Published On: October 7, 2013

CEDIA 2013 Show Report

Published On: October 7, 2013

CEDIA 2013 Show Report

The CEDIA Expo returned to Denver, Colorado for the 2013 show. Adrienne Maxwell was on the scene to see what the manufactures had to offer. Read on to find out what she saw and what is coming to stores soon.

Another CEDIA Expo is in the books, and the general vibe seemed to be one of cautious optimism that the industry is healthy and rebounding. Hall A at the Colorado Convention Center wasn't exactly filled to capacity, in booths or attendees, but the manufacturers we talked with stressed quality over quantity – that those in attendance were enthusiastic about new products and feeling positive about the year to come.

Additional Resources

• Read more original coverage like this in our Feature News Stories section.
• Explore more industry trade news from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Learn about the trends from earlier this year in our CES 2013 Show Report.

There was no single overarching theme of the show, no particular product or technology that stood out significantly from the rest. Ultra HD/4K was certainly a topic. Several manufacturers were using UHD displays and RedRay players as part of their demos, and a few display companies introduced new 4K products. However, some front-projection stalwarts, like Epson, still haven't jumped into the 4K fray, and there were notable absences in the projector category this year. Optoma, Mitsubishi, BenQ, and Panasonic were not exhibiting projection products at the show.

Integra-shows-HDBaseT-CEDIA2013.jpgAs for other trends, HDBaseT is gaining traction as a desired method of transmitting uncompressed A/V, power, and control signals over long LAN cable runs. Naturally, distribution companies like Key Digital, Gefen, and WyreStorm had HDBT products on display, but we also saw major electronics manufacturers like Integra and Pioneer embracing HDBT for second-zone distribution in their higher-end receivers and preamps. Integra creatively showed off the HDBaseT signal path with lights running around their booth from the DTR-60.5 receiver to a second zone. Epson also showed a Pro Series projector with integrated HDBT.

Soundbars are as popular as ever, but we also saw a greater number of sound consoles. These speakers are flatter with more cabinet depth, designed so that your flat-panel TV can actually sit atop them. We saw new consoles from LG (the upcoming LAP340 SoundPlate), AudioXperts (the 4TV series, and OSD Audio (the $499 SP2-1 Sound Platform).

Of course, there were plenty of other speakers, electronics, source components, and nifty accessories on display. So let's jump in to the specifics.

Sony-Hi-Res-audio-server-CEDIA2013.jpgSony
Sony's booth focused on two themes: 4K and Hi-Res audio. The company's new SXRD projector line includes two 4K models: the VPL-VW1100ES, a follow-up to the VPL-VW1000ES that's priced at $28,000, and the step-down VPL-VW600ES priced at $15,000. The line also includes a new 1080p model, the $4,000 VPL-HW55ES. Sony also showed off the Hi-Res audio servers, USB DAC, and headphones first announced a few weeks ago. Sony is part of a group of companies that's now aggressively promoting better support for high-resolution audio formats amongst labels and manufacturers.

Anthem-MRX710-receiver-CEDIA2013.jpgAnthem & Paradigm
The major announcement from Anthem was the arrival of the new MRX receivers: the seven-channel MRX510 ($1,599) and MRX710 ($1,999) are scheduled to launch in November, while the five-channel MRX310 ($1,199) is slated for January 2014. With these new models, Anthem promises better integration with popular control systems and has added control apps for the iOS and Android platforms. The receivers include a new version of Anthem Room Correction (ARC 1M) that works much more quickly (about five minutes) and allows you to see the frequency response at individual microphone positions. All three receivers include 4K upscaling and pass-through, plus at least seven HDMI inputs (more on the MRX510 and 710).

Paradigm-SoundScape-CEDIA2013.jpgAs for Paradigm, we saw the new five-channel SoundScape active soundbar, which incorporates four polypropylene woofers, three pure-aluminum dome tweeters, and low-turbulence ports positioned at each end. The connection panel includes two optical, one coaxial, and one analog stereo input, plus built-in Bluetooth and a subwoofer output to connection an optional, sold-separately subwoofer (a wireless subwoofer connection kit is included with the soundbar). The SoundScape should be available in January 2014 for a price of $1,499. New versions of the Soundtrack soundbar/subwoofer system and Millenia CT system were also on display.

