I’ve been attending CEDIA Expo for 20+ years. In case you don’t know what it is, CEDIA Expo is the industry’s premier high-end residential AV show — filled with stuff to make your home smarter, build the ultimate home cinema or tech that makes nesting a home better. No, this isn’t CES — the Consumer Electronics Show. It’s not a digital signage show nor is it a show filled with Amazon Alexa-enabled gear. CEDIA Expo is truly high-end HomeAV.
Every year I’ve attended, CEDIA Expo has filled the edges of the trade show floor with demo rooms. Over the years, I’ve attended demos that included the first time I saw HD, the first time I saw 3D projection, the first time I saw 4K and the first time I saw 8K. Annually, some of the coolest demos are those where a team of manufacturers have collaborated to build a theater — right there on the show floor — to demonstrate how to design and integrate the ultimate home cinema. I’ve probably sat through 75 of these during my tenure in AV. They’re always stunning. Think about it; they’re always filled with the newest tech perfectly tuned by industry insiders for industry insiders. They are nearly always awe-inspiring.
But, none have ever left me awestruck like the one I attended at CEDIA last week. In fact, I’ve never seen a theater with a line the entire length of the show — all three days. Literally.
— rAVe [PUBS] (@rAVePubs) October 1, 2022
In a collaboration between Trinnov Audio, McIntosh, Sonus Faber, Officina Acustica, Kaleidescape and madVR Labs, they built an $800,000 reference theater that was so good, I went back a second time.
This theater wasn’t like any I’ve ever experiences. It wasn’t 7.1, 9.1 or or even Dolby Atmos. Nope. This theater took immersion to new heights with an 11.12.6 channel demo system that used 19 McIntosh power amplifiers to deliver 14,000 watts of power through 17 Sonus Faber loudspeakers and 12 subwoofers thanks to Trinnov Audio’s 29 channels of audio processing and room optimization.
Content was driven by Kaleidescape media players that output HDMI a madVR Labs video processor (the madVR Envy Extreme). The entire thing was originally constructed in Italy by Officina Acustica for perfect acoustics and then shipped across the Atlantic and rebuilt on the show floor in a day and a half.
I was told they were supposed to have three days to build it, but it was caught in customs. Finally, the video content was projected thanks to a Barco Residential 9000-lumen Njord CS laser projector and a 165” Seymour Screen Excellence screen with a 2.35 aspect ratio.
I love seeing movies in IMAX — mostly because IMAX requires theaters to keep their projectors up to date and calibrated more often than the average exhibition house does. But, I am not sure I will ever see (or hear), again, what I did last week at CEDIA Expo. I am bummed to lose that experience but blessed to have had it in the first place. This was, by far, the best demo, ever, at a CEDIA Expo.