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Top 5 Things at CEDIA 2015

What follows is a list of the top 5 things I encountered at the show. The show was so great, there are too many to count them all!

Top 5 Things at CEDIA 2015

The 2015 CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) annual Expo was held in Dallas last week. TYM was out in force, rushing from booth to exhibitor to check out their newest items for the $14 billion home electronics market. There was enough to see. The Top 5 Things at #CEDIA15, according to TYM.

The Intellimask, dubbed “the world’s first non-masking, masking screen,” transforms from 16:9 to widescreen (e.g. 2.35:1) and back to 16:9 depending on the information being projected. Your material is always perfectly suited to the screen. In order to frame information with varied aspect ratios, traditional automatic masking systems employ black velvet that pushes in from the sides, top and bottom, or both. Intellimask uses Somfy motors to expand and collapse the screen on the sides. In addition, the black velvet frame telescopes and retracts as needed.  


The ‘WOW FACTOR’ on this screen is undeniable. It’s another another creative solution from a firm that is obviously committed to living up to its name. We were promised it will be released in the first quarter of 2016. At the time of publication, there was no information on price. The TYM Grand Poobahs want one for their upcoming TYM showroom in Sandy, Utah. To see Intellimask in action, watch the video above.

Wireless distributed audio is getting more popular, although it has been mostly controlled by one manufacturer up until now. DTS’ Play-Fi® seeks to alter that. Play-Fi is a multi-zone wireless audio distribution platform that works with any Play-Fi equipped speakers and components. It functions similarly to Sonos, except it allows you to mix and match audio components from multiple manufacturers, including Paradigm. Now you can have the simplicity of a Sonos system combined with the smooth high-fidelity performance of Paradigm’s award-winning speakers and ARC (Anthen Room Correction) for amazing results.

Paradigm Premium Wireless series with Play-Fi, Salt Lake City, Utah

Play-Fi Wi-Fi streaming supports high-resolution file formats and provides sound that rivals CD quality (up to 24-bit/192kHz). There are two ways that Paradigm speakers interact with Play-Fi. The first is Paradigm’s Premium Wireless Series, which has built-in Play-Fi and, owing to ARC, can be tuned for even the most demanding settings.

Paradigm PWAMP, CEDIA 2015

Paradigm Play-Fi PWAMP

Second, Paradigm showed out the PWAMP, a small box with 100 watts per channel and built-in Play-Fi. This small man seems to be able to power two Prestige towers without breaking a sweat. To power distributed audio systems for residences of any size, several PWAMPs may be rack mounted. The PWAMP may also be used to power speakers from other manufacturers, allowing you to enjoy Play-Fi wireless music via your preferred speaker. That’s right: Play-Fi-enabled components from various manufacturers may be combined and matched to build your ideal system.

Paradigm booth, CEDIA 2015

Our friend Rob Sample from Paradigm, CEDIA 2015

Dolby Atmos is now the dominant immersive audio format in both commercial theatres and home theaters. Dolby Atmos creates an experience that surpasses ordinary 5.1 and even 7.1 surround sound. DTS:X is a competitor to Dolby Atmos from DTS. DTS, which is an object-based sound format, moves sounds around a room to produce a completely immersive audio experience. There is now just one Blu-ray featuring DTS:X, “Ex Machina,” but there are over a dozen Blu-rays with Dolby Atmos, with many more on the way. 

Klipsch DTS:X demo at CEDIA 2015

Klipsch DTS:X demo at CEDIA 2015

The Klipsch exhibit included a wonderful DTS:X and Dolby Atmos demo, but it was the DTS that drew our attention. They showed a music video by Cymantics that had been mastered in DTS:X, and it was sublime—it was everything immersive audio could and should be. We became DTS:X converts after seeing the clip. And we’re excited for additional material to be released in this audiophile-friendly format. Of course, the excellent quality of the Klipsch in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, as well as a powerful sub-woofer, played a significant role. The demonstration was as much about Klipsch’s famed speaker quality as it was about the DTS:X format.

Klipsch DTS:X demo at CEDIA 2015

Klipsch DTS:X demo at CEDIA 2015

AV devices that can decode Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are now commercially available. DTS:X uses the same speakers and settings as Dolby Atmos, therefore any home theater that supports Dolby Atmos may also support DTS:X. (with a DTS:X enabled receiver). Both formats are included in the new Ultra HD Blu-ray requirements, and more and more online video distribution platforms are adding immersive audio formats as well. DTS:X has been failing to develop a foothold in the market; perhaps, this will change soon. It’s a good idea to have a variety of immersive sound formats. And now we want to see more immersive material like Cymantics on Klispch speakers in DTS:X.

The future of video projection in home theaters has here. Several companies, including Sony, Epson, Digital Projection, and Quantum, introduced laser-light-powered projectors this year, but it was Sony that stole the show. The VPL-VW5000ES is Sony’s latest flagship laser projector, capable of providing 4K UHD at 60 frames per second, HDR (High Dynamic Range), a very wide color gamut (ITU-R BT2020 on top of DCI color space), and 5,000 lumens of brightness. While the VPL-$60,000 VW5000ES’s price tag is a huge increase over their previous flagship model, it delivers image quality that previously needed a six-figure ultra-high-end projector.

Sony VPL-VW5000ES 4K Laser home theater projector, CEDIA 2015

Paradigm Play-Fi PWAMP with Prestige bookshelf speakers, Salt Lake City, Utah

Because of the increased brightness, this projector can generate images with a lot more contrast, such as whiter whites and blacker blacks. High Dynamic Range, combined with a greater color spectrum, results in a picture that’s similar to what we see on our televisions—but on a massive, gorgeous home theater screen.

Early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive:

This VPL-VW5000ES… is the closest thing to a commercial digital cinema on the market.


Forbes goes so far as to ask:

Is Sony’s VPL-VW5000ES Home Cinema Projector the Most Futuristic Ever?


Oh, and did we mention it’s cooled by liquid? The Sony VPL-VW5000ES is the new gold standard in high-definition video projection for home theaters. Models will start delivering in Spring 2016, and TYM highly advises making reservations since this projector will be in great demand.

The TYM staff enjoys delicious meals, and we particularly like the cuisine of Dallas. From Texas Land & Cattle to La Hacienda to Rudy’s, there’s something for everyone (twice). In between the show of CEDIA, we got our fill of wonderful food. CEDIA 2016 is said to be returning to Dallas!

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