Products and Technologies That You Won’t Want to Miss at EXPO
Niles Audio’s IntelliControl ICS system can now connect to sister brand ELAN’s g! control system.
There are times when it seems like the product plans of CE industry manufacturers were a matter of national security. Pre-show embargos and double-secret exclusives make previewing new products for a big trade show, like CEDIA EXPO, a little tough. This year, however, several manufacturers have given special access to new introductions set for CEDIA EXPO in Indianapolis this month. Here’s a look at a collection of products that the editors of Residential Systems look forward to learning more about at the show.
In what may be the biggest news since the formation of the AVC Group a year ago, Niles Audio says its IntelliControl ICS multi-room audio system, with more than 15,000 installations, will now be able to connect to the relatively new ELAN g! control system. This initial integration partnership makes it possible for Niles ICS customers to immediately access the benefits of whole-home automation featured in the ELAN g! control system. For the first time since its introduction in 2005, the Niles ICS system will now allow consumers to control its six streaming sources by an iPad and iPhone. Also, Niles ICS dealers who qualify to sell ELAN g! systems will now be able to offer both installed and new ICS customers an affordable bridge to the home control of television, lighting, climate, and other functions via the ELAN g! system. In addition, qualified ELAN dealers will now have the opportunity to offer their customers another option for streaming content, including native Pandora Internet Radio.
The Harman High Performance Audio Video (HPAV) group is building up its Lexicon line with the brand’s first home audio product incorporating proprietary QuantumLogic Surround 3D (QLS 3D) post processing, which delivers up to 12.4 channels of surround sound from mono, stereo and multichannel sources. The technology will be incorporated in a flagship MP-20 surround-sound preamp processor, dubbed a media processor by the company for its inclusion of video-processing technology. Harman is bringing its demo truck and Ferrari onto the EXPO floor to show how the technology works. Read more about it on page 58 of this issue.
The Proficient Zero Wireless Audio System is a new wireless audio system that promises distribution of up to six audio sources simultaneously to freestanding stereo speakers in up to 24 rooms, if three wireless transmitters are used at a time. Each transmitter supports up to eight tabletop amplifier/receivers, and each transmitter is capable of sending stereo audio from two separate sources while also sending mono wirelessly to a powered subwoofer in the same room or another room. Zero’s predecessor, called AirFlex, simultaneously transmitted music wirelessly from two sources to up to four rooms when two transmitters were used and had a range through walls of 70 feet, while Zero can go 90 feet.
Xantech is celebrating 40 years of providing connectivity products to the commercial and residential integration industries with the introduction of a new generation of AV control system solutions at CEDIA EXPO 2011. For commercial installations, Xantech’s WIC1200, with built-in web server, combines two of every port into a single device for flexible conference room control from a computer, tablet PC, iPad or iPhone. In the residential channel, Xantech’s BDXTT Bluetooth interface provides a full-fidelity, reliable wireless connection between an AV system and any handheld Bluetooth A2DP-enabled device, such as a smart-phone, PC or tablet. It lets the user maintain device functionality (such as taking a phone call) while listening to music.
After what may be the longest product development cycle in CI industry history, SpeakerCraft says it is finally shipping its much-anticipated Nirv Digital Media system. Nirv has been designed to deliver any analog/digital content with up to 1080p resolution, control, integrated intercom, and Dolby Digital, DTS surround sound to any room in the home or office, and all over a single Cat-5e cable. Nirv promises to take any digital product and allow it to be used in any room of the house with an onscreen interface, or via an iPad. According to SpeakerCraft one of Nirv’s most significant selling points is its ease of system design, installation, and programming.
The dVision Scope 1080p, from Digital Projection Int’l, is a native 2:35:1 precision DLP projector delivering more than 2.75 million pixels of imagery when scope HD content is displayed. Using a combination of horizontal resolution and input analyzing firmware, the 2560 x 1080 projector is designed to deliver a true 1080p solution for 2:35 aspect content without optical stretching, and without the need for an anamorphic lens solution.
