Friday, January 18, 2013

CES 2013 Recap

Concept Electronics made it to CES this year, albeit with a skeleton crew. Here is a recap of the best of the Consumer Electronics Show.

TVs are king of the consumer show every year. The last two years have been about OLED displays, with Samsung the clear leader. Their most recent model was created with printer technology. The blacks are absolute and color saturation is incredible. They still won't even hint at a possible ship date so that means we'll have to wait for at least one more year before we see one of these displays on the market.

Sharp was showing their new prototype 85", 8K, yes that's right, resolution is a native 8K. WOW that's a tight picture. Now, I remember when HDTV was just starting out and the broadcasters and TV manufacturers were arguing about what comes first, content or hardware! I hope we don't go down that road again.

Also, I was invited to an "Awe-Inspiring Entertainment Experience", "Unforgettable Home Cinema" demo. The invitation was sent by Digital Projection and was a cooperative effort between Digital Projection, Stewart Filmscreen, D-Box Technologies, Kaleidascape, Acoustic Innovations, Bitwise controls, ADA Electronics, Triad Speakers, Perfect Path HDMI, & DVDO Video Processing.

The Video presented by Digital Projection, DVDO, and Stewart Filmscreen was fantastic. The D-Box augmented Acoustic Innovations seats were really fun, comfortable, and high quality. They really moved with the Batman video clip. However the Triad/ ADA surround sound system was really disappointing. Using 4 subs and Gold Line Speakers in front, Silver Line speakers for the rears and bragging about the power of the room EQ in the ADA processor these guys fell flat. I mean HTIB flat. With the kind of company they were with you would have expected the sound system to shred your clothes. It sounded like they were still in the washing machine.

Audiophile equipment is always displayed at the Venetian, away from the craziness of the main show. There are hundreds of rooms with high-end gear packed in tightly to showcase the latest transport, DAC, turntable, or speaker. Most of these rooms are average and forgettable, but here were a few products that really stood out from the crowd.

VTL debus the new TL-2.5 Phono Stage. Wow, priced at $2500 its too cheep. It should cost $4000. It's really good. Open, musical, great trailing decay. A lot of value for the money.Yes, the TL-6.5 is better in every way, but it should be at 4X the price.

Best new speaker: Estelon
The line is comprised of 4 models. The X Diamond, featured with Vitus electronics was a show stopper. Designed around a Diamond tweeter, is full range, and extremely coherent, not to mention dynamic. Beautiful painted finishes with very sexy curves. One of the few speakers that may have a moderate WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor)

You can see larger images at +Concept Electronics or at our website

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