It’s InfoComm Time, but Here’s My Preliminary CEDIA17 Itinerary

6/15/2017 10:47:00 AM
I’m a little late on my game and just started looking at flights to CEDIA this year. With the long flight, I was considering taking the red-eye home on Friday, so that my time on the show floor would be jam packed. That got me to thinking about what booths I want to visit and what my goals for the show are. With Crestron no longer showing at CEDIA, I do have some more time on my hands, so here are few things I plan to check out.
 
 

Two-Piece Projection
I am hoping this is the year of ultra-short-throw. With most of our clients living in apartments, dedicated media rooms are not part of our bread and butter. But with 75-inch TVs costing more than $3,000 for the privilege, two-piece projection becomes an attainable option for many of our clients. When you are talking multi-purpose media rooms, often with gaming systems with motion detection, a traditional projector is not practical, as often people are standing up or walking in the path of the image. With ultra-short-throw, however, the projector is now at the front of the room and is unimpeded by people milling about the room. Here’s hoping Screen Innovations motorizes its ambient light rejecting UST screen (are you listening Blake?)

DIY Solutions
While we don’t sell these solutions, many of our clients ask about eero, August locks, etc. Spending time exploring these companies and their products allows us to better understand their strengths and weaknesses and gives an opportunity to ask the questions critical to our industry—security, remote access/support, dealer pricing, etc.—that make these products a potential for a dealer’s arsenal or an absolute no-go.

Whole-Home Audio
I’m still looking for the best combination of Sonos and Autonomic to provide an easy-to-deploy, retrofittable solution (Sonos) that is also easy to integrate and plays well in the home automation sandbox (Autonomic). For example, we love the flexibility that Sonos offers with wireless speakers for seldom-used rooms or for retrofit solutions as well as the PlayBar for rooms that don’t need full surround sound or the complexity of an AVR, but do need better sound than the TV provides. But Sonos’ very limited integration is problematic and makes it something we can’t really include in our arsenal at this point. My hopes are not very high to find an answer to this at CEDIA, but one can always dream!

Control4
Without Crestron, I will spending a lot of time walking the floor with a close colleague who is a Control4 dealer. With Control4 currently on version 2.9 of their software, he is very hopeful that this CEDIA will be 3.0, and that it will be a big leap forward in terms of end-user experience, new features, and maybe a surprise or two, like the experience buttons from last year. His biggest hope is that he may get a solution to my question from above. With Control4 having acquired Triad speakers, he would love a wireless speaker that would work with a Control4 audio matrix as an extra zone, like a Sonos Play speaker.

Savant
With the recently announced launch of touch panels and the return of Bob Madonna to the helm, it should be exciting to see what Savant brings to the show floor.

Voice Control
Last year was all about Alexa. Now Google Home is an established player and many control systems have integrations (mostly via third party drivers) and Apple HomePod throws a curve ball. It will be very interesting to see how the various control companies continue to address this popular and growing trend.

That’s all I have on my hit list for now. What are all of you hoping to see at CEDIA? Where will you focus your efforts in the short period of time you have in San Diego?

Comments

Photo GalleriesMore Galleries >
Leon HQ Tour 2017

Residential Systems' Jeremy Glowacki and Leon Speaker's Noah Kaplan at the end of the tour

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Inside Leon's anechoic chamber

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's hands-on manufacturing process

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's hand-wound crossover

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Unique sculpture is on display throughout Leon. Much of it was created by Leon CEO Noah Kaplan.

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon sources its drivers from Israel.

Leon HQ Tour 2017

A warning before entering Leon's engineering department

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Inside Leon's engineering department

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's engineers at work

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's demo room

Leon HQ Tour 2017

A wide shot of Leon's final assembly

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Here's another stage of assembly

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's picturesque headquarters hallway

Leon HQ Tour 2017

More original artwork from Noah Kaplan

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Noah Kaplan demonstrates a miter saw

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon's Timbre SEVEN bookshelf speakers

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Leon invested in a machine to shred old boxes into new packing materials

Leon HQ Tour 2017

As part of its Lean Manufacturing, Leon delivers speaker kits to its assemblers in these custom-built cases.

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Wrapping speaker grille cloth

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Putting finishing touch on grille cloth

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Adding the drivers

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Testing a speaker for proper polarity

Leon HQ Tour 2017

The Glowacki family taking a breather in the marketing department

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Noah Kaplan next to a prototype concept in the hallways of his company's headquarters

Leon HQ Tour 2017

Outside Leon's Ann Arbor headquarters