SIM2 is celebrating it’s 15th year in business with 15 new projector models. Among the new product highlights will be SIM2’s first entry in single-chip DLP 3D projection. SIM2 has taken the same optics and electronics from its 3-Chip LUMIS 3D SOLO line to create what is says is a benchmark single-chip DLP projection line with technologies including native 2.35:1 and DynamicBlack, housed in a compact, light-absorbing “nero black” chassis.
SnapAV enters the surveillance category with its Wirepath Surveillance line consisting of eight cameras (a combination of varifocal and fixed lens indoor and outdoor models) and three Digital Video Recorders (8, 9, and 16-channels) with a free supporting iPhone App. All Wirepath Surveillance products are shipping now. The company is so confident in the line that it is supporting it with its Double Money-Back Guarantee.
Stealth Acoustics’ Image Series are flat-front boxstyle speakers, with no grill, that mount adjacent to a flat-screen TV for enhancing sound, particularly low-frequency extension. Based on Stealth’s LR6 invisible speaker technologies, the Image speaker’s flat-front radiating surface can be covered with any art or picture of choice, or painted to match an environment. When used with the manufacturer’s StealthCoverart flat screen cover solution, a panoramic image can cover the speakers and the TV.
Available in two models, Monitor Audio’s i-deck 100 and i-deck 200 (which also have a digital audio out) are compatible with iPods/iPhones through a flexible dock connector. It includes new technologies like precision-engineered C-CAM alloy drivers, APC and BLM. The i-decks are endowed with the build and aesthetic quality that’s won the brand acclaim around the world.
iSky’s EcoStar (starting at $31.25 per square foot) is a patented starfield ceiling that is both affordable and ecofriendly while providing a realistic night-time sky. It is made from recycled polyester fiber, using the latest in “green” technology (65 percent PET-recycled fiber and 35 percent PET-virgin fiber). The panels are so environmentally friendly, even they can be recycled, the company says.
LiteTouch will be highlighting new LiteTouch Keypads, its Control4 Integration Driver, LiteWare Enhancements, and more. Also on display will be the development progress of the new kORE CCU, now slated for release in 2012.
Powered by VidaBox’s new vAutomation 2.0 control platform, the LiivController provides convenience and system management by allowing any iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch to access any equipment via Wi-Fi, turning these devices into a touchscreen interface for any system component via IR, TCP/IP, and RS-232 commands sent from LiivController. The 2.0 platform can also be used to control any VidaBox media center, giving users complete access to Blu-rays, DVDs, Netflix, and more, and allowing them to browse through their media in the cover-flow style familiar to Apple users.
Gefen’s new Gefen TV Auto Volume Stabilizer for HDMI controls volume levels when listening to music, playing games, or watching television. Spikes in volume when channel surfing or watching movies or TV are eliminated, solving one of the most common complaints among consumers. This new model comes with HDMI connectors and works with all Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, satellite set-top boxes and HDTV displays.
There has been a lot of buzz about energy management, but where is the consumer demand? Where are the solutions? Panamax/Furman hopes that its BlueBOLT Energy Management Kiosk can help CEDIA attendees learn how to get in on the ground floor of this profitable new integration category. With a wide variety of new features and hardware designed to closely monitor energy use, eliminate standby power, and enable automated loadshedding, BlueBOLT delivers to integrators a realworld energy management solution that enables new business and recurring revenue opportunities.
In addition to its RTiPanel App for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, RTI will be introducing its T2- Cs+ handheld remote control at CEDIA. The T2-Cs+ sports a new 2.4-inch brilliant LCD touchscreen for improved image quality and an increased viewing angle, while 128 MB of Flash memory and a 532-MHz CPU provide a boost in performance. The controller features a dual-RF platform, which supports both 433-MHz RF for one-way control and 2.4-GHz ZigBee for bidirectional communication with RTI processors and supported third-party electronics like music servers, lighting, and web-based RSS feeds for convenient weather updates.
