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Denver, Colorado - September 3-9
Here you will find a running commentary from the show floor, uploaded by Secrets staff during the show days.

Report 2 Sandy Bird

PSB

PSB has always made beautiful speakers. This year they have released a new series called the Imagine. The manufacturing process of the cabinetry is very impressive and allows the entire cabinet to be laser cut and computer sanded as one solid piece. The cabinets have no straight lines and are finished in real wood veneer and then hand sanded and stained. They are beautiful piece. The MSRPs look like the following Imagine T ($2000) Imagine B ($1000) Imagine C ($800) and Imagine S ($1200). These should be shipping in October.

NAD

NAD in an effort to help future proof their receivers and processors has moved to a modular design. We saw Onkyo try this a couple of years ago and were not overly successful, we wish NAD luck. They are allowing the T765 to be upgraded for $400 to the newest sound formats. The new units to be released are impressive and have all the right stuff. The T785 flagship receiver and T175 processor but have HDMI 1.3, TrueHD, DTS-MA, Audyssey (everything including volume, MultiEQ and DynamicEQ), and Sigma Designs video processing.

VUDU

VUDO has released a new 1080p set top box with 1TB of disk space and an MSRP of $999. Their movie collection continues to grow with other 6000 SD title and over 200 HD movies. The bit rate of the HD movies would appear to only be 4Mbit/s which seem kind of low to us, but maybe the representative at the booth mis-quoted that (or we hope so).

Digital Projection International

We stopped by Digital Projection International to see their 3-D 1080p solution which consisted of 2 1080p DLP projectors and a bunch of guys (including us) looking at a screen with some polarized glassed that looked like we might have gotten them out of a cereal box. The demonstration wasn't the impressive, it did show off 3D but in comparison to things I have seen in IMAX and Disney it just left a lot to be desired. Before the demo we got to see a lot of great 1080p video from one of their projectors' and that was impressive.

CINEPRO

Wow that was loud. They of course claim we should all have 1000+ watts to make sure we can properly resolve the new digital formats in their full intended purpose. All I can say is that they had the loudest demo on the show floor. Usually we leave that award for Dan Miller at Marantz or Carl Kennedy at JL Audio but this year in terms of SPL CINEPRO wins. They were demoing their new AFM in-wall speakers.

Yamaha

Yamaha releases new received like the changing of the seasons and this year is no different. Last year we saw the very impressive RX-Z11 at $5500 it isn't going to be found in the average home theater, but this year they have filled out the line up with the RX-Z9 ($2700), RX-V3900 ($1900) and RX-v1900 ($1400). They support all the latest audio and video formats, 1080p up-scaling, two active HDMI outputs on some models, the ability to access media over the LAN and even HD Radio.

Theta

The Theta Casablanca III HDMI finally exists. It is good to see Theta finally entering the HDMI 1.3 marketplace. Keeping in line with Theta thinking it deals with the audio only and passes the video along to your favorite video processor. It is a shame JJ already sold his older Casablanca after waiting for years to get it upgraded. Theta also mentioned that being owned by ATI has allowed them to work with new manufactures with parts that allow faster warm-up times on their amplifiers like the Dreadnaught.

Microsoft Media Center

Microsoft has a fairly large booth setup showing off Vista Media Center and a number of manufactures building HTPCs around it. It is starting to look like the THX booth but instead of receiver it is filled with fancy PC cases.

Earthquake

Cynthia was over to visit Fady at Earthquake who showed her the IQuake system, the IQ-52 is shown below with a 200 watt built in amp and an iPod dock.