It’s impossible to cover every new product at a show like CEDIA EXPO, but the Residential Systems team did its best to hit the high points for what ended up being another productive event for exhibitors and attendees. Here’s a look at some of the most notable newsmakers. We offer our apologies to those who we didn’t have the space cover here. (Contributors: Jeremy J. Glowacki, Mary Bakija, John Sciacca, Greg Tarr, Joe Palenchar, and Lee Distad.)
Roger Fortier (pictured), VP at Adam Audio, presented the new Architectural Design Series inwall speakers at EXPO. The company’s largest in-wall model, the AD77, is a passive three-way inwall speaker design that features one ART tweeter, one four-inch midrange driver, and two seven-inch Rohacell/carbon fiber woofers. The AD7 passive two-way and the compact AD5 are complemented by the ADS active in-wall subwoofer.
The German manufacturer is focused on custom-built TVs that conceal behind a mirror. The flat-panel technologies that Ad Notam uses are so thin that one application on display at EXPO was a mirror TV mounted on a medicine cabinet door. Other applications on display, included a set with a Wireless HDMI connection and a bathroom TV with LED vanity lights inset into the mirror (in custom-ordered shapes, of course) but the real show stopper was an 82-inch LCD mirror TV that disappears completely when turned off.
This company was founded by one of the guys responsible for NXT’s flat speaker technology, so right from the start you know they know what they’re doing. Amina speakers are a completely flat-panel transducer; installers cut out a section of drywall, insert the speaker, and attach it to the studs. The speaker can then be taped and mudded, then the mud sanded down and the wall painted so that the speakers disappear. Because they’re a line source and not a point source, there isn’t 6db of roll-off when you double the distance from the speaker.
AMX showed how its new Smart WiFi system delivers dramatic improvements in WiFi range and reliability via the AMX Smart WAP (NXA-WAP1000) and AMX ZoneDirector Smart WLAN Controller (NXA-WAPZD1000). Both utilize patented technology from Ruckus Wireless to produce an advanced level of WiFi performance in residential and commercial settings. The AMX Smart WAP is a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n smart Wi-Fi access point that can be deployed as a standalone access point, or combined with the AMX ZoneDirector Smart WLAN Controller as part of a centrally controlled smart WLAN system.
Atlona, the Sunnyvale, California-based manufacturer of video distribution devices and testing tools, was pleasantly surprised by the buzz around its A7-DIST-HD HDMI/VGA/component video tester. Installers can plug in a cable and receive a full diagnostic displayed on its seven-inch LCD screen. The current model is corded, but the company is working on a battery-powered version. Another problem-solving device is the AT-HDAiR, which delivers 720p video and stereo audio wirelessly from a USB dongle to a receiver that outputs to HDMI and VGA. It uses UWB bandwidth and has an official range of 35 feet.
The big draw at Audio Authority’s booth at EXPO was its new HD-IP hardware, using GigaBit ethernet to send HDMI over single Cat-5 or Cat-6. Compliant with HDCP 2.0 specifications, this technology supports copy protection with 128-bit AES encryption and overcomes traditional key verification limitations, enabling very large system sizes while maintaining full HDCP compliance. Unlike first-generation megabit implementations of IP technology, Audio Authority's Gigabit infrastructure means picture quality that is virtually indistinguishable from the source.
BG Radia launched a new LCR loudspeaker designed for high-performance in-ceiling applications. The IC-201 ($1,000/each MSRP) provides a solution for creating true soundstage imaging where the only practical mounting option is in the ceiling. Using the company’s proprietary planar ribbon technology, the IC-201 is manufactured in the USA at BG’s Carson City, Nevada headquarters and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Mounting is made easy in any standard depth wall or ceiling using BG’s optional back box. The IC-201 comes standard in black or white and can be painted to match any décor. The driver complement of the IC-201 combines four Kevlar woofers with Neodymium magnets with a single Neo3 planar ribbon tweeter utilizing a 45-degree down angle.
