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CEDIA Expo home theater roundup: OLED, Lasers, Atmos, and more

The 2014 CEDIA Expo took place last week in Denver. On the home theater front we got to see some new OLED TVs, laser projectors, a bunch of Dolby Atmos demos, and more. Here's the story.

Geoffrey Morrison

The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association Expo is a yearly event that highlights the latest in custom installation products, predominantly in-wall speakers, home automation, projectors, and so on.

This year, there were a bunch of products for a more mainstream audience, like LG's 105-inch $100,000 LED LCD.

Kidding. There were a bunch of cool products for every budget, including some of the first demonstrations of Dolby Atmos home gear, laser projectors, new OLED TVs, and more.

Here are some highlights from the show, in pictures and some words.

Denver, for the most part, is a great city to have to visit for a trade show. The convention center is located near a bunch of great restaurants and bars, and walking distance to several hotels. These things are key, because after walking a tradeshow floor for 8 hours, the last thing you want to do is have to walk far to get food/booze/bed.

The lack of oxygen is only an issue for those of us who enjoy breathing.

The show officially launched with the Sony keynote, which was less about custom home install and more about Sony. Still, they made a big announcement, that their FMP-X10 4K media player would be updated this fall to work with any television. That's big. The lack of 4K content was becoming an issue, and with 4K Blu-ray a year off at best, this was great move on Sony's part.

They also discussed their VPL-GTZ1 ultra-short throw 4K laser projector, that can be placed right up against a wall, and create an image as large as 147-inches. I saw it in person the next day, and it was a neat trick.

For that eyes-on, plus some cool tricks with a double stack of $25,000 4K projectors, check out Sony makes 4K player nonproprietary, shows off $50K 4K short-throw projector.

Sony wasn't the only company talking about laser projectors. In fact, nearly every projector company at the show had a new model with some variation of a laser light source. Epson's version, in their new LS10000 projector, uses two blue lasers and a yellow phosphor to create "white" light, which gets split into red and green (the blue coming from the other blue laser). It also uses a version of LCOS, called Liquid Crystal on Quartz, or as they refer to it, 3LCD Reflective.

Eyes on with that PJ, plus more details, in Hands on with Epson's laser projectors.

LG 105EC9
Geoffrey Morrison

LG is plowing ahead with OLED, much to the appreciation of picture quality fans everywhere. Announced, and shown, at the show, were 4K OLEDs. That's a pretty big deal, since moving to the higher resolution was seemed like a serious obstacle. The 65- and 77-inch models aren't cheap, at $9,999 and $24,999 respectively, but since last year's 1080p model was $15,000, and this year's is selling for under $3,000, it's clear these will be reasonably priced soon.

But if you don't want something reasonably priced, how about a 98-inch LED LCD for $40,000? It's 4K, has local dimming, and a Harman Kardon audio system. Still too cheap? Would a 105-inch, 21x9 model work for you? It's only $100,000.

Eyes on with all of those, at LG prices big 4K OLED, LCDs up to $100,000 (eyes on).

Next year the show moves to Dallas, presumably for BBQ and a better theme song.

Got a question for Geoff? First, check out all the other articles he's written on topics like why all HDMI cables are the same, LED LCD vs. plasma, active versus passive 3D, and more. Still have a question?Send him an e-mail! He won't tell you what TV to buy, but he might use your letter in a future article. You can also send him a message on Twitter @TechWriterGeoff or Google+.