MartinLogan-wireless-speaker-CEDIA2013.jpgMartinLogan
MartinLogan scores points for having the most fun with their demo room, which was complete with lava lamps, black-light posters, bean bags, and some Dark Side of the Moon. On display was the new Motion SLM XL, a larger version of the original Motion SLM on-wall speaker with dual four-inch fiber cone woofers and quad four-inch high-velocity passive bass radiators, with a Folded Motion tweeter. This ultra-slim speaker is designed to mate with a 65-inch or larger flat-panel TV and is priced at $699.95.

MartinLogan-sub-CEDIA2013.jpgMartinLogan also showed off the BalancedForce 212 and 210 subwoofers, due to ship in late October. Among many features, these subs have PBK room correction, and custom-tailored low-pass filters are available for almost every MartinLogan floorstanding speaker ever made. Pricing starts $2,995 for the 210 and $3,995 for the 212, with the PBK room correction sold separately for $99.

Vutec
Vutec highlighted two particular screen materials: the SilverStar 2.2 high-gain material and the SoundScreen acoustically transparent material. Both of these screen materials are ISF-certified and, not coincidentally, were also being used in the ISF Level II certification class, attended by yours truly. The SilverStar 2.2 screen was mated with a fairly dim Runco LED-based projector for the class, and it did a very good job of boosting the image brightness while still preserving image quality.

GoldenEar-Inviso-in-ceilings-CEDIA2013.jpgGoldenEar
GoldenEar decided that CEDIA was the perfect place to do its first trade-show demo of the Invisa line of in-ceiling/in-wall speakers. The demo used Invisa HTR 7000 in-ceiling speakers for the left, center, and right channels, with MPX surrounds and two ForceField 5 subwoofers. It was an impressive-sounding demo, designed to trick you into thinking you were listening to some floorstanding Tritons and not in-ceiling speakers. GoldenEar also introduced a few new products, including a larger version of the acclaimed SuperCinema 3D Array soundbar (called the 3D Array XL, $1,499) and the new SuperCenter X ($599) and SuperCenter XL ($799) center-channel speakers designed to complement the Triton tower and Aon bookshelf speakers.

JVC-DLA-X900R-CEDIA2013.jpgJVC
JVC announced a trio of new consumer-oriented D-ILA projectors: the DLA-X500R, X700R, and X900R. These projectors use an updated version of the company's e-Shift technology that now allows them to receive native 4K input signals. However, the output is not exactly native 4K; rather, the projectors use the three 1080p chips to reconstruct the 4K signal (we certainly plan to review one and will delve more into the technology at that time). The 1080p-only DLA-X35 will remain in the line as the entry-level offering. The demo of the X900 looked great, and stated improvements to this year's lineup include a narrower picture gap in the D-ILA devices for a smoother picture with less visible pixel structure and a 10 percent increase in brightness. That leads to an improved native contrast ratio; interestingly, this year JVC has also added an "Intelligent Lens Aperture" (aka auto iris) for an improved dynamic contrast ratio, if you desire to use it. The projectors are slated for a November release and are priced at $11,999 for the DLA-X900R, $7,999 for the DLA-X700R, and $4,999 for the DLA-X500R.

Focal-Aria-line-CEDIA2013.jpgAudio Plus Services
There was a lot of exciting stuff to see at the Audio Plus Services booth, not the least of which was a new line of Focal speakers. The Aria 900 line includes one bookshelf and three tower speakers ranging in price from $1,500 to $5,000 per pair, as well a dedicated center channel. These speakers employ a new cone material that combines Flax with layers of glass. Focal's Easya powered wireless speakers and Spirit Classic headphones were also on display.

Cambridge-Minx-X1-CEDIA2013.jpgOn the other side of the booth, Cambridge showed off the new $999 Minx Xi, which combines an integrated amplifier and wireless music streamer with support for Internet radio, UPnP servers, Bluetooth, USB, and digital/analog input. Cambridge's new Aero speaker line replaces the traditional tweeter with a Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR); the Aero 2 bookshelf carries an MSRP of just $549 per pair, while the Aero 6 tower is $1,100 per pair.

LG-OLED-CEDIA-2013.jpgLG
LG did not have a booth at the show, but the company did host an evening press event in which it showed off the recently released 55EA9800 OLED TV and announced a new, lower-priced Ultra HD Series: the LA9650 includes screen sizes of 65 inches ($4,999) and 55 inches ($3,499). These UHD TVs use edge LED lighting, as opposed to the full-array LED backlighting offered in the LA9700 Series.

