To all the PR people trying to set up meetings with me at CEDIA this weekend: I'm not there. I just got back from CTIA before heading out again early next week, and CEDIA just didn't make it onto the schedule this year.
Of course, I'm following the show remotely. So far, only a couple of announcements have really broken through the clutter, and they're two projectors that offer clear value propositions:
- Sony's 1080p VPL-VW50 SXRD front projector, which brings essentially the same technology from the $25,000 Qualia line (that then showed up in the $10,000 VPL-VW100 front projector, and then again in a line of Bravia rear projection TVs) down to $5,000. In the U.S., where big screen TVs have long been available (along with the floor space to put them) mid-priced projectors often sell well. Overseas, where a projector is replacing a big screen TV, not supplementing it, budget projectors tend to do better. Regardless, $3,000 - $5,000 is a sweet spot for pricing, and now performance follows. Sony can claim it uses unique technology for superior image quality, which fits nicely with its brand history (and just might be true. I personally prefer the slightly smoother picture from SXRD/D-ILA technologies compared to DLP or LCD).
- At the opposite end of the price spectrum, if you've got hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on a Bentley, you may want to consider a Runco Signature Cinema SC-1 instead (starting price: $250K. More if you want the 2.35:1 version). And a 40 foot screen for your home theater. While you might think there is no market for such ridiculously expensive toys, think again: when I last spoke to TI, they admitted that a fair number of professional DLP products aimed at commercial theaters end up in the homes of the super-wealthy film enthusiast. Or at least the super-wealthy conspicuous consumer who needs the absolute best of everything.