The technology doesn't require polarization, which can cause ghosting and even collapse of the 3D effect if the viewer isn't properly oriented relative to the screen, and is superior to active shutter 3D glasses technology, which often displays noticeable flicker artifacts.
Projected onto a giant Stewart Filmscreen Sno-Matte 100 screen, the quad lamp VX-113d put out a gloriously bright picture. The first clip was in 3D from the movie Rio and was, in a word, spectacular, and the best 3D experience I've yet seen with none of the 3D artifacts often seen with both passive and active 3D glasses systems.
The next clip, in 2D, was from the restored Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Blu-ray, and it too was stunning, with gorgeous color and the brightest whites I've ever seen with a residential front projection system. Runco's marketing manager Jennifer Davis noted that the firm was able to measure an incredible 112 foot-Lamberts with a full-field white raster with all four projector lamps running at full toot, which is seven times that of the SMPTE cinema standard of 16 foot-Lamberts.
While the base configuration carries an MSRP of $200,000, the most likely configuration will have the VX-113d paired with the company's CineWide with AutoScope 2.40:1 widescreen anamorphic option. That combo sells for $225,000.
In addition to its new DD-8 eight channel (125 watts per) digital amplifier, Lexicon took the wraps of their upcoming flagship MP-20 surround sound A/V pre-amp/processor, slated for delivery mid-2012. Sporting a colorful LCD control screen, the MP-20 is pretty much loaded to the gills, with eight HDMI inputs and dual zone A/V capability and with each zone supported by a dedicated HDMI output. The processor supports virtually any surround sound configuration, with up to 12.4-channel output that includes 7.1 surround, three additional subwoofer outputs and five height channels, and the MP-20 is THX Ultra2 certified. Definitive pricing wasn’t available at the show, but when pressed a spokesman indicated that the MP-20 would carry a US retail “somewhere north of $20K and somewhere south of $25K.” What do you think the chances are that at launch the “somewhere south of $25K” is only a dollar?
It’s Lexicon’s first processor to incorporate Harman’s newly developed QuantumLogic Surround system, which has been in development for six years. The QLS system harnesses the processing power of the MP-20’s six Analog Devices SHARC DSP processors that can crunch well over fifteen billion floating point operations per second to deliver a derived surround sound experience from mono, stereo and multi-channel sources.
Harman brought their mobile showroom truck to the show, and there they demonstrated the QLS system. I was lucky to snag a demo at the end of the day that went longer than the allotted half hour, with the presentation co-hosted by Emmy and Grammy winner Nathaniel Kunkel along with QLS developer Dr. Gil Soulodre, formerly of McGill and Carleton universities in Canada.
As the MP-20 is months from market introduction, the QLS demo used a PC to perform the processing and which allowed on and off comparisons. The first few tracks included stereo and multi-channel material, and the improvements provided by the QLS processing were both noticeable and remarkable. The front soundstage deepened appreciably, separation between vocals and instruments broadened, the surround envelopment similarly expanded, and the five height channels opened up the confined listening space considerably.
The real fun began when Dr. Gil cued up a hot dance track, LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem. As with a lot of pop and dance music these days, the track is by and large electronically synthesized and has a perceived soundstage that’s measurable in inches not feet, which is to say it’s essentially flat and with little to no depth.
After listening in stereo for a minute or so, Dr. Gil activated the QLS 3D function and the room literally exploded with sound. The front soundstage deepened dramatically, the surround sound speakers became vigorously alive and the height channels acoustically blew the roof off the truck. It sounded exactly like a fully discrete multi-channel mix, and it blew me away.
After the dance track, they demo’d a 5.1-channel movie clip from The Matrix (the elevator and rooftop shootout scene) and here the QLS 3D function also greatly expanded the soundstage in every direction.
My career includes about twenty or so years as an audio product and marketing manager and I’ve heard virtually every surround sound synthesizer/expander there is, including Dolby Pro Logic IIz , DTS Neo and the like, and not one of them compares to what I heard with the QLS system in the Harman demo truck.