What Hi Fi show report

Discussion in 'Shows & Events' started by Stuart Wright, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    14,938
    Products Owned:
    7
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +10,963
    This is my personal report from the show.
    Ground Floor
    Epson UK had a reasonable demonstration of a couple of their new (to the UK) inexpensive LCD projectors. Filling a large (around 9 feet) screen, the (media center driven) image from the £1,300 (I think) ceiling mounted unit was not bad at all considering the close proximity of the seating. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming magazine reviews of the Epson projectors.

    There was a long queue for the What Hi-Fi? Demo. The system comprised of a UVEM media PC into a Sim2 C3X running at 720p and the monster Denon flagship amp via QED silver into lots of B&W speakers. Hosted by WHFSV technical editor Andy Kerr, the idea was to demonstrate HD and his presentation would no doubt turn a lot of people on to its exciting potential. We saw a clips of Tiger Woods perfectly putting, followed by the discovery channel and finally a bunch of trailers. Those people wanting to see HD should definitely do this demo. Seasoned veterans of home cinema will not likely learn anything new, but it’s a good opportunity to see the kit.
    The sound is not particularly powerful in this demo – Andy doesn’t want peoples’ attention to be drawn from the picture.
    Tiger woods at work in the demo.

    There were a few cable manufacturers at the show including AV Forums supporters Chord and the never uninteresting Nigel Finn.

    ICE fans could sit in a Passat or a Chrysler and listen to sound systems from Dynaudio and Boston Acoustics.

    A handy accessory I have had chance to test on my return from the show is the AM One Clean from KM Electronics. It’s a non-alcohol based flat screen cleaner with handy chamois-leather-like attached cloth. It easily got the greasy finger marks off our plasma and left the glass smear-free.
    The cleaning cloth is down the left-hand side.

    Mezzanine Level
    The sheer size of Denon’s flagship DVD player and amp in one stack generates its own gravitational field which pulls you towards their rooms. You also get chance to see (and hear) the new AVR-4306 which sports some clever connectivity.
    Here are some spec. details.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    14,938
    Products Owned:
    7
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +10,963
    First Floor – ‘Best of Stuff’
    This was the place to come for cool gadgets.
    I went straight to the Sky HD demo as I wanted to report the details here ASAP. But the Sky HD box wasn’t there, so I didn’t bother. The various screens in the room were simply showing a HD demo ‘from tape’ and I wasn’t permitted to photo the back of the Sky HD box because it was ‘a mock-up’. For those people already aware that Sky are going ‘HD’ and what HD means (which is most of the AV Forums members, I hope) there was nothing new, here.
    Here's the Sky HD logo and this is the mockup of the box itself. Well the front of it behind some glass. :rolleyes:

    The Q-be, on the other hand is new and interesting. It’s a tiny MP3 playing 2.4 cm cube available in 512mb (£85) and 1gb (£110) versions exclusively from Dixons and Currys as of October. The MP3 in there was a poor choice (oriental twanging music) so I couldn’t honestly appraise the sound quality. It connects via a USB cable, so uploading MP3s to it is a doddle.


    Sennheiser had plenty of headphones racked up for people to try out and you could have a good play with the Archos AV-700. The Philips PSS110 MP3 player looked very appealing.

    Flat panels are splattered all over the first floor but unfortunately I didn’t have time to closely scrutinise any of them. The 71inch LG was somewhat overwhelming. The price tag was very overwhelming. £46,000. I can’t fathom who the customer might be for this.

    I did note that Sharp’s XPZ-12000 playing Episode III was suffering from too much ambient light (forgivable given the circumstances) and terrible jaggies (not really forgivable at all). Perhaps the poorest picture I saw at the show.

    The ‘foyer’ of the first floor had an array of the coolest gadgets on show and the most popular was (predictably) the xBox 360 (shown here playing a pre-release COD2), closely followed by those on the Gadget Doctor booth hosted in this photo by Stuff Editor and BBC regular Tom Dumore.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    14,938
    Products Owned:
    7
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +10,963
    Second Floor
    Sony’s sub-15 minute Blu-Ray 1080i demo is possibly the high point of the show. The £20k Qualia 004 projector does a very nice job with the HD feed and in Sony’s blacked out room, we’re getting to see everything working in ideal conditions. This is another ‘must see’, even though the popularity of the dem means Sony are having to employ a ticketing system to get people through. Saturday morning, people were being given tickets for demos running about an hour later.
    Sony's equipment rack.

    The second floor had more than it’s fair share of interesting exhibitors and it provided the acoustic highlight of the show for me where in the Arcam room, Jean Michele Jarre’s live from Bejing DVD was simply awesome. The sound bounced around the 7.1 system in such an entertaining way that this could be the music DVD equivalent of Saving Private Ryan for showing your sound system off to your mates.
    Arcam demo.
    Also of interest were the Toshiba, Fujitsu and CSE (Infocus Screenplay) rooms.
    There’s never enough time at these shows and I only had one day, so some exhibitors got overlooked. I enjoyed the Sim2 demo at the Scottish show but I still regret not having time to see it again as Alan Roser is always good value for money.
    An array of screens from Toshiba and Pioneer's VSX-AX4AVi.

    Third Floor
    Anthony Gallo were unveiling their Micro Ti and A’Diva Ti models and their demo was one of many showing Episode III. Much of the third floor was, I felt, two channel oriented and thus had little interest for me.

    Conclusion
    Everyone was saying how busy the sow was on Friday and Saturday was at least as busy, so I think the chaps from What Hi-Fi? and Stuff were chuffed. For AV newbies, a show like this can be a wonderful way to see the huge and exciting changes happening to the way we do ‘home entertainment’. From the tiniest MP3 players to the largest HD flat panel TVs. For people who keep up with the times, this is the perfect opportunity to check out new products and talk to the people making / distributing them.
    Shows like this are entertaining, educational and very good value for money. A lap dance will cost you twice as much, last a fraction of the time and you won’t be drooling half as much at the end of it! So I’m told.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    5,665
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Bristol.
    Ratings:
    +309
    Thanks for taking the time to write that up Stuart.

    A great read :)

    Cheers,

    Pete.
     
  5. senu

    senu
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    19,348
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Denham, South Bucks
    Ratings:
    +2,811
    Stuart,
    Fantastic write up. :thumbsup: I was there on friday all day but it seems your camera and memory are miles ahead .Did you manage to enjoy the day in the midst of all that journalism? :smashin:
    The one thing that still makes me uneasy about HD is the absence ( or dearth) of source material. DVD and DVD quality video /audio seems to have had a much smoother take off
    Nice one
     
  6. Davy

    Davy
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Products Owned:
    5
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Ratings:
    +34
    Nice one Stuart. I couldn't make this show, so found your write-up really interesting. Shame about the Sky HD 'demo'. Lets hope their launch is somewhat better.
     

Share This Page

Loading...