Last week Dallas hosted the 2015 CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) annual Expo. TYM was there in force–running from exhibitor to exhibitor to see their latest offerings for the $14 billion home technology industry. … And there was a lot to see. Here is TYM’s list of the Top 5 Things at #CEDIA15
by Screen Innovations
Billed as “The World’s first non-masking, masking screen”, the Intellimask literally morphs from 16:9 to widescreen (e.g. 2.35:1), and then back to 16:9 based on the content being projected. The screen is always just the right fit for your content. Traditional automated masking systems use black velvet that push in from the sides, or top and bottom, or both, in order to frame content of varying aspect ratios. With Intellimask, the screen expands and contracts on the sides using Somfy motors. The black velvet frame also telescopes and retracts as necessary.
This screen has definite ‘WOW FACTOR”. It’s yet another innovative solution from a company that is clearly determined to live up to their name. We were told it would ship Q1 2016. No word on pricing at time of publishing. The TYM Grand Poobah’s would like to get one for the new TYM showroom in Sandy, Utah. Check our the video above to see Intellimask in action.
Wireless distributed audio is becoming increasingly popular, but up till now it’s been largely dominated by one brand. Play-Fi® from DTS aims to change that. Play-Fi is an wireless multi-zone audio distribution platform that can work with any Play-Fi enabled speakers, and components. It has similar functionality to Sonos, but with the flexibility of mixing and matching audio components from various manufactures—including Paradigm. Now you can have the convenience of a system like Sonos, but with the silky high-fidelity performance of Paradigm’s award-winning speakers, paired with ARC (Anthen Room Correction), for stunning results.
Play-Fi Wi-Fi streaming supports high quality file formats and delivers better-than-CD-quality sound (up to 24-bit/192kHz) Paradigm speakers work with Play-Fi in one of two ways. First: Paradigm’s Premium Wireless Series, which have built-in Play-Fi and can be optimized for the most difficult rooms thanks to ARC.
Second: Paradigm demoed their new PWAMP, which is a wee box with 100 watts per channel power plus built-in Play-Fi. We heard this little guy power two Prestige towers without breaking a sweat. Multiple PWAMPs can be rack mounted to power the distributed audio systems for homes of any size. And, the PWAMP can power speakers from other manufactures, bring Play-Fi wireless audio to the speaker of your choice. That’s right, Play-Fi enabled components, from different manufacturers, can be mixed and matched to create your dream system.
Klipsch DTS:X Demo
Currently, in both commercial cinemas and home theaters, immersive audio is dominated by Dolby Atmos. The experience created by Dolby Atmos makes traditional 5.1, and even 7.1 surround sound feel bland. DTS:X is DTS’s competitor to Dolby Atmos. Also, an object-based sound format, DTS moves audio around a space to create a fully immersive sound experience. Currently, there is only one Blu-ray available in DTS:X, “Ex Machina”, while there are more than a dozen Blu-rays in Dolby Atmos, with many more announced.
The Klipsch booth had a fantastic demo for both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, but it was the DTS that really got our attention. They played a music video from Cymantics, mastered in DTS:X and it was transcendent—it was everything immersive audio could and should be. That clip along made us converts to DTS:X. And we’re looking forward to more content becoming available in this aurally exciting format. Of, course the fantastic quality of the Klipsch in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, plus a very capable sub-woofer, helped a lot. The demo was as much an impressive exhibition of Klipsch’s legendary speaker quality as it was for the DTS:X format.
AV receivers are now widely available that can decode Dolby Atmos as well as DTS:X. DTS:X can use the same speakers and configurations as Atmos, so a any home theater that can do Dolby Atmos, can do DTS:X (with a DTS:X enabled receiver). The new new Ultra HD Blu-ray specs include both formats, and more and more online content distribution services are including immersive audio formats as well. DTS:X has been struggling to gain market share, hopefully things will turn around for them. Having multiple immersive sound formats is a good thing. And now we are longing to experience more content as immersive as Cymantics on Klispch speakers in DTS:X.
Sony VPL-VW5000ES Laser Projector
The future of home theater video projection is here. This year saw laser-light powered projectors from several vendors, including Sony, Epson, Digital Projection, and Quantum, just to name a few, but it was Sony that stole the show. Sony’s new flag ship VPL-VW5000ES is a laser projector delivering 4K UHD at 60FPS, with HDR (High Dynamic Range), a really broad color gamut (ITU-R BT2020 on top of DCI color space), and 5,000 lumens of brightness. And while the price point of $60,000 is a significant jump from their previous flagship model, the VPL-VW5000ES produces a picture quality that previously required a six-figured ultra-high-end projector.
The added brightness enables this projector to produce an mage with tons of contrast; whiter whites and blacker blacks. The High Dynamic Range, along with the broader color spectrum, creates an image that’s closer to what we see on our TVs—but on a huge, glorious home theater screen.
Oh, and did we mention that it’s liquid cooled? The Sony VPL-VW5000ES is the new benchmark for high-end home theater video projection. Models begin shipping Spring 2016, and TYM strongly recommends reservations as this projector is going to be in high demand.
The TYM team loves good food, and we especially love the food in Dallas. From Texas Land & Cattle, to La Hacienda, to Rudy’s (twice). We had our fill of good grub in between the spectacle of CEDIA. … We’ve heard CEDIA 2016 will also be back in Dallas!