|CEDIA 2009 Show Floor Impressions|
|Home Theater Feature Articles Best Of & Top 100 Lists|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Thursday, 17 September 2009|
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HDi Dune’s Blu-ray Player
Taking a quick look at HDi Dune’s BD-Prime 3.0 player’s specs is enough to quickly impress, but glancing deeper at its capabilities opens up a world of possibilities. Along with full 1080p, bitstreaming support for Blu-ray discs on a Profile 2.0 level, it also works as a jack-of-all-trades as a media hub for playing numerous video files – and successfully. It utilizes Sigma Design 8642 processor (http://sigmadesigns.com/public/Products/SMP8640/pdf_files/bluray8642_br.pdf) , offers analog output, supports an unfathomable amount of files, and makes a USB port available on the side for other files. Along with that, it also boasts support for BitTorrent and Samba, as well as wireless connectivity. At a list of $500, it looks to be running neck and neck with the yet-to-be-beat Onkyo BDP-1.
Integra DBS 30.1
A veteran to CEDIA, audio-savvy Integra (Onkyo) brought their DBS 30.1 to the expo. At first glace, it appears to be a capable player – Blu-ray 2.0, 192/24-bit Audio DACs, RS-232 capable, bitstreaming functionality, and Deep Color capacity. It also sports an SD reader on the front, for easy media accessibility. It doesn’t sport analog jacks to the rear, an odd decision considering the brand’s typical focus on higher-end pieces. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on the quality of this unit though, if it keeps up with the label’s ability to handle musical elements.
Lexicon’s THX-optimized BD-30 Blu-ray Player
Typically more geared towards amplifiers and music processors, award-winning Lexicon unveiled their THX-optimized Blu-ray player for viewing at CEDIA. Sporting a solid silver chassis and clear blue readouts, it comes built with Anchor Bay’s VRS processor – the same processor Onkyo used for their flagship Blu-ray player. But Lexicon has a motivator behind its allure; along with boasting reference-level visual quality, they’re also touting lightning fast loading times. Analog 7.1 functionality, a front-packed USB storage port, and PAL/NTSC playability with just about everything – which it should, with a sticker price at $3,500 to cover all the fine engineering underneath the hood.
NAD’s T 577
Audiophile preamp/speaker producer NAD’s booth was littered with their tried-and-true repertoire of fantastic audio equipment, but they also had some rather intriguing home theater pieces that really gravitated my interest. While NAD might have been teasing with their flagship M56 Masters Series item, it was their T577 that drew attention on the floor. Sporting the label’s sleek design, it boasts all the buzzwords regarding solidity behind Blu-ray playback – 1080p playback, support for Deep Color / xvYCC color space, decoding of advanced audio – it also boasts wireless connectivity for media streaming and high rate playback for 192/24hz audio DAC and 148/12hz video DAC. Moreover, it also emphasizes the fact that their load / tray / reaction times with be extremely fast. As an entry in their theater series – which also boasted several very attractively-featured receivers – it comes with a slightly lower sticker price than their flagship player, with a current list of $999.
Sharp BD-8P52U Blu-ray Player
With an attractively-lit blue dial to the front, Sharp unveiled their newest model BD-8P52U Blu-ray player at CEDIA. Along with 1080p functionality, offering RS-232, and being a BD-Live Profile 2.0 player, it also should be able to stream films directly from Netflix. It looks a lot like Sharp’s sister unit, the HP22U that was positioned nearby, and offers the same AQUOS Pure Mode / Live Control options. Pricing hovers close to the $400 mark, but it looks like this play might very well be worth the money for the quality.
Pioneer’s Blu-ray Line, including their Flagship BDP-09FD
As I’ll discuss later on, one of my favorite high-profile presentations at CEDIA was Pioneer’s impressive demo in their ultra-posh enclosure. Inside, they had a plethora of behind-the-scenes gadgets put in place, including usage of their reference BDP-09FD Blu-ray player. It’s expensive, at $2,200, which is why the line also offers a few other models at easier-to-digest prices – including their rather impressive BDP-120. However, this beauty really ears its weight as a full-fledged, brawny 1080p Blu-ray beauty; with Jitter Free audio transmission, a dedicated audio analog power supply, 16-bit video processing, and 4GB of internal memory, the attention spent to fine detail can easily be seen in this player.
Toshiba’s First Blu-ray Player, BDx2000
As the first Blu-ray player to come out the new-defunct HD-DVD champion brand, Toshiba brought their BDx2000 to CEDIA with quite a bit of intrigue behind its release. It’s boasting full functionality, with Profile 2.0 options, 1080p at 24frames per second and support for high-resolution audio functions in tow. Along with that, it also will offer the availability to link up with other Toshiba REGZA items in your home theater via HDMI CEC and handle AVCHD. That, however, is mostly handled by its competition, but Toshiba will come out swinging with a $250 price tag to come in direct competition with Panasonic and Sony’s players. HD-DVD compatibility is doubtful, but we all can hope, right?