CES was a bit different this year, with some companies declining to attend and others featuring simpler exhibits, but something that did not change was that a cavalcade of new products was introduced. As we do each year, the staff at Residential Systems has named their Picks Awards winners for CES 2022. Only products that were submitted into the awards program were eligible to win; entries were judged based on their potential impact to the custom installation industry. With these continued interesting times, it was not a requirement that the products were at CES, but they did have to be introduced within the previous year.
Here are the Residential Systems Picks Award winners for CES 2022:
ClearOne Aura Xceed BMA
The ClearOne Aura Xceed BMA dramatically enhances the audio and video experience for any cloud-based video collaboration application for the professional home office. It features a USB audio-enabled Beamforming Ceiling Tile Microphone Array that brings cost-effective conferencing audio to the professional home office.
The Aura Xceed BMA surface mounts to a home office ceiling and includes unique features such as audio beamforming, connectivity directly to loudspeakers, acoustic echo and noise cancellation, and full duplex audio, so all call participants can speak and be heard clearly and simultaneously.
Any laptop or room PC can be connected to the Aura Xceed BMA through USB. It features a sleek design with a nearly invisible ceiling install, allowing users to speak from anywhere in the home office — no longer are users restricted to a desk. The Aura Xceed BMA also features optional Bluetooth connectivity for mobile devices to use the system wirelessly.
DMF Lighting Enhanced DID Series Recessed LED Downlighting System
DID product enhancements were announced in 2021, including completely redesigned housings for easier installs, all-new installation options including Remodel, Chicago Plenum, and Flangeless Trim optimized for wood ceiling applications, and additional standard Trim finishes, such as warm diffuse to match more design aesthetics.
The flangeless wood application takes seamless ceiling light integration to a new level. The installation process is both precise and easy, utilizing a hole saw and DMF’s patented housing and trim technology. Combined, these create a clean, uninterrupted wood plane while still providing accessibility for any future changes and serviceability.
DMF’s portfolio of DID products are engineered for integrators and are exclusive to the CI channel. DMF offers a 10-year warranty and guaranteed dimming compatibility for the DID series.
Generac Power Systems PWRgenerator
When sunlight is unavailable or insufficient, the Generac PWRgenerator DC-coupled generator rapidly recharges the PWRcell Battery to keep homes powered for the long term when the grid is down. Because PWRgenerators are designed to be run more frequently and for longer periods, they are quieter, more fuel efficient, and have longer service cycles. The net result is true energy independence for homeowners who are at risk of power outages or subject to rate hikes from the utility.
A new addition to the PWRcell Solar + Battery Storage family, PWRgenerator connects directly to the PWRcell inverter, essentially creating a residential nano-grid allowing a home to be fully energy independent. PWRgenerator, when combined with a properly sized solar and battery storage system, delivers a complete level of energy independence, allowing homeowners to control and own their power. During the day, the solar panels provide power to the home and the excess can charge the battery. During the night, the battery discharges and if it reaches 30 percent state of charge, PWRgenerator will turn on and fully charge the battery in about one hour. In addition, PWRgenerator is designed to be extremely quiet and fuel efficient, running on either natural gas or LP. The PWRgenerator is also compatible with the PWRview app, which gives homeowners a view of their generator’s status and production alongside their solar array and battery.
Jabra PanaCast 20
The Jabra PanaCast 20 is a personal videoconferencing device that uses advanced processors, onboard AI, and a premium 13-megapixel camera to deliver real-time 4K Ultra-HD, with virtually no latency. The AI-driven Intelligent Zoom automatically follows your movements, perfectly framing you, whatever you’re doing. Using an onboard AI processor, Intelligent Zoom intuitively adjusts your picture in real time ensuring you’re always in the center of the frame, so you don’t have to stay rooted to the spot.
Intelligent Lighting Optimization analyzes your environment, and automatically adjusts your image in real time to enhance the video quality, including in rooms where the light is poorly distributed.
The Picture-in-Picture mode uses Edge AI processing to combine two real-time video streams into one, displaying the second stream in an integrated window within your main image. Picture-in-Picture mode works with any UC platform, even if they don’t support dual-stream devices, helping you to make your presentations more impactful.
