|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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Sony’s 400-disc Blu-ray player, the BDP CS 7000EX
On a central display similar to their stalwart flat-panel television, Sony also zeroed focus on a large item – their multi-disc Blu-ray unit. Along with the display pictured, they had a second display that showed six rows of Blu-ray cases stacked one after the other to illustrate the magnitude of this unit. It’s a beast, measuring about the height that you’d expect a receiver / standard Blu-ray deck to sit, but it’s an attractively-designed beast. It also streams DTS Master Audio / Dolby TrueHD, offers 7.1 analog jacks, 14-bit video processing, Sony’s XMB (CrossMediaBar) for ease of navigation, and the availability for dynamic searxhing of artists and title once the discs are loaded into the unit. Fear not, there’s also a “rental slot” for quick one-in, one-out usage. Though expensive at first glance ($1,899), it looks to be well worth the investment.
Along the same lines as the Lexicon, Yamaha has decided to hop into the Blu-ray format with a highly-integrated player geared towards audiophiles -- offering capacity for 192khz/24-bit DAC and USB integration for audio files. Along with 1080p/24hz functionality and x.v. Deep Color, it also offers GUI tailoring, HDMI CEC interconnectivity, and Yamaha’s SCENE option. It also should function with just about any form of audio disc media, from retail Blu-rays and CDs to CD/DVDR+. It’ll be worth seeing what Yamaha has in store for video / audio aficionados with their player, currently stickered at $599.
Those who only gravitated around the primary C-hall at CEDIA might have missed something extremely neat over in the adjacent B-hall, all the way to the back of the booths. Assumedly due to the lack of opportunity to get it into the main hall, Burmester schlepped an absolutely stunning 2010 Porsche Panamera. Why, you might ask, did audio experts Burmester bring this automobile to the electronics expo? It’s simple: the extremely high-end audio company will be offering a Burmester speaker / amp package in the Panamera. Burmester played their cards right at the booth; just as they had a fair number of visitors hovering around the beautiful car, they displayed an incredible performance disc to showcase their impeccable reference equipment. You’ll get a few chills at the pricetag for the home audio sound setups – a full rig with preamp, CD player, and speakers running about the same sticker price as purchasing the car – but the potency behind its quality was nearly unmatched.
Crestron – EVERYWHERE
It was pretty much impossible to go anywhere without running into something involving Crestron, the ever-impressive automated touch-sensor solution. Specializing in bringing luxury to the home in something only imagined in science-fiction films many years back, the company specialized in making curtains, air conditioning units, and lighting adjustable with the touch of a finger on a pad, along with all-centered automation for home theater equipment. Their name could be spotted near several products, prominently seen positioned against the Samsung LCD discussed in the flat-panel section of this write-up, but the big surprise was their central booth – a brightly lit, highly impressive central area showcasing their entire range of tech.
Interactivity between the audience is becoming more and more significant to the home experience, evident by the focus on 3D technology scattered about CEDIA’s halls. There’s another up-and-coming technology that’s been gaining speed as of late on home media releases, in the form of motion-enhancing D-BOX functionality. At the convention, the company showcased all three of their tech varieties – home thater seats, gaming chairs, and actual home theater seats – and the results weren’t all that shabby. Of course, the gaming chairs were a riot among all that tried them; however, when planted in front of the screen for both theater and home seats, the implementation felt pretty sound. Tilts, rumbles, and mild vibrations reminded me a bit of the now-defunct Body Wars attraction at Epcot, but to a less jerky degree. Purists will have issues with being moved around during films, but the gaming application during racing simulators is a natural fit.