Projector Reviews

CEDIA Expo 2021 – Day One Recap: Kaleidescape, AVPro Edge, and EPV Projection Screens

By Kam Valentine

CEDIA’s homepage states, “Where Home Technology Lives. Get Connected, Educated, and Inspired.” Well, consider me connected, educated, and inspired. Even though the CEDIA Expo was a lot smaller, due to the current events around the world, I found the event incredibly educational. Connections were made and I was inspired by the technology I was able to see and handle. I also had the opportunity to experience some very nice demos.

Kaleidescape

The Strato C and two new Terra movie servers were the stars of the Kaleidescape booth

I sat down with Kaleidescape’s Vice President of Marketing, Norma Garcia-Muro, and Director of Public Relations, Josh Gershman to talk about the new additions to their product line-up. Many enthusiasts desire a high-quality multi-zone content solution. A Terra server can serve up to 10 simultaneous 4K Ultra HD streams around the home or 15 streams of Blu-ray quality stream

Kaleidescape announced two new Terra movie servers to join their already outstanding product lineup called the Terra 72 and Terra 12TB. Kaleidescape now offers a vast range of storage sizes, showing their ongoing effort to meet the needs of a wide range of Kaleidescape customers.

When combined with the Strato C 4K movie player, the Terra movie server provides an unrivaled experience. It is hard to convey how impressive their system is in words; it really is something that must be seen in person to fully appreciate. Kaleidescape provides visually lossless 4K Ultra HD (UHD) video and lossless multichannel audio. The folks at Kaleidescape let me know that their superior video compression solution utilizes 4x to 5x the video bit rate of streaming digital video services.

The Kaleidescape products are relatively small making them easy to fit in with your existing equipment.

The Terra movie servers are able to download a feature-length 4K HDR movie in as little as 10 minutes on a gigabit internet connection. The Terra movie server is ideal for customers looking to invest in a Kaleidescape system that can instantly play their favorite movies, television shows, and music events.

Senior Manager/Dealer Engagement, Brett Bjorkquist gave me a demo of the Strato C 4K movie player paired with the Terra movie server. I have to say that it was amazing! The combination delivered immaculate audio and video content; I even had a group of expo participants mask up and come closer to see the demo Brett was giving me. As I walked away, I heard them asking Brett for more information on how they could integrate the system into their customers’ homes.

The full-size Terra servers are available with 72TB, 28TB, or 24TB of storage, and the Compact Terra 12 movie server contains 12TB. To learn more about the new Terra movies servers, check out our Terra 72 and Terra 12 industry news article.

In addition to new products, Kaleidescape is also promoting two new partnerships, To maximize the performance of a projection system the ability to control the light in a room is critical. Kaleidescape teamed up with Lutron for automated lighting and shade control solutions.

Seamless Integration of a Kaleidescape player with Lutron HomeWorks

Kaleidescape players can provide unique metadata cues which enable precise control of lights and shades controlled by Lutron’s HomeWorks system. For example, when you press play, the Kaleidescape will send information about the movie so the control system can adjust screen masking, lens shift in the projector, trigger the shades to close, and slowly dim the lights. When the movie is over and the credits are rolling, the lights can even be triggered to come on slowly.

“Kaleidescape and Lutron are working together to deliver an unsurpassed cinema experience for private theaters,” said Tayloe Stansbury, CEO, Kaleidescape. “When you combine Lutron’s industry-leading lighting control capabilities with Kaleidescape’s ability to deliver the best image and sound on screen, the addition of shading and lighting control truly brings the experience to another level of luxury and enjoyment.”

The direct integration of Lutron’s flagship HomeWorks system with current Kaleidescape players will be
available for customers starting in early October 2021

Purchase a Kaleidescape along with a Trinnov Processor and receive a Trinnov-curated package of 4K Dolby Atmos and DTS:X titles

While we love projectors, for an amazing cinematic experience, great audio is just as important as great video. Like Kaleidescape players, you will find Trinnov surround processors are found in many of the best home theaters in the world.

