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Virtual CEDIA Expo 2003 Report
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2003 CEDIA Expo Report

Welcome to CEDIA Expo 2003!

Back once again in Indianapolis after a one-year turn in Minneapolis, the CEDIA Expo is the second largest home theater event in North America. Only the massive CES held in Las Vegas betters its attendance, but with CEDIA focused exclusively on the home theater and custom installation businesses it is quickly becoming a prime location for A/V companies to launch and demonstrate their new wares.

This year’s show was larger than ever by a notable 13 percent, with over 22,000 in attendance and hundreds of exhibitors split between the Indianapolis Convention Center and RCA Dome. Most of the popular remote control brands could be seen this year, including one that has been practically invisible for the past few years. So what was the news this year? Read on and you’ll see!


Universal Remote Control


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The big news at Universal Remote Control’s sizable (and more vertical) booth this year was their forthcoming Home Theater Master MX-3000. Although the remote was originally previewed back at CES 2003, development has come quite a ways since then, with a better TFT color touchscreen and more features.

The $999 MX-3000 will be the most advanced remote to date from URC – and likely the most advanced remote control ever priced under a thousand dollars. It features a 3.8” LCD display in a landscape arrangement capable of showing over 65,000 colors, a motion sensor, Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and docking station, RF control to basestation, 206MHz RISC processor, 32 megabytes of memory and USB communications. Other neat features will be support for WAV sound clips, animated GIFs and customizable variables – something not currently available on any other remote control in this price range. Talking about bells and whistles!


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Although I didn’t get to use it enough to make a verdict on its unique physical design, the MX-3000 has undeniable power and advanced capabilities. However, the MX-3000 won’t be the only kid on the block. With similarly priced color touchscreen remotes coming out from two or three other manufacturers within the next few months, URC will be facing some stiff competition.

Other remotes shown at URC’s CEDIA booth were the already-available MX-600 and MX-800 (RF upgrades of the incredibly popular MX-500 and MX-700 remotes), at least two other intriguing remotes in a lower price range that you’ll likely be hearing more about soon, and a literal mountain of OEM remotes that they make for other companies.


Samsung

It would appear that Samsung is taking their success with DLP rear projection televisions to the front projector market with the introduction of their first home theater projector. The new $10,000 SP-H700A uses a single TI HD2 chip along with an ultra-quiet 28db fan for the ultimate looking and sounding system.

Features include a DVI/HDCP input, manual zoom lens, user adjustable color temperature, Faroudja DCDi FLI2310 video processing technology and a projected image size from 40” to 250”. With the great image produced by their RPTV models, it’s a sure bet that their front projector will also be a great success.

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