August is typically a busy time at the Residential Systems headquarters as we prepare for the big industry tradeshow — making booth appointments, chasing down new products, and making plans with peers for dinners at our favorite places. Unfortunately, this year takes the in-person perks out of the tradeshow experience, but there is still much to be learned through the virtual CEDIA Expo taking place September 15 through 17.
Here, we’ve done our usual new product gathering. These products were marked for display at the physical expo, but you may also see them in the virtual one.
AudioControl is introducing the Director 2.0 firmware that adds new features and an easier-to-navigate graphical user interface (GUI) for the company’s complete line of Director Series and RS Series DSP amplifiers.
The new user experience offers a clean look, providing easy accessibility to all features from a single page. The new GUI is also a responsive web page, making it easy to view on a variety of devices and screen sizes from phones and tablets to computers. The new interface is compatible with Apple and PC computer platforms as well as both iOS and Android mobile devices.
The SDS switching (Signal Detecting Switch) enables users to interact with the popular smart doorbell devices, command prompts from voice assistants and other devices, seamlessly pausing entertainment content until the event has passed. AudioControl has also added six additional parametric EQs for enhanced system tuning capability, channel metering for visual confirmation of signal levels (at the amplifier’s output stage), and a touch-sensitive webpage, enabling full system configuration from a phone, tablet or other touch-enabled devices.
Leveraging the company’s heritage in enterprise workplace technology, Crestron recently announced Crestron HomeTime in collaboration with Logitech and Zoom to deliver a premier videoconferencing, home control, and unified communications (UC) experience engineered for socializing, remote learning, and working from home. Crestron HomeTime is a unification of the Logitech MeetUp conference camera with the Crestron UC Engine that integrates with Crestron control to deliver the optimal Zoom Rooms experience.
Crestron HomeTime is a complete HD video and audioconferencing system with the size and scale to handle UC in any room in the home. Crestron allows users to host and join Zoom meetings without a laptop while providing the simplicity of one-touch join from a Crestron remote or mobile app.
With Crestron HomeTime, homeowners can use the television in the living room to see participants in much larger video windows; and the MeetUp 4K camera with wide-angle lens captures everyone comfortably in the frame. The full range speaker delivers intelligible audio, and the full-duplex, advanced beamforming microphone enables natural conversation among everyone in the group.
Fortress Seating is featuring its new version of a ’60s classic, the Airflo, along with the Laurent chair. The contemporary model of the popular ’60s AirFlo chair is back as a reflection of today’s retro design trends and is ideal for media rooms and home theaters. Designed by D.T. Chadwick, this modular seating system is intended for comfort. Channel upholstery covers the seat and back. A metal plinth base and feet give it that unmistakable retro look.
The Laurent, with attractive diamond stitching and luxurious comfort, is ideal for the modern home theater. Besides luxurious comfort and elegance, the outstanding feature of this new model is the contrasting detail of diamond stitching. This classic detailing was popular about 10 years ago in the luxury markets of home interiors, fashion, and auto industries and is once again enjoying a resurgence. The unique design adapts well in a variety of seating environments and can be further enhanced with endless accessory choices. As with all models, the Laurent is available in any configuration.
RoomMe is a true-occupancy sensor that leverages patented presence sensing technology and the unique Bluetooth signature of a user’s smartphone or smartwatch to trigger personalized automations within the home.
An upgrade to popular smart home and automation systems, not a replacement, RoomMe acts as an additional layer over an established smart home network to add new levels of intelligence as well as a hands and voice-free way for users to interact with their smart home. Currently, RoomMe has been designed to work with the most popular professional smart home systems such as Crestron, Control4, ELAN, RTI, and URC. RoomMe also works with many popular DIY systems, including Apple HomeKit, Wink, Sensibo, Philips HUE, LIFX, Ecobee, Bose, Insteon, Hubitat, and Logitech Harmony. Recently, RoomMe added support for IFTTT, making the true-occupancy sensor compatible with virtually any smart home device on the market.