Throughout the show this relatively new player in the CEDIA channel fielded a constant stream of questions from attendees interested in controlling multiple mobile devices platforms from one universal app. Director of business development Ron Pitcock (pictured) explained that while people of all ages want to show off the new things they can do with their smart devices, they don’t want to use multiple apps to control multiple pieces of equipment. “Why would you want to open one app to turn on a TV then open another to adjust the surround volume? They want one easy to use app that can control their AV gear, lighting, security, and HVAC,” he said. BitWise offers a complete solution, with its BC4X1 Pro controller, Project Editor Software, the BitWise Touch app, and even graphics templates. Its customizable GUIs are created in HTML, allowing most devices that can display a web page, not matter what the OS, to be used as a control interface.
Boston Acoustics recently launched an outreach initiative that builds on its 30-plus year heritage of offering premium audio solutions at a great value. All new initiatives are designed to complement the company’s comprehensive product lineup, which is engineered to provide “smart” custom installation solutions for a wide range of applications and installation requirements. Boston Acoustics’ outreach initiative is designed to energize custom integrators and clearly communicate the company’s new “Play Smart” philosophy.
Certified Cyber Solutions, Access Networks
A visit to Booth 5336 at CEDIA EXPO provides two companies’ distinctive solutions to technological convergence in the digital home. The team at Certified Cyber Solutions (pictured (l-r) Russ Pritchard, Doug Weinstein and Caleb Yaran) created the Home Cyber Shield to be a network monitoring and secure access solution that can be fully contained within an electronic system contractor’s facility, without having to outsource client network and password privacy to third-party IT companies. The company recently secured a U.S. government contract valued at $2,200,000 for a worldwide network-monitoring project. Also at the booth was Access Networks, who was showing its Access Unity Network, which is an enterprise-grade plug-and-play unified home networking solution that is pre-programmed and easy to install but does not require IT expertise for integration.
Chief’s Jamie Brandt was on hand at this year’s CEDIA EXPO to help demonstrate the features and benefits of the company’s complete line of super-slender Thinstall swing arm wall mounts. Engineered for use with LED, LCD, and plasma TVs, the Thinstall swing arm mounts collapse to 1.5 inches deep, while offering smooth, Centris fingertip tilt. High strength, forged steel arms are utilized within the Thinstall design for extra strength and rigidity. Chief’s Centerless lateral shift feature offers up to 16 inches of post-install lateral shift, while height and leveling adjustments of up to one inch (25 mm) can be made after the mount is in place.
Control4 says it has seen an array of new apps developed specifically for its 4Store marketplace, adding to the functionality, fun and lifestyle benefits of the Control4 OS 2.0 platform. For instance, Eragy has developed an energy 4Store app that allows users to monitor and manage their home’s energy consumption through any television or seven-inch touchscreen on the Control4 system, as well as remotely from the Eragy.com web interface. Users will see their real-time energy usage as well as current costs, projected monthly costs and projected monthly power. Eragy also provides users with the ability to automatically control HVAC systems and other high-power appliances based on their own preferences for power use or based on time of day. Users can take advantage of their local power utility Time of Use and Time of Use Demand rate structures (if offered) to save money and help the environment by reducing overall energy consumption and peak demands on the power grid.
Crestron was by no means ignoring the influence of Apple’s iPad on the touchpanel business, even boasting about its position as the frequent #1 iPhone or iPad control app sold in the world. “We sell more apps because we sell more control systems than anyone else,” said Crestron’s Jeff Singer (pictured). “It’s a control interface, but it’s really the engine behind it that’s important. Dealers don’t make any money from the iPad, so they’d better sell something else too.” Crestron’s biggest introduction at CEDIA was its Core 3 OS, which is a new managed network operating platform designed to deliver more power, speed, memory, and security. High-speed multi-tasking enables up to 10 independent programs to run simultaneously. Core 3 also drives a new graphical user interface (GUI) framework that delivers richer graphics and more engaging, interactive animations. It enables the support of multiple formats and media players including Flash, HTML5, and H.264 video. Up to 1,000 different applications can be layered into a single programming object. These objects are vector files that scale to any size on iPad, iPhone, Android devices, touchpanels and HD displays without redrawing or additional programming. A dynamic on-screen display (OSD) expands control to the TV.
