Friday, July 30, 2004

AV show in Marriott Hotel (30th July 2004)

Came back from AV show after a back-breaking exploration of 5 hours straight.

If comparing to last year's show, there doesn't seem to be much difference in exhibitors, layout (it was deja vu) and technology... so sad. One year later and Malaysia's HT technology stays the same, while other countries are ahead (including down south Singapore). There are more LCD displays and projectors (big and fanciful), but the suppliers are ignoring the most important thing ..... and that's the players/source. What's the use of the latest in projectors and displays if consumers are only having the conventional dvd players or ASTRO/local tv channels. Imagine the surprise for consumers who lap up these AV toys and hook up to their players. Very miniscule few were able to identify the impressive HD source feeding the projectors and the displays (LCD, plasma, RPTV,etc.) and if able to, will notice the hidden away or not-for-sale notebook/pc/D-VHS players/flagship players hooked up via VGA/DVI/HDMI.

I tried asking some exhibitors about their DVI/HDMI/DVHS players, they were ignorant/without-care about suppliers in KL.. all they had was not for sale and only for their own demos. I guess the main focus of the day was 'sell the displays/projectors and the sound systems ... hoping people dun notice what players are being demo-ed in the first place. Still the theme of the exhibition was digital and HD, which is still not entirely complete IMO. There were the very high-end players for limited sale ie. Samsung 938 (DVI output > RM1000), Pioneer 969(HDMI output >RM3000) and Denon flagship players (which cost a bomb without the latest HD outputs).

Anyway, having seen DVHS in action for the first time, I personally think the pq is awesome and very noticeable compared to DVD sources. There was a demo of Speed (yes, the relatively old action movie) and the PQ/SQ was superb, I've never seen it as such pristine transfer (again compared to my copy of the remastered DVD version). If DVHS arrives in KL (probably too late by then, start to become obsolete), I may get it.... it makes a lot of pq difference.

There were 2 new high-end boys-toys ie. a 3d Sensio processor (with those shutter-technology glasses) and the Odyssee Motion Simulator. Both were cool. The former was really nice for 3d and costs about RM15000+ for the processor, 2 glasses and 6 3d-DVDs. The latter has no price but estimates are about RM50K(!!!!) which consists of the processor and the motion platform (for the chairs/sofa). The demo movie was Harry Porter and its wizard flying-sports scene (Quidditch), the sensation was quite nice (similar to motion-simulation movies in Disneyland or Genting Highland closer to home). I had to lift my legs though to full enjoy the weighlessness effects.... cool. Perhaps in the future, such technology will be cheap enough for consumers. And to think Widescreen Review reviews dvds' on the basis of this gadget's fun factor, aside from pq and sq.

As to sound systems, there were plenty to listen to from budget packages to the hundreds of thousand dollars per pair of speakers. Due to time constraint, I was zipping in and out of rooms/halls for quick listening. And the best demo I heard was from B&W, they played 'Open Range' with 7.2 sound system. When the gun battle started, all of us were blown away.... solid and powerful.

A new exhibition area was set up for video/digital pc editing, which carried hardware/software, looked quite advanced to me and costing above RM1000+ .

The car hifi at the front of Starhill was disappointing this year. Female promoters were worse looking... hehehe. Worth looking were from Pioneer and JVC area, but cheap thrill.

Overall, worth my RM10 entrance fee for some inspiration of things to come.


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