Greetings projector fans! Last week I attended Rand's Luxury Technology Show is Los Angeles. You could think of the show as a tech toy show for the rich and famous. These Rand Luxury shows start with autos, but cover a lot of strange and wondrous other products.
Since I knew that at least one home theater projector company would be showing, I thought I'd take the hour plus ride up there, to check things out, and see how the rich and famous party. Sure enough, SIM2 the Italian maker of high end (and beautifully styled) home theater projectors had a pair of projectors fired up, onto Vutec screens.
One of these at the event: BMW I8! (stock photo) It's one Impressive looking, eco friendly sports car!
More on that in a minute, first I thought I'd tell you about the show. I got there late afternoon - for the press opening. The show opened to "regular" invitees at 6pm, and then it started getting pretty crowded.
There were celebrities. Mind you I don't pay attention to celebrities, but I spotted some LA Lakers players, one of the actors from the Fast and Furious movies, and a couple of others. I'm pretty sure, though, that if my wife had come, she'd have identified 20 or 30 celebs. Ne-Yo and Chris Brown were also there somewhere, I'm told.
Most noteworthy was the location of the event: The Petersen Auto Museum, which is one very cool place.
The Petersen Auto Museum is just loaded with awesome cars of all ages. I happened to visit the OC Auto Show a couple of weeks before. This place made the Auto show seem completely boring. It was worth the trip, just for the cars. BTW, the Petersen Auto Museum is sort of located at the intersection of Beverly Hills meets Hollywood (or close enough). Speaking of cars, BMW's new i8, for those with $135,000 to invest, is one sexy "green" car. (That was at the OC show too.) Very pretty, and, they say, really fast.
But this show was a lot of different types of products. One company, was showing 24 carat gold iPhones. They actually replace the original Apple phone's case. Want diamonds, they have a nice sparkly version. I believe their iPhones start at $3000. There's apparently a market for everyone. 3D Systems was there showing 3D printers.
A company called Waterfall Audio had some glass encased speakers that were pricey enough - about the price of an entry level Lexus or BMW. Unfortunately, the noise levels were high enough (and a band playing bluesy/jazzy music not far away), so that I really couldn't hear them well enough to appreciate.
Kuerig was even there, showing of their latest coffee maker, the Kuerig 2.0 (now you can brew four cups at once if you need to).
Martian Watches was there as well. They've gotten some positive buzz on their smart watches. There were probably close to thirty companies showing off their wares.
SIM2 Projector: Grand Cinema Lumis 20th Anniversary Edition - A 3 chip DLP!
Which brings us back to SIM2. Alberto was in attendance. He has been my primary contact at SIM2 for years. SIM2's projectors are mostly $20,000 and up, so they sort of build them almost as their sold. That's made it hard to get SIM2 projectors in for review. Seems that it only happens every 3 years or so. But, it looks like this trip was worth it. SIM2 was showing two projectors: Their newest, the Grand Cinema Lumis 20th Anniversary Edition which I believe, is their lowest cost 3 chip DLP projector. Of course 3 chip DLP projectors are always VERY expensive.
I was actually impressed that this SIM2 projector is only
$22,000 (give or take). This SIM2 projector claims a massive 3000 lumens. While 3000 lumens isn't rare in low cost, low quality home entertainment projectors, it most certainly is rare among serious home theater projectors. Typically the expensive 3 chip DLP projectors from SIM2 - and their competition, that are this bright, are usually upward of $30,000 - and I'm talking a lot of "upward!"
The even better news is that it looks like SIM2 will let me review this projector. If all goes well, they'll bring it down here in two weeks time! I can't wait. Hopefully I'll still have the $27,000 Sony VPL-VW1100ES projector still here, for a very exciting shootout. Those are two very different projectors.
SIM2's Grand Cinema Lumis 20th Anniversary addition looks great on 15 ft Vutec Vision X screen with SilverStar surface which "rejects" ambient light! The combination of 3000 lumens and a well matched screen really worked!
The smaller SIM2 projector, I was surprised to learn, is only $3500. That, of course is far less than SIM2 projectors are known to be priced at. I suspect that it's a nice little projector that the folks buying the Grand Cinema Lumis will also buy to put in their kids' playroom, so the kids can watch Frozen, while the parents are watching Divergent, or Catching Fire. Now the Peterson Museum was anything but dark, so not an ideal place to view a projector, but SIM2's solution was to pair up with Vutec, the projector screen manufacturer that is known for their "light rejecting SilverStar screens.
Sure enough, A 103" version was used to handle the image of the entry level SIM2 projector while a massive 15 foot diagonal Vutec VisonX in a standard fixed frame worked with the Grand Cinema! Despite the medium lit room, the Big SIM2 looked gorgeous on the 15 foot screen. There's still something awesome about 3 chip DLPs (and, of course that's the type of projector you are used to seeing in your local cineplex.
That about covers the Rand Luxury Technology Show. I saw a whole lot of other cool things, including drones from two companies, but I'll leave the rest to the attending press that are more generally focused!
A SIM2 coming in for review. Very exciting! -art