REPORT


CEDIA Expo 2007
The
Denver Show
September 5th-9th, 2007

* Denotes a product carried by Audio Federation

Copyright Audio Federation, Inc.. All rights reserved.
All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable.

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Best Video Front Projectors of Show

None. (We liked the Sony VW60 the best, but the screen size was small. There were both good and horrible (Sim 2- Curse of the Golden Flower) ones in the Stewart booth - but many were not identified. Otherwise we did not seek projectors this year, so we really did not get a sense of what was there this year...)

 

Best LCD Flat Screen of Show

The Sony XBR5's.
NuVision.

 

Best Rear Projector Set of Show

The Sony 70" XBR SXRD rear projection HDTV. (although it was canned material).

 

Best Home Theater Audio of Show

Totem. It was all about booth setup.  However, we did not go into any dedicated demonstration rooms. Last year they did not impress.

 

Best Video at T.H.E. Show

The PHC room.

 

Best Home Theater Audio at T.H.E. Show

The EDGE Electronics* room. (PHC had too much bass - where the 3 of us were sitting, gunshots punched us in the chest like cannons).

 

 
Themes:

1. Fancy, often completely configurable user interfaces for media servers. Also, the merging of content on media servers: video, web video, music, etc.

2. Another theme of the show - people basing their business models on people not wanting to see speakers.

 

 

 

 

TV SHOPPING AT CEDIA

 

 

 

 
We lost 4 (or 5, can't tell yet) out of 5 TVs to a lightning strike two days before CEDIA.  We are insured and all, but these TVs gave us lots of pleasure, and relieved a lot of stress that builds up after working 12 and 14 hour days.

And, guess what, here we are at CEDIA, and, truly, what better place is there to shop for TVs than at the show?

First, it might be fun to show you all what the inside of some of these TVs look like - the march of technology as it were.

Above we have the inside of a Sony 27 inch XBR CRT  from 1991. This TV had removable outboard stereo speakers and a removable subwoofer.

 

 

 

 
Here we have a Pioneer Elite 53 inch rear projection TV from the year 2000. It also has, had, significant audio capability.

 

 

 

 

 
Here is a closer look at the Pioneer.

 

 

 

 
Finally, this was the inside of a 2006 Sony 26 inch XBR LCD TV. Not much audio to speak of. But cool huh?

We have come to learn that Sony has a 5-year service plan for $150 that covers lightning and surges, among other things. Otherwise, once one of these gets broken, nothing to do but throw it away. Nobody carries parts anymore or does repairs anymore, so we've heard.

 

 

 

 
OK, back to TV shopping at the show. The NuVision TVs were impressive, but just who is NuVision?

 

 

 

 
One of the TVs we lost was a 53" Pioneer Elite, so it seemed natural to check out the Pioneers. Silly us, for the longest time we did not know it was OK to walk on the little platform there.

Second, the video they were playing was very simple I did not show off anything complex or rapidly moving, or, better, both. Why can't I bring in a few DVDs - Fifth Element, etc. in any format I want: DVD, Blu-ray, HD-DVD and play it on one of these monitors? That's how high-end Audio shows work. Anyway...

Yes, yes, they have nice blacks. So do our TVs here :-/

Pioneers are ruled out because their screens are too shiny and reflective, How am I going to see the picture when all I see are my living room's  lamps and windows and coffee table's reflections in the screen? Some people can or want to ruthlessly control the lighting in their rooms, but that just ain't us.

 

 

 
Fujitsu Aviamo was one of our best of shows last year. But they are also ruled out due to being too reflective/

 

 

 
The 70" XBR SXRD rear projection HDTV. About the same price ($6000) as our 7 year old 53" Pioneer Elite, about 1/2 to 1/3 as thick. Not shipping until around Halloween. But, this was impressive.

Like to see it with ordinary content, though. But this is at least complex content, and it handled it admirably.

 

 

 
The 70" XBR SXRD rear projection HDTV.

 

 

 
Sharp had this 108" monster. I told Neli I could put it in my office and use the platform for an extra bed. Well, it is a little narrow for that, maybe a bookshelf? There is something about being able to walk up to and watch a large screen that  makes it feel 'right'.

However, the video quality wasn't up to job. Those white swaths you see were what we saw when we were there. The Aquos logo or whatever had jpeg-like compression artifacts. For this to work, it needs, what, resolution like at least 6000 x 3000?

Anyway, when THESE get cheap, EVERYONE is going to want one.

 

 

 
The little LG LCD TVs looked nice, like this 20". What's not to like; all though pixels on a screen this small makes the pictures look very high resolution. Unfortunately they were running high-res canned video on these particular screens, so we could not tell much.

We then went to an Electronics Superstore, and the LG's were so badly tuned, the contrast so high, that the I*Robot DVD they were playing looked like poop. So that was more or less a worthless effort.

So, in conclusion, as they teach you to say in writing class, we need to replace a 53" rear projection Pioneer, a 26" Sony XBR LCD, and a Sony 27" XBR CRT. If we had the money, I think we would go for, respectively, either the 70" SXRD XBR Sony rear projector or SV60 front projector; the Sony 32" XBR4 LCD if it fits where the 26" used to go, of the LG 27LS7D; and we still don't know about the 27" CRT. It was a cool old beast with a detachable subwoofer and detachable stereo speakers...

Let's just say, shopping for TVs at CEDIA is a lot of fun, but you better have a big budget!

 

 

 

MEDIA SERVER GRAPHICS USER INTERFACES

 

 

 

 
[For those who do not know, I have been working with user interfaces for over 30 years, so the idea that at least one industry is treating UIs with respect, and as a front line selling point,  pleases me no end :-)]

There were a lot of media server user interfaces offered this year, and here we try to do a round up by listing the photographs we took of most of them (excepting Kaleidascape, which was too crowded at the time and has gotten the most publicity, so they don't need no more).

Of them all, I liked Savant the best. Most innovative, most flexible. Though I bet they have a hard time getting people to build new UIs... schematic diagrams require people to abstract, and most people do not likey that.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
MediaMax.

 

 

 
Stardraw

 

 

 
SOOLOOS

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
HAL Audio Server

 

 

 
Fusion Research

 

 

 
Savant, this and all the following photos.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
Viewing YouTube videos.

 

 

 
Changing a theme in the user interface builder.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
Different graphical user interfaces one can build.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
A user interface for sales people.

 

 

 
In all these Savant user interfaces, there is always something slowly moving around.

 

 

 

Blu-ray versus HD DVD

 

 

 

 
Blu-ray versus HD DVD. Of course, we are assuming the LG player does both equally perfectly the same, which is impossible, but let's just assume.

They were close, but every time I preferred one over the other, I'd look to see which it was and I preferred the Blu-ray. I think this was a pretty good test because I kept forgetting which was which (I am of that age - or that generation, if you prefer :-)). The Blu-ray had a little more realism, like when Superman's face looked even more computer-generated than usual, it would look less so on the Blu-ray. There would be more shades of color in the face, and little more 3D feel to the shape of the cheekbones.

I own a BDP-S1 Blu-ray player, so I am not overly upset that I prefer it over the HD DVD - for this one DVD on this one playe, anyway..

 

 

 

 

AMP TOSS

 

 

 

 

 
The Amp Toss competition.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Audio Federation, Inc.. All rights reserved.
All pictures in this report are freely copyable and distributable.

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