OPPO-BDP-103D-CEDIA2013.jpgOPPO
OPPO Digital introduced the new $599 BDP-103D, in which the "D" stands for Darbee. In this model, OPPO has replaced the Marvell Kyoto video chip used in the standard BDP-103 with Darbee processing, which creates a better sense of depth in 2D images by changing luminance values and adding 3D visual cues. We're not talking 2D-to-3D conversion or your basic contrast enhancement. Darbee is much more effective than that. You can learn more about the technology here.

HK-Sabre-SB-35-CEDIA2013.jpgHarman
Harman/Kardon showed off a very slender soundbar called the Sabre SB 35, which features eight transducers for multichannel audio reproduction and includes HDMI video switching, optical digital and analog inputs, and integrated Bluetooth for $999. The JBL area attracted quite a crowd, thanks to the M2 tower speakers (sold with four Mark Levinson No 531H monoblocks and an SDEC 3000 digital EQ/crossover for $46,000) and the JBL Synthesis 7.1-channel SDP-45 surround processor. Revel also had its fair share of speakers on display, including the new C283LP ($275) and C263LP ($225) shallow-mount in-ceiling speakers that can fit into a mounting space only 2.8 inches deep.

Wisdom Audio
It was a bit of a maze to get to the High Performance Audio area, but Wisdom Audio rewarded your effort with a demo room that featured LS3i speakers stacked 10 feet high in the L/C/R positions, with six Sage Series L75 surrounds and six STS subwoofers. Throw in a Runco projector, a 21-foot-wide 2.40:1 Seymour Screen Excellence screen, a Datasat processor, Lab.gruppen amps, and Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street," and you've got the makings of a memorable demo.

Read about more new products on Page 2.

Pioneer
Also located in the High Performance Audio area, Pioneer showed its $3,000 Elite SC-79 9.2-channel receiver with built-in HDBaseT for multizone distribution. What caught my attention, though, was the new $399 SP-SB23W soundbar, designed by Andrew Jones - who brought us the well-reviewed and wallet-friendly SP-FS52 towers and SP-BS21-LR bookshelf speakers.
The soundbar features six speakers driven by their own amplifiers, with built-in Bluetooth, one optical in, one analog input, and a wireless subwoofer.

Epson-PC-6030UB-CEDIA2013.jpgEpson
Epson continues to refine its line of 1080p 3LCD projectors. The 6020/5020 models introduced last year dazzled with their rated 2,400 lumens of light output. The new Pro Cinema 6030UB ($3,499) and Home Cinema 5030UB ($2,599) retain the same brightness but employ a better auto iris that reportedly produces deeper blacks, for improved contrast. Indeed, the demo of the 6030UB looked great. The new projectors will ship in November, while last year's Home Cinema 3020 will remain in the line as the entry-level option. A brand new Pro Cinema 4030 model has a rated 2,000 lumens of color and white brightness and an MSRP of $2,499. And if those models aren't bright enough, Epson also introduced a new line of Ultra-Bright Pro Cinema projectors (the Pro Cinema G6900WU with HDBaseT, Pro Cinema G6550WU, and Pro Cinema 4855WU) with a rated 6,000 lumens.

Krell-Connect-and-Foundation-CEDIA2013.jpgKrell
In Krell's booth, the company served up a demo using the Foundation AV preamp we recently reviewed, along with a Wolf Cinema projector, Sonus Faber speakers, an REL Habitat 1 subwoofer, and a Screen Innovations screen. The brand new Connect media server was on display, which is on sale now in a digital-only form for $2,500 or with an optional analog output stage with balanced outputs for an additional $1,000.

TiVo-Roamio-CEDIA2013.jpgTivo
Tivo recently launched the new Roamio Pro and Roamio Plus DVRs that incorporate the Sling-like functions first introduced in the company's Tivo Stream add-on device. The function currently allows you to stream live and recorded content to iOS devices within your home network, but the platform will soon expand to support out-of-home streaming, too. The Roamio Plus ($400) has six tuners and a 1TB hard drive, while the Roamio Pro ($600) has six tuners and a 3TB hard drive. There's also a basic Roamio model ($200) that can work with the add-on Tivo Stream device.

