CEDIA has always been my favorite trade show, focused as it is on the residential A/V products that speak to my enthusiast roots. There is nothing like filing into a state-of-the-art home theater demo shared with a dozen or so fellow showgoers who, despite having seen and heard it all, still best of CEDIA 2023 openermanage gasp on cue at the impactful sound and big, beautiful images emanating from the latest gear. There's also the attention and respect paid to integrators and their businesses, with products that are designed to give them something fresh to sell or make their lives and installations easier. Taken as a whole, the 11 projectors, screens, and support products being honored with this year's CEDIA Expo 2023 Best of Show Awards reflect a bit of all that. The projectors range from a cutting edge, 32,000-lumen monster for the most massive home cinemas and a nearly $10,000 aluminum-clad ultra-short throw, down to a basic single-chip DLP that deserves to be seen because it fills the niche for an affordable, everyday projector for bright-room viewing and gaming. You'll find in this list an advanced image processor and an uber-fast movie server, as well as some basic new screen entries. Here's our list, and be sure to keep an eye out for our show video highlight reel after the fact.—Rob Sabin

Barco Residential Nerthus RGB Laser Projector

Barco Nerthus 800

The largest, luxury home theaters and screening rooms may have capacity up to 40 seats and a screen that could run 20 feet wide. Often, this is an acoustically transparent, low-gain screen that siphons off some projector light. In these environments, there is no substitute for sheer firepower, and if that's what you're after, you won't likely find anything better suited to the task than Barco Residential's new behemoth, the Nerthus. Rated for 32,000 center lumens, this single-chassis, 4K RGB laser projector replaces the company's powerhouse Thor and Thor+ models and, believe it or not, at $224,995, it comes in at less than half the price of the Thor+. The triple-laser light source, tuned specifically for residential applications, covers 100% of the wide BT.2020 color gamut for HDR, and the projector supports DCI content for those who need it. Barco offers five different lenses to accommodate a wide range of throw distances, all of them the brand's best caliber optics for the highest contrast and 4K detail. View Projector Details

Digital Projection HIGHLite Satellite MLS 4K UHD Reference Projector

HIGHlite 4K UHD Digital Projection 800

Digital Projection's revolutionary Satellite Modular Laser System debuted way back in 2020, offering a choice of compact, lightweight projection heads teathered by optical cable to a 10,000-lumen, rack-mounted RGB laser light source positioned a distance away. The 4K UHD HIGHLite Satellite MLS head utilized in the system honored here is a relatively new addition that makes the MLS a viable option for tricky residential installs where 4K resolution and high brightness are desired without the huge, boxy aesthetics or noise associated with placing a traditional 10,000-lumen projector. The 3-chip DLP system delivers close to full Rec.2020 gamut and 2,000:1 native contrast, and the whisper-quiet head, which measures just 11.8 x 12.4 x 13.3 (WHD) and weighs 42 lbs, can be integrated in a wide range of media room and theater environments thanks a choice of zoom lenses that cover 0.83:1 to 1.7:1 throw ratios. You can even double the light output to 20,000 lumens by adding an extra light module. View Product Details

Draper StyleLine Fixed-Frame Projection Screens

Draper StyleLine Frames 800

Draper's new StyleLine screen family doesn't introduce any new groundbreaking materials or exotic design options, but it's revolutionary in a "why didn't someone think of this sooner?" sort of way. The entire idea is to eliminate the endless SKUs and choices integrators face and simplify ordering of the most common fixed-frame screens by boiling it down to a single product with three basic options: trim finish, projection surface, and size. For trim you get a choice of a sexy, wraparound edgeless design, or two black Veltex-covered bezel options that screw on over the subframe with either the traditional 3-inch width or a low-profile 5/8-inch width. The new frames are light and installer friendly, with the materials attaching to the quick-connect subframe via hook and loop and offering up to 1-3/8 inches of horizontal and vertical surface tension adjustability. As for projection materials, you get 11 options from the TecVision family of fully ISF-certified surfaces, including traditional matte white, grey, and ALR screens in various gains to accommodate different lighting and seating arrangements. A wide range of sizes runs from 92 to 165 inches diagonal in 16:9, 16:10, 2.35:1, or 21:9 aspect ratios.