Just Add Power
Just Add Power is releasing its 3G 708POE transmitter. The transmitter allows integrators to cost-effectively add a stereo analog audio output to their 3G Ultra HD over IP systems.
Like its predecessor, the 708POE distributes video resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD with no latency over a single Cat5e cable. The unit supports HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0, HDR, HDR10, and all lossless audio formats, including Dolby Atmos. Video wall functionality is built-in for displays installed in portrait and flipped configurations, as well as image push, pull, and pop features.
The 708POE supports control inputs with RS-232, CEC, and IR. As with all models in the Just Add Power lineup, it integrates with any generation of the company’s products.
Legrand | AV – Nuvo
Legrand | AV’s Nuvo P600 DIN Rail Player is now available in the United States. Designed for simple installation in projects incorporating the international DIN rail mounting standard, the P600 provides any room with instant access to endless music options from networked collections or a variety of internet radio and streaming services and can be easily expanded throughout the home. To further streamline installations, Legrand is offering convenient kits that include everything needed to provide their customers with complete two-, three- or four-zone systems.
The P600 supplies 2 x 20 watts of efficient, Class D digital amplification for a single zone of audio. The streaming audio player is powered by the PW1060 24VDC power supply, which drives up to three P600s for a scalable system that can easily be expanded up to 16 zones. For users, convenient control is always at hand with the Nuvo Player Portfolio app, in addition to optional in-wall keypads and on-wall touchscreens. The P600 can also be integrated into third-party automation systems from Vantage, KNX, Control4, URC, Elan, Crestron, RTI, and more.
August 2020 saw the release of Luxul’s Epic Mesh wireless mesh solution to integrators. According to the company, Epic Mesh is the first wireless mesh solution designed for the integration channel. Providing a solid foundation for today’s connected home and easy and fast installation for integrators, Epic Mesh combines a mesh node acting as a router and additional satellite nodes that require no wired link between them. Each node in the network can talk to all the others, forming a point-to-point mesh for fast, reliable, truly wireless internet.
Highlights include: dual-purpose mesh nodes can serve as either a router or a satellite node; simple to install using the Luxul Easy Setup App; a tri-band (2 x 2, 2 x 2, 4 x 4) antenna array enables two 2 x 2 bands for client connectivity and a third 4 x 4 5 GHz dedicated backhaul channel; provides eight SSIDs for networking flexibility; and utilizes MU-MIMO technology for high performance.
Monitor Audio is launching its new IMS-4 Music Streamer. Featuring BluOS technology and Apple AirPlay 2, the IMS-4 is a versatile music streaming solution designed for custom install projects requiring premium sound quality.
BluOS technology allows the IMS-4 to stream to four separate zones and its BluOS Controller app offers complete flexibility: streaming from music services, easy access to music libraries, and voice control through a smart device.
Accessed through the app or one of the many supported integrated control systems, multiple IMS-4 Music Streamers can be integrated with other BluOS devices to provide up to 64 zones of music. Each zone can perform together in perfect sync or play different streams to different zones.
Lossless music can be played at up to 24-bit/192 kHz to every room in a home network and, through BluOS, IMS-4 can deliver millions of Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) recordings, which captures and recreates the sound of the original studio performance.
Available in 75-inch and 86-inch sizes with Ultra HD resolution and 350-nit brightness, Planar’s HB Series Huddle Board allows users to see even the most detailed on-screen content. The series features a highly responsive touch performance to recognize up to 20 simultaneous touch points from multiple users and an included stylus that accurately captures even the smallest of characters. Enabling image import for easy annotation over maps, web page screen shots, reports, and more, Planar HB Series allows users to maximize each application’s individual features directly from the touchscreen. The series is also compatible with industry-leading collaboration solutions and includes an integrated Android operating system complete with whiteboard software to create a one-stop collaboration solution for users.
