Most notably a trade show for custom integration and automation technologies, it seems that there's a whole lot more audio video technologies being introduced at this year's CEDIA than has been seen in the last decade. With that said, here's a rundown of some notable announcements in AV from the show.
Panasonic THX Certified UB-9000 UHD BD Player and Video Streamer
Panasonic has been teasing us with this flagship model since spring 2018. The player replaces the UB900 released two years ago. And while it still carries the THX 4K Source Certified badge, the player is now built like a tank. It's solid and very heavy.
Using proprietary technology, both audio and video can be reduced to a negligible amount of jitter. The video processor is upgraded from HCX2 to HCX3 (although confusingly, it is now called "HCX") for better upscaling and video decoding, plus a better algorithm for chroma upsampling from 4:2:0 on any media or streaming back to 4:4:4.
HDR data is also selectable depending on the type of display you are using with the option for further customization. Not only are HDR10 and Dolby Vision supported, but HDR10 is also supported out of the box. The unit will be priced at $1,199.
Monolith 11X 11-channel Power Amplifier
This latest offering from Monolith (the top of the line branding from Monoprice) is a perfect amplifier for people who want to upgrade their object audio home theatre system; which is perfect for 7.1.4 or 5.1.6 Atmos/DTS:X/Auro3D installations.
Unlike most multichannel amplifiers that offer the same power output for every channel, this unit sends 200W for the fronts left, right and centre channels, and 100W for the other eight. At the price of US$ 2,499, and able to be fed with either an RCA or XLR (balanced) connection, this amplifier is a steal. At 93 lbs. of weight, it is truly a monolith.
IMAX Enhanced Certification
IMAX announced a new program called IMAX Enhanced, which was launched in partnership with DTS. It's a certification and licensing program that will allow users to play the highest quality 4K images and the most powerful audio in the comfort of their own homes. The program is launching with partners such as Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Sound United. In order to be accepted into IMAX Enhanced, manufacturers must design home theatre equipment "to meet a carefully prescribed set of the highest audio and video performance standards, set by a certification committee of IMAX and DTS engineers and Hollywood's leading technical specialists," according to the release.
These enhanced devices will also have an "IMAX Mode" built in. This will optimize whatever you're watching to the standards that the filmmaker originally intended, all from the comfort of your home. IMAX and DTS are working with studios and content partners to digitally re-master popular movies and other content for IMAX Mode. Quite honestly this is very similar to THX certification, but it's IMAX centric as it concentrates on movies that are shot on IMAX and DTS:X sound whereas THX certification is brand and format agnostic.
Sony VPL-VW995ES Laser Projector
In order to project a proper 4K presentation with HDR, a maximum screen size of 140", this is "tiny" for these days. For home theatre enthusiasts seeking displays up to 220", Sony released the premium VPL-VW995ES projector with a laser source that provides 2,200 lumens for spectacular brightness. The projector also comes with improved 4K MotionFlow. I know purists out there hate it, but considering that I've witnessed what the new 4K MotionFlow can do, don't knock it until you see it. Sony's new algorithm on 4K MotionFlow is jawdropping. Put it this way: this is the first frame insertion technology that I'm willing to use.
If all of that is not enough for you, this projector is IMAX-certified for use with IMAX Enhanced content.
Samsung Q900R 8K Upscaling TV
Support for 4K is growing with many more streaming services offering 4K content, more UHD disc players entering the market, along with displays that can do the full P3 colourspace (HDR is another mess altogether, but I digress). But none of that is stopping Samsung from releasing an 85" Q900R 8K upscaling TV.
To achieve 8K-quality images, the Samsung Q900R features 8K Resolution capable of high nit peak brightness - a standard met by most film studios. This feature allows the TV to produce four times more pixels than a 4K UHD TV and 16 times more pixels than a full HD TV. Q HDR 8K powered by HDR (High Dynamic Range) 10 technology, optimizes the TV's brightness levels and produces pristine colours and images to deliver pictures as intended by creators.
Samsung's proprietary 8K AI Upscaling technology based on artificial intelligence also comes equipped with picture and sound quality designed to upgrade the quality of image regardless of original source quality or format. Whether a user is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB, or even mobile mirroring, the Quantum Processor 8K recognizes and upscales the content to appear in 8K quality. In addition, the Q900R features Direct Full Array Elite for enhanced contrast and precise backlighting control. There's also 100% Colour Volume, enabling users to witness billions of shades of colour for the purest colour accuracy to-date.
One more thing...
Tucked behind a back room of its always gorgeous booth, Totem Acoustic had prototypes of its upcoming KIN Play, the Canadian company's first powered full-range loudspeaker. The small and modern, yet simple-designed speaker does not require any amplification: pair it with a source device, and enjoy streaming music over Bluetooth with aptX HD support. It has both analog and digital inputs for a wired connection to a variety of devices as well, including turntables and even gaming consoles. It has a subwoofer output as well. For customized sound, use the bass and treble controls on the included remote. The KIN Play will launch in Canada before the holiday season, and sell for $1,200/pr.
Totem Acoustics' Jason Zidle poses with the new KIN Play powered speaker
Read about five more notable products in our Day One report from the show.