HE expo in SF this past week end...what was hot

Just got back from the HT expo in Frisco this weekend. Hope many others of you made it!...I know Rivesaudio made it. Their "PARC's" were in like 6 or 7 rooms it seemed! The PARC was a big indeed! I got to hear how it sounded(or didn't sound actually) first hand. It was very transparent! It was also very effective at doing what it was designed to do, and that's correct bass anomolies in the room from the system. It simply got out of the way of the system, and made a noticeable(not suttle for sure) improvement in the sound comming from the "smallish" bass challenged rooms at the St. Francis Hotel. When they A/B'd the systems with and without the PARC in the system's, the differnce was tremendous and significant! Anyway, I wish Rives all the success in the world with his business and his products/services!....and hope he sells a TON of PARC's!... Great product.
They made a big splash at the show with the "Big Boy's" in the Hi-end biz, got a great Review in Stereophile for the PARC(and a plug for his services as well), as well as got an "out-sert" exposure in the free issure of Stereophile mag that was handed out at the show. Nice job Rives!
There were other standout's at the show as well. Sony's new SXRS(or whatever) display techonolgy is "the bomb"! You might want to watch to this to possibly become the next thing for high end Video display's! It appears to have tremendous potential, with VERY LARGE SCREEN size capability, tremendous detail and resolution, brightenss, contrast ratio, and black level. Probably will cost a ton when it comes out though. Anyway, you can check out the into on the net.
Also, I heard talk about a new display tech called "liquid tv" which sounded way cool as well! Supposedly it's some sprayed on the wall stuff that's supposed to be an actual video display technology or something...sounded wild anyway. I guess they spay this clear substance on the wall, and hook electical signals to it, and you can view images in it! I'd like to see that anyway.
Also, some French company(ehem....), which I think was called Screen Technologies or something introduced some new screen that was virtually transparent acoustically, yet did a superb job of playing back video material on it! Outlaw audio's room used the screen (85") for playing back their Dwin(?) DLP on it. The potential of the screen was immediately evident! And, the sound passed right through it like it wasn't even there!!..a big plus for sound improvement indeed!...and the picture quality of the screen was as good as I've seen I think. It will be available sometime this year I believe, and should be in the $2k range or there abouts. In the Same room, was what had to be the most killer acoustic treatment to come around in a while! Can't remember the name of thc company, but the sound was absolutely superb from the "quickly treated" room! There were some "diffusive/absobtive" pannels set around the room, which seemed to make the room sound "massive" and "open" in the midrange and upper frequencies! Anyway, for relatively cheap(and workably attractive) acoustic treatment pannels, they sure were effetive at treating reflections, balancing the sound at beter, and giving life to the room!...very qualty products for sure. I think the company was called PMI or IPM or whatever..forgot. Whatever it was, they made that difficult room sound VERY OPEN AND EXPANSIVE ACOUSTICALLY!..probably the best HT demo in the show!...really!!
That said, Outlaw audio and Atlantic Tech really put on a superb demo (Outlaw's room) with the new speakers from Atlantic debuting there, powered by Outlaw's "very over-achieving" 950 pre/pro and 100x7 channel power amp combo! That had to be the single best sounding Ht experience to be had at the show for shear sound quality!!! I must say, I have a new found appreciation for the Outlaw stuff now. For really cheap consumers can get their pre/pro and power amp combo's, that will just about give you all you could ask for sonically from a music eperience! I say that, and I used to sell Krell HTS's, Theta's, Classe's, Aragon's, and mnay other higher end pre/pro's!.and the Outlaw hangs right in there with the best of them!!!...defintely a steal for the money what they're offering.
I think for like $799(absolute hands down best sounding movie pre/pro for that money on the market ever produced in my experience!) for the pre/pro, and about $899 for the VERY STRONG,DYNAMIC AND MUSICAL 7x100 watt amp, you can have killer HT with some good spears! I would recommend what I heard there in a heartbeat to anyone looking for excellent HT gear for certain. Good Job Outlaw!
As for other video stuff, Seleco's 300 plus DlP projector was still as stunning as ever on high def, and looked fabulous on DVD material on a 110-120 inch screen. Runco continued to impress with their new projector line. For $6k, you can bet about as good as you care to ask from a DLP projector for DVD movies on a modest sized screen set up,using something like Silver Hawk and such.
There was also the very cool "3D" demo in one of the rooms, that was very very cool! The gear they were using was like $3k for some processor, an IR repeater and a couple pair of special 3D glasses. The Software is evidently becoming more availble on the horizon. And This technology definitely showed promised(looked like the IMAX 3D tech you see out there, like Vegas's "Race for ATlantis" at Cesars). You need any Hi-def projetor or tv out there for this to work for your home however, just so you know.
There were obviously lots of other cool things to talk about from the show. But these other things really caught my attention and WOW'ed me personally. I would have liked to see more "cheep" DLP and LCD projector tech at the show (like Infocus's X1, Sanyo's Z1 and suchj). So that was a bit of a let down.
If anyone else saw things cool worth mentioning, please post em!
IT was fun...
Hi Muralman,
A darkened room is not practical? Oh, I'm sorry, that word is not relevant in the HT/projection world. :-) If you want to leave lights on, you get a rear projection TV, or spend huge bucks on a top-of-the-line CRT, DMD or DLP. If you want to watch movies with a more affordable projector, you turn the lights out for best results. I can find my drink and munchies in the dark, and I don't want to see anything else in the room but the picture. That wouldn't be.....er, well, practical!!!!! ;-)

Oh, and I forgot to heap a little abuse on the idiots who hired two gorgeous women in miniskirts to haul people into their 6th floor exhibit room. (See pictures of them at www.enjoythemusic.com , under "Show Girls".) They were awful purty, yep. But that's all the room had going for it; the sound was crap; a giant boombox!!!
Geez... were they playing "who let the dogs out" in that room? I mean they look like "very nice" gals but come on
get some girls there will make everyone forget about the
hardware... This is California not Croatia :-)
Golden Ears, Maybe I should have said, "Not practical in my case." The picture of the LED sets rivaled the plasma sets outside. That is, with black absorbent drapes all around.

I use my set for ordinary use as well as pop corn catered movies. For instance, I might be going throught the mail while catching the news.

If I had a dedicated movie room, sure, the new projectors would be on my list. The big prototype probably even has the attention of Keith Yates.

Compared to conventional projectors, the new Sony is leagues ahead.
did anyone compare the Fujitsu plasma with the Sony? Was it just me, or was the Sony in another league?
(Drubin)...An all-Rega system demonstrated by Audio-Vision SF, playing analog over $595/pair speakers. Wonderful...

I must concure with Drubin's comment on the Rega system he mentioned, as being a "wonderful" sounding system!...I forgot about that room. For very cheap, that system was very musical and pretty sounding! Many budding audiophiles, and anyone wishing to "down-size" to a less ambitious, yet quality sounding system, that system they played was superb. Did just about anything you could want from a conservative high quality souding system!...it also made me remember how good analog is, from records. IT was very very nice, and one of the better stops I made. Good Job Rega!