Joel Silver, winner of CEDIA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, summed up the spirit of the night: Recalling how he’d brought the concept of calibrating TVs in the home that could mirror the images the content creators had dreamt up, Silver said, “I brought my idea to CEDIA, where I met people who embraced innovation.”
That innovation was on full display on the night of September 5, 2018, at Petco Park in San Diego, where CEDIA’s members recognized the exemplary work of their colleagues with the CEDIA Awards, Americas region. (Asia Pacific and EMEA Awards were handed out at separate events.)
From innovative solutions such as a home whose systems go into full automation mode to help an Orthodox family honor their commitment to observing the Jewish Sabbath (the work of Florida’s All Digital, LLC) to a showroom that reflected the company’s philosophy perfectly (“We don’t sell products and services; instead, we help people buy products and services.” —Hanson AV), the annual Awards celebration was a showcase of integration brilliance across a broad spectrum of price points.
Winners Large and Small
Hosted by tech journalist Jenn Jolly and a rotating group of co-presenters drawn from the Executive Committee of the CEDIA Board of Directors, the event was staged in the outfield of the home stadium of the San Diego Padres. The spectacle of the setting matched the excellence of the finalists, with winning projects representing a vast range of price points. Mexico’s Grupo Mai, winning for Best Home Cinema, Level I, was singled out by CEDIA’s judges as “a really artful solution with a limited budget” — well under $50,000.
On the top end of the scale, One Touch Living’s win for Best Home Cinema, Level IV ($450,000 and above), was a true expression of a great client/integrator collaboration. The One Touch team (from San Diego) noted: “In this project, the client wanted what he experienced in our demo space, but he didn’t have the room in his house. So he built an addition for the express purpose of getting what he wanted.”
Meeting those challenges paid off in more than trophies, according to One Touch: “This reminds us why we do all this hard work — it’s for the ultimate in client satisfaction.”
Vancouver’s La Scala marked three checks in the “Win” column with a single project, as their entry for Best Integrated Home, Level II — an iconic, luxurious building with views of an urban beach — picked up the aforementioned trophy, as well as the Technology Meets Design and Life Lived Best at Home awards. The latter two awards were judged by a panel of designers and architects; the Technology Meets Design honor focused on the aesthetically beautiful ways that technology was integrated into the residence, while the Life Lived Best at Home prize was all about the manner in which the tech complemented and improved the client’s lifestyle.
Big Picture Solutions (Jupiter, FL) saw their work on a home that featured custom-lit bowling alleys bring home two wins in subcategories, for Lighting and Documentation. The overall project also nabbed a Finalist mention in the Best Integrated Home, Level IV division.
Admit One Home Systems (Edina, MN) had a terrific showing with a single project, too, picking up honors for Best Home Cinema and Best Integrated Home (both in their respective Level III divisions) and the award for Best Dressed Racks for their work on the technological heart of that award-winning home.
Audio Images from Tustin, CA, swept the Media Room categories, winning both Level II and III awards. PMI’s Anthony Grimani served as an audio consultant on both rooms, both of which required careful calibrations of spaces with unusual footprints. (No project fit the Level I criteria this year.) Mexico’s Smartlab had the most diverse showing, winning Best Auto, Marine, or Aircraft for a tourist train that guides its riders through beautiful copper canyons and a nod for Best Multiple Unit Dwelling for a seaside hotel that welcomes its guests with automated scenes.
Individual winners — including a very excited Amanda Wildman (TruMedia), recognized as Volunteer of the Year and an incredibly dapper, tuxedo-wearing Sam Woodward of Lutron (winner of the Training Volunteer of the Year award) — were met with an outpouring of support from the crowd.
It was a vibe expressed once again by the eloquent Silver: “CEDIA gave my idea a home — no, actually, CEDIA gave me a home.”
You can find a complete list of the winners in the Americas division here.