For the money, Digital Projection Inc. always has created some of the best images on the big screen. Its dVision 35-WQXGA XC (which can move between 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 aspect ratio content) was no exception. But at CEDIA, the company real milestone achievement was finding a way to offer the same performance at more competitive price points. For instance, the company’s new, performance- and value-oriented 3D projectors include the single-chip M-Vision Cine 400-3D, which will be priced below $19,000. But perhaps the biggest news from DPI was its first sub-$10,000 model, the M-Vision Cine 230 ($6,995 - $7,495 MSRP depending on lens selected) and the new 700-lumen dVision 30-1080p LED precision projector. Optimized for SMTPE 709 standards, it produces 1,000 lumens and 3000:1 native contrast.
Emotiva Professional Systems
The decision to take internet-direct Emotiva and create an integrator-ready line of audiophile products was the result of feedback from custom channel professionals who own Emotiva amps and processors in their personal systems, and clamored for a chance to sell them to their clients. While core Emotiva is still focused on eager DIY audiophiles, the Emotiva Pro is focused on clients who want dealer support. Emotiva Pro differentiates from the core in these ways: features built-in Control4 automation, with a separate power supply (so dealers can UPS the control system separately from the HiFi gear), one year advance replacement for dealers, and a 10-year warranty.
Audio Plus Services, the North American importer/distributor, introduced Focal’s “Bird” loudspeaker system, a new concept for high-quality lifestyle audio in a compact, user-friendly format. Bird 2.1 ($995 MSRP) is composed of small, two-way satellites connected to the “Power Bird” which serves as a unified amplifier, DAC and subwoofer solution. The units can be positioned horizontally, vertically or even mounted on a wall. The system excels in high definition audio for those seeking modern computer-centric wireless source inclusion, reproduced without compression or compromise. Supplied with a Focal Kleer Technology wireless dongle, Bird 2.1 interfaces with the Apple iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. An optional USB dongle ($99.95) expands wireless connectivity to include any computer with a USB output. The system includes a unified remote control and will accept a variety of analog and digital connections both hard-wired and wireless.
Front Row Seating
Built in Canada, Front Row Seating builds on 50 years of experience in the furniture business with a wide variety of traditional, contemporary, and modern designs in multiple configurations, including more than 15 dedicated home theater styles as well as more relaxed sofa and chair options. Not a budget-priced option, they’re built to high standards with kiln-dried hardwoods, and frames are glued, doweled, screwed or stapled, and corner-blocked for maximum rigidity. Front Row Seating’s biggest story at CEDIA EXPO was that just a few months before they became an official partner to motion-control vendor D-Box, and the majority of their seating lineup can now be integrated with D-Box hardware.
Few companies launching a new brand have the ability to generate any significant pre-launch hype or buzz. Then again, few new audio companies have an industry legend like Sandy Gross–co-founder of Polk Audio and Definitive Technology–at the helm. Gross demonstrated his new Triton Two towers, SuperSat bookshelf and center channels, and ForceField subwoofers. Part of the new recipe is use of a new High-Velocity Folded Ribbon Tweeter produced audio that is fast, transparent and airy with terrific dimensionality and imaging. Mid-range depth is handled via a D’Appolito array of 4.5-inch drivers with deep notes handled by a 1,200-watt DSP controlled digital amplifier driving two 5 x 9-inch long-throw sub drivers coupled to a pair of side mounted 7 x 10-inch planar infrasonic radiators. Word on the show floor was that his sound room was showcasing the sub-$3,000 speaker pair.
At CEDIA iSky’s CEO Jeff Graham (pictured) showed the company’s new Eco Tech Star star-laden acoustical ceiling panels. Made from recycled polyester fiber that uses 65 percent PET recycled fiber and 35 percent PET virgin fiber, these black drop-in ceiling panels significantly reduce the environmental footprint of acoustic treatment, versus the traditional fiberglass. They have the traditional, exclusive iSky star ceiling effects built in, with the added benefit of LEDs coupled to fiberoptic strands.
