Well, another CEDIA has come and gone and as our staff and I head back home it seems that all of us are feeling a little more empty about this year's show than usual. The state of the economy could truly be seen throughout the show this year. Firstly, attendance was slightly down due to the fact that many companies opted to send less of their representatives to Denver this year. Secondly, it seemed there were slightly less vendors this year. If anything positive can be said about the state of the economy it would be the fact that companies are driving down their prices at an incredible pace and finding new ways to manufacture their products for the budget conscious consumer. I'll give you an example of what I mean in just a moment. The reason all of us feel a little empty about this year's show is based on the fact that there really wasn't any "WOW!" factor. In past years there was always some new "buzz" in the technology world that made our trip to Cedia a memorable one. This year, it was painfully obvious that for now, technology has peaked and instead of moving forward, it has sort of moved sideways. With 1080p now being an industry standard for the consumer market for the past few years, there haven't been any major improvements in the resolution front. Instead, manufacturers have now added an ethernet connection to their displays that allow informational "widgets" to be downloaded to their screens, giving the viewer instant access to weather, a stock ticker, and YouTube videos. Additionally, "true2way" is being incorporated in many of these displays eliminating the need for a set top cable box. I must admit, I think these are terrific additions for anyone buying any new display that incorporates these features. seems to me that until this technology really catches on in the home market (and we hope it does) that there isn't going to be much product available from the studios. I do have to say that the technology looks very good and there seems to be a race to include it in many new displays. So, I suppose at this point you probably would like to know what impressed me the most this year at Cedia. Well, I am proud to announce that I am in the market for my first front projector, which is very fortunate for me and everyone else as they have moved to the forefront of home theaters thanks to plummeting prices. I think consumers are going to be absolutely amazed at how inexpensive top quality front projectors have become over the past two years thanks to Sony and JVC turning the industry inside out with their pricing. and center channels that drive audio down towards the listening area. The projector sits in a cradle up and behind the seating area. The cradle houses two surround speakers that effectively bounce sound off of the walls. But there is more.... Included is a generously sized subwoofer with a 150 watt amplifier that shares an additional 100 watts across the remaining 5 channels. Also included in the package is a tabletop console that houses a DVD player and a universal remote control that is pre-programmed to control every aspect of the home theater package including the motorized screen. Still want more? Included is a ceiling track system that is color coded to hide and carry all the included wiring across the room (yes, included wiring). There are also mounting brackets included to hang your front screen. Though I would consider this to be an entry level system for anyone looking to get into front projection, I was extremely impressed by its overall performance in both video and audio. The Epson Powerlite 3LCD high definition multimedia projector with 1080p resolution provided razor sharp detail to the images it produced. The audio was equally impressive -- not surprisingly, since it was manufactured through Atlantic Technologies which spent the last year tweaking and perfecting this unit's audio performance. Quite frankly, I think that even the most discerning listener would be quite impressed with the performance of the included audio system. it is priced at an amazing suggested retail price of $6,999 for the 1080p system, and $4,999 for the 720p version. Here is a recap of everything that comes with the above packages: * Choice of Epson PowerLite® 3LCD (three-chip) high definition multimedia projector with either true 1080p native resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) or a more affordably priced 720p option. * Unique 100-inch motorized screen that quietly lowers and retracts within the unique front channel ceiling mounted speaker system * Audio/video controller with integrated upconverting DVD player * Newly engineered Atlantic Technology speaker system and a proprietary 150-watt subwoofer containing all 5.1 channels of amplification * Universal remote that controls the entire system including the motorized screen * All necessary mounting brackets * Every audio, video and power cable needed to complete the installation while maximizing performance (including HDMI) * Unique wire management track system that hides all of the included cables from the site of users You really owe it to yourself to check out the demo at Epson's Ensemble HD website Another product that left an imprint upon me was the "just announced" Panasonic AE3000 front projector that improves upon the AE2000 model with its new Frame Creation technology which interjects additional frames in both 60Hz and 24Hz. In addition, the projector features a lens that zooms picture in and out for 2.35:1, 16:9 or 4:3 content. Lastly, the projector boasts a 60,000:1 dynamic contrast. We had the opportunity to spend time with Panasonic in their private demo room to view the image quality of this projector alongside the AE2000, and all of us agreed that there was a noticeable amount of picture detail gained with the AE3000. In fact, I was so impressed with this projector that I have decided it will be the one I choose to purchase as part of my first front projection driven home theater. To further drive my point home about how upside down the projector market has become, this top-of-the-line projector is retailing for $3,499. It's absolutely insane that quality front projection has dropped below the $5k bar. Panasonic will be providing us with a sample of the AE3000 in the next few weeks so watch for a review. I invite all of you to spend some time looking through our coverage of this year's Cedia show. You can Click Here to view the many videopodcasts we did over the past week.