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CEDIA Expo 2015 - Day 2: Projectors, Screens, AV Receivers...

CEDIA Expo 2015 intro

CEDIA 2015 in Dallas is a trade show for "custom installation" companies, the folks that create your home theaters, smart homes, and more.

This blog is for Friday October 16 (i.e., Day 2) and is reporting on visits to the exhibits and talking to the manufacturer's representatives at the 2015 CEDIA Expo that is ongoing in Dallas, Texas.  My Day 0 blog (HERE) and Day 1 blog (HERE) already covered what being introduced by several of the major projector manufacturers (Epson, Sony and JVC).  For this Day 2 blog I am reporting on some other home theater gear including projection screens and AV Receivers.   

Screen Innovations - SI: Light rejecting screens, screen for ultra short throw...

SI was displaying their wide range of projection screens intended for use in environments that need to deal with ambient light.  These light rejecting screens from SI have become very popular for use in living room, game rooms, and media rooms as well as sports bars and other commercial applications where there room has moderate lighting that must be accommodated.  Of the new models being introduced by SI the two that I found interesting were a model designed specifically for use with short throw projectors (or ultra short throw) mounted just above for just above the screen.

SI Short throw

SI was demo'ing this screen with a Sony 4K ultra short throw projector positioned just below the screen.

The second new SI model that I found interesting was the "Revolve" electric drop down model.  This is shown in the following 3 photos.

The mechanism appears more complex than a typical roll down screen as the roller is at the bottom of the screen rather than the traditional arrangement with the roller in housing at the top (i.e., at the ceiling).

DLP 4K Consumer Projectors - Coming 2016

The only DLP 4K projectors offered today are using the DLP chips and components designed for the commercial digital cinema projectors and this means these projectors are ultra expensive (upwards of $100K).  However, Texas Instruments was holding a private showing at CEDIA of a breadboard projector using a new DLP imaging chip designed for 4K single chip consumer projectors.  Actual production projectors using this new DLP design are still a year away however.  The chip is said to have 4 Mpixels and pixel shifting will be used to produce the full 8 Mpixel image required for 4K/UHD.

If this information is correct these DLP projectors would qualify to be labeled as offering true UHD resolution since they would be displaying a total of 8M discretely addressable pixels.  This is consistent the guidelines for using the term "UHD" as defined by the Consumer Electronics Association.  This not the case for the current JVC models using "eShift" or the Epson LS10000 that uses "4K Enhancement" to display two 1080p pixel shifted sub-images with each sub-image only having 2M pixels for final displayed image containing 4M pixels of information.

CEDIA Expo 2016 should bring the first product announcements for projectors based on this new TI design.  In speaking with one consumer projector manufacture, it appears TI foresees these new 4K components to be used in consumer projectors coming out later in 2016 starting at mid-range prices (e.g., $5K), but not (at least initially) finding their way into the lower price range models, now dominated  1080p models with retail prices between $1K and $3K.

Onkyo and Integra AV Receivers

Onkyo and Integra (same company, two product lines) introduced their new AV Receivers - AVRs (as well as AV controllers, amps, etc.) back during the summer of this year and no additional models were introduced at CEDIA.  For 2015 Onkyo/Integra has only updated/replaced their lower end models while the higher end models were carried over from 2014.  In some cases this has resulted in the newer, lower priced models, offering better support for the most demanding 4K/UHD video sources.

Integra DTR-70.6

Integra DTR-70.6

For example the newer models have the updated, full bandwidth (18 Gbps) HDMI 2.0 inputs/output with HDCP 2.2 support, while the 2014 models, including the Integra DTR-70.6 pictured above, support only the limited bandwidth (10.2 Gbps) version of HDMI 2.0.  It is expected the higher-end models will be replaced in the manufacturer's product line-up during 2016 to bring them up to date as far supporting the latest features.

Denon and Marantz AV Receivers

Denon and Marantz (same parent company) have already rolled out their new AV receivers, controllers, amplifiers for 2015 and there were no new products announced at CEDIA Expo.  It appears that there has already been a comprehensive upgrading of their AV receivers essentially across the full product line with the addition of full bandwidth HDM 2.0 inputs/ouput supporting HDCP 2.2.  While many of their AVRs now support Dolby ATMOS and are spec'ed as "DTS-X Ready", they will require a future firmware update to enable DTS-X capability.  Overall Denon has Marantz have done a good job at getting their AVR line-up ready for the latest, and soon to be released, 4K/UHD video sources and displays.

DreamVision Projectors

DreamVision is a company based in Paris, France that has been producing consumer DLP projector since that category came along two decades ago.  They were displaying a couple models at CEDIA Expo including the Ultra-short throw model UST25-4000HDi shown in the photo below.

DreamVision projector

The DreamVision press release describes this model as "the ultimate solution for
schools, museums, businesses, sports bars, control rooms, yachts, hotels and residential living room".

I mentioned this model in my Day 0 blog (HERE).   This a laser light engine 1080p model spec'ed to put out 4000 lumens.  The displayed unit was out on the exhibit floor where their was a fair amount of ambient light and it was projecting the image on to what appeared to be a white matte screen.  This was certainly not the ideal conditions for judging what this projector is capable of under better viewing conditions.  The demo could have been improved through use of a ambient light rejecting projection screen, but even so the projected image was certainly watchable.

My 3 blogs from CEDIA Expo 2016 have certainly focused on the new mid-priced to moderately high-end projectors that I hope will be of the greatest interest of home theater enthusiasts that visit our web site.   We hope to get our hands on several of these new projectors over the coming months, which will allow us to provide comprehensive reviews under more ideal conditions than are ever possible at any trade show.

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