JVC featured six new 3D-enabled D-ILA projectors at CEDIA. All six boasted impressive native contrast ratios, with the top models delivering a 100,000:1 native contrast ratio. The new projectors are the Reference Series DLA-RS60 (pictured, with JVC’s David N. Walton), DLA-RS50 and DLA-RS40, to be marketed by JVC’s Professional Products Group, and the Procision Series DLA-X9, DLA-X7 and DLA-X3, available through JVC’s Consumer Electronics Group. For 3D content, each projector includes two HDMI 1.4a ports and supports side-by-side (broadcast), frame series (Blu-ray), and above-below 3D transmissions. An external 3D Signal Emitter (PK-EM1) syncs the projected image with JVC’s Active Shutter 3D Glasses (PK-AG1). The external 3D signal emitter ensures solid signal transmission to the 3D glasses. Additionally, JVC has a low-cost home theater projector that for the first time provides advanced D-ILA technology at an entry-level price. The new projector, to be marketed as the DLA-HD250 by JVC Consumer and the DLA-HD250Pro by JVC Professional, delivers 25,000:1 native contrast ratio and 1,000 ANSI lumens brightness.
KEF’s all-new Q Series has "taken everything that our engineers learned on Concept Blade and applied them to affordable loudspeakers," said KEF brand manager Johan Coorg (pictured). The latest Q line-up is the eighth generation of the renowned model and incorporates many technologies and improvements derived from the Concept Blade project, including a brand-new Uni-Q driver array. The complete redesign is said to produce a quantum leap in sonic performance. The new Q Series features nine speakers, allowing for flexible system building with a particular emphasis on home theater systems. Also introduced was the T Series, a new flat-panel speaker designed to complement today's stylish, ultra flat TVs while still providing the audiophile sound quality KEF is known for.
Key Digital is leveraging its expertise in video distribution by focusing more heavily on commercial solutions. VP of sales Michael Lakhter showed the company’s new modular, card-based 8x8 matrix switches that output to HDMI and single Cat-5 extensions simultaneously (essentially an 8x16 matrix switcher.) The modular chassis allows dealers to configure its inputs based on the systems’ requirements and it is able to scale analog inputs to HDMI out. In addition to full audio control, including volume, bass, and treble, it also passes TCP-IP to make it forward compatible with a control system that Key Digital is developing.
Kordz introduced a new HDMI extender, called the PLX-HD50. Kordz designed the PLX-HD50 with a new form factor, built with a compact sized transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) units, making it the smallest in the industry to date. Extending an uncompressed HDMI signal over dual Cat-5e/6 cables, the PLX-HD50 is capable of a transmission range up to 200 feet at 1080i and over 150 feet at 1080p resolution. The transmission range is based on the cable quality and HDMI enabled equipment being used. There is guaranteed 1080p with high quality digital video and audio over Cat-5e/6 without compression in the PLX-HD50 extender.
One the true innovations presented at CEDIA EXPO was the Lexicon DD-8 multi-room amplifier with patented DriveCore Technology. The lightweight, but robust amplifier (being held here by Harman High Performance AV’s Jim Garrett during set-up day at the show) employs a highly advanced silicon-based technology to deliver unprecedented power while using less energy and less rack space than ever before. Offering eight 125-watt channels in a one-unit chassis without a fan, the DD-8 complies with the new half-watt standby power consumption standards and consumes less power while in use than most products do in stand-by mode. It also has feedback and protection circuits integrated into the silicon for fast and accurate response while providing audiophile grade sonic performance; and it has the ability to automatically switch to low-power stand-by mode when not in use for even lower energy consumption. The new DD-8 comes standard with Phoenix speaker connections and flexible configuration options including four local inputs, a bus input/output and selectable mono-to-stereo output. It also features independent output level adjustment for each channel, as well as selectable triggers.
