Projector Reviews

CEDIA EXPO 2021 – Day Two Recap: Metra AV, GDC Technology, Severtson Screens, Kaleidescape Partnership with Meyer Sound, and Screen Innovations

By Kam Valentine

It is day two at CEDIA 2021. The CEDIA attendees shrunk in number, which allowed me to see all the more of the companies here. So come along as I find more industry insiders to interview about their newest products.

Day two at CEDIA 2021

METRA AV

Metra AV Booth

I came into day two of CEDIA 2021 through a different entrance from yesterday. As soon as I walked in, I saw a booth by Metra AV. I spoke to Brent McCall from Metra’s Product Development Team. Metra AV had a plethora of HDMI cables, audio cables, and fiber cables.

Velox Active Optical Fiber HDMI display

Brent directed my attention to their Velox Active Optical Fiber HDMI Cables. The 100M Velox Active Optical Fiber HDMI Cables was the prominent display of their booth. Metra states, “Unlike other fiber products, integrators do not need to worry whether the system is going to work. We applied our HDMI expertise and technology to develop a product that not only delivers the full 8K spec over 48Gbps bandwidth but also ensures compatibility between the source and display.”

Velox 8K Active Optical Fiber HDMI is available in lengths up to 100 meters

Brent added that the Velox Active Optical Fiber HDMI Cable could be an excellent solution for running [email protected], [email protected], and even 10K. These HDMI cables are CL-listed for in-wall installation. Brent wanted me to remind our readers that the cable is an active cable. The included USB cable must be connected to an appropriate external power source that can provide 5V 1A output.

GDC TECHNOLOGY

GDC Technology Espedeo Supra-5000 Booth

While most projector manufacturers decided to skip this year’s CEDIA. GDC Technology did attend the show to introduce their new high-end cinema projector.

GDC Technology Business Development Senior Director, Patrick Artiaga, had an Espedeo Supra‐5000 RGB+ laser phosphor cinema projector on display at his booth. The Espedeo Supra-5000 is a 1080p projector rated at 5,000 ANSI lumens. GDC Technology states, “The Espedeo Supra-5000 is a DCI-compliant digital cinema & secured media projection system featuring ALPD 4.0 RGB+ laser phosphor technology to deliver vibrant colors. In addition, the Supra-5000 is compact, lightweight, and quiet with noise levels below 35dB(A), making it an ideal digital cinema solution for boothless mini-theatres.”

Patrick told me the Espedeo Supra-5000 is the world’s smallest, quietest, and lightest DCI-Compliant RGB+ Laser Phosphor Cinema Projector. Patrick invited me to a room converted into a mini-theater utilizing the Espedeo Supra‐5000 paired with Severtson Deluxe Series SAT-4K cinema screen.

GDC Technology Espedeo Supra-5000 Demo Room

The demonstration was great, and the Espedeo Supra-5000 provided vibrant colors. Even though the projector was sitting on a table at about ear level, I could not hear the projector from my seated position. My seated position was to the right of the projector and less than 8 feet away.

SEVERTSON SCREENS

Severtson Screens left all their products at home to reduce their footprint but still came out to show their support

Of course, I had to head over to check out Severtson Screens after watching the Espedeo Supra-5000 play on one of their acoustically transparent screens. At the booth, I met Chief Executive Officer, Toby Severtson, and National Sales Director Aaron White. Severtson minimized their expo space and left their products back home due to the numerous cancellations at CEDIA. However, Toby stated Severtson Screens still wanted to come out, show their support, and continue to network with their friends and dealers.

Aaron told me Severtson Screens just launched their Cable Drop Series of Motorized Projection Screens. In a previous interview, Aaron stated, “Our new Cable Drop Series is a collection of motorized electric screens that drop down on a thin steel cable, providing a clean look and versatile viewing experience.” Aaron went on to say, “This unique system enables the screen to be lowered from very high ceilings in large venues and eliminates the need for a large backdrop area. The Severtson Tab Tension system also ensures that the screen’s viewing area will be flat. The industrial look of the Cable Drop Series makes it the perfect choice for performance halls, churches, and other large venues.”

Chief Executive Officer Toby Severtson (right) and National Sales Director Aaron White (left)

As I previously mentioned, I saw the Severtson Deluxe Series SAT-4K cinema screen in action because GDC Technology was using it for their demonstration of the Espedeo Supra-5000 projector. The Deluxe Series SAT-4K cinema screen is an acoustically transparent woven screen, and I was able to clearly hear the speakers hidden behind the screen during the projector demonstration.

