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CES 2010-Full Coverage

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Ross Jones, Senior Editor Reports - Day 3

I looked, mostly in vain, for front projectors. The display side of CES revolved around 3D, with wall after wall of flat screens showing various 3D technologies.

However, I did get an extensive look at Emotiva's much anticipated UMC-1 pre-pro. The UMC-1 is now shipping, priced at an amazing introductory price of $699. Also shown is the UPA-7 power amp, seven channels x 125 watts, also for $699.

The UMC-1 has five HMDI inputs, and uses Faroudja's top-of-the-line video processing suite, which upconverts to 1080p/60 Hz, and passes through a 24 fps signal. The UMC-1 has all the latest codecs, including Dolby Volume.

The back panel includes a balanced subwoofer out, and USB connection for flash updates. Yes, those are Emotiva cables.

A really nice feature is an OSD that identifies the input audio format, sample rate, and active speaker channels. A similar status button displays post-processing applied to the signal. No more squinting to look at the pre-pro display to figure out what it's doing (the front panel display is dimmable all the way to full off, and the OSD has variable opacity all the way to off).

The UMC-1 uses Emotiva's EmoQ for speaker calibration and equalization. Unlike other auto-EQ solutions, the UMC-1 allows you to see what EQ has been applied to each channel, and then allows the user manually tweak the auto-EQ to their preference with an 11 band equalizer for each channel. You can't tell from the picture below (bad photographer!), but that's the EQ for the subwoofer channel, with EQ bands running from 22 to 224 Hz.

With that combination of price and features, I expect the UMC-1 will sell like hotcakes.

Dolby showed off its various technologies, including the new ProLogic IIz, or height channel, codec. ProLogic IIz is available in certain in Sony and Marantz receivers, and most of the Onkyo and Denon lines (except for their entry-level priced receivers). Shown are the Onkyo TX-NR807, Sony STR-DN 1010, Denon AVR-4310-CI, and Marantz SR-6004.

Unlike CEDIA, where virtually everything is under one roof, CES is spread around many locations in Las Vegas, all requiring a shuttle bus or taxi ride. Sounds easy, but leaving the main convention hall on Thursday night, we estimated the line at the taxi stand at about 300 people!