Montreal Hi-Fi Expo: who's going?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Francois Caron, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    The Montreal Hi-Fi Expo is this weekend! So how many around here are going? Myself, I'm going to be there all three days, checking out the usually excellent audio rooms and dissing the usually pathetic home theater rooms! [​IMG]
    I took a quick peek today and as usual there's no lack of excellent audio systems. Tube systems, solid-state systems, vinyl turntables... As for home theater rooms, there wasn't all that much. But this just the first day and I was only in one hotel for a very short period of time.
    The best quality HT room I saw on this first day was the room with the NEC LT150Z DLP projector connected to an ExpressVu 6000 HD receiver. The receiver's HD output was set to 720P and the images from the demo loop were reasonably impressive. There was also a really big projection room on the main floor, but the demo material was just another poorly mastered concert DVD. I'll check out if the material gets better during the weekend.
    After all these years, I finally saw the Bose demo room! They had their traditional small-cube-speakers-hidden-behind-big-boxes presentation, and it actually caught me off guard. And that's where I understood their marketing scheme. You're so thrown off balance when the speakers are revealed that you're conditioned into believing they sound better than they really are! Honestly, I felt my own system consisting of PSB Alphas, a Paradigm PDR-12 sub and an Onkyo receiver sounded much better than the Bose system either before or after the "big revelation", and at a much lower price.
    I'll be writing a full report for two Web sites as well as posting tidbits over here.
     
  2. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    Fran├žois, I hadn't even heard about this expo. Where/when is it taking place? To be honest, I didn't even know this was an annual event... Perhaps I might be able to go there on Sunday if I don't have too much work to do. [​IMG]
     
  3. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    The show is being held at the Delta (475 President Kennedy), the Sheraton (475 Sherbrooke W) and the Holiday Inn (420 Sherbrooke W). Tickets can be purchased at any of the three hotels and are $10 for one day or $15 for two days. I bought the three day ticket on Friday for $20. Hours are from 10 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, and from 10 AM to 5 PM on Sunday.

    This is not a trade show limited to industry representatives. Everyone is invited! Just get there early! It can get pretty crowded, especially on the weekend.
     
  4. MichaelPe

    MichaelPe Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  5. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    Second day update.

    I can now say without a doubt that the DLP era has finally arrived. I've seen many impressive DLP displays ranging from the $5,200 NEC projector seen last Friday to the $30,000 Runco seen this Saturday. The only time the displayed images seemed poor is when the screen size was possibly too big for the projector. I'm talking about screens around ten feet wide here, not the usual 6 to 7 feet that we're used to seeing.

    The screen door effect which is still slightly visible with LCD projectors is very well hidden in DLP projectors as long as you don't stand too close to the screen. Also, DLP technology is advanced enough that a multi DLP panel projector may no longer be necessary for home use. Just about all the projectors I've seen use some kind of "color wheel" technology, and it's more than fast enough not to be noticeable unless you pan the screen with your eyes very fast.

    And noise level? The manufacturers seem to have finally understood that we want to hear the movie, not the projector. Noise levels easily fall below the 50 dB mark. These little buggers can easily be slipped in the camouflaged shelf of a modified coffee table and become practically silent.

    Just about all the projectors were mated with high-end sound systems which really brought in the movie theater experience in the rooms. And this is where I came to a realization.

    Most of us already have highly decent sound systems, but very few of us have decent video systems. Not everyone can afford or want to own one of those enormous RPTV boxes. Even less people can afford a plasma display or even endure the color banding and black level problems that seem to plague every one of those displays. But a seven foot wide movie screen package that can easily fit in your car and doesn't require any elaborate set-up aside from properly controlling the light levels and possibly getting the color temperature set properly?

    There's going to be plenty of new DLP projector purchases this year. And with Stewart's new Firehawk screen now in beta testing, we'll be able to purchase a screen material that's custom made for DLP projectors.

    I can seriously consider the purchase of a front projection system! Two years ago, that dream was still way out of reach! But with today's basic projectors with 1024x768 resolution able to handle even HDTV images reasonably well despite the slight loss of resolution, I see a front projection system in my future!

    The only annoyance is as usual the cost of the replacement bulbs. Prices normally start at around $500 and go up. But with proper budgeting, that shouldn't be a serious problem.

    I'll start writing my full show report tonight. It should be ready by Monday.
     
  6. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    I went. I spent most of my time at the Paradigm booth talking with the on-site rep. The guy knows his stuff and I really know what I'm doing now! To Hell with Athena, when my income tax refund comes, I'm buying Paradigm! That was much more convincing (And the salesrep at an authorized dealer friday with whom I also had a 30mins+ conversation with) than the 2 Future Shops I went to inquiring about Athena Speakers... My Plastic HTiB speakers are going Beu-Bye in weeks. What's taking the [Canadian Equiv. of] IRS so long?!?!?
     

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