Toby gave me a great quote at the end of our interview. Toby stated, “Movie theaters use Severtson Screens.” I quickly went to their website and indeed saw that Severtson Corporation manufactures screens and ships worldwide. They are supplying anything from the largest movie theater chain multiplexes to a one-screen complex. So, I think it is safe to say that a Severtson Screen would do well in a home theater.

KALEIDESCAPE PARTNERSHIP WITH MEYER SOUND

Kaleidescape has partnered with Meyer Sound

I’ve previously quoted Kaleidescape Director of Public Relations Josh Gershman as stating, “Our efforts to align with top brands in the industry are focused on delivering an experience that ignites all the senses when playing a movie, watching a TV show, or even a music event in a Kaleidescape-equipped environment.” Kaleidescape’s alignment with top brands continues with its new partnership with Meyer Sound. 

Kaleidescape and Meyer Sound would make a great home cinema experience

Kaleidescape states, “As the gold standard of sonic performance, Meyer Sound is renowned for their benchmark- defining professional, commercial, and residential sound systems. When powered by Kaleidescape’s unparalleled, reference-quality movie ecosystem, you will experience a level of quality previously found only in the finest of premium commercial cinemas. Together, Kaleidescape and Meyer Sound elicit the very same emotional responses that film luminaries set out to create, drawing you in through each delicate whisper, room-rattling explosion, and soaring soundtrack.” Now that’s a long quote but, I needed to capture how they felt about the partnership word for word.

Kaleidescape and Meyer Sound demo wall

I will also tell you that the Kaleidescape and Meyer Sound demonstration wall not only looked good, but it also sounded good, especially for being in such a wide-open space. The demonstration wall was simple; the audio and visual equipment was allowed to speak for themselves.

SCREEN INNOVATIONS

Screen Innovations Booth

Vice President of Residential Sales, Jason Russell, showed me Screen Innovations (SI) new outdoor screen cassette. The system is called Solo Outdoor. The Solo Outdoor cassette is weather-rated and made for the outdoors. The Solo Outdoor is made of aluminum, zinc-plated steel, and plastic, so it won’t rust while outdoors. The Solo Outdoor has a zipper track and high wind rating that keeps the fabric taut even in challenging conditions.

Caption: Screen Innovations built a pergola for their booth to showcase their new outdoor products. The pocketed Solo Outdoor is on the left and the open roll Solo Outdoor is on the right.

The SI booth featured a pergola with outdoor projector screens on two sides and a shading system on the third. The fourth side was left open for the Epson PowerLite L615U Wireless WUXGA 3LCD laser projector that was being used for rear projection demonstrations.

Solo Outdoor open roll with Maestro material and an Epson EB-PU1008W providing the image

The first side had SI’s Maestro outdoor-rated screen material. The Maestro is made from an exceptionally fine woven material and can be hosed off if it gets dirty, Jason stated an air compressor could even be used to blow off the screen. The Solo Outdoor with Maestro material had an Epson EB-PU1008W in Cinema Mode projecting onto it. The Epson EB-PU1008W WUXGA 3LCD Laser Projector with 4K Enhancement is rated at 8,500 lumens. The image on the Maestro material looked perfectly fine despite having an enormous amount of ambient overhead light inside of the exposition.

The second side had SI’s 360 screen, which allows for rear projection or front projection. SI stated, “360 is a fantastic screen material for rear-projection purposes but is also capable of producing a nearly identical image on the opposite side, regardless of projector location.” The 360 can also be washed and wiped due to its smooth texture. The Epson PowerLite L615U Wireless WUXGA 3LCD laser projector is rated at 6,000 lumens and has lens shift which is why Screen Innovations enjoy using it for their demonstration booth.

The Screen Innovations Zen 2 automated shading system looked great

The third side had SI’s Zen 2 shading system. SI stated the Zen 2 is, “Making installation a breeze, Zen 2 installs in half the time of other outdoor shading systems with its unique snap-in tube and hidden bracket attachment. The cassette can be pre-installed, and the tube snapped into place, affording a simple hands-free installation process. The zipper track system provides integrators twice the freedom of other track systems, simplifying the specification and installation process.” The Zen 2 is elegant in design and would pair well with any of the two SI outdoor projection screens.

CEDIA 2021 Final Thoughts

CEDIA day two has now come to an end. However, I still have a handful of manufactures that I want to visit. Draper, Celebrity Technologies, and AIM Electronics are on my list of booths to visit. If they are still at the expo tomorrow, you can be assured I’m going to tell you about their latest products.