Guy Singleton from award-winning CEDIA Member, Imagine This and The Cinema Designer software company, shares his personal highlights from the show floor at September’s CEDIA Dallas event.
Seeing Virtual Reality (VR) on the show floor in Dallas was my first wow moment for a while at an exhibition. I like to call it my Kaleidescape moment. I remember the first time that I saw the Kaleidescape system, when we were in a world of DVD carousels and vaults, prior to any real form of streaming media, and it blew me away.
Well, the VR theatre had a similar impact for me. It was superbly put together as a joint initiative between Erskine Group and Real AV, who created a really innovative solution that pushes the boundaries in aesthetic luxury theatre design. To stand in the room that was being designed for you, to experience the décor and simple explanations of rather complex subjects, like room modes and correct loudspeaker placements was a terrific experience. The concept is truly worth a look at http://real-av.com/real-audio-video-vr-my-cedia-2016-game-changer/ and http://erskine-group.com/.
Another thing that caught my eye was the Josh.ai project. Josh.ai takes the Amazon Alexa and Siri voice control concept and develops a much more relevant platform for our industry. True, this is still early stages but I’m sure that Josh.ai will prove to be the catalyst for many more voice control systems. I’m also mindful that Josh.ai have not only done a superb job but have a real understanding of the CEDIA channel and will undoubtedly lead the way for many years. Check them out at https://www.josh.ai/.
Barco’s £300k 6P 3D 4K direct laser projector Thor also caught my eye. This outstanding projector was on display showing DCI content and one clip of non-DCI, which was still absolutely stunning. I realise that the Thor price range will make it suitable for uber cinemas and aspirational for many other projects. However, I liken it to Formula 1 where the technology is developed at the top end and eventually filters down to the mid to low price brackets. From an image standpoint, this projector stole the show for me.
AV Pro Alliance featured an interesting demo showing an A/B comparison between HDBaseT 10.2 Gbps & 18Gbps, running content at 4:4:4 and with full HDR metadata. This was shown on two LG OLED G6 displays running through a full HDMI2.0 HDCP2.2 switch. It was genuinely impressive again. For more information, visit: http://www.avprostore.com/18GBPS-18-Gigabyte-per-second-8x8-Matrix-p/ac-mx88-auhd.htm.
Digital Projection showcased some great projectors at an affordable price point. They were beta versions and were due for release in the fourth quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017. These were 4K units that were actually very good. I’ll keep my eye out at ISE for the demo again and release dates for the Insite 4K Laser and the pending EVision single chipper. Take a look at http://www.digitalprojection.com/emea/laser/ for more details.
Now, onto the best speakers that I saw at the show. These were designed from the ground up by industry legend, CEDIA fellow and all round nice guy, Anthony Grimani. Grimani Systems are extraordinary loudspeakers with a feature called Conic Section Array™ (CSA). This almost rips up the rulebook for speaker placement, allowing for those higher frequencies that normally have a certain focus sweet spot to be available off axis and at a really wide dispersion. When you stoop low and walk towards them whilst they played a female vocalist (through a Datasat RS20i) I was almost level with them before that focus and clarity waivered. It was truly amazing. Oh, and did I mention that they played loud, really loud! Tony didn’t opt for a listening room for his demo; instead he mixed it up on the show floor. They still held their own. Hardly surprising that these speakers won CEDIA’s best new product award for 2016. Find our more at http://www.grimanisystems.com/.