For added flexibility, all Planar HB Series displays come standard with expansion slots that support Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), making them compatible with a variety of OPS devices. With embedded tools tailored to in-room and remote unified communication, Planar HB Series is the ideal option for conference rooms, study group spaces, design centers, or the executive home office.
Consumers are spending more time at home, which has become an opportunity: Dealers have seen an uptick in home entertainment projects as homeowners move movie nights, happy hours, and more into their living rooms and home theaters. To help dealers take on the surge in entertainment demand, the PowerHouse Alliance 11 distributor members are fully stocked with all categories necessary to build a custom home theater, including all TV, speaker, remote, and wiring needs from vendor partners, including Samsung, Yamaha, Apple Aruba, eero, Luxul, Ubiquiti, and others, across the country with 50+ convenient locations. At virtual CEDIA, dealers can get directly connected with the distributor member near them, and discover the many new vendors who have been added to our line card.
Pro Audio Technology (PRO)
Pro Audio Technology (PRO) has announced it is now shipping the ALC-3316 Amplified Loudspeaker Controller worldwide. The ALC-3316 includes a 96 kHz/32-bit DSP processing engine that combines the functionality of a multichannel DSP processor, high-power multichannel home theater or distributed audio amplifier, multichannel mixing amplifier, and high-resolution loudspeaker processor with built-in matrix bass management – all packed into a 1U chassis.
Simultaneously, PRO announces its new companion Configurator Amplified Loudspeaker Controller software. Configurator makes the deployment of surround sound or distributed audio systems easier by integrating intelligent predefined DSP filters to address the acoustic challenges commonly encountered in such systems. The filters are identified in plain, easy-to-decipher English – no audio engineering degree is required.
For advanced users, Configurator grants access to 160 parametric EQ filters (20 input, 20 output, per channel), input trim, output gain, delay, source routing, bass management via the PRO BassDirector interface, channel input and output naming, and bass and treble and master volume control, as well as a configurable signal generator for system setup, diagnosis, and testing.
Samsung Electronics is expanding its lifestyle Home Entertainment portfolio with the addition of The Terrace, its first outdoor 4K QLED TV and accompanying soundbar. The Terrace is a Samsung Smart TV that’s specifically designed to bring the full indoor entertainment experience outside. Consumer and professional models are now available.
Available in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch models, The Terrace fits with any outdoor living space and delivers Samsung’s QLED 4K display technology and Smart features. It is designed with weather in mind: with an IP55 rating, the Terrace’s display boasts weather-resistant durability against water and dust.
The Terrace provides a brightness level of 2000 nits, ensuring that you’ll be able to enjoy content even in broad daylight. The Terrace and accompanying The Terrace Soundbar offer dynamic sound that redefine the dimensions of home theater. For those who want to customize their TV’s sound output, the Terrace has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing it to be paired with The Terrace Soundbar or other devices.
Savant is now shipping the premium finishes for the new Pro Remote X2, Rose Gold and Jet Black. Savant’s all-new Pro Remote X2 features an all-aluminum chassis, easy-to-press backlit buttons, and a 3.1-inch high-resolution glass touchscreen. The Savant X2 remote delivers a full range of control for Services and Scenes, including Entertainment, Lighting, Climate, Shades, and more. And with Siri voice control, color control, Savant TrueImage lighting, plus the ability to select different video tiling layouts right from the screen, the remote experience blends power with simplicity.
The Savant X2 empowers users to personalize the smart remote experience, including adding and organizing icons for control of Favorite Services, Favorite Channels, and Savant Scenes. The X2 remote can be tailored for the functionality of the room or to the individual user. The Savant Pro Remote X2 is also designed to provide users with quick access to the all-new Savant Home App for Apple TV.