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 Laser TV Projector

Epson LS800B leftfacing 800

Epson introduced the LS800 UST laser TV projector last fall with a number of advancements that, in the footsteps of the LS500 it replaced and the LS300 step-down model, have helped the brand capture the title of number 1 best-selling UST retail projector brand in the U.S. A 3LCD light engine with a powerful 4,000 ISO lumen brightness rating (verified in our review) that successfully combats all manner of ambient light is a key contributor to the products's success, along with a remarkable lens with a super-tight 0.16:1 throw ratio that puts up a 100-inch image with the projector's back just 3.9 inches from the screen and its front just 17.3 inches out. It'll even do a 150-inch image with commendable sharpness out to the edges of the picture. Epson's 4K-PRO UHD pixel-shifting with HDR support and effective dynamic contrast enhancement round out the package. For integrators who already sell Epson into their home theater installs, the LS800 coupled with one of Epson's optional SilverFlex UST ALR screens at 100 or 120 inches represents a profitable TV alternative for media rooms and other recreational spaces. View Projector Details

EPV Screens Sonic Star AT eFinity Acoustically Trasparent ALR Screen

EPV SonicStar eFinity Corner 800

Elite and its pro AV division EPV Screens have built a solid reputation among consumers and integrators for high-performing, cost-effective ambient light rejecting screens. With the recent launch of the Sonic Star AT eFinity, it now offers an acoustically-transparent option in an angular reflective ALR material available in 16:9 aspect ratio from 110- to 150-inch sizes. The ISF-certified Sonic Star AT material offers a 1.0 gain and 0.55 mm perforations to allow sound to pass through with minimal attenuation, along with a layered construction that rejects 70% of ambient light that falls on the screen—a great option for that multi-use media or theater room where the projector may get powered up for a lights-on sports event or awards show with friends as easily as it does for a dark-room movie night. The "Edge Free" design allows a perfectly flat and taut spring-tensioned installation, along with a black, thin-bezel frame that mimics the look of a large panel TV. Other pluses for installers: split-frame constrution, easy centering on a sliding rail system, and an included LED backlight kit. View Product Details

Hisense L9H Laser TV System

Hisense L9H Lifestyle 800

Hisense continues to play a major role in the promotion of UST laser TV projectors, and remains the only brand to offer SKUs that are sold only as projector-screen bundles with a fixed focal-length lens and an ALR UST screen at a 100- or 120-inch size. The L9H system with 4K UHD resolution replaces the L9G models introduced in 2021. It provides essentially the same specs with a robsust 3,000-lumen brightness and a triple RGB TriChroma laser light engine that delivers a claimed 110% of the BT.2020 color space. There are also some premium features not often seen today in competitors, including Dolby Vision HDR processing, a new Google TV streaming platform that includes the rare (among projectors) working Netflix app, an integrated ATSC TV tuner and NEXTGEN TV for cord cutters, and respectably low input lag for casual gaming. The projector has an integrated 40-watt Dolby Atmos audio system, though as with most USTs, any permanent installation should ideally be accompaned by a high quality standalone audio system. But for integrators, the Hisense L9H systems, not to mention the less pricey single-laser L5H models, represent a solid turnkey solution to present to clients as a big-screen flat-panel alternative. View Projector Details

JVC LX-NZ30 Laser Projector


For JVC's legion of loyal integrators, the LX-NZ30 commands attention at this year's CEDIA mostly for what it isn't: Yet another expensive, high performance, 3-chip D-ILA home theater projector of the ilk on which JVC has built its stellar reputation among enthusiasts and installers. What it is, instead, is an affordable, high-brightness single-chip 4K DLP projector designed to anchor the brand's entry-point and fill the demand for all those situations where a state-of-the-art dark-room theater projector is neither required nor cost-effective. With its 3,300 ANSI lumen laser engine and compact, 14 pound chassis, the LX-NZ30 can be dropped into most high ambient light environments and command attention, especially if mated with an ALR screen. Solid image quality is assured by JVC's custom tunings, and 6.2 millisecond latency plus 1080p/240 Hz capability via a DisplayPort 1.2 connection make it an ideal gaming machine. Price: $3,499—half the MSRP of JVC's entry level, lamp-based D-ILA model. View Projector Details