Planar Luxe MicroLED Video Wall
Premium Planar Luxe MicroLED professional-grade, ultra-fine pitch MicroLED displays support luxury living. With 4K and 8K resolutions and high-contrast, high-brightness MicroLED technology, Planar Luxe MicroLED is designed to deliver outstanding, seamless video performance, while providing customers with a complete package that is aimed at effortlessly enriching luxury spaces.
Planar Luxe MicroLED displays are available in 4K 108-inch, 136-inch, 163-inch, and 8K 217-inch sizes, and include the display, wall mount, video controller with remote processing, remote control, display trim, and cables to provide customers everything they need. The displays are fully compatible with a wide range of popular content delivery systems and popular control systems, including systems by Crestron, Savant, and Control4.
The series’ MicroLEDs are much smaller than standard LEDs but deliver better black levels and up to three times more brightness while consuming much less power per unit of brightness. The displays also implement technology that reduces light blockage and ambient light reflection, resulting in better blacks, higher dynamic range, and enhanced dark content performance.
Samsung Electronics Eco Remote [New Version]
The new Samsung Eco Remote for 2022 is one of the latest additions to the company’s commitment to building a better, more sustainable tomorrow. It uses a recycled material design, plus solar energy and RF Harvesting to provide a battery-free experience. Whether it’s a bright and sunny day or the middle of the night, the battery stays fully charged by collecting routers’ radio waves and converting them to energy. With the 2022 Eco Remote, consumers can take a literal hands-on approach to reducing their eco footprint. And they can do it in style. Previously available only in black, the 2022 Remote will also come in a white color that pairs perfectly with Samsung lifestyle TVs.
Samsung Electronics 89-Inch MicroLED
Samsung’s MicroLED offers consumers the best of both worlds: ultra-premium viewing experiences, plus the flexibility to tailor your TV to your unique space. The new MicroLED’s display delivers impeccable visuals, stunning color contrast, and vivid color accuracy thanks to its new chip structure, formed by 24.9 million micro-sized LEDs, as well as its 10 percent wider color offering. The 2022 Samsung MicroLED display is also built for providing immersive, surround-sound audio experiences. With Dolby Atmos and Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound Pro feature, it projects audio to match the movement of onscreen objects.
Now bezel-free, Samsung’s new MicroLED TV blends more seamlessly into your space, limiting distractions and helping you stay engaged with whatever you’re watching. It also offers more flexibility with its setup. The new MicroLED is completely modular, so you can decide on the display you like best, up to 178 inches. Plus, it comes in different sizes to fit different needs. This year, in addition to offering 99- and 110-inch premade models, Samsung’s also introducing a preconfigured 89-inch model.
Samsung Electronics Neo QLED (4K and 8K)
The 2022 Neo QLED TV – in 8K and 4K models – is designed for elevating all your entertainment experiences, in any lighting environment. The new Neo QLED shows you impeccable visuals, from the brightest brights to the darkest darks — thanks to Samsung’s quantum mini-LED technology and its new Shape Adaptive Light Control. Samsung has also increased the Neo QLED’s luminance scale from a 12-bit to a 14-bit backlight — delivering significantly more accurate brightness. To make sure key details really pop, the 2022 Neo QLED has an Object Depth Enhancer feature, which uses Samsung’s advanced AI to analyze the on-screen picture and distinguish the main subject from the background.
Thanks to features like Active Voice Amplifier, Object Tracking Sound, and SpaceFit Sound, you can feel like you’re right there in the room with your favorite performer. For even more immersive audio, you can pair Samsung’s Q950B Soundbar with its Q-Symphony Atmos technology to synchronize each of its speakers with each of the Neo QLED TV’s speakers.
Samsung Electronics The Freestyle
For those who like to live their life on-the-go, there’s the Freestyle. A brand-new Lifestyle device for 2022, the Freestyle offers the technology and customization capabilities of Samsung’s smart TVs — plus portability. Weighing in at less than two pounds (1.83 lbs), it’s a versatile and lightweight device. Lay it on the ground and watch a show on the ceiling with its 180-degree cradle stand, or sit in your bed and project your favorite content onto your walls, from 30 to 100 inches. Built with Auto Focus and Auto Levelling features that automatically align and convert content, the Freestyle lets you project whatever you’re watching onto an unlimited number of surfaces — at home, outside, and anywhere in-between. When you purchase the base accessory, you can even attach the Freestyle to a standard E26 lightbulb socket.
