Every year I show up at Rotel’s booth and am unable to find anyone related to Rotel, or finally take a first-hand look at their no-longer-new RR-1090 remote control. This really big $299 clicker includes numerous hard buttons in a distinct arrangement, a narrow yet large LCD screen, custom labelled hard buttons, full infrared code learning, macros, PC interface, backlighting and rechargeable batteries. So why haven’t I seen it anywhere?
Sharp, the company that made a big name with their LCD camcorders, is really getting into projectors in a big way. Announced at this years’ show were three new DLP front projectors. First are the DT-200 and XV-Z90U, both which will sell for $4000 and feature a 1200:1 contrast ratio, 600 ANSI lumens, 800x600 4:3 resolution and whisper-quiet operation. The difference between these two otherwise identical units? The DT-200 comes with a short-throw lens with lens shift and “easy” operation, while the XV-Z90U has a long-throw lens, advanced picture adjustment and a DVI HDCP input.
For those with more high-end aspirations, Sharp has also announced the XV-Z10000U projector utilizing Texas Instruments’ HD2 DLP chip. The $10995 unit features a 2500:1 contrast ratio, 1100 ANSI lumens, 1280x720 resolution, a 6-segment/5x color wheel and 1:1.35 manual zoom and lens shift. Inputs include DVI with HDCP support, dual RGB or component, composite, S-Video, computer RGB and an RS232C control port. Sharp’s previous DLP projector was a winner, so it will be interesting to see how this one turns out.
Next we come up Sony’s booth. Already well established as a (if perhaps “the”) big player in the industry, Sony’s stand brought one word to mind: monolith. Two sides of this mammoth display of technology were made up of a giant curved black wall, showing nothing but the word “Sony”. Swing around to the other side and you’ll find a cornucopia of high-end wallet-busting A/V technology. Where to start?
How about with Sony’s latest Grand Wega KF-60XBR800 LCD rear-projection television? Although announced before CEDIA, this is the first place it’s been shown. The enhanced model (now also available in a 50” KF-50XBR800 version) features a reported 25% improvement in black levels, a new DV-HDTV interface with HDCP support for copy-protected HDTV receivers, adjustable DRC MultiFunction V1 video processing circuitry and a Memory Stick interface for viewing photos. Other standard features include 1366x768 LCD panel resolution, Cinemotion reverse 3:2 pull-down, Multi-Image Driver X for HDTV and SDTV side-by-side and nine different video inputs. Finally, the price was also improved – from $7000 MSRP for the original 60” Grand Wega to $5000 for the new improved model. Ain’t technology grand!