Audio Show Success

The Home Entertainment 2003 Show, held June 5–8, 2003, at the Westin–St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, was an event that will stand out for residents, exhibitors, and visiting press as a well-attended showcase of some of the finest products and technologies the consumer electronics industry has to offer.

According to all reports received, the Show was an incredible success—as calculated both in consumer traffic, which totaled 15,123 people, and the more than 1000 retailers and 483 members of the press from all corners of the globe. Show attendees had a chance to see, hear, and demo more than 250 brands from 200 exhibitors in more than 100 demo rooms—over $10 million worth of audio/video and home-theater equipment.

Attendees also had a chance to learn about the latest advances in HDTV, Super Audio CD, surround sound, and more in a series of educational seminars. A variety of live musical performances from blues, jazz, and popular recording artists provided welcome relief from the crowds and noise generated on the exhibit floors. Richard Thompson's standing-room-only concert, sponsored by Dolby, packed the house on Saturday night.

Showstopper Highlights
Sony unveiled several new audio/video products, including a new series of multichannel A/V receivers and a new flagship model, the STR-DA9000ES, which features the new i.LINK digital input, to receive encrypted DSD data from a suitable SACD player. Also unveiled was a flagship SACD player—the SCD-XA9000ES—which has such a digital output.

Dolby Laboratories showcased recent developments in DVD-Audio software and hardware with a state-of-the-art demo with partner Meridian Audio, who showcased its 800 Series electronics and five DSP8000 loudspeakers.

Hewlett-Packard showed off its digital imaging products, scanners, cameras, and photo printers, plus the mobile Compaq Tablet PC, the iPaq Pocket PC, and the cool new Digital Media Receiver en5000, which extends digital music and photos to consumers’ TV and stereo systems.

Television was on display in all shapes, sizes, and formats, including HDTV, plasma, LCD, DLP, along with front and rear projectors from manufacturers Faroudja, Runco, Samsung, Sharp, SIM2 Sèleco, Sony, Vidikron, and Zenith. Consumers were also awed by Nippura Blue Ocean’s unique acrylic rear-projection screen, which provides 3-D portrayal of video and asymmetrical projection for simultaneous viewing from both sides.

New loudspeakers from Alón, Avalon Acoustics, Avantgarde, Dynaudio, Gallo Acoustics, Gershman, MartinLogan, Polk Audio, Pure Audio, Silverline, Tannoy, Velodyne, and Wilson-Benesch enthralled consumers, many of whom brought their own CDs to test-drive the best of the best.

Tube amps from Innersound, Manley Labs, and Wavestream, and turntables from Clearaudio, Musical Fidelity, and Rega—who showed a turntable whose platform was painted with an American flag—reminded the crowd that tube and vinyl technologies once again are gaining ground.

Audiogon/ sponsored a silent charity auction, onsite and online, to benefit the Elf Foundation, which creates "rooms of magic"—private entertainment theaters for children’s hospitals across the country—to bring to ill children and their families the enchantment of music and films. Together they raised $21,000, while Bay Area dealer The Good Guys raised $7000 for this worthy cause.

Co-sponsored by Stereophile, Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Home Theater, and Audio Video Interiors magazines and The San Francisco Chronicle, Home Entertainment 2003 was the ultimate showcase for innovative technology introductions, and the USA’s pre-eminent home-entertainment event of the year.

Home Entertainment 2004 is scheduled to take place May 20–23, 2004, at the Hilton New York Hotel—site of the successful 2001 and 2002 events.