With CEDIA Expo right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the things I’m pumped to see at this year’s show!
10. Health/Aging in Place
Technologies designed to help with healthcare and to assist with caretakers and people aging in place were a huge theme at this year’s CES, but no one is better placed to employ these kinds of technologies than CIs. We’re already making the home smart, how about safer for our aging customers and family members? So, I’m wondering if we’ll see this gaining traction at the show.
One of the biggest buzzwords around, artificial intelligence seems poised to be a gamechanger. Besides Josh AI — who is already working on integrating ChatGPT into its system — who else will be leveraging AI and Chat GPT to make smart homes smarter? For the first word on AI, check out Scott Steinberg’s keynote on the AI Revolution, Wednesday night at 5:30 PM Mountain in the Four Seasons Ballroom.
Related: Real-World AI for the CI
8. Top Demo Material?
We’re always looking for that next great demo clip to show off our systems, and CEDIA is where the best companies look to wow the best installers with the best demos! Last year, Top Gun: Maverick was the runaway demo favorite, though we still got some James Bond No Time to Die and even a few encore presentations of “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman. (For the record, I have had enough of that one…but at least we’re past those painful, early “Bailando” demo days, amIright?!) Which demo scene will reign supreme at this CEDIA?
CEDIA remains one of the few shows left where projectors are still prominently on display, and with the number of companies exhibiting ultra-short-throw models at CES this year, I expect we’ll see quite a few of those. But I’m also looking forward to seeing what Barco, Sony, JVC, Epson, and Digital Projection bring to the party.
6. Micro LED Video Walls
These are pretty much the pinnacle of home cinema video, but they remain stratospherically priced. Surely at some point they will go from insanely expensive to just really expensive, right? With the Commercial Integrator Expo happening concurrently — and the popularity of digital signage in that world — I expect to see a lot of video walls on display from companies like Sony, Samsung, LG, Planar, and Just Video Walls. Of course, the video wall I’m most excited to see is the 18-foot-wide 4K HDR Quantum Media Systems’ Cinematic XDR LED Video Wall presented in a custom 60-seat theater in room #207!
5. Monitor Audio Hyphn
I’ve heard my share of high-end speaker demos at CES and CEDIA — last year’s highlight was the unveiling of the new Meridian DSP8000 XE towers — but these new flagship models from Monitor have a revolutionary design that I’ve been told sounds absolutely amazing. I also have it on good authority from my rep that the Hyphns will be at the show with a working demo at booth #943, so I’m keen to give them a listen!
4. Home Theater Demos
Home theater got me into this business and it remains my passion, and each year I try and make it to every theater demo. Of course, there is always going to be that standout demo at the show, and the one I’m most looking forward to this year is the combined forces of Trinnov, Ascendo, madVR Laps, Kaleidescape, Officina Acustica, Barco, and Seymore-Screen Excellence in booth #4233. Beyond just a gathering of some of the greatest companies, Trinnov will be performing the first U.S. demonstration of its new WaveForming technology designed to produce unprecedented impact, clarity, and level of detail in the bass reproduction in home theaters. The CEDIA demo will showcase Ascendo subwoofers in multiple configurations, starting with 3 front and 2 back, then 12 front and 2 back, and finally 12 front and 12 back.
3. I’m on a Panel!
This year I’ve been asked to be on a panel, titled “What Influenced the Influencers,” where we’ll discuss what caught our eyes at the show as well as trends coming in 2024. The panel will be moderated by CE Pro’s editor in chief, Arlen Schweiger, and, along with myself, will include Heather Sidorowicz, owner and President of Southtown Audio Video; Jeremy Glowacki, editor in chief at Residential Tech Today; and Chris Oram, service department manager at Engle Sentry. The panel will be on Saturday from 10:30 – 11:00 AM on the CEDIA Smart Stage. Come check it out!
2. We’re back in Denver!
Get ready to say, “Hello!” to the Big Blue Bear, people! I can’t tell you how many people have told me they loved CEDIA in Denver and wished it never left. Well, you’ve got your wish! Whether it’s the air, the weather, the vibe, the downtown, the beer, or something else, there is just something about CEDIA in Denver, and I’m stoked that we’re back!
1. Seeing Friends
While the gear and training are front and center, it’s the reunions that are really the star of the show. Last year, you could feel the love all around, as everyone was genuinely happy and excited to be back at the show, rekindling old acquaintances and friendships. From my recap last year, “Whether it was in aisles, booths, restaurants, or bars, reunions were happening everywhere at this CEDIA, with hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, or just big smiles; friends, colleagues, integrators, manufacturers, reps, and PR were all reconnecting, and it was great to see. People clearly missed these ‘real’ in-person connections, and it felt like CEDIA was back!” I can’t wait for more of the same this year, and if you see me walking around, please stop me and say hello!