1080p Front Projection at CEDIA 2006

July 31, 2006

CEDIA 2006With the 2006 CEDIA Expo rolling into Denver a little over 5 weeks from now, we’re already starting to get the impression that just like last year, 1080p will be the hot buzzword on the show floor. Unlike last years show however, rear projection televisions will have to share a bit more space with 1080p front projection on the show-floor.

Announcements and promises aside, for all practical purposes we only had a couple of DLP projectors capable of 1080p at last years CEDIA and by all early accounts that number will easily double if not triple. Marantz has already announced and shipped their VP-11S1; Sim2 is expected to show their HT3000 at CEDIA along with Optoma and their 10k HD81. But we’re likely to see a few more entries into the ever growing 1080p front projection category.

At last years CEDIA InFocus teased us with “Think you’ve seen it all? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” but for all intents and purposes we still haven’t seen nothin’ at least in the form of a shipping 1080p projector, however I fully expect that to change with this years show.

And then we have the distinct possibility of yet another breakthrough in the 1080p front projection field, this time with price as well as performance. Back on June 10th I reported that Sony will likely introduce a 1080p projector to compliment their already successful VPL-VW100 (Ruby).

The new 1080p projector from Sony code named ‘Pearl’ is said to have been designed to compete in the 6k and under range of (UHP lamped) front projectors and is in essence a scaled down version of the VPL-VW100 minus the lens shift, Xenon lamp and auto-iris. My initial report of the Pearl’s existence seems to have been somewhat corroborated by Media Maier’s June 14th speculation of the pearl being shown at the 2006 International Radio Exhibition in Berlin, September 1st through the 6th.

Needless to say, front projection fans that have put off upgrades until 1080p models were available; your wait may have paid off. On the audio end of things however, I think the relatively few HDMI 1.3 capable receivers to be announced at this years CEDIA will be just that, announcements.

Denon has already announced several of their new AVR’s none of which include 1.3; as a matter of fact Denon (and Marantz) seem to be sticking with HDMI 1.1 for now. That’s not to say HDMI 1.3 capable devices wont be announced at this years CEDIA, its just that I think it wont be until this winters CES (or later) that we’ll start seeing them in retail outlets.

Err backing up for a second; you might have caught the fact that I mentioned HDMI 1.3 after ‘On the audio end of things’. This wasn’t by accident. From the day HDMI 1.3 was announced I’ve read article after article about how important 1.3 is for our video displays

Well the truth of the matter is, the increased color depth afforded by HDMI 1.3 wont be beneficial to the majority of the HD displays built to date. To be brutally honest it wil take years before we have a significant penetration of HD displays that warrant HDMI 1.3’s increased bit-depth. But there is something coming along with HDMI 1.3 worth getting excited over.

Both Dolby TrueHD (multi-channel) and DTS-HD Master Audio will be supported with HDMI 1.3 and more importantly, after a saddening amount of time consumers may once again feel the need to give the audio portions of their home theaters the same TLC they’ve shown to the video portion.

I have high hopes that Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio will at least begin to balance the wildly out of proportion expenditures to the video sections of home theaters and once again to coin the old THX phrase, remind us why “The Audience is Listening” in the first place.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Trade Shows


  • Freddy C

    I hope the Pearl at least has the dynamic iris. Even their LCD projector has one.

  • Freddy C

    I hope the Pearl at least has the dynamic iris. Even their LCD projector has one.