Sanus-Cadenza-CEDIA2013.jpgSanus
As a reviewer, my AV system is always in a state of flux and chaos, which makes a nice AV cabinet an unwise purchase. That doesn't stop me from looking, though. Sanus' new Cadenza Collection caught my eye at the show. I liked the look of the natural walnut Cadenza75 media console ($1,799, charcoal is also available), but I also appreciated its many intuitive design elements, like the knockout panels to accommodate a longer soundbar instead of a center channel, the built-in cable management channels and ventilation slots (you can also add cooling fans to the design), and the magnetic-release back panels that make it easy to get to your gear. Sanus also showed off its new Premium Series of wall-mounts and a universal soundbar mount (the SA405, $39.99) that lets you attach any soundbar weighing up to 15 pounds directly to your TV mount.

Definitive-Mythos-2013.jpgDefinitive
Definitive demoed a pair of its brand new Mythos ST-L tower speakers ($2,499 each). The new model isn't just an upgrade; it's a complete overhaul of the Mythos design, with new drivers and amplifiers. Each speaker sports two 5.25-inch cast-aluminum basket polymer mids, a one-inch magnesium/aluminum alloy dome tweeter, and one six- by 10-inch long-throw racetrack active subwoofer coupled with two passive radiators. The sub amplifier is a 1,200-watt Class HD amp, and the speaker comes with a remote control to quickly adjust bass level and engage preset EQ for low-level listening. Look for these new gems in November. The company also showed off a new SoloCinema Studio soundbar and wireless subwoofer package, a follow-up to the SoloCinema XTR we previously reviewed.

Snap AV
As usual, the Snap AV booth was loaded with an assortment of interesting AV products and accessories. Episode speakers were prominently on display, including the 500 Series Thin passive soundbars and the Landscape Series of outdoor speakers and in-ground subwoofers. Snap-AV-Strong-VersaBox-CEDIA2013-V2.jpgThe Strong VersaBox ($79.99) is a great little accessory that's recessed in the wall behind a TV mount, allowing you hide away small sources like an Apple TV, Dish Joey, or Direct Genie, as well providing cable management channels for all the wiring. Power management may not sound terribly exciting, but Snap AV's IP-enabled WattBoxes actually have a lot of cool, intuitive network features that are great for both the installer and the client.
Rotel-RDD-1580-CEDIA2013.jpg
Rotel
Rotel debuted four new products at CEDIA this year, including the company's first USB DAC. The $799 RDD-1580 is due out in November. Its front-panel USB input supports Apple products and Bluetooth streaming via a supplied adapter, while the rear panel PC-USB input supports 24-bit/192-kHz files in asynchronous mode. Coaxial and optical digital inputs, as well as balanced and single-ended outputs, are also onboard. The other new additions are the RB-1582MKII ($1,599) and RB1552MKII ($999) Class A/B stereo amps and RC-1570 stereo preamp ($999).

RBH-Element-granite-speaker-CEDIA2013.jpgRBH
RBH had several of its Element bookshelf monitors on display, which are certainly one of the more visually distinct speakers on the market, due to their granite-finished cabinets and matching stands. The company also showed off two new
in-ceiling speakers (the A-600 and A-607), the petite C-4x and MM-4x Compact Theater Series speakers, and the compact S-8 subwoofer. Fans of passive LCR soundbars should keep an eye out for the Ultra 3 (and matching Ultra 1 on-wall), due out next spring.

Screen Innovations
Screen Innovations screens were all over the convention center this year, and the company's booth was bustling with activity. Of course, the Pure Zero Edge family of screens was featured, as was the newly available 2.35:1-shaped Black Diamond Motorized model. But the one that really drew everyone in this year was the Black Diamond Rear-Pro film material, which can be applied to any transparent surface. The demo screen was just hanging out in space, receiving and displaying an incredibly bright image from an Epson projector located a good 20-plus-feet away.

Additional Resources
• Read more original coverage like this in our Feature News Stories section.
• Explore more industry trade news from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Learn about the trends from earlier this year in our CES 2013 Show Report.

Subscribe To Home Theater Review

You'll automatically be entered in the HTR Sweepstakes, and get the hottest audio deals directly in your inbox.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
© JRW Publishing Company, 2020
magnifiercross
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram