After a night of celebrating the start of CEDIA’s 30th year at the “Heineken Experience Center” – there’s really nothing more nutritious than beer and anniversary cake, is there? – the CEDIA faithful joined the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds pouring into the RAI for day two of ISE in Amsterdam. (Judging by the throng, predictions that attendance records will be shattered look to be extremely prescient.)
Direct-LED vs. Two-Piece Projection
Peter Aylett began the day with a CEDIA Talk on updated CEDIA standards and practices for home cinema (apologies for a lack of details here -- your faithful CEDIA blogger was hosting a panel discussion with several CEDIA Award winners elsewhere at that time, but Mr. Aylett’s talk will be available online soon). Later in the day, Michael Heiss gave a presentation at the association’s booth (or “stand,” as our EMEA colleagues call it) that answered the question: “Will Direct-LED replace two-piece projection systems?” The short answer was “no,” the more nuanced answer was “that depends on the situation.”
Heiss ticked off all the variables that would affect a decision regarding the two solutions: What’s the screen size? Resolution? What aspect ratios might be involved? And likely most importantly, what’s the budget?
Heiss pointed out that both the projector and screen factor into issues concerning image brightness, for example, while with a Direct-LED solution, “She be what she be,” in his words. Additionally, with a two-piece system, screen size and aspect ratio does NOT change the native resolution – but pixel pitch will change with screen width when an LED screen is the solution.
Technological advances have made center-channel audio less of a concern when it comes to LED solutions, but the biggest obstacle to broad adoption is still likely price – an LED system runs roughly three times the cost of a projector/screen setup.
From Fire to Photons
Lutron’s Sam Woodward returned to the CEDIA booth for a talk on the three revolutions in lighting: sources, user interfaces, and networking and connectivity. We’ve gone from candlelight to LED lamps in a variety of form factors – including elegant, sculptural/architectural shapes; seen switches make vast progressions from the binary on/off two-position wall plate to include both “intentional” control to automated interactions (think presence detection, geofencing, and so on); and we have digital control that makes for networked, integrated systems.
Woodward also notes that while the number of zones per room is going up, the amount of power needed per fixture has dropped in direct proportion to the addition of all of those fixtures – it’s a result of something that’s the lighting industry’s version of Moore’s law, called Haitz’s law:
Named after Roland Haitz, a now-retired scientist from Agilent Technologies, the law forecasts that every 10 years the amount of light generated by an LED increases by a factor of 20, while the cost per lumen (unit of useful light emitted) falls by a factor of 10