Energy management was the biggest message from Lutron at CEDIA EXPO, but two specific products really stood out for the lighting control pioneer. The first is a line of Venetian blinds with Intelligent Tilt Alignment technology, which maintains uniform tilt and lift positions across blinds, combines smooth, quiet motion with independent control of lift and tilt, and features presets to recall blinds to a predetermined height and tilt angle for the ultimate in performance and style. The blinds will be offered in more than 50 hardwood slats with rich wood stains and designer paints, 14 painted and brushed aluminum choices, nearly 30 optional decorative tapes and four valance styles, ensuring a perfect complement to any home décor. Custom color matching will also be available. Not to be left out, however, was a major aesthetic improvement for controlling Lutron’s HomeWorks QS system. The line’s new dynamic keypad (pictured) controls lights, shades, HVAC, and AV from one keypad: a colorful, new 4.2-inch capacitive touch interface. HomeWorks QS also includes RF dimmers and switches in Lutron’s popular Maestro style and a variety of wired and wireless Lutron seeTouch keypad styles.
Middle Atlantic Products
For those who thought there was no room for more innovation in rack designs, the new EGR Series rack enclosures from Middle Atlantic Products have been designed to achieve a high level of equipment mounting versatility in all types of homes and residences. In addition to the best features of MAP’s other rack series, EGR Series racks feature the new “V-system” Pre-drilled Sides with laser knockout mounting holes on a 5.25-inch grid. This eliminates field drilling to mount small components by allowing the integrator to simply knock out any of the precut holes and use the company’s special stud to provide a mounting point.
Niles’ DS Directed Soundfield Ceiling-Mount Loudspeakers feature thin-bezel, ultra-low profile grilles that are magnetically attached, providing a crisp, clean finish and greatly reducing installation time. For installation flexibility, the series includes both round and square grille options, both of which can be painted to coordinate with any surrounding décor. Niles’ patent-pending spring-loaded mounting clamps compensate for number of environmental conditions that would cause a mounting surface to expand or contract, such as high heat and humidity. The complete line—available in a variety of 7” and 8” models—feature premium components, including copper caps, high-level crossovers, and Kapton voice coil formers to ensure exceptional sonic performance expected from Niles loudspeakers.
The Nuage Nine solution, a hardware, software and services suite, enables integrators to increase revenue through new system sales and support contracts, decrease service costs, build long-term customer relationships, and generate new business opportunities by increasing product support. IT includes a central appliance installed at the customer site, web-based monitoring and management software, a digital knowledge base for error prediction, and software to enable error reporting. In addition, Nuage Nine has a team of engineers to support its dealers and ensure that the need for truck rolls decreases and service is optimized.
NuVo began accepting orders at CEDIA for its new Freestanding Renovia Zone Amplifier, the latest component for its Powerline Technology-based whole home audio system, specifically designed for simple and efficient retrofit installation. By keeping the amplifier out of the wall, this new product provides a cleaner, quicker process for installers, and gets a Renovia system up and running without the need for an electrician onsite. It can be used in combination with the existing Renovia in-wall Zone Amplifier to provide truly custom whole home audio systems for up-to-eight zones.
The company's latest version of the BlueBOLT platform, version 1.2, received a warm welcome from attendees. The technology provides hosted cloud-based power control and energy monitoring for AV systems. BlueBOLT's breakthrough features include a full suite of energy monitoring and management functions; remote outlet control for hard reboots of connected equipment; e-mail alerts when power anomalies occur; scheduled conservation to reduce standby power waste; monitoring of incoming voltage in near-real time or over history; and permissions settings to provide secure device access at administrator, installer, or client level.
Panasonic System Networks
Panasonic Networked Systems has partnered with Control4 to deliver automation solutions through its own line. The alliance allows homeowners access simple control of lights, shades, HVAC, and AV from a Panasonic corded and cordless phone, and backwards compatibility with the phones they already own. As an addition to the control options on Panasonic’s VieraCast capable televisions, the Control4 partnership brings control solutions into an extremely affordable level for more consumers. The bottom line is that it delivers HD resolution at one-third the bandwidth of competing products. It can send full HD at two to three Mbps and can maintain the integrity of a call as low as 512Kbps (non HD.) The result is an HDVC system that isn’t a bandwidth hog, and can run on a general network without requiring dedicated lines.