For every X2 Premium purchased, Savant will donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Severtson Screens is introducing an additional option for ambient light rejection (ALR) projection screens. HCNC is a high quality, yet lower cost screen material compared to standard ALR screens in today’s marketplace. HCNC’s smooth vinyl surface evenly disperses light, creating the widest possible viewing angle while providing consistent brightness and contrast across the entire screen.
Severtson’s high-contrast grey projection screen material, known as HCNC, is a front projection screen surface designed to increase contrast levels in medium-to-high ambient light situations and for high output projectors. The high-contrast grey screen’s uniformity dramatically increases black levels, shadow detail, and overall color saturation.
SurgeX has introduced its family of UPS + Isolation Transformers, which are continuous power supply solutions with power conditioning to create a complete power management solution. Available in three models (UPS-1440-Li-ISO, UPS-2200-Li-ISO, and UPS-3000-Li-ISO), the compact solutions bring all the benefits of a large-format UPS to the rack-level, containing low-impedance isolation transformers that constantly filter and condition power at the rack to create a stable power environment.
The isolation transformer separates ground and neutral voltage, eliminating anomalies that cause lockups and downtime. The devices prevent high-frequency electrical noise from affecting performance, delivering clean, fully conditioned power to the source, and stopping harmful harmonics from reaching sensitive loads to ensure a safely managed interface between equipment and electrical supplies.
Suitable for both commercial and residential applications with the power to manage environments from 15 amps to 300 volts, the UPS + Isolation Transformer is so compact it can be rack mounted. It is also silent while providing a fast outage response time, 0.9 output power factor, true sine-wave output, and a hot-swappable battery. When AC electricity fails, the UPS uses its internal, maintenance-free battery to supply reserved power to connected equipment.
Theory Audio Design
Theory Audio Design has announced its new Configurator v1.0 software designed specifically for the ALC-1809 Amplified Loudspeaker Controller. With nine amplifier channels, 1800 watts of power, and 96 kHz/32-bit digital signal processing, the ALC-1809 is the AV version of an integrator’s swiss army knife, combining the functionality of five products in one: a multi-channel DSP processor, high power multichannel home theater and distributed audio amplifier, multichannel mixing amplifier, multichannel bass manager, and high-resolution loudspeaker processor, all in a stylish, 1U package.
The new Theory Configurator v1.0 software simplifies the deployment of Theory systems. It integrates engineering-level predefined and parametric DSP filters to address some of the most common room acoustics challenges, and allows easy access to the ALC-1809s features including: 20 parametric EQs per channel, delay, signal routing and naming, and, for the first time in a multichannel amplifier, 8×8 matrix bass management (bass steering).
Vanco International LLC
Vanco International LLC has announced EVO-IP LITE: an HDMI-over-IP system developed from the Evolution EVO-IP platform. EVO-IP LITE utilizes the same control box and GUI platform as the original EVO-IP, but with one less SKU that can be used as either a transmitter or receiver. It is the ideal solution for installers looking for a matrix, switching, and splitting platform for video resolutions up to 1080p@60 Hz. EVO-IP LITE also includes analog and digital audio breakouts, IR and RS232 passthrough, and full cloud control through the current EVO-IP apps and interfaces for scheduling events, remote monitoring, and iOS and Android app control.
The Z-Wave Alliance will be sharing technical and organizational updates within the Alliance, as well as findings from its recently released Z-Wave State of the Ecosystem Report 2020, at Virtual CEDIA Expo 2020.
In July, the Z-Wave Alliance released the Z-Wave State of the Ecosystem Report 2020. The report focuses on smart home and connected technology inside and outside of the home and how Z-Wave plays a role, with insight from industry experts and predictions for how technology will evolve, including for the professional install industry. While conducting research for the report, the Alliance surveyed a wide range of industry experts and media to get their take on smart home trends, opportunities, and challenges. The report includes data around the top ten Z-Wave categories primed for growth including data from ABI Research that found that Z-Wave all-in-one devices, smart doorbells, and water sensors are the top three categories predicted to grow the most through 2025.