Kaleidescape Terra Prime Solid-State Movie Servers

Kaleidescape TerraPrimeSolid State Servers 31T 8T 800

It's hard to overstate how successfully Kaleidescape, since its founding in 2001, has continuously adapted its business model and products to accommodate a changing landscape of copyright rules and advancing technology. As a result, the company's award-winning user interface and convenient online movie store remain the favored solution for premium installations and will be seen in literally several dozen booths at this year's Expo. Kaleidescape's latest enhancement, honored here with a CEDIA Best of Show Award, is the Terra Prime Solid-State movie server, the first able to utilize 2.5 gigabit Ethernet to take advantage of the latest networking and ISP trends for much faster downloads and more simultaneous playbacks than any of Kaleidescapes prior servers. Available in a massive 31 terabyte as well as a compact 8 TB model, they can download a Kaleidescape high bitrate 4K movie at up to 2.1 Gbps in as little as 4 minutes if connected to a compliant network. Once downloaded, a movie can be viewed simultaneously on up to 25 viewing zones. The 31TB model can store approximately 500 4K movies, while the 8TB will serve up roughly 125 4K titles. Of course, Kaleidescape makes upgrades easy by sticking with the same connections as prior units and making rack-mount kits available for both units. View Product Details

Leica Cine 1 Laser TV Projector

Leica Cine1 800

Leica, one of the world's most famous and respected camera and lens manufacturers, is dipping its toe in the high end UST laser TV market with its introduction at CEDIA of the 3,000-lumen Cine 1. With Hisense triple laser RGB light engine technology at its core, it nonetheless bears the Leica stamp with a sophisticated proprietary Summicron lens featuring aspherical elements. Also on board is Leica Image Optimization, or LIO, that is said to utilize the company's years of experience in digital image processing through special algorithms intended to deliver more natural colors, better color gradation, and outstanding contrast. Everything about the industrial design screams luxury, from the heavy duty aluminum housing to the sliding automatic dust cover that hides the lens, to the perforated speaker grille with the iconic Leica red dot logo. The Cine 1 even captured a 2023 IF Design Award for outstanding product design. Two models will be available for a 100- or 120-inch image, each with a fixed focal-length lens. Price for the 120-inch version is tagged at $9,495. View Product Details

LG Electronics CineBeam HU915QB Laser TV Projector

LG HU915QB 1 800

The CineBeam HU915QB, at $6,499, is LG's flagship UST projector and, as noted in our review, one of the best you can buy today. LG's unusual triple-laser, 3000 ANSI lumen light source eschews the discrete RGB architecture found in other three-laser models, but still manages to score full DCI-P3 rated color gamut while avoiding the distracting laser speckle seen with many competitors. LG's effective dynamic tone-mapping provides a superb HDR experience, and unusally sophisticated menu controls allow the projector's color to be fully honed in via manual calibration or Calman AutoCal. Add to this the excellent webOS user interface and streaming platform, which includes Netflix and all the other major services, and an unusually short 0.19:1 lens that allows it to throw a 100-inch image with about 4 inches of clearance from the back of the projector, and you've got an impressive package that's as adept at dark-room movie viewing as it is at bright-room TV watching. View Product Details

madVR Labs Envy Extreme MK2 Video Processor

madVR Envy MK2 800

MadVR has, in four short years, become a dominant force with its innovative Envy video processors, a fact that's evident by the appearance of the new Extreme MK2 in about a dozen high-end theater demos at this year's CEDIA. As described in our review, the Extreme MK2 is the ultimate Swiss Army Knife for videoholics, offering just about anything you know you want and a few things you didn't. Leading the list is best-in-class frame-by-frame HDR dynamic tone-mapping, but there's also proprietary auto-aspect ratio control and a remarkably subtle non-linear stretch function to seamlessly fill out the screen. It'll scale signals up to 8K, provide super-accurate calibrations via large 1D or 3D LUTs, and manage subtitle placement. New this year is Motion AI, a sophisticated alternative to traditional motion interpolation that delivers sharp pans and motion without the soap opera effect. This is all built into a revised premium chassis that tops the previous Extreme MK1 with a more powerful processor, more memory and an enhanced power supply to accommodate all the cool stuff the company hopes to add to the features list going forward. The Envy Extreme MK2 isn't cheap, coming in at $15,995. But if you have a state-of-the-art projector, this box will help you extract every ounce of its performance. View Product Details