Phase Technology introduced its WL-SURR line of wireless surround speakers, which require only an AC power connection for operation. The line features an on-wall bipole/dipole switchable design in a white or black cabinet that is only 4.5 inches deep. Active digital crossovers are employed along with 100 watts of total amplifier power split between the woofer and tweeters. The transmitter operates in the 2.4 GHz band and uses frequency hopping to ensure an interference-free signal; its uncompressed audio is indistinguishable from a wired system. Three inputs are provided on the transmitter, two for the left and right surrounds and one for an optional subwoofer receiver.
At CEDIA EXPO 2010 PPC featured innovative demonstrations of the strength and tight-fitting nature of its compression connectors, including the EverTight line and AquaTight models (pictured, underwater). PPC's latest offering features compression connectors for XLR; quarter-inch mono and quarter-inch stereo/balanced connectors; as well as RCA, BNC, and F-type connectors, allowing for solderless, customized cable lengths suited to every run and every venue. In addition, the PPC PRO lineup will include all-new, specially designed cables and installation tools for use with PPC PRO connectors, making a perfect system for perfect sound.
Professional Home Cinema
Professional Home Cinema was founded in September 2004 with the goal of combining the preeminent engineering technology from consumer and professional audio fields to produce the most accurate, robust, and aurally exciting audio products for installed residential systems available. At CEDIA, the company began celebrating a new era demarcated by the introduction of a new brand mark: Pro Audio Technology. The company showcased production models of its new PMA-Series Programmable Modular Amplifiers, which utilize a four-channel mainframe driven by a proprietary dealer-programmable DSP engine. The DSP front end includes digital crossover filters for all PHC loudspeaker models and easy to use system set-up and calibration abilities. Energy efficient Class-D amplification is provided via ICEpower, supplying up to 4000 watts in a single 2-RU chassis weighing 20 pounds.
Needing a new handheld remote design, but not wanting to stray too far from its Apple-centric roots, Savant has created a handheld interface featuring an embedded iPod touch. Savant’s Touch Remote supports Savant’s On-Screen Display (OSD) technology, providing control over everything from lighting, home theater, whole-house automation, media, security, network cameras, climate control—any home appliance connected to Savant’s control platform. Through Savant’s iPBX telephony platform, the Touch Remote is also a phone, enabling users to communicate to other zones within the home as well as to the outside world.
Screen Innovations (SI) introduced its Reference Motorized II screen, featuring an all-new Electronic Solutions Inc (ESI) high-speed motor with motor noise of only 3db over average home’s noise. The Reference Motorized II has eliminated the need for a flush mount chassis. Up until now, the industry standard has been selling a separate chassis to put the box in, which is both costly and impractical.
SIM2’s Alberto Fabiano (pictured) demonstrated his company’s latest projector, the TEATRO, which is a 3-chip 1080p, DarkChip4 DLP, dual-lamp powered unit, available in two models: the TEATRO 50, offering 5,000 ANSI lumens, and the TEATRO 80 with 8,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 7000:1. The system is available with a choice of six lenses for installation flexibility and is IP controllable. The projector features six HDMI (version 1.3 with DeepColor) inputs as well as a SDI professional input and utilizes 10-bit video processing and the finest quality precision glass optics for spectacular picture quality.