Kaleidescape has also partnered with Trinnov. For a limited time, when you purchase a Kaleidescape system along with a Trinnov Altitude32 or Altitude16 Processor, Kaleidescape will include a Trinnov-curated package of 4K Dolby Atmos and DTS:X mastered titles on your purchased system. This program is available for US customers only.

AVProEdge

AVPro Edge 8K 4×2 Matrix Switch (AC-MX-42X)

I spoke with Marketing Director, Tom Devine, at the AVPro Edge booth. Tom showed me their newest four-input by dual output HDMI matrix switcher; model number AC-MX-42X. The AC-MX-42X supports HDMI 2.1, HDCP 2.3, and up to 8K video resolution with 40Gbps bandwidth capacity. AVPro Edge states, “This matrix switcher is perfect for working with the latest gaming consoles, streaming devices, and satellite receivers, connecting them to 8K TVs and projectors. In addition, this matrix equalizes and amplifies the output to ensure HDMI signals will transmit through long HDMI cables without loss of quality.”

Currently, many of the legacy AV receivers that are out there don’t support 8K. A small amount might have a single 8K output or it could be an 8K AV receiver with multiple outlets, but without 8K support across the multiple outlets. You can get 8K and surround sound with the AC-MX-42X four input by dual output HDMI matrix switcher.

AVPro Edge AC-MX-42X has four 8K inputs and two 8K outputs

AVPro Edge’s 8K 4×2 matrix switcher, can cleanly route uncompressed video from 8K & [email protected] sources directly to an 8K display or projector. At the same time, you can send extracted multi-channel audio to your AV receiver via the unit’s optical output. This workaround ensures you get high-quality sound without having to sacrifice your video.

Tom stated, “The 8K 4×2 matrix switcher can send 8K HDR content with full bitstream audio from HDMI 2.1 sources like Xbox Series X or PS5 gaming consoles directly to your display and have a down-scaled mirrored audio output go to your current audio visual receiver.”

Many people have an AV receiver that is only a few years old, if that’s the situation you’re in, you may be happy with your system audio performance, but you might want HDMI 2.1 video switching to support multiple 8K or [email protected] sources. Again, the 8K 4×2 matrix switcher can solve that problem which will allow you to keep your existing AV receiver and take advantage of the technology in the AVPro Edge 8K 4×2 matrix switcher.

Just for fun, Tom fired up a Microsoft Xbox Series X and Forza Horizon 4. Somehow, Tom must have known I was a Jeep guy and quickly swapped out the UPS truck that was on the screen for the Jeep Trailhawk for a game demo. The Xbox was plugged into the AVPro Edge 8K 4×2 matrix switcher HDMI input 1, HDMI output 1 went to an 8K display, and HDMI output 2 went to an older Yamaha AV receiver and it all worked as advertised.

ELITE PRIME VISION

The DarkStar Max UST-FR is an automated screen that motorizes up

Next, I spoke with Jaime Abrego over at the Elite Prime Vision (EPV) Projection Screens booth. Jaime showed me a DarkStar Max UST-FR automated screen. The design features motorized scissor-backed cross spring risers that raise and lower the screen. Since the screen motorized up, it doesn’t have to be mounted on the wall. and it disappears when the projector is off. The DarkStar Max UST-FR is a non-invasive motorized free-standing electric Ultra Short Throw (UST) front projection screen that features Ceiling Light Rejecting (CLR) and Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen material.

The DarkStar Max UST-FR did a good job dealing with bright Indianapolis Convention Center lights

EPV states, “The DarkStar UST material mitigates the washout effects of ambient light while boosting color saturation, contrast and black/white dynamic range.” I’m here to tell you that the DarkStar Max UST-FR automated screen looked great even, in the highly illuminated CEDIA Expo.

The DarkStar Max UST-FR has 16:9 screen sizes available in 100” or 120”.

That is it for today, CEDIA Expo 2021 (day one) has come to an end. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of new projectors to report on because many companies opted out of attending this year. However there are still several interesting projector-related products that we will explore on day two, Many companies are participating in the CEDIA Expo 2021 virtually. We at Projector Reviews will strive to keep you up-to-date on any new product announcements as we hear from those attending both in person and virtually.