The day before the show officially opened at CEDIA EXPO in Atlanta featured several press conferences, two of the most substantial being SpeakerCraft and Lutron product introductions.
SpeakerCraft has been promoting its new products for the past few weeks, over which time we learned about the company’s new “Vital” AV receiver venture, larger versions of AIM in-wall speakers, new “Ruckus” rock speakers, and the company’s new AV distribution and control product, called Nirv.
Nirv has a modular architecture instead of a massive central hub design. This means the dealer will only need to buy the pieces necessary for the specific system he has designed and upgrading or expanding is as simple as adding what is needed to the network. On screen programming is so easy and intuitive it can be accomplished on-site by virtually anyone on the project team.
With Nirv, all media, data, control, and communication signals are distributed through a single Cat-5 cable, and the system also integrates theater surround sound, home automation, and page/intercom into one easy-to-manage package.
The system sounded like a really cool concept, especially the way it has been designed to work from a single 10-button RF remote control. I also thought that the idea of distributing eight simultaneous 1080P video streams, along with multichannel audio was really cool. Most of all I was interested to find out how much SpeakerCraft is branching out as a company beyond its core in-wall and in-ceiling speaker focus.
As for Lutron, talk about massive product line overall… During its press conference, Lutron unveiled several new products, including RadioRA 2, HomeWorks QS Wireless, and a QS Wireless.
From what I learned, RadioRA2 takes the original flagship Lutron RadioRA concept to a whole new level by incorporating more than 10 years of RF experience, customer feedback, and new innovations.
RadioRA 2 includes a main repeater with astronomic time clock, RS-232, built-in IP integration, a new seeTouch hybrid keypad-dimmer for retrofit applications, a wireless Pico controller, radio “Powr Savr” occupancy/vacancy sensors, native system support of GRAFIK Eye QS lighting control and Sivoia QS shading solutions (no interfaces required.)
According to the manufacturer, the new RadioRA 2 system not only works more efficiently than its predecessor, but it’s actually a more affordable system.
Lutron’s really a powerhouse in the lighting control space and it looks like that with this updated line as well as its new HomeWorks QS Wireless, and several other introductions, will help elevate the Pennsylvania company’s stature even further.