SnapAV is now selling its own home cinema seating and shipping it the same day that it’s ordered, even directly to the installers’ jobsite. Sold as part of the company’s Camden Cinema Furniture line, the Biltmore chair is a wall-saver recliner design requiring only 5.5-inches of wall clearance. Made in the USA, integrated are premium materials including a Legget & Platt reclining mechanism, an all-wood frame and quality details like a steel recline lever and aluminum cup-holders. Creating the biggest buzz at the show, however, was the company’s raffle of a motorcycle on Saturday during the show, to Jennie Maroney. She and husband John own Creative Home Automation in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Along with a number of new products introduced by SpeakerCraft at CEDIA, CEO Jeremy Burkhardt (pictured, with a FloBox) emphasized the importance of market development. “We need to change the market to attract new technologies, and be open to the demands of a new generation,” he said at the company’s press conference. “We believe that your personal audio delivery device should work with everything you have that delivers audio. The thing we’ve done that’s different is that things like our FloBox can talk to the bigger system.” The FloBox and FloBox Mini feature integrated iPod/iPad/iPhone docks, as well as a CD drive on the larger version. Both models also include an FM tuner and a mini USB port allowing for sync with most digital delivery systems, including iTunes. The new Vital 250 is an integrated amplifier in a physically smaller format with a built-in iPod/iPad dock. Created to allow portable source and computer users to experience the magic of high-quality stereo reproduction, the 250 offers 50 watts of high-current power and enough inputs and outputs to allow for a variety of different configurations.
Sony brought home the big-screen 3D cinematic experience with its new the VPL-VW90ES, which is the company's first 3D front projector. Designed with the custom and specialty consumer electronics market in mind, the VPL-VW90ES is the first projector to be been branded with Sony's "Elevated Standard" (ES) moniker, signifying an emphasis on high build quality and outstanding video experience. It was also engineered to integrate seamlessly third-party control systems. The Silicon X-tal Reflective Display (SXRD) full HD (1920 x 1080) projector delivers film-like performance with Sony's 24p True Cinema. It incorporates frame sequential 3D technology with active-shutter glasses that work together with Sony's proprietary 240Hz high frame rate technology, the projector delivers smooth, full high-definition 3D images. The projector does not require a special screen so it can be easily placed in existing home theaters with minimal revision to the set up making it ideal for retrofit projects.
Stealth Acoustics created a unique exhibit at EXPO featuring the world's largest video screen (pictured behind (l-r) Michael Small and Brian Azzano) constructed from invisible speakers standing over 10 feet tall and displaying 1080p video content with 5.1 surround sound. Attendees can walk around, under, and behind the exhibit to experience one of the most creative installation examples of Stealth's invisible speaker technology. Based on the company’s new LR4 invisible full-range speakers in a tri-amplified configuration, B1630 invisible subwoofers and Stealth's own 8400 and 255R amplifiers, the exhibit also includes a self-contained listening adjunct area wherein attendees may critically audition each of the Stealth speaker models and review the underlying technologies.
Daily Dual is a new Stewart projection screen designed for screening rooms and multi-purpose media rooms that have the need for two screen surfaces in the same frame. As the demand for 3D in the home continues to grow, dealers and installers need to respond by adding silver screens to their portfolio, the Daily Dual allows existing rooms to be quickly and cost-effectively converted to dual 2D/3D screen functionality.
After entering the scene last year at CEDIA, TRUFIG showed its expanded line of flush-mount accessories, including a new line of HVAC Mounting Platforms. The new category includes two distinct styling solutions, flush mount for metal HVAC grilles, registers and returns, and the popular linear venting system. By introducing another category, TRUFIG now offers a solution for nearly every device in the wall or ceiling.
URC expanded its presence in the home-control market with the launch of its first IP-controlled multizone-audio system, IP surveillance cameras, and rack-mountable MRX-10 home-system controller. The MRX-10 controller receives commands via Ethernet and WiFi to control the new multiroom-audio system, surveillance cameras, components in a connected home entertainment system, and other-brand thermostats. Commands are sent to the controller via two new handheld WiFi/IR remotes and a new in-wall KP-100 seven-button in-wall keypad, which talks to the controller via power-over-Ethernet (POE) cable.
WallWizard, the new flat-panel TV mount brand that made its market debut this summer, offered the first-ever software application that permits remote control operation of the brand’s motorized mounts from Apple iPad, iPod, iPhone via Wi-Fi, and Smartphones via Bluetooth. WallWizard’s Control System is a two-piece solution that consists of the brand’s proprietary ControlWand software application which consumers download from App stores at a selling price of $9.99, and a Wi-Fi / Bluetooth accessory that is available from authorized dealers at a selling price of $119.99. ControlWand allows the user to toggle among Auto, Manual and Gyro Modes (with Gyro, the motion of the motorized mount duplicates the motion of the handheld device without having to push any additional buttons.)
