Yamaha Digital Sound Projector
One interesting thing we saw at CEDIA was Yamaha's new wall-mountable Digital Sound Projector. This makes for an interesting "minimalist" speaker system for flat panel displays. This new Yamaha digital technology delivers a full surround field from a single thin system .
The Digital Sound Projector is a different kind of speaker technology altogether. With 42 digital amplifiers driving 40 1-3/8" full-range drivers and two 4-3/8" woofers, the Digital Sound Projection Speaker System delivers 120W of total power with fairly dynamic bass response. No crossover is necessary, you simply place the speaker and configure it for your style and room. The sound directivity is optimized by digital signal processing for various sources, including stereo, dual sound and 5.1-channel sound. As you can see (on right) the unit almost becomes one with a plasma display and eliminates all need for running speaker wiring or relocating speakers within a room - great for the minimalist application.
The setup involves describing your room to the system, setting various parameters and then enabling it to handle the different formats and modes that you will want to reproduce from the single system. Gary Altunian from Yamaha even told me that the system lets you dial in a different "sweet spot" other than the center position, so you can actually "steer" the sound field left or right depending upon your needs.
The system consists of forty (yes, 40) 1-3/8" full-range drivers and two 4-3/8" woofers, each individually driven by a 2W or 20W low-distortion, high-efficiency digital amplifier. A digital signal processor controls directivity by adjusting delay to produce sound output optimized for each source. In this way, the single system can reproduce up to a 5 discrete sound sources within a typical room.
This Digital Sound Projector System optimizes the sound field for any source. For 5-channel sources, the 40 drivers and two woofers are aimed to the front and sides to produce the optimum surround sound effect. We listened to it in Yamaha's configured booth and it did a good job of reproducing a multipoint source surround experience from just the single system. The device itself is also very avant garde with the LCD display appearing behind dark glass which apepars along the bottom of the unit. This is a promising device that will fit in well with many looking to have the best audio performance possible with little to no impact on the room.