Pakedge Device & Software will introduce its K61 Preconfigured Router and Gateway Security Appliance, designed to provide audio/video bridging (AVB) and smart home networking performance, along with easy installation and robust network security. The K61 includes the Pakedge R6V router and BR6 mounting bracket. It offers a wide array of connections, including five internal switch ports to accommodate larger networks, along with two WAN, USB management, console and DMZ ports.
Steinway Lyngdorf will be demonstrating the S– Series, a premium sound system designed especially for smaller scale private residences, hospitality establishments, and private yachts, where space is a premium. The discreet inwall version will be shown for the first time at CEDIA. The S-Series features a patent-pending AER (Ambience Enhancing Radiation) dipole tweeter design, which disperse the highest frequencies, to achieve an enveloping and ambient sound, providing listeners in even very small rooms with the feeling of being in a concert hall.
A new touchscreen keypad, the Navigator is as an enhancement to Elk Product’s line of user interfaces for the M1 Cross Platform Control product line. This full-color 3.5-inch display comes with a designer white bezel, but can be converted to black or silver if needed. Navigator touchscreen keypad is connected directly to and powered by the M1 control keypad data bus via Cat-5 or Cat-6 cable.
NAD Electronics is showcasing its T 757 surround sound AV receiver, which features the company’s proprietary Modular Design Construction (MDC) architecture–unavailable until now at this price level. With MDC (Modular Design Construction), the owner has the ability to easily upgrade the T 757 to future digital formats.
Mozaex will launch the ShowStar allin- one 3TB Blu-ray Entertainment Server . With a base pricing starting at $1,995, ShowStar represents what the company says is the world’s most affordable complete entertainment server that can load, store, and play hundreds of movies, albums, photo slide shows.
KEF will introduce the U.S. audience to a full line of new high performance loudspeakers, including KEF Blade, the world’s first Single Apparent Source loudspeaker.
ihiji’s INVAPP- 500 is a low-cost, energy-efficient remote monitoring hardware appliance, designed to enable integrators to further reduce remote servicing costs while simultaneously increasing system reliability, earning recurring revenue, and maximizing operating efficiencies. ihiji monitoring services start as low as $120 a year, which when coupled with the new appliance, allow authorized ihiji dealers to offer both hardware and the first year of service for as low as $320. The cost of which can easily be recouped by avoiding just one truck roll.
The touchpanel is not dead yet. Crestron is unveiling the V24-C 24-inch HD touchscreen display, the latest addition to its family of high-definition V-Panel touchscreens. According to CEDIA, full HDCP support makes V-Panel the only touchscreen that enables reliable viewing of content-protected DVD, Blu-ray Disc, digital HDTV, streaming video and multimedia computer sources. With a swipe of the finger, gestures navigation lets users browse through music and movie libraries, scroll through TV channels and radio stations, and select any desired control app from a menu of colorful 3D icons. On-screen keyboard and mouse capabilities enable complete control of the embedded Web browser and other applications. A built-in USB port allows connection of a physical keyboard and mouse, providing the simplicity of traditional computer operation.
AMX’s Enova DGX 16 and 32 systems extend the boundaries of modular matrix switchers with an integrated NetLinx Controller and embedded Ethernet switch, so users can manage, monitor, and control the entire solution, including the connected source and display devices located throughout the building, all from a single point of control. With the combination of analog-todigital signal conversion, video scaling, and highspeed digital switching, AMX says this hybrid system delivers perfect video every time.
More and more homeowners and business owners are making the switch to energy efficient LEDs, and Lutron’s new Finire recessed LED lighting fixtures address common issues associated with LEDs, like quality of light and color concerns, by providing a complete solution that combines Lutron technology to produce high-quality light output with different color temperatures comparable to incandescent and compact fluorescent lamps. The new lights, from Lutron’s Ivalo Collection fixture division, have been designed to ensure compatibility while offering high-efficacy performance with smooth, flicker-free dimming from 100 percent down to one percent.