Liberty AV and Intelix
At EXPO, Liberty AV’s chief technology officer Ralph Parrett (pictured , left, with Intelix counterpart Mike Konkle) explained the new partnership between his company and the two companies. One of the Intelix products offered by Liberty AV is the 8x8 Twisted Pair Matrix, which combines an audio/video switcher with Intelix’s twisted pair extenders. The device is designed to make the transition from analog to digital a much easier one.
Throughout the show, Erick Valkingburg performed live installations of Omni- Mount’s new LED Series of mounts, showing how he could have the mount up and ready in a matter of minutes. The LEDP75 offers full motion and was built to fit any LED, LCD, plasma, or 3D TV up to 75 pounds. It also offers Dual-Mode Installation for low profile on-wall mounting or flush in-wall mounting. The ability to be installed on-wall or in-wall is a direct result of this mount being designed with its own housing for a completely self-contained solution.
One of the best demos at CEDIA was the result of a partnership between Procella Audio and ESC, Epic Home Cinema, of Marietta, Georgia, to build the first THX Certified Screening Room to ever be demonstrated on a tradeshow floor. The room was designed to the same standards demanded by professional facilities, with a background noise equal to or less than NC20. The room was initially built offsite by Epic Home, before being dismantled, moved to the EXPO floor and then completely rebuilt. After completion, the room was tested by THX and certified as a residential Screening Room. Procella Audio speakers are designed by Anders Uggelberg, a THX-trained and certified cinema designer credited with more than 300 professional designs. The active speakers feature onboard amplification along with DSP control. To achieve the high-volume levels and low distortion levels required for certification–no audible distortion up to 108 dBC from the main channels or 115 dBC from the subwoofers–the Certified Screening Room is outfitted with three flagship P815 screen channels a bi-amplified design driven by 1,400 watts of power and 28/56 bit ADI Sigma DSP, six P8 surround channels utilizing a pro audio eight-inch woofer that fits in a shallow 7.9-inch depth, two P18 2 x 18-inch active subwoofers with dual 700-watt amplification and capable of 132 dB output, and 3 P10 active subwoofers.
RTI featured its next-generation T3-V+ and T2-C+ controllers, new XP processors, and Apple integration for system control from anywhere in the world. With its new RTiPanel app, users will have complete control of RTI’s XP series of remote processors–including the flagship XP-8 and upcoming XP-3 and XP-6. For intuitive operation, the graphical user interface is completely customizable to any system via Integration Designer software. According to RTI’s Pete Baker (pictured) the result is an interface that matches the graphical style of an RTI handheld or in-wall controller so that users enjoy the same familiar look across all interfaces, including their Apple app. The third generation of the T3 system controller, the T3-V+ is enhanced with an updated hard button configuration including five soft keys, which will allow for future custom button-engraving options from RTI.
3D That was Easy on the Eyes
If there was a prevailing theme at this year’s CEDIA it is that the projector manufacturers want to get in on the 3D craze and deliver massive, two-perfectly-spaced-and-stereoscopic-vision-eyed dose of big-screen 3D. So I scoured the show floor and looked at all the 3D projector demos. I saw all of the demos, and unfortunately I was not super impressed, especially for products that are going to be $10,000 at the entry level. Yes, the 3D effect works, and I think it works even better on the big screen, but most of these demos were still incredibly eye fatiguing. And then there was the Runco demo, which was by far the most impressive one that I saw at the show, not just for picture quality, but for complete “easiness” on the eyes. Beyond just being a dual-projector, passive glasses system, I think what set the D-73d apart from the others is that Runco is currently the only company to license RealD‘s Processing Package, which is the exact system used for 3D in commercial theaters. Second, Runco has formulated its own lens material for the 3D glasses, and their frames are comfy.