|Panasonic PT-AE1000U 1080p LCD front projector|
The company also added two new 1,366 x 768 Bravia models, the KDL-40S2400 and the KDL-32S2400. They will be available in October for about $2,600 and $1,700, respectively.
Complementing all the new 1080p HDTVs is Sony's new ES-series receiver, the STR-DA5200ES, which incorporates 1080p-capable HDMI switching and upconversion. Sony says it's the first receiver to use the Cortez Advanced controller with Faroudja DCDi for 1080p scaling. Other features of the 7.1-channel receiver include 120 watts of power per channel, PIP for source monitoring, auto-calibration technology for correct speaker configuraion, and a new Cross Media Bar-inspired graphical user interface, which uses an icon-driven menu system for navigation and control. The receiver, which has multiple assignable HDMI, component-video, and optical digital audio inputs, plus a USB port, will be available in October for $1,500.
Sony and Stewart Filmscreen announed that the latter would offer a FireHawk screen optimized for use with Sony's new projector. During its CEDIA press conference, Stewart also unveiled the FireHawk G3 1080p screen, which has a reduced surface texture and a gain of 1.25, and showed its StarGlas rear-projection screen, a water- and sunlight-resistant screen for outdoor "cinema under the stars" use. Other new items include a "silent" retractable electric screen, made in collaboration with Lutron, and new CineCurve curved 2.35:1 screens in the Cine-V and Cine-W lines, designed for projectors with anamorphic lenses. The curved screen reportedly focuses light coming from the image back toward the viewing area, making the image appear brighter, and reduces the amount of light reflected onto the side walls that can wash out images.
Another ES receiver, the STR-DA3200ES, is said to be optimized for Blu-ray and other HD sources, with 1080p passthrough, up to eight channels of uncompressed audio, video switching, simplified surround sound setup, and automatic performance adjustments. Its price is $900.
Panasonic, which reaffirmed its commitment to plasma - including its 103-inch behemoth, which the company says is now being purchased by a few well-heeled souls - and announced a pair of new front projectors, including the PT-AE1000, its first 1080p LCD model. Also new is the PT-AX100, an affordable ($2,999) model with 720p native resolution.
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