TRUFIG’s new HVAC Solutions have been developed to seamlessly integrate common HVAC supply grilles and returns for a clean, flush-mount custom installation that blends into the home décor.
Atlantic Technology is demonstrating a sound bar loudspeaker that uses the company’s patented H-PAS bass technology to eliminate the need for a companion subwoofer. The PowerBar 235 is a two-channel powered sound bar with digital surround processing, all contained in a single 42- x 51/4- x 53/4- inch cabinet with rich bass response down to 47 Hz at -3dB.
The Control4 7-inch Portable and Tabletop touchpanels offer portability with a rechargeable battery version that comes with a charging station in a sleek tablet form-factor. The new Tabletop model is for places like nightstands, end tables, and kitchen counters where anytime access is important but an in-wall mount doesn’t make sense.
Runco’s LS-1 is a single-chip 1080p DLP projector that provides an option to homeowners looking for the performance and flexibility of a high-end projector at a very attractive price point. It’s meant for homeowners who want a high-performance video option for watching TV or movies, but also want the color depth and picture quality for console gaming, internet browsing, or streaming video and movies via a set-top box.
Savant Systems is introducing a full complement of loudspeaker products designed by Bay Audio and encompassing the in-wall, inceiling, and in-wall subwoofer product categories. The line features the most popular loudspeaker sizes offered at a variety of price points, including four in-wall models, four in-ceiling models, an in-wall subwoofer and related mounting accessories.
With the growing demand of 3D passive technology, Vutec is introducing a comprehensive high-definition 2D/3D passive projection screen, the SilverStar 3D-P. This curved screen is engineered and balanced for HD, 2D and 3D in one optimal screen. Delivering the ultimate in picture quality, providing bright vivid colors, ultra high gain, high contrast and a seamless curved wide viewing area up to 181-inches diagonal (in 2.35:1).
On its first birthday as a company, GoldenEar is featuring several new products, including its first entry into the bookshelf speaker category. The Aon 2 and 3 are compact, ultra-high-performance bookshelf speakers that were originally developed for use as near-field monitors in professional mixing applications. The design goal was to produce modestly sized shelf or stand-mountable speakers that would achieve accurate high-definition sonic reproduction, with improved three-dimensional imaging, comparable to that achieved by GoldenEar’s awardwinning Triton Two Towers.
Solus/Clements Loudspeakers is introducing six new speaker models using H-PAS, the technology invented by company president Phil Clements that extracts more low-frequency acoustic output out of smaller sized cabinets. The introductions feature a 6.5T Tower, the 5.25B Bookshelf and the H-PAS SX Solus Experience Home Theater (SX HT) System. The system includes the new, only fourinches deep, in-wall/on-wall SX 4.0 and the SX 4.0-CC center channel.
Simplifying connectivity between portable devices and multi-zone audio systems, ClearOne is introducing BluePort, an in-wall wireless audio gateway that allows iPhone, iPad, and Android products and any device with Bluetooth A2DP support to transmit music digitally to any ClearOne NetStreams multi-room music system. With BluePort in the AV system, a Bluetooth device within 33 feet can wirelessly transmit stored music or streaming Internet audio to play in one zone or multiple zones. BluePort may also be used to take mobile phone calls over the home audio system, similar to hands-free phone use in a car.
Simply Reliable Software (SRS) now offers five versions of Design Machine 2.0: Design Machine Standard, Design Machine for AMX, Design Machine for Control4, Design Machine for Crestron, and Design Machine SmartOffice. The Standard version, which is included with all Design Machines, allows users to build a project from scratch, create products, and edit inputs and outputs. The AMX version uses information entered in Visual Architect, Design Machine for Control4 takes its cue from a c4p Composer file after you have connected your bindings, and Design Machine for Crestron utilizes the information from a simple windows file.