Breaking news from CEDIA Expo 2009

Kaleidescape Mini multiroom AV system

OK, I've just arrived at the ExCel Centre in London's Docklands and the doors to the 2009 CEDIA Expo have opened. A quick whizz round the show is in order, then I'll report back with the latest news.

I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of the new Kaleidescape multiroom Mini System (above), a new LED projector from Vivitek, custom installation products from Arcam and Denon, active speakers form Genelec, new plasmas from Panasonic and Philips and the latest KEF home theatre products.

All this and more is due to be unveiled at the show today, so keep checking my blog and our News channel for all the breaking news throughout the day.

Genelec Audio Suite

I've just been to see the Genelec Audio Suite system (above) which features three AOW312B three-way active loudspeakers operating as the left/centre/right channels, combined with two bi-amplified HT210B speakers providing the rear channels, and two HTS4 subwoofers. Mighty impressive it is too!

A full range of Genelec's custom install products is also on display including two-way, three-way, in-ceiling and subwoofer models.

Philips Cinema 21:9 TV

Philips's new super-wide Cinema 21:9 TV (above) gets its first public showing on the AWE stand here at CEDIA, and we'll have a full review in the August issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, on sale July 1st.

Rumour has it that Kaleidescape is developing a Blu-ray drive for its Mini multiroom system which will be launched later this year. Apparently this will enable you to make a single copy of your Blu-ray discs to the hard drive for viewing around the home.

We're hoping to get a review sample of the Kaleidescape Mini shortly.

Airfonix 19PT002 transmitter

This interesting looking device is the Airfonix wireless transmission/receiver system, now being distributed in the UK by PMC. It can transmit uncompressed, 24-bit music from your source and works over distances of up to 100 metres in free space, or around 50 metres in the home.

There are two transmitters/receivers, one with high-level inputs, one with low-level inputs.

Check out our News channel where we've the full story, and details on the Free active speakers, also being distributed by PMC.

Free's wireless speakers are designed to work with the Airfonix system

Also making their UK debut are the PMC fact-8 floorstanding Active Transmission Line (ATL) speakers we first saw at the Munich High End Show. They're part of a new high-end range, and the first of three models: the 8 is the mid-size floorstander, and later this year PMC will launch the fact-2 and fact-6 standmount models.

The '8' speakers cost £4500 a pair and will be available from September in four wood veneer finishes: walnut, oak, graphite polar and tiger ebony. Further details in our Munich Show blog.

PMC's fact-8 ATL speakers

Meanwhile, over in the Novotel hotel next to the exhibition centre, US projector specialist Vivitek has ambitious plans to launch no fewer than 23 new projectors in the UK market, via distributor Rapesco AV.

First up is the flagship H9080FD show below, claimed to be the world's first LED, Full HD DLP projector. It boasts a contrast ratio of 100,000:1, high brightness levels, low energy consumption and is all yours for £10,995.

This will be followed by a further 13 models at prices ranging from £400 to £11,000, with Vivitek eventually expanding the range to 23 models.

More details in our full news story.

Above and below: the world's first LED, Full HD, DLP projector from Vivitek

More on the hi-fi front here at CEDIA. Spotted the Mk3 Classic speaker range on the Adam Audio stand, available in both active and passive versions. There are two floorstanders, a Compact standmounter, centre speaker and subwoofer.

All are available in gloss black, cherry or walnut veneer finishes. Key changes include newly-designed cabinets, new X-Art transducers, new lower midrange drivers and woofers from the high-end Tensor range and revamped base plates and spikes on the floorstanders.

The active models also get revamped A/B amplifier to complement the X-Art tweeter.

Prices range from £2000 for the passive Compact Mk3 (shown right in picture below) to £6800 for the Column Mk3 active floorstander.

Adam Audio Classic Compact Mk3 (right)

Sorry, been offline for a couple of hours as the laptop ran out of juice. Funniest experience of the day: being swamped at ExCel by thousands of wannabe teenage popstars auditioning for the next series of X-Factor. Apparently Simon Cowell was in the building. If only I'd known!

Anyway, made it back home and will post some more news after a) I've had a shower and b) something to eat. Been snacking on biscuits all day.

OK, couple more things I spotted at CEDIA today. Tucked away on the CSE stand was this rather intriguing projector, the InFocus SP8602. Apparently it's coming to the UK (and US) in August, and is likely to cost around £3000.

It's a Full HD, DLP design but CSE's PR man was unusually reticent about the rest of the spec, only saying "it's a supercharged IN82".

It will be available in lacquer white, black and wood effect finishes and from what I could glean from the display panel has a native contrast ratio of 5000:1, 1400 ANSI Lumens, vertical and horizontal lens shift and a throw ratio of 1.494 - 2.279:1. Anyway, I did manage to take a picture.

The forthcoming InFocus SP8602 DLP projector

Also on the CSE stand was this rather smart looking Audio Pro DVD One, an all-in-one 2.1 DVD home cinema system, expected to sell for around £300. More on that to follow tomorrow.

Audio Pro DVD One

Elsewhere, Pioneer's new Blu-ray players broke cover, including the £550 BDP-LX52 (left) and £400 BDP-320 (right) pictured below. Full details on these in our original news story.

Pioneer BDP-LX52 and BDP-320 Blu-ray players

Finally, I couldn't resist taking these two pictures as I wondered around the show. One is clearly not Michael Schumacher posing as The Stig, and the other? Well, you decide!

Something tells us this is not Michael Schumacher in disguise

And as for this, caption suggestions welcome...

UPDATE: Just had an email from the company run by the man in the bath. Turns out he's the managing director of Nectar Electronics in Durham, Ray Broadbridge.

Seems it was a bit of a publicity stunt to promote a new device they distribute called HDHomeRun, designed to let you watch TV on any computer anywhere in the house. Including the bath. So now you know.

Still perturbed by that large hand sticking out from under the table, mind.

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.