September 12, 2011 by Grant Clauser
CES may be a gadget-lover’s dream event, but CEDIA is the golden ticket if you’re into the best home theater gear. This is place with the world’s top electronics companies show of their newest technology. Most readers will get their first chance to experience these products in dealer showrooms a few months from now, so let me share some of the highlights in big picture projectors.
Overall, there were two new(ish) trends in home theater projectors at the expo. The first was 4K. Several companies made a big deal showing off projectors that feature resolution previously only found on professional projectors meant for saurus-sized screens. Now you can get a projector in your home that throws 4096 x 2160 pixels on your basement theater screen. The only problem with that is you’ll find no 4K material to show on it. That doesn’t mean all those extra pixels are wasted. Plain old 1080p will be scaled to 4K by the projector’s video processor, making it nearly impossible to see any pixel structure on the screen.
The second trend is in projectors that have a native CinemaScope setting for a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. HDTV is in 16:9 aspect ratio, as are a lot of Blu-ray movies (or 1.78:1, or 1.85:1 ...), but many are in the much wider 2.35:1 format. With conventional projectors, you needed an anamorphic lens and a mechanism for applying it to take full advantage of the wider aspect ratio. The new projectors eliminate that need (you’ll still need a screen masking system to make it look it’s best).
Finally, there were many 3D projectors, plus a few other interesting things on display. Projector makers brought models ranging in price from about $1,500 to over $220,000 (yes, all those zeros). Luxury comes in a wide range of options.
Check out the slideshow to see the projectors.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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