiotek 130, 11-foot wide, 2.4 Cinemascope format. It was also being demo'd with a Panamorph CineVista anamorphic lens. Another astounding and quite memorable experience at this year's CEDIA wasDigital Projection's Titan 1080p-LED-3D, the world's first 3-chip DLP projector driven by an LED light engine. Digital Projection's moves video quality into pure Nirvana territory with this release, and if you can pony up $80,000 for a projector and want the absolute best, don't miss it. We won't ever review this model for the simple reason that it is priced the rarified atmosphere of pure dream rather than financial reality for all but a tiny fraction of mortal humans. On the other hand, if you happen to be a rock star, a supermodel, or a hedge fund manager, you are beyond clueless if you don't give the Titan-LED-3D a serious audition as the next upgrade for your super high-end home theater. JVC is always a formidable player at CEDIA. This year they debuted a new series of 3-chip D-ILA projectors featuring their proprietary 4K eShift3 technology that approximates 4K resolution using 1080p chips. JVC promotes these projectors as having the highest native contrast (contrast within a single frame) in the industry, as well as extremely high dynamic contrast. These JVC models neatly fill the price gap between the Sony VS600ES at $15,000 and the Epson Pro Cinema 6030 at $3,500. They include the DLA-X900R at $11,999 (1,500,000:1 dynamic contrast, and 150,000:1 native contrast), the DLA-X700R at $7,999 (1,200,000:1 dynamic, 120,000:1 native), and the DLA-X500R at $4,999 (600,000:1 dynamic, 60,000:1 native). JVC had the X900R set up in their demo theater, and while I'm certain this is a superb projector (JVC doesn't build much else), the proprietary video source used for the demo did not seem to push the projector to its limits and I was left wondering what it might truly be capable of. Runco had two new models appear at this year's CEDIA, but you wouldn't know it unless you were paying extremely close attention. They were deployed in "performance audio" booths. One, the Runco LS-12d, was used in the ProAudio booth, which was designed to show how many decibels can be created in a tiny 400 square foot room with 19 audio channels and 10,000 watts of power (it's a lot). The ProAudio folks were there to sell audio, not video, so the demo clips were chosen for their audio characteristics. Other than some momentary vignettes inThriller from Jackson's This Is It the material presented in the ProAudio demo was not intended to show off the capabilities of the projector. Another Runco projector appeared in the Wisdom Audio room, where they demonstrated how quickly an audience can be rendered physically ill from aggressive seat vibration and non-stop massive explosions. With audio this loud and physically abusive, you no longer care what you are seeing. Great for night clubs maybe, but not home theater. Truth is, the Wisdom demo did mercifully include one beautiful video segment of Sting that showed the true (and quite impressive) potential of the $30,000 Runco LS-12HBd projector. But the rest of the clips were of marginal interest visually and had, again understandably, been chosen for their audio dynamics. ProAudio and Wisdom Audio sell sound on steroids, so I don't blame them for pushing the limits for their dealers. It just left me hoping that next year, Runco will return to the CEDIA floor with its own theater designed to show off their formidable product line to best advantage, with a presentation of video and audio in aesthetic balance. (read more)  

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