If your home theater is ready for a front projector, but your bank account isn't, the InFocus ScreenPlay 4805 can get them on the same page. The under-$2,000 projector uses a single-chip DLP (Digital Light Processing) engine to produce widescreen images with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels - the same as a progressive-scan DVD image. You can feed high-definition signals to its DVI or component-video inputs, and the built-in video processing (including a Faroudja DCDi deinterlacing chip) will downconvert the picture to the projector's native resolution. The ScreenPlay's contrast ratio is rated as 2,000:1, and it has a 12-volt trigger for use with a motorized screen. Price: $1,799.
Bass buffs, listen up - Focal-JM Lab's Sub Utopia Be just might be your Holy Grail. Using a rigid 16-inch cone, an 18-pound magnet, a heat-resistant voice coil, and a few other heavy-duty tricks, the 121-pound bass box is rated all the way down to the infrasonic 16 Hz, where it's said to be able to produce a seismic 128 dB SPL (sound-pressure level) at 1 meter. The built-in 1,000-watt Bash amplifier combines the advantages of Class A, B, and D designs to deliver the power to move all that air, while a turbulence-free port is said to help produce cleaner bass. Connections include RCA and balanced XLR line-level inputs. Price: $6,000.
SonyExpanding its efforts in the custom-installation field, Sony wants its six-zone CAV-M1000ES controller to be the backbone of your whole-house A/V system. The controller has inputs for eight sources, each with composite video and stereo audio, and six zone outputs. Each A/V input also has a pass-through output for gear in the main room. It's rated to deliver 30 watts per channel to six channel pairs, and there are line-level outputs, too. Infrared triggers for each source ensure you'll be able to use your original remotes, but you'll probably want to use the optional system remote (left, $400), with its backlit 5-inch LCD screen. Four RS-232 ports and a Control A1 II port all allow two-way communication, so the controller can seamlessly integrate into a more extensive system. The optional remote keypads (right, price TBD) connect via RJ-45 jacks. Price: $4,400.
Bell'OPast meets present in the AVSC-5021 equipment shelf from Bell'O. Styled to bridge the gap between modern sleek lines and traditional elegance, the shelf has carved wooden side panels and pilasters finished in dark cherry for that old-school feel, while the tempered safety-glass shelves give a nod to the contemporary. The top shelf will hold a direct-view, tabletop rear-projection, or flat-panel TV with a diagonal screen size up to 50 inches. You should be able to fit as many as six A/V components on the 44-inch-wide lower shelves, which are 20 7/8 inches deep. Cable guides hide the wiring and help prevent knots. Price: $900.
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