Scott says that at this year's CEDIA show, Amazon Alexa integration was everywhere, meaning that IOT (Internet of things) is becoming huge in home theater. Scott also said that LED video walls are making a move in home theater. Companies are making LEDs smaller, so that these LED video walls will become more natural to watch. The smaller ones with a tiny pixel distance (called pixel pitch) is called MicroLEDs. And its going to be huge in home theater video walls. The LED Wall screens are also going to be brighter, as high as 500 nits, but that can be dangerous for home viewing.
Scott Wilkinson just got back from the CEDIA show, and the theme this year was 8K in the home! But will we see 8K content with it? Scott says no, not for quite awhile. The 8K TVs that are coming out will be upscaling 4K to 8K. And in reality, the cost of an 8K TV is still in the 5-6 figure range for 8K projectors, and most are being sold for simulators. Sony is working on a technology that will make up to 4 4K projectors work in concert to project an 8K image. But it's still very expensive.
Scott is at CEDIA in San Diego to look at the latest in home theater products. Both 4K and HDR are becoming more commonplace and coming down in price. Sony has a 4K HDR projector for under $5,000: VPL-VW285ES. The next big thing in color standards is Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), intended for live broadcasts. Scott says when 4K UHD broadcast becomes live, it will have a huge impact.
Scott is in Dallas for the CEDIA home theater show and it's all about 4K projection and high dynamic range. OLEDs are also huge and in 4K the blacks are inky black with no light leak. They're really gorgeous. Calibrating HDR TVs is a whole new ball game and you really need to have it professionally done by a certified calibrator.
Scott says that some movies are very effective on the silver screen and there are some that just work better in the movie theater, especially when equipped with Dolby Vision with Atmos Immersive Sound. Though you can get Atmos at home now. You can go to a nearby draft house theater which will serve you dinner and drinks while you're watching the movie. That's a great night out. Scott says that exhibitors are trying to find any way to get people to come out to the theater and improved projection and audio systems, along with those dinner theaters are definitely a good way to get people out.
Scott is in Dallas for the Custom Entertainment Design Information Association Show, or CEDIA, where he's been seeing a lot of new home theater stuff including laser projectors. Epson introduced a low cost one last year and this year Sony joins the list. But by "low cost," Scott says that they cost around $10,000. Even the huge commercial cinema projector companies are starting to look at home theater projection, but not everyone can afford their $150-400,000 price tags. More affordable options are high brightness projectors, which offer improved illumination, for around $3,000 to 4,000.
Scott joins us this week to talk about the laser video projectors he saw this week at the CEDIA convention. Scott says there was a few different ones there this year including one by Epson that had one for under $8,000. Sony also had one, but that was $50,000, and Digital Projection had one for $120,000. They use a blue laser which is then divided up and one part is shined on a yellow phosphor which glows different colors. It then gets split into red and green, and you have RGB light from one laser.
Scott is calling in from the CEDIA show, which is a custom design and installation show for home theater. He's been able to hear Dolby Atmos at home, which uses speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling to create a simulated 3D sound and he says it's pretty amazing. And the good news is that you don't have to upgrade your blu-ray player at all, you can just choose the Atmos sound track. But you will have to upgrade your AV receiver, which will set you back about $1000. But you can keep your speakers and just invest in the up-firing modules. So it's a half upgrade of your system.