The Freestyle also offers 360-degree sound and far-field voice control. With a Freestyle, you can seamlessly curate memorable audio-visual experiences by attaching its lens cap to create mood lighting, then synching the lighting to your favorite playlist. Plus, Samsung is offering an optional waterproof case and USB-C portable battery.
SANUS VLT7 Advanced Tilt 4D TV wall mount
The SANUS VLT7 Advanced Tilt 4D TV wall mount is unique in that it allows mounted displays to be tilted in four different directions. Compatible with TVs from 42 inches to 90 inches and offering a slim industrial design, the mount swivels right and left up to 15 degrees to provide a wider viewing area, while extending 6.8 inches from the wall for maximum tilt and ease of access to cabling. The VLT7’s scissor mechanism provides smooth in, out, and swivel motions, while its Virtual Axis Fingertip tilt feature allows for easy display adjustment. The mount’s decorative wall plate cover flips open and closed and displays click into place for a safe connection to the mount that can be heard. The VLT7 features an open wall plate, which is designed to fit On-Q Dual-Purpose In-Wall enclosures and the new SANUS In-Wall Media Boxes for convenient and discrete cable management and storing of streaming devices, network switches, and power modules. For fine-tuning, the mount’s ProSet Plus feature allows for 1-inch post-install height and level adjustment. To prevent theft, integrators have the option of securing the display to the VLT7 with a padlock.
Swann Fourtify Security System
The Swann Fourtify Security System is a fusion of a Wi-Fi camera with three traditional wired cameras to deliver a complete-yet-low-cost four-camera surveillance kit for home or business. Fourtify provides an affordable alternative to traditional security systems that require a recorder box (DVR or NVR) and/or network hub. All the smarts are located in the main camera, with three secondary cameras connected to it for an easier setup and seamless live viewing, playback, and activity detection. Once up and running, Fourtify transmits the video from all four cameras wirelessly.
THX Onyx is a portable DAC/amplifier that brings crystal clear audio to all consumers for music, movies, and games enjoyed over laptops, smartphones, and desktop speakers. This lightweight and compact product is ideal for on-the-go headphone listening because of its quick plug-and-play capabilities across PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices, and supports both microphone headphones and non-microphone headsets.
THX Onyx features a breakthrough in audio innovation with its feature of the world’s most linear amplifier technology, THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA). THX AAA technology is a patented technology that ensures the ultimate no-compromise headphone audio listening experience. Furthermore, THX Onyx features THX AAA-78 technology, which is the highest-powered mobile THX AAA configuration. With THX AAA-78, THX Onyx has the same power as a desktop THX AAA DAC/Amp, but in a smaller package. THX AAA technology enables 5x more output power with microphone noise at –98 dB. The feed-forward error correction technology reduces harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortion by up to 40 dB, resulting in a realistic and fatigue-free listening experience. This allows consumers to enjoy their entertainment free of distributive noise whether the audio playback is at 0.1mW or 180mW.
WALL-SMART Mounts for Sonos Soundbars
WALL-SMART Mounts for Sonos Soundbars offers AV integrators and homeowners a unique and discreet approach to soundbar installation. Designed, engineered, and manufactured to downplay the appearance of this common piece of audio equipment, the WALL-SMART mounts recess soundbars nearly flush with the wall surface. In many home environments, this design-forward application lends a cleaner, less conspicuous appearance than leaving the soundbar placed beneath a display.
To provide integrators and homeowners with options to best suit the home aesthetic and audio preferences, the mounts come in four different flavors for both retrofit and new construction projects: two mounts customized for the Sonos Beam soundbar, with either black or white trim and grille cloth; and two mounts customized for the Sonos Arc soundbar, with either black or white trim and grille cloth. The grille cloth, which protects the internal soundbar components from dust, is acoustically and IR transparent for optimal audio reproduction and control.
For more convenient and affordable shipping and delivery, the mounts ship as a kit ready for assembly on site. All the materials to build and install the soundbar mount, as well as detailed instructions and